Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The absurdity of Pull-ups

The Huggies Pull-ups commercial with the Pixar cars really irritates me. Have you seen it? The toddler pulls up to the bathroom in his toy car, runs in and comes back out as he finishes pulling up his glorified disposable diaper (that's all it is, you know). The commercial bothers me on a couple of levels.

Besides the idiocy of the product, I have an objection to sending a toddler off to go potty by himself period. Depending on the gender of the child and what he/she had to do on the potty, don't you wonder if he/she properly wiped himself/herself?? And then there is the hand washing issue. How well did those hands get washed anyway ... or did they at all? Off the kiddo zooms in his toy car ... germs and all. Yuck.

I mentioned Huggies Pull-Ups in one of my Facebook posts last week and got a mixed response. One community member asked, "What's the alternative?"

The question surprised me. For me, even considering using a disposable training pant like a Pull-Up is not an option. I personally think this was one of the stupidest products ever to hit the shelves. Why? For the following reasons:
  • The only difference between a disposable diaper and a Pull-Up is the child's ability to put the latter on (we all know kids can figure out how to take a disposable diaper off).
  • Don't kid yourself to think that you're one step closer to potty training by using Pull-Ups. The fact of the matter is, for most children, Pull-ups delay potty training. After all, if the moisture is sucked up by those lovely toxic chemicals infused in the pants, what's the big deal. Oh yeah, the Disney princesses may disappear when wet or the child may experience a "cooling sensation" after they pee, but guess what? That means even more chemicals are in the Pull-ups than are in disposable diapers!! Do you really want those toxins next to your little one's bottom? Seriously?? And they even come in sizes up to 4T -- really??
  • Aside from the chemicals wreaking havoc with your child's developing system, what about what they do to the environment as more and more and more disposable diapering products are tossed into the growing mountains of landfill? What are we doing, folks???
  • And I haven't even mentioned how bizarre it is to spend the exorbitant amount of money needed to keep your kids in disposable pants, when in most cases, they should be fully potty trained by now.
"But my kid's almost three and I can't get her to go on the potty."

Of course not. Not if she's in comfortable disposables cleverly decorated with her favorite Disney characters! Why would she be??

Now, I'm not going to go into the various tricks of the trade involved in successful potty training. There are a myriad of resources available for that. What I will say is if you want to encourage your toddler to graduate from being a baby, you have to give them incentive -- babies wear diapers and big boys and girls wear big boy or big girl pants...not a restructured, more convenient version of a diaper.

Will it take some work on your part? Yes. If you didn't expect that, perhaps you missed the part about parenting being work ... a lot of work actually.

Will there be accidents? Of course. So, you clean them up.

The fact of the matter is, cloth-diapered babies tend to be much easier to train than those who are wearing disposables. Cloth diapers don't have chemicals that suck up the moisture (don't you ever wonder what those chemicals are doing to your children??). Because the child feels the wetness, he/she doesn't want that diaper on for long. It's that simple. And guess what? You can actually find some really nifty underwear for 2-year-olds -- complete with all sorts of their favorite characters!

Maybe I've ranted long enough. It's just that I saw that Huggies Pull-Ups commercial again and it got my blood boiling. And that was shortly after I saw that obnoxious I Poo in Blue commercial ... don't even get me started again on that one!

It's time for parents to start thinking about the health of their children (and the health of the environment), and stop looking for convenient so-called short cuts. Care about your kids, folks. Read the warnings about these chemicals. Think about the future of this earth you'll be leaving for your kids and grandkids.

Keeping it green and healthy for the kiddos,



  1. The best alternative - toilet train your kids BEFORE they start walking. It's what my grandmother did with her nine kids and her grandchildren. My grandmother had all the kids toilet trained at 6 months of age! They could not talk but they quickly learned (in only 4 days) to pull on their mother in a certain way to let her know they had to go potty.

    I did it with my son and also with my girlfriend's kids. But because I didn't have my grandmother around to help me, it took me longer than 4 days to toilet train. I started with my son and he was almost trained after three weeks. Then my mom had a stroke and was moved to hospice partway through my son's training. My son started walking during that "break" time (I was too busy traveling back and forth to hospice to train). I saw it was WAY easier to toilet train before walking.

    A few years later, my friend had to go to the hospital and I had her little one for a few days. I had my friend's 9 month old boy almost totally toilet trained in less than 1 week!

    It's GREAT for a child's self esteem to be the first one of his/her peers toilet trained. The child gets a lot of positive attention from adults.

  2. I agree entirely... I got my head into all this too late though. We have our last ever pack of Pull-ups on my son's dresser. (Purchased months and months ago.) He's a night-time wetter. We've got the buzzer that wakes him up when he pees, but he still pees all over. I've been looking for a cloth training pant that holds all-night wetness. Any suggestions?

    (He wears underpants to bed right now with a Pull-up outside to catch any leaks, but I've no intention of buying another pack of Pull-ups. When they're gone, they're gone.)

  3. Anonymous, please share with the class your secret to potty training!

  4. I am wondering what your suggestion would be for those of us with special needs children who require extra help?

  5. I'm not sure what kind of extra help you are referring to, but whenever possible, I always recommend cloth... diapers or training pants. But when you face special challenges, you have to figure out what works best for you and your unique situation.

  6. How extremely judgmental! Did it EVER occur to you that maybe a 4T is available because of size and body differences in children and not just age - really?? Goodness gracious, woman! And yes, my 2 year old is in the middle of potty training. Does that mean I missed the part about parenting being hard work? *Absolutely not*. Different items work for different people, and if that means a Mom needs to use Pull-ups, so be it. If that is what works for THEIR child, let them be. MY unsolicited advice? Mind your own business and make your own choices for your kids and grandkids before passing judgement on others based on a commercial.

    1. I'm pretty sure YOU are the one being judgmental of me here, Anonymous. At least I add my name to my opinions. And this is my blog, so I am minding my own business. I didn't force you to read it. I stand behind my thought that Pull-ups are absurd. Yes, different items work for different people, But Pull-ups are loaded with toxins which are unhealthy for children; the same as disposable diapers. MY unsolicited advice for you? If you're going to attack someone's opinions, as least own up to it. I expressed my opinion and didn't judge anyone in particular. You, on the other hand, anonymously judged me.

  7. I agree with you Green Grandma. When I potty trained my first child we didn't use pull-ups (I cloth diaper). My 2nd child is a whole different story. She does not care if there is poop or pee in her diaper (she has been in cloth diapers since she was 1 month old and she's now 2.5yrs old). I also have a 9 month old and found myself today wanting to buy pull ups. The dilemma that made me want to do this was I was in a public restroom, holding the 9 month old in my arms and I was trying to figure out how to change the 2 year olds diaper without putting either baby on the floor. I ended up changing her while she stood (and baby sat on the changing tAble) but it occurred to me a pull-up would be way easier/faster! I do not like the idea of the chemicals so I'm searching for alternative options as my 2yr old is not ready to potty train. She is very much a child that cannot be forced into anything until she is ready. With toilet training it's hard to force them when you can create dangerous problems by forcing them when they are not ready. I'm hoping she comes around soon. We've tried many things to get her to come around but it's not working. She will hold her pee/poop for hours ( and then be in pain) if we don't put a diaper on her. I'd love expert advise on this but I have a feeling they would just say "she's not ready. Try again in X months"
    The pull-up option of cloth diaper I found was ridiculous...its HUGE. That's saying a lot coming from a cloth diapering mama. All cloth diapers are big, they have to be to have the absorbency you need. BUT this "pull-up" type cloth diaper is insane! I will keep searching and also wishing/hoping/praying for my 2yr old to come around. I really can't have the chemicals on her as her body/health is compromised as it is without the added chemicals of diapers.

    1. Thank you for reading and for commenting. Have you tried the ones made by Honest Company? They would be a safer option for you. If you try them, let me know what you think.

    2. I have used their diapers when traveling, just discovered they have a pull-up option. I also just learned of a brand called Naty that I might try out... When we were out today she peed and soaked her cloth diaper and her shorts! Frustrating. Not to mention cloth diapering 2 babies over the last 9 months is exhausting. I thought she'd be trained when she turned 2 like her older sister.

    3. Earth's Best brand also makes good "safer" pull up type trying pants.

  8. My almost 4 year old refuses anything but a diaper/pull up and it's almost traumatizing him so we've decided to back off. He knows what to do when it comes to using the potty but I think the major hold up is pooping. He'll hold it in if he doesn't have a diaper and that just creates another whole issue. Anyway - I'd go cold turkey but his daycare requires a full week of staying dry in a diaper before wearing underwear so any momentum we gain is lost come Monday morning. Any suggestions on the issues with pooping (he poops standing up while playing and it takes like 15-20 mins)? I'm at a loss and am tired of buying diapers! Any advice is much appreciated!

    1. Hi, Meagan. I honestly don't have any good advice for you on this issue. Daycare certainly complicates things. If it's alright with you, I will post the question on the FB page (anonymously, of course) and see what others in the community think. Someone just might have the answer you're looking for. Just let me know if it's okay.


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