Monday, June 14, 2010

Diapering older children (and adults) with special needs

Submitted by Suzanne of Suzanne's Special Kids

There are many of the same diaper (or absorbent underwear, as we call it) styles available for larger children and adults as there are for babies. Choices include: all-in-one, pocket diapers, and fitted diapers with separate covers. Each choice has pros and cons; the most realistic way to deal with this is to purchase just 1 of each style and try them out. Build your stash with a few styles so you can meet your loved one's needs. Caregivers tend to feel better when they are doing what they feel is best for their loved one. This is just one of many options you may not even realize you have!

Older children, teens and adults who need absorbent underwear have very unique needs when it comes to diapering.
  • They should have stylish options that are age appropriate but still functional and fun.
  • The underwear/diapers needs to be very absorbent but trim. 
  • They shouldn’t be obvious under clothing (so no over-stuffed bubble bums), nor should the clothing need to be sized up to fit over the diapers.
The common fabrics absorbent enough in a baby’s diaper often need many more layers in the larger sizes. The thickness of so many layers has led me to search out other blends of fabrics to keep things trim.

Fit is also very important, and sometimes the hardest part; if they don’t fit correctly, they will leak and you won’t be happy with them. Non-ambulatory wearers usually have very skinny legs and rounder bellies, whereas people with other types of disorders may have very thick thighs. There is a definite need for “build specific” diaper options.

Fears about cloth diapering older children and adults
Disposable products are pushed heavily even by healthcare providers. They fear skin problems from soiled cloth remaining on the skin for long periods of time. Soiled undergarments should be changed immediately whether they are cloth or disposable. Proper changing routines eliminate that concern.

Many people think that it’s hard to use cloth personal care items.  They fear dirty diapers, and have sanitation concerns. "It must be time consuming and difficult to handle and use cloth undergarments" "They couldn’t hold the necessary amount of liquids for an older child much less an adult." Through hands-on experience I can honestly say that these fears are not necessary. Proper fit and absorbency will take care of most of those issues. I dump solid waste in the toilet and flush it away. Diapers and wipes are washed and dried on hot-sanitation concerns are not necessary. Bleach is not needed and I only use about ¼ of the detergent the bottle states. I love to line dry these as well. The sun removes stains and kills any bacteria the hot wash doesn’t.


  1. Eversures incontinence underwear that fits your lifestyle. The best selling, patented, washable and reusable bladder control garments. More products can be view at Adult Diaper

  2. Suzanne Thank-you for addressing the needs of the youth and adult persons, when growing up a young teen was injured in a car wreck, i have been wearing diapers for a very long time, as a older adult, now cloth and plastic pants were all there was, it is nothing to be happy about but learned there was no other way,so it is nice to no that there are lots of options now, i have gone both ways but cloth are better for the enviroment and cost a whole lot less i can spend about 1,000 thousand a year on cloth diapers and plastic pants with insurance disposibles would run a couple thousand, insurance will cover it, diapers but the benafits are a whole lot better going cloth, looking forward in trying the all in one diapers they will be my first. Chris

  3. Thank you very much for your insight to us adults that have these needs. I to have had to wear diapers most of my life for one reason or another. I was never shamed growing up needing them for bed and when I was injured as a older teen, diapers were the choice for me over other aids. They work and that is what is important. As a kid my mom let me pick out my plastic pants myself and she would tell me they were mine to wear and to get what ever prints or colors I liked so as to not be shamed for needing them. As an adult I feel the same way.

  4. Thanks for this post. It Very nice Blog. It was a very good Blog. I like it. Thanks for sharing knowledge. Ask you to share good Blog again.

  5. Is there a company that makes disposeable baby type diapers for adults with severe mental disabilities? If not there should be.


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