Nighttime Underwear vs Pullups (What’s the difference?)

The task of potty training is one of the most stress-inducing experiences that parents feel early on in their children’s lives. If you are deep in the throes of potty training, know that we are here with you, and it will get easier.

If your child has successfully mastered daytime bathroom usage, congratulations! That is a considerable feat, and it didn’t come easy. You’ve successfully taught your child an important life skill that deserves some celebration. 

Now, you may be facing the next hurdle — nighttime potty training, bedwetting, and the confusion of nighttime underwear, diapers, and pull-ups. What’s the best product for your child, your sleep, and your sanity? Find out in this post.

nighttime underwear vs pullups

Nighttime Underwear vs. Pull-Ups — What’s the Difference? 

The key difference between nighttime underwear and pull-ups is pretty simple. Pull-Ups are designed for children during potty training during the day who need a transitional step between a diaper and regular underwear. 

Disposable nighttime underwear is designed specifically for bedwetting prevention and odor elimination. They have a more oversized fit, so they can absorb more fluid if your child has an accident while sleeping. 

Nighttime underwear has more tailored sizing to decrease leaks and fit like real underwear. They are designed for children from 28 pounds to 140+ pounds.

Pull-Ups can be worn overnight, and many families use them for this purpose. Pull-Ups aren’t as absorbent as nighttime underwear, so they can cause leaks onto the mattress or wherever your child is sleeping. 

If your child pees a lot overnight, you probably know how bulky and uncomfortable the pull-up looks in the morning. To avoid this, nighttime underwear is a great choice.

Are Overnight Diapers or Pull-Ups Better?

It’s important to remember that diaper products and their effectiveness depend on your child’s age, size, and development. 

Pull-Ups use elastic material around the waist and leg cuffs, so they are easy for children to slide down and pull up, teaching them how to use regular underwear when they go to the bathroom. 

While this material is great for daytime wear, that amount of stretch can create gaps between the fabric and the body, creating room for potential leaks. 

Overnight diapers, on the other hand, are extra-absorbent for leak prevention. 

Some brands, like Goodnites, offer an overnight underwear option that is essentially an extra-absorbent pull-up. It looks and feels like regular underwear, so your child won’t feel like he’s back in diapers at bedtime.

There are also overnight diapers with tabs that you would traditionally use on a smaller child or baby that offers 12 hours of absorbency protection. 

Most overnight diapers offer up to size 6, typically around 35 pounds. If your child fits in that size and needs the extra absorbency support for bedtime, then overnight diapers may be the best choice for your family. 

Related: Potty training pajamas – Peejamas review versus Pampers Ninjama review

Is Training Underwear Better than Pull-Ups?

Training underwear and pull-ups can be used at different times throughout potty training. 

Training underwear is reusable and fits the same way regular underwear does. They are often double or triple layered in the crotch area to absorb small leaks or accidents. They absorb a small amount but will still feel uncomfortable for your child, encouraging them not to wet their pants. 

Pull-Ups are made from the same material as diapers, making them more absorbent and less noticeable when your child pees in them. Depending on the potty training process and where you’d like your child to be, this can be a good or bad thing. 

Pull-Ups are often criticized because they don’t necessarily encourage bathroom use — they are more or less a diaper without tabs. If you want your child to learn not to pee in their pants, training underwear is more equipped to teach that, as opposed to Pull Ups. 

When it comes to nighttime use, if your child is having accidents or wetting the bed in their training underwear, Pull-Ups may be a more productive choice until they show signs of progress.

When should I switch from pullups to underwear at night?

If your child is younger than seven and struggles with bedwetting, even months or years after being properly potty trained during the day, know that it’s very common for this age range. 

Physical development is a big part of this process, as your child’s bladder has to grow large enough to hold more fluid while sending signals to their brain that will wake them up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. It’s a big step! 

Many experts advise encouraging a bathroom visit before bed and waking your child up around midnight to use the bathroom. This is an excellent opportunity for your child to wake up, use the bathroom, and then head back to bed, which may be normal nighttime behavior as they grow into their teens and adulthood. 

If your child’s bedwetting has decreased in recent days or weeks, it may be a good time to transition to underwear. 

You can also gauge their readiness based on naps. If they can sleep 1-2 hours without a pull-up or diaper, this is a great starting point to move to underwear for overnights. Let them continue napping (if they do regularly) with underwear on, then slowly introduce that underwear for nighttime use. 

Wrap Up- Nighttime Underwear vs Pullups

Wherever your child is in the journey of potty training, we know the struggle and the anxiety you may be feeling. Know that bedwetting is common; children grow out of it in time. Expect there to be accidents, just like with daytime potty training. But as you’ve already learned, practice makes perfect.

You may also want to read our post about Diapers vs Pullups.

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