Diapers Vs Pull-Ups: Everything You Need to Know

At some point in our parenting journey, we’ve probably wondered what difference there is between a diaper and a pull-up. Some parents – including myself – even use them interchangeably.

They look so similar, and serve similar purposes, for most parents they’re practically the same thing.

Well, diapers and pull-ups are a bit distinct. Not to worry, I’ll be letting you in on all the juicy details concerning diapers vs pull-ups!

What Is The Difference Between A Diaper And A Pull-Up?

You’re probably already familiar with diapers but I’ll explain them anyway! Diapers are baby underwear designed to contain your little one’s messes. They are made from a soft and highly absorbent material(sodium polyacrylate).

On the other hand, pull-ups are – again – baby underwear that is made with the same absorbent material to catch any mess-ups.

So, why call them different names if they serve similar purposes? Well, diapers and pull-ups differ in a few ways, which some of you may not have guessed.

  • Diapers are made with waistlines designed to lock into each other and hold the underwear in place. Whereas pull-ups are made with an elastic waistband instead.
  • Diapers are mostly used with newborns and smaller babies while pull-ups are utilized with older babies and toddlers.
  • Diapers stay in place as soon as they are locked in either by Velcro or whatever lock is in place whereas pull-ups can easily be taken off by your toddler.

The few differences didn’t shock me though since I already used them interchangeably for my baby. I mean, if they both served the same purpose well enough, how much different could they be?

How Do Diapers And Pull-Ups Work?

The best way to explain this is to walk you through the process of using a diaper and a pull-up.

Let’s start with the one that’s ever so familiar to parents.


  1. Take a pair of clean diapers with the necessary things for changing.
  2. Lie your baby on your bed or the floor and strap in the diaper.
  3. Viola! You have completed a diaper change.

 You can check out some YouTube videos for tips on changing your baby’s diapers like Tiny Bud’s video on changing diapers.

Now, where the main thing lies is after you put it on your baby. Newborns up to 6 months can’t go to the potty so it’s just a moving toilet for them.

As soon as your baby soils it, you take it off. It gets uncomfortable for them real quick so don’t try to leave it on for too long. Each unit can be used once and as soon as you take it off, it’s going to the trash can.


You would wear your little one a pull-up in the same manner as you would for a diaper. The only difference is that there is nothing to strap just a plain old elastic band.

The elastic waistband makes the changing process a lot easier especially if your little one is a wriggler.

Now, pull-ups aren’t designed to hold in poop as with diapers. They are more like a transition from diapers to regular underwear. I particularly used pull-ups when I was potty training my little one.

They are made with the same absorbent material as diapers, just in case. Lots of parents report that pull-ups were more prone to leaks than using a diaper. It all depends on the brand of pull-ups you get. I used the pampers pull on cruisers and I hardly saw those leaks happen.

When Should You Use Diapers Vs Pull-Ups?

When you should use a diaper or pull-up depends on some factors or situations.

  1. If your little one uses a size 1 to size 7 under clothes, you should probably use a diaper.
  • If your baby uses a size 4 – 7 in under clothes, you may use a pull-up.
  • If you’re ready to potty train, a pull-up will probably be a good choice.
  • If your older baby moves around – a lot – while changing nappies, use a pull-up as you can put it on while they stand.
  • If your baby is still relatively small and highly prone to taking off nappies, a diaper may be the better choice.
  • If your little one is a bed wetter, you may decide to use a diaper or a pull-up. Though, lots of parents prefer using diapers in this case.

How To Choose The Right Diaper Or Pull Up For Your Child

As with most baby supplies, there is no one size fits all for diapers and pull-ups. In the end, what matters is whether the diaper or pull-up is convenient for you and your baby.

These are some things you would want to put into account before settling on a diaper or pull-up.

The Material

Diapers or pull-ups usually have two variants: disposable and cloth. They usually feature natural materials like wood pulp or synthetic materials like plastic – though in minute quantities.

You’ll want to get the diaper or pull-up that suits your and baby’s needs best.

The Brand

Whatever your decision is, the next thing you would want to take into account is the brand. You can go for big brands like pampers or Huggies but that doesn’t guarantee they will work for you.

Before you choose a brand for your diaper or pull-up, it helps to read some reviews on them. Usually, it gives you adequate insight into the nature of the nappies.

You could ask some fellow parents what worked for them or check out parent forms.

The Price

The price of whatever brand or material you’re purchasing in practicality determines whether or not you would be getting it.

Getting baby supplies usually takes a toll on us parents, so nappies are a relatively long-term investment that should be just affordable yet high quality.

The highest-priced diaper or pull-up is not necessarily the best. After you have considered the material that’s comfortable for your baby and established a trusted brand, you should go for them. See how it works for you. You’ll never know, it may just be your one bus stop!

Price Comparisons Between Different Brands Of Diapers And Pull Ups

To further aid your choice, I looked at the prices of some of the most popular brands of diapers and pull-ups and the minor differences between them.


 Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Baby DiapersPampers Pull On Cruisers
FeaturesUmbilical cord notch for protection of newborn bellies up to size 2.Soft and absorbent layers for better comfort.Dual-Leak guards to prevent leaks.Soft sides for a firm and comfortable hold360° elastic waistband with easy tear sides.Dual-leak guard barriers to curb leaks.Made to lock in wetness for up to 12 hours.0% chlorine bleaching and no natural rubber latex.
Sizes1 – 71 – 7
Number of units128132
Price per box$54.99$54.56
Price per unit$0.43$0.41

You can see in the above comparisons that Pampers pull-ups cost slightly more than diapers. Note that the sizes I compared are size 5 nappies on Amazon.


 Huggies Pull-upsHuggies Little Snugglers Diapers
FeaturesMade with absorbent material.It is made to potty train your child.Similar to regular underwear.Cartoon character designs.Re-fastenable sides for easy removal on the go.•   A soft layer to separate your little one’s skin and the mess. Pocketed waistband to seal in messes.Made of hypoallergenic and soft material.Belly button cutout to protect your newborn’s belly.Free of natural latex, chlorine, and fragrance.
Sizes2t – 5t1 – 7
Number of units124156
Price per box$45.18$51.27
Price per unit$0.36$0.33

For this brand, I compared pull-ups and diapers of the same weight range since sizes are marked in different ways.

The higher cost of the diapers is because of counts per box. If you view it on a per unit basis, the Huggies pull-ups are more expensive with a margin of $0.06.

Both brand diapers and pull-ups are available for purchase at Amazon. I have made use of the pampers pull-on cruisers and it was perfect for my baby and me. Though, it may not work as well for you so make sure to check carefully.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using One Or The Other?

Like I said earlier, there is no one size fits all for diapers or pull-ups. However, each one has its benefits and I’ll be looking at them now.

Let’s start with Pull-ups.

Pros Of Using A Pull Up

  1. It plays a big role in potty training as it gives your little one the liberty to take it on and off at will for potty visits.
  2. It’s relatively easier to put on your baby.
  3. It serves as a protection in case of “accidents” while potty training.

Cons Of Using A Pull-Up

  1. The fact that your little one can easily take it off may pose a problem as they may enjoy having it off rather than on.
  2. Most pull-ups require you to take off your baby’s clothes completely to change them.
  3. They are likely to leak when used overnight as regards bed wetting, at least, most parents think so.

Pros Of Using A Diaper

  1. There are sizes available for newborns up to older babies.
  2. The nature of fastening diapers enables them to stay in place(no man is left behind!)
  3. They are slightly cheaper to acquire than pull-ups.
  4. Most parents say that diapers hold in liquids better. So you may consider this as one of the diaper’s upper hands.

Cons Of Using A Diaper

  1. A diaper can only be used once. This results in more cost over time due to the number of diaper changes you have to make. Trust me it’s a lot.
  2. It may result in allergic reactions or cause a rash on your baby. Many brands claim to produce hypoallergenic diapers but you can never be too sure until you try them out.

Are Pull-Ups Better Than Diapers?

There is no saying that one is better than the other in the case of these nappies.

Whether you consider a pull-up better than a diaper depends on your budget and preferences. Things like your baby’s age and weight are major determinants here as well.

At certain times I loved using pull-ups and diapers for my little one. I’d say they both served me pretty well but another parent might say otherwise. Like I’ve been singing throughout this article, try them out for yourself. Only Pull-Ups Boys’ Potty Training Pants Training Underwear Size 4, 2T-3T, 124 Ct, One Month Supply https://a.co/d/9Njg0ny will you know if pull-ups are better than diapers for you.

Who Makes The Best Diapers And Pull-Ups?

I have done recommendations for you as to some of the best diapers and pull-ups in my opinion. However, you should always read about the product brand and reviews on it by other parents like you. This will give you a rough estimate of how efficient the diaper or pull-up is.

Below are some of my favorite diapers and pull-up brands:

  1. Huggies Little Snugglers
  2. Pampers Swaddlers Disposable Diapers
  3. Huggies Pull Ups
  4. Pampers Pull On Cruisers


There are hardly any differences between diapers and pull-ups, it all just depends on you and how you choose to utilize them.

Remember to check out the Huggies and  pull-ups and diapers during your search for the perfect underclothes for your little one.

Let’s end this with a simple question; do you prefer pull-ups or diapers? Let me know in the comment section!

Leave the first comment