Finding Big Kid Diapers, Pull-Ups and Youth Pants For Your Child with ASD

Six-year-old Alexander was diagnosed with moderate autism spectrum disorder (ASD) several years ago. His parents have spent years attempting to potty train him, but he just isn’t completely there yet. In fact, his parents thought several times he was potty trained and then he regressed. Alexander’s parents are frustrated by the added stress of not reaching this milestone and the added cost of big kid diapers when their budget is already really tight. What can they do to make life a little easier?

Maybe your child is like Alexander and needs a little extra time before he/she is potty trained. Children on the spectrum are often slower to reach milestones, making it necessary to wear big kid diapers, pull-ups or youth pants for an extended number of years.

Big Kids Diapers and Pull Ups:

Why Do Some ASD Children Take Longer to Potty Train?

There are myriad reasons children on the spectrum often remain in diapers, pull-ups and youth pants longer than their neurotypical peers. Sometimes it’s a developmental delay and the child is not able to recognize he/she has to go potty or maybe the child doesn’t have the adequate skills to maneuver clothing in time to use a toilet.  Children with communication challenges are less likely to be able to tell someone else he/she has to go to the bathroom. Those children who take medication with sleepy side effects may also find it difficult to wake up in time to go to the bathroom.  And children with severe autism often don’t have the cognitive and motor skills to use a toilet — making the task that much more difficult to master.   It’s important to remember every child has different abilities and will develop at his/her own pace. Your child may need to use big kid diapers or pull-ups for a little bit longer than others. And once potty-trained, sometimes some protection is still needed overnight. With the costs averaging hundreds of dollars per month, it’s important to find an excellent source for well-priced big kid diapers and pull-ups and perhaps some financial assistance.


How do I Find Financial Assistance?

As you probably know by now, diapers and pull-ups are costly, especially when needed long-term. First, talk to your child’s doctor about your options as a great number of children on the spectrum qualify for some financial assistance for medically-needed supplies and equipment.


If your child is eligible and enrolled in publically-financed medical services such as Medicaid, he/she is likely covered by a provision called Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT). Every state plan is required to make certain services available to all children from birth through age 21 and this program ensures children not only receive a diagnosis, but appropriate treatment. This includes medically necessary supplies and equipment, so if a child is diagnosed with incontinence, this usually includes diapers for children beginning at age three with a prescription from a doctor. If your state denies your request for diapers for some reason, you can appeal the decision as they are required to comply as indicated by 42 CFR section 440.70 under Home Health Services.  Remember, the rules governing states differ, with some states permitting coverage before three years old if there is a medical diagnosis while others make families wait until a child is a bit older.   It’s also important to point out that states also vary in which diaper or pull-up brands they will cover with some restricting coverage to only certain brands. Unfortunately, not all states will pay for pull-ups. Request information from your particular state and talk to your child’s doctor and a Medicaid representative to ensure you can make the most of on your options. You may need to use the phrase, ‘disposable incontinent supplies’ when researching or applying for assistance.

Private Insurance

Private insurance plans are not required to provide comprehensive benefits and many do not cover diapers or other incontinence supplies.  Some insurance companies, however, will cover a portion or the full-price of diapers, pull-ups and youth pants for children with special needs because they are a necessity.  It is worthwhile to find a vendor who will attempt to bill your private insurance, because you may be surprised to find the supplies approved. There have been incidences where a private insurance company has sent out a denial letter stating the policy did not cover incontinence supplies and then when the insurance company was billed for the supplies under standard medical supply codes, the bills were paid.   It’s important to keep your receipts because you may need to pay for diapers and/or pull-ups upfront and then be reimbursed from your insurance company.  Most companies require a letter from the doctor explaining the requirement as well as a prescription for disposable incontinent supplies.  Always call your insurance company to check what they specifically require.


Big Kids Diapers and Pull Ups:

A Buying Guide to Finding Large Diapers, Pull-Ups and Youth Pants

It can be a challenge finding big kid diapers, pull-ups and youth pants for older children as they aren’t typically stocked in your local grocery or big box store.  Once your child graduates to “big sizes” (over size 6), you may need to use a medical supply store or an online medical supply retailer to special order diapers. In addition to using the words ‘large diapers‘ in your search, try adding the word ‘incontinence.”  Many companies don’t use the word ‘diaper’ once a certain size is reached and they are commonly referred to as ‘pull-ups’ or ‘youth pants.’

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Big Kid Diapers, Youth Pants and Pull Ups Highly-Rated by Parents

It can be a challenge to find those ‘in-between’ sizes for children still in need of daytime and/or nighttime protection as they are often too big for many typical baby diapers but then still too small for adult-sized protection. It may be worth checking out the cost and quality of store/pharmacy-brand products. Here are several name-brand products parents of children on the spectrum have used with success. Some websites offer excellent discounts and even free shipping on bulk orders so be sure to do a little research. Some of the links below are amazon affiliate links so if you buy through these links Autism Parenting Magazine will receive a commission.


  • Up to size 6 – 35+ lbs
  • Cottony soft outer cover
  • Soft stretchable waist and side panels
  • Excellent leakage protection
  • Hypoallergenic – extra soft inner liner with organic botanicals, vitamin E and aloe

Seventh GenerationTM Diapers

  • Up to size 6 – 35+ lbs
  • Premium absorbency
  • Totally free from chlorine processing
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Free of fragrance, inks and petroleum-based lotions
  • Snug, flexible fit

Pampers Cruisers® Diapers

  • Up to size 7 – 41+ lbs
  • 3-way fit adapts at the waist, legs, and bottom
  • Up to 12 hours of overnight protection with some sizes
  • 3 layers of absorbency versus only 2 in ordinary diapers

Pampers UnderJams® Absorbent Nightwear

  • Up to size L-XL – 58-85 lbs
  • Quiet, cloth-like material
  • Designed to be like underwear to let skin breathe

Attends® Youth Pull-Ups

  • Sizes Youth/Small Adult to Adult XL – Youth/Small Adult fits waist size 22″-36″ – 80-125 lbs
  • Super absorbent polymer channel
  • Helps prevent odors
  • Breathability with air flow material to keep skin dry
  • Discreet packaging

EZ SOX® Training Underwear

  • Up to size 4-5 years – 36-46 lbs
  • Tag-free
  • Embroidered oval handles sewn into our super soft wide waist band that allow for an easy grip
  • 95% Cotton, 5% Spandex

GoodNites® Underwear

  • Up to size L/XL – 60-125 lbs.
  • 40% more absorbent than training pants
  • Zoned protection for boys and girls
  • Super stretchy sides fit many body shapes and sizes

Prevail® Extra Absorbency Underwear

  • Sizes Youth/Small Adult to Adult 2X Large – Youth/Small Adult fits waist size 20″-34″
  • Discreet absorbent protection
  • Locks in moisture fast for added leakage protection and odor control
  • Silky-soft outer fabric is softer and more comfortable
  • Ventilated waist panels allows air to pass through to reduce heat build-up and promote healthy skin

Curity® Youth Pants Night and Day (formerly called Curity Sleep Pants)

  • Up to size XL – 85 to 125 pounds; absorbency: 15 oz.
  • Ideal for youths who have outgrown toddler training pants or need heavier protection
  • Feature a tear-away side seam on the waistband for quick and easy garment changes.

Tranquility All Through the Night (ATNTM) Disposable Incontinence Brief

  • Sizes Youth XS Youth fits waist size waist/hip size of 18″- 26″
  • Highly absorbent
  • High capacity for holding urine
  • Guarantees skin dryness
  • Neutralizes urine – inhibits bacterial growth
  • Capacity is 18.5 oz of urine in the youth size
  • Cloth like backing
  • Latex free

FuzziBunz® (cloth reusable diapers)

  • Up to size L – 45+ lbs
  • Placement of snaps allows for customizable fit
  • Best choice for ease of use with daycare and other care givers
  • Durable fabric makes for easy wash and wear
  • 1 year warranty

Medical Supply Retailers

You may find better prices on larger diapers, pull-ups and youth pants through a medical supply retailer. As previously stated, some insurance companies and Medicaid may require the diapers come from a specific retailer, so keep that in mind.

Here are a few medical supply retailers families with children on the spectrum have recommended:

The Medical Supply Group

Cristia Medical Supply

Download our FREE guide on Finding Big Kid Diapers, Pull-ups and Youth Pants for Autism


By Amy KD Tobik

This article was featured in Issue 34 – Autism Sleep, Bedtime and Hygiene Routines

Amy KD Tobik

Amy KD Tobik, Editor-in-Chief of Autism Parenting Magazine, has more than 30 years of experience as a published writer and editor. A graduate of Sweet Briar College in Virginia, Amy’s background includes magazine, newspaper, and book publishing. As a special needs advocate and editor, she coordinates with more than 300 doctors, autism specialists, and researchers to ensure people diagnosed with autism receive the services and supports they need for life. She has two adult children and lives in the Carolinas with her husband.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Rosemary Short - April 24, 2016 Reply

we were very impressed with your site.
We have a grand daughter who is 14 years old, on the very slim side + has trouble with her monthly cycle.She forgets to change pads + so on + at school needs something that may see her through the day without being big + bulky + uncomfortable.
We don’t seem to be able to rely on her teacher to say come on + we will fix you up so find now that we are having to find something a little more reliable than the ordinary sanitary pad.We also do not know where you are in our world,we are in Australia. We would appreciate it if we could get a sample sent to us,we don’t mind paying for this.We think ??? maybe Youth + or small adult just until we see what fits comfortably.We are at such a loss at the moment as to what to do. Thank you for reading this email + we look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. Sincerely yours Rosemary.Have a very happy day.

Kerri - July 7, 2016 Reply

Do you have swim diapers for age 6
Not potty trained with special needs autism.

Margaret Spross - August 1, 2016 Reply

Did you every find out about larger swim diapers? I also am looking for ones that fit a boy who weighs around 50 lbs. He also is autistic.

    steve - March 9, 2017 Reply

    North shore medical supply carries them.

Taleetha - October 6, 2016 Reply

I have austium child that not potty trained and I would like to know where to get bigger pull ups for him can anyone help me

Elise - October 7, 2016 Reply

Some companies to add to your lisr:motherease cloth diapers also make large sizes (up to 45lbs) of diapers and swim diapers. Applecheeks cloth diapers makes a pocket diaper in size 3 for 30-65lbs.

Carole M. - October 19, 2016 Reply

Our daughter is 15 and wears the Gerber flat cloth diapers in the 24×27 inch size with adult size rubberpants over them for her wetting problem,and they work great!

    Sapphires dad - December 15, 2016 Reply

    Carole M by rubber pants did you mean plastic pants or actual rubber pants?
    As old school adults called plastic pants rubbers Nowadays you can get plastic pants and pants made out of Plyable latex rubber your clarification would be appreciated!.

Joanne W - November 11, 2016 Reply

race car diapers is a phedophilic company that uses a monthly catalog of half naked 10 year olds to advertise there product. ABU although made for adults, has many different designs and great capacity my 13 year old and 8 year old has never leaked, and they advertise a 2 1/2 liter capacity rate. They accept FSA!

Michelle - February 26, 2017 Reply

Do not have child with autism, but I have a very big two year old (just turned 2). He’s tall and just a little chubby. He’s wearing the S/M youth pull ups now. He’s not really too verbal yet (says four words… kinda) and doesn’t show interest in potty training yet. I’m over here freaking out because the S/M are looking like they won’t be fitting much longer. I’m like then he’ll go to the L/XL. Then what???? Thank you for the information. And by the way, I HATE pull ups omg… so difficult to get on when he gets out of the bath and when he has a surprise poopy… it gets everywhere. I’ve always changed him right after he falls asleep otherwise he’ll leak all night (sometimes does anyway because pull ups are not super absorbent…) anyway. Thanks.

William Barnes - March 20, 2017 Reply

You should try bambino diapers. They are very well made and very obsorbent. I am an adult who had Encephalitis and Polio when a child. I can tell you I had a bad childhood with diapers and kids and teachers making fun of me. The bambino diapers are great for lasting and holding pee and lso wear cloth diapers which work very well. The velcro diapers that are made by primitive are very good as well.

    Carissa Proffitt - March 30, 2018 Reply

    Where do you buy those?

Jessica - June 13, 2017 Reply

What about a decent swim diaper? Something that won’t break the bank…

Barbara Miller - July 10, 2017 Reply

Please tell me where to get pull up for an austic child that is 9 and weights 95 lbs we can not get her potty train need with butterflies in then like goodnites she hates goodnites and pushes them down then has accidents please need help fast someone could make a lot of money if they would make these for older austic children that cant control their bladder also need swimer pullup for these children please some one help us out

Shell Tzorfas - July 30, 2017 Reply

I have seen preteen boys and teenage boys having a condition called “Metal Stenosis” which causes a blockage that a Urologist can diagnose and repair with surgery go undiagnosed for years. Parents-it is something to check with a Urologist as many pediatricians claim it is just Autism.

Jody - August 27, 2017 Reply

I have a handicap granddaughter that I take care of. She is getting close to being out of size7 in diapers. I have gotten samples of the next size and they are to BIG. She would like be in between this size.

Rachiel Black - November 30, 2017 Reply

I’m looking for cloth training underpants 5t-6t. this is solo exhausting!!
Our daughter needs to feel the wetness to teach her it is time to potty but the diaper style “underpants” signal that are to be used as a “diaper”
She did well using underpants but quickly grew out of them.


Cheryl Miller - December 4, 2017 Reply

I have a 6 yr old son that weighs about 58 to 60 lbs. He has ASD ADHD & seizures. All the meds He’s on need a him in a deep sleep. He can’t wake up to go to the bathroom. He’s in the biggest pull-ups that pampers make. They are the best for us. I’ve tried the other ones but he pees right thru them. I was wondering if anyone out there knew of any pull-ups like the pampers that I can get in bigger sizes. He’s on Oklahoma Medicaid. He refusses to wear diapers. I’m also looking for the bed pads to put on the bed. Please help. Thank you.

Crystal - January 26, 2018 Reply

Thirsties cloth diaper company just came out with a size 3 cover for 40-60 lbs. With leg gussets, they don’t leak.

Cotton babies cloth diapers came out with a bigger for 40 to 60 and biggest that I think goes up to 85. Those are pocket diapers.

I’m looking for a pull up style, but thought you should know.

Kristin M Canzonetta - April 23, 2018 Reply

I have an autistic daughter who is 10 years old and ways about 90 lb with a 28 in waist. She has grown out of her L XL sized Covidien youth pants and I can’t seem to find what the next size up would be or find one with little to no rustling under the clothes since she has sensory overload issues with her ASD. Not only that, but I need them ASAP so does anybody know anywhere to get overnight shipping and what product would work best or even a retail store who might carry them for me to pick up?

Julie Woirhaye - May 7, 2018 Reply

Thank you for the insight that you gave, I have medicaid for my son and I have had a prescription that helps a lot for we are trying potty training but when he gets home from school he thinks it’s time for his pull ups, but I am patient with him and I know if he really has to go potty he will and sure enough he does every once in a while but at least he gets ABA again which will help and it’ll take some of the stress off of my shoulders. Don’t get me wrong I love my son truly but sometimes I get so stressed by trying to get him to use his underware instead of the pull ups that I get stressed but in the end he gives me a hug and says I love you mommy, that just touches my heart and I know he’s doing his best.

Sharye - May 30, 2018 Reply

My daughter is 5 and was recently diagnosed moderate ASD & ADHD. We’ve been potty training for 2.5 years now. If you have a Winco by you, you may want to try their store brand. they sell Youth Pants in S/M and L/XL and they are around $5.30usd a package where I live. I decided to try them and thank goodness they are working! It was a cheap alternative to the expensive Underjams we were using. I am still working on a good swim solution. Good luck everyone.

tiffany rose - July 25, 2018 Reply

need emergency help for my neglected abused neibor who has serious autism. They have the mind of a 1 year old baby and even tho there an adult are still in diapers its a miracle there still alive because ive noticed they sleep in garbage are disabled mentally and pychically and seem to be very anorexic. Id like to get them into a adult nursery cuz ive witnessed there neglect social services have done nothing and who they live with leaves them alone for weeks alone ive tried getting them care giver help but they was unable to find a program for disabled people with there level of needs they cant advocate for themself they have missing teeth cuz they cant even bruth there own teeth a adult nursery is what they need there are not even potty trained or emotionally mature enough to be out they need a nursery as they have the mind of a child.

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