The New Diaper Primer

chapter 13: Additional Diapering Techniques

More Techniques, Ideas, Suggestions


Suspender briefs for cloth & disposable diapers

A lot more disposables have now gone to a "cloth like" outer covering which supposedly helps cut down or eliminate the plastic crinkly-rustling sound of many disposable diapers. As a matter of personal preference I don't particularly like the cloth-like cover. I'd rather the cost involved go into absorbency, and I can pull on a pair of cotton briefs if I want a cloth-like cover! Pulling on cotton briefs is a big help in keeping the undershirt tucked in. Cotton briefs also provide some support and a little compression to hold the diaper in close.

The cotton briefs can be turned into suspender briefs by adding elastic suspenders. To make these, you should first purchase some elastic-band material at a fabric/sewing shop. Choose wide elastic (1" to 1 inches wide) in a "knit polyester elastic". "Stretchrite" is one brand name (Rhode Island Textile Co, Pawtucket, RI) that packages the elastic in bubble packs of 1" wide elastic, 1 yards long. You will need two packs for one pair of suspender briefs. If you don't sew or don't have a sewing machine, pick up a package of brass safety pins.

You will need to experiment to see what size cotton brief is going to fit best. For the moment, we are talking about disposable diapers, so your normal underwear size will most likely be just fine. Pull the cotton briefs over your diaper and measure from the waist band of the brief up over your shoulder and cross to the opposite side to the band in the back. Subtract 2 to 4 inches from that to determine a cut length for the elastic. The attachment points I use are the front-panel vertical seams where they run into the waist band. That spaces the elastic suspenders about 6 to 8 inches apart. The pull they exert will go into the vertical seam that runs along the central fly panel. Sew or pin the elastic to the waistband; then run each elastic to the rear waist band while cross the elastic bands to form an "X" in the small of your back. Attach to the rear waist band at about the same spacing as used for the front waist. Finally pin the "X" formed where the suspender elastics cross in the middle of your back. This will control the tendency of the elastic straps to slide down your shoulders during wear. Lowering the point that you pin the "X" will allow the straps to move outward and down on your shoulders. Raising the pinning point on the "X" will keep the straps closer to your neck.

There are a couple of downsides to the suspender briefs: Disposables are notorious for leaks, especially the leg leaks while sitting. It can be easy to get your suspender briefs damp or wet. That situation forces you to ignore the wetness or change them or take them off and go without the support briefs. Plastic pants may or may not help; that's another personal choice matter that works for some but not for others.

If you use doublers, inserts or baby diapers to extend your basic diaper wear, the suspender briefs may be in your way as you try to slide out the wet insert and slide in a new dry one. In my experience, I find that I really need to remove my shirt so that I can slip off the suspender elastics and drop the cotton brief to allow enough access to my diaper to change the insert. For the most part I don't use inserts, and so I don't face that hassle. For cloth diapers: I use suspender briefs almost all the time with cloth diapers. Comfort in a cloth diaper depends a lot on keeping the diaper up and snug as it gets wet and heavy and tends to sag. You may need to experiment with the waist size of the cotton briefs to determine the best fit. The ideal cotton brief should provide noticeable compression when pulled on. The waist of the briefs should be well below the top of the diapers, by a couple of inches or so. The elastic pressure exerted by the cotton brief waist band should be on your diapered hips. Different briefs are made with differing "rises" or may be called "full cut" when they have a greater rise. I avoid the full-cut style in order that the waist band of the cotton brief does not reach high enough to match up with the waist band of the plastic pants. If the waistband did reach that far, it would allow the elastic tension to add to the plastic pants elastic tension and make for an uncomfortable waistline in no time!

Support Briefs for disposables

These are intended to provide men with some support similar to a jock strap for light athletic activities. The best model is a cotton brief with spandex to stretch-fit and hug the body closely. While I've not tried these with cotton diapers, I have worn them over disposables. They provide great compression which reduces or eliminates diaper crinkle noise while also providing some support to the diaper as it gets wetter and heavier and tends to sag. Some have suggested adding elastic suspender straps, but the spandex briefs provide adequate support without adding straps over the shoulders.

Exercise (compression) and bike shorts are important items in this category of support or spandex underwear. While the x-shorts and bike shorts are sometimes intended to be outer wear, when we use them to compress and conceal diapers, you do need to wear at least shorts if not jeans over them to complete the concealment since there will be diaper bulge. Their support and coverage, however, are excellent. If you are covering up a single or even double disposable, you can probably wear your normal size, but if the spandex items run small, they could become uncomfortably tight, and you may find you would prefer the next larger size.

Suspenders for pants/jeans

We introduce the idea of suspenders in the "What to Wear" segment and we discuss suspenders as necessary to merely hold the pants up since you do not want to cinch a belt into your diaper and hang the weight of your pants on your diaper. We talked about your waist/hips holding up the diaper and supporting its weight as it gets heavier and wetter and your shoulders holding up the pants/jeans by means of the suspenders.

For this alternate technique, the jeans and heavy duty (wide & strong) suspenders work best. If you are wearing prefolds and put them on as we suggest with the center portion neatly formed into that pleat, then you will have about an 8" crotch width diaper that can be creased and actually will form its own crease when you get done and put your legs together. The inseam of the jeans can go right into that crease that formed and can actually help hold up the diaper. You just need to take care to get the inseam of the jeans to find and enter the crease of your diapers and then adjust the suspender tension to hold your jeans well up "into" your diapers so they support the diapers as well.

While the same idea would work with overalls, I've not found it works for me, probably because the shoulder straps are not elastic and with no "give", I find it uncomfortable to move around in my coveralls. In my case I prefer independent support for the diapers and the inseam of the overalls is just touching the diapers.

Swimming Pools

You all know about the pool signs spelled "Enjoy our ool" and the line saying "note there is no p in our pool". Well, if we are going to enjoy someone's hospitality whether this person knows of our incontinence or not, we need to wear some protection. Normal pool chemicals (including chlorine) can easily handle some urination in the pool. Most of you can readily appreciate that disposables are disastrous for pools since they will tend to come apart and the fluff and other components will clog up the pool's filtration. Not that this is a big plug for cloth diapers but they are the only option for wear into a pool. I suggest wearing a thin diaper and plastic pants as snug fitting as you can stand for a short time. Your plastic pants will not be able to keep pool water out of your diaper and when you urinate, some will escape to the pool since there is pool water flowing into your diaper when you enter the water and flows out when you climb out. A good trick to learn is to discretely hook your thumbs under your plastic pants leg bands at the rear as you climb out with the water pouring off you. This will let the excess flooding drain out of your plastic pants. A forum contributor added his thoughts that even though we feel we are not keeping urine out of the pool with our diapers and plastic pants, we are controlling the release. If we were wearing only the bathing suit, any urinary release would be concentrated in one spot in the pool and take some time for the pool chemistry to deal with. With diapers, the release of the urine is slow and well distributed so the pool chemicals can quickly and effectively deal with it.

You have to realize that after you've been in the pool your diaper is totally 100% saturated and if you then wish to lounge around after coming out the water you need to need to change into a dry and appropriate thick diaper. If you sit around in the soaked diaper, you will dry off and stop dripping. It would surely seem strange if later your bathing suit started dripping all over again, and that will happen when you have a urinary release because the diaper is incapable of holding any more liquid. Then you would have a puddle of pee under your seat! Not a good situation! As a minimum, if you're going to take your chances and sit around in the wet suit and soaked diaper, bring an extra towel with you so you can sit on the towel and hope it will act as a secondary diaper when you do leak and keep an embarrassing puddle from forming under your chair or chaise lounge.

Concealing such really wet diapers can be a real challenge and that's why we suggest wearing a thin diaper to start with; the absorbency of the diaper means nothing in the pool situation. A forum contributor has said bike shorts work very well, providing compression and adequate length to full cover diaper and plastic pants so they can never appear above the bathing suit waist band. It's common to see folks wearing compression shorts with the legs sticking way down beyond the swim trunks or jogging shorts so you won't look out of place.

Size 6 baby diaper changed throughout day with one adult diaper

You've already read in the disposable diaper section about boosting the disposable diaper with other things, including a store-brand diaper and various other lesser products such as pads, undergarments and so on. And yes, there are booster pads. Tranquility is one manufacturer that markets them. In that section we discussed slitting the waterproof protection of the booster item and having it added as part of your diaper to extend the wear time on the diaper.

Now we introduce the idea of changing these pads or other absorbency boosters throughout the day to avoid having to change the basic diaper. Many forum contributors have cited the tremendous capacity of size 6 baby diapers and found they make very effective inserts. For this technique, you do NOT slash the plastic backing on the baby diaper. You tape on a premium diaper that will be your all day (or extended wear) diaper. Then you slide a size 6 baby diaper down into your crotch so that it gets wet when you void. You then change that baby diaper as needed. Some do it every 2 hours, some every 4 hours and some even extend to 6 hours. The baby diapers are providing the absorption and are easy to insert and remove from your diaper without disturbing the tapes. Disposal is easier, since baby diapers aren't uncommon in rest room the trash containers.

Just one modification may be necessary to deal with the tapes. Most of the baby diapers have a "hard" plastic tape that would be uncomfortable against your skin, especially the corners which are surprisingly sharp and uncomfortable. I am not talking about peeling or sticking the tapes, just keeping the unpeeled tapes from irritating the skin. I find that tearing the tapes completely off works for me while others swear by simply turning the tapes under to keep them from contact with your skin.

Why double and triple disposables don't stop leaks

We started this Diaper Primer with telling you to consider doubling up a disposable diaper because disposables are terrible for absorption. We suggested a less expensive store brand be razor slit and worn inside a quality diaper. This provides more fluff and polymer gel in the crotch where it is needed and will do a reasonable job keeping you dry. Well, you have to figure if that helps keep you dry, then why not wear two premium diapers or perhaps even three diapers?

I've done some experimenting along those lines since I have to wear disposables occasionally. They will never be as secure as cloth diapers, but then again, cloth diapers will never be as discreet as disposables! As a cloth diaper fan, I have no problems with "bulkiness" so I will wear a double or even triple disposable diaper, and the bulkiness is still "nothing" compared with cloth diapers. But what I discovered was that leaks persist! My conclusion has been the disposable's lack of wicking ability is what limits its effectiveness. We've said this before so it will come as no surprise. But I felt if a premium diaper could provide good protection for 4 hours and "iffy" protection for say, 6 hours, then I would expect wearing two of those diapers would double the times and was disappointed when that did not happen.

My experimenting showed that a double diaper extends the safe wear time of a single diaper but does not come close to doubling the time as one might expect. You know from reading the disposable diaper section that you must change a disposable long before it gets wet in the rear and the back up at the waist will always be bone dry (we are talking daytime wear here, not night wear). You have to change because all the "diaper particles" are used up in the crotch area and in the disposables they cannot effectively pass the wetness along to remaining dry particles. If you wet again, the wetness escapes at the leg bands and you have a leak.

With the double diaper, you have double the particles in the crotch but I believe there are two reasons you don't get double the protection (wear time). First, while there is some wicking...not much, and any wicking helps to transfer wetness away from the crotch to drier parts of the diaper. The inner diaper will wick some and move wetness away from the crotch area. But that inner diaper will be too wet by the time the outer diaper has done any effective wicking, and wetness will be forced out at the leg bands creating a leak.

Second, wetness transfer from the inner diaper to the outer diaper is not unrestricted. There is still a waterproof barrier that is -say- 80% effective. How much can you slash it with the razor blade and not have the whole diaper fall apart? If we could remove the entire plastic backsheet, then the double-diaper technique would be more effective and you'd probably get close to double the wear time and protection. But the way they manufacture diapers (built from the plastic back sheet up), it is not possible to remove the plastic sheet. As the wetness from the soaked inner diaper is trying to find its way through the slits in the plastic to get to the outer diaper, it may also be finding its way out the leg bands, and you have a discouraging leak - even though you are wearing a $2 diaper rather than a $1 diaper! So, this is why we need the manufacturer to make a better diaper to start with. The manufacturer could make a "double diaper" that would last twice as long as a single diaper.

Double diaper ideas, which diaper inside: good one or cheap one

Manufacturers of premium disposable diapers use additional technologies in the form of different materials and placement of the materials to effect absorption and wicking...such as it is. Brian Carter (ABAIP) is a frequent contributor to various forums who happens to be an incontinent using a wheelchair. He claims the Molicare does have decent wicking qualities, and his extended wear of the Molicares is only possible because the wetness will wick up the back of the diaper and use that available padding (diaper particles).

Thinking I could be defeating some of the wetness management technology the manufacturer designed into the diaper led me to some experiments reversing the good diaper-cheap diaper combo. I have experimented with wearing the premium diaper inside, slitting its backsheet and then taping on the cheap diaper over the premium diaper. While it is an interesting idea, I have not found any outstanding differences. Certainly nothing measurable where I could tell you one method works better than another. I wonder whether slitting the backsheet does more damage than simply provide openings in the waterproof barrier. If it interrupts some internal fluff fibers or whatever intended to distribute (wick) wetness, then I have altered the design of the diaper, and maybe that's why it no longer works as well. This, of course, brings me back to my point that the manufacturer needs to produce a better diaper for us!

Perhaps some of you who wear disposables consistently would do some of this experimenting and let me know so I can add it to this primer. That is probably the only way we are going to get a better disposable diaper! We have to experiment and try to find a combo or technique that will provide the majority of wearers with a disposable that works close to 100% of the time.

Wearing plastic pants over disposable diapers

This was touched upon in the first segment, All About Diapers. There we discussed three reasons for wearing plastic pants: contain the diaper if the tape(s) fail; leak protection; and noise reduction. I've had tapes fail, and I've heard from several forum readers that when tapes have failed, the plastic pants do a good job of keeping the diaper pretty much in place until they could more easily change the diaper. Does this only happen with cheap diapers? Sad to say, some expensive, very good diapers, such as Molicare and Abena, have had lousy tapes! And we ourselves can cause diaper-tape failure even with good tapes by inadvertently contaminating the taping surface or the tape itself with powder or lotion.

For leak protection, plastic pants are a difficult call. I must advise you that I've had serious leaking incidents while wearing plastic pants over disposables, so I tend not to believe that plastic pants do much for leak protection in this connection. I have done some testing in an attempt to see whether plastic pants do any good at all. Just because plastic pants are wet when you remove them does not mean they saved a leak. You might consider that would be solid evidence, but I don't think so. I think the leg bands of the plastic pants migrate up the leg and get under the disposable diaper which has poor to non-existent leg bands and intercepts some wetness in the process. I say this because in testing for a week and keeping everything as similar as possible except wearing plastic pants every other day, I had no leaks all week, and yet on the days I wore plastic pants they always got wet inside.

The suspender briefs we told you about tend to stay dry because the brief cut does not allow the cotton leg bands to creep between your leg and the diaper. If it does, it will wick out moisture and make the cotton briefs wet. Here, plastic pants do play a positive role and if I choose to wear suspender briefs, then I will wear plastic pants over the disposable, and in this case I agree the plastic pants will stop that wicking leak. I have had enough serious leaks that resulted in wet pants and wet seats while wearing plastic pants to caution you not to rely on plastic pants for leak protection. Rely only on the diaper and realize if you do not change it when you should, you are asking for a leak.

Forum readers/contributors suggest wearing cotton boxer briefs over the disposable diaper and under the plastic pants. Well, that's really a mini-cloth diaper since the cotton pants pick up minor leaks from the disposable diaper, and the plastic pants isolate the wet cotton underpants from your outer wear. Personally, that appears to be extra work for minimal benefit. If you change a disposable when you should, it should not leak. I know the next argument will be: "We can't always change when we should", and that's true. But I don't think the small amount of cotton provided by underpants is going to make any practical difference or result in a significant "save" of a leak. Let's consider following: Cotton boxers or boxer briefs will be bunched up into the leg bands of the disposable diaper. Even if you didn't push them up there, they will work their way up there on their own. The leg bands on disposables are virtually non-existent even with the elastic that attempts to create such bands. That means the cotton will become wet. Even if the diaper would not have leaked had you left the cotton and plastic pants off. I think the cotton pants are always going to get wet and thereby make you think you saved yourself a leak. All I can really suggest is that experiment by not wearing the cotton and plastic pants while keeping everything else the same, and see whether you have a leak in the same time period. I'm betting you'll find you won't have many (or any) leaks and then wonder why you've been bothering with the cotton underpants and plastic pants.

I am NOT trying to push you toward cloth diapers. I simply want to point out that I have found that cloth underwear and plastic pants did nothing for me and may be doing for you except creating more work and stuff to launder unnecessarily. Let's hope we can get some more comment and opinion about this point from others!

Noise reduction - another nebulous point

While some cheap diapers are noisy enough to create a problem for us, the vast majority of the decent diapers today do not make enough noise to notice. Cloth-like back sheets are becoming more common, and they tend to be quieter. But then, I can point out the Molicare with its totally silent plastic backing.

Of course, some of you might be extra-sensitive about the noise issue and want to deal with it by wearing something over the diaper. At this point, I would have to agree that wearing plastic pants would help since the cotton underwear is almost certain to get wet to some degree. I would also like to point out the spandex underpants, such as support briefs, can do dual duty in noise elimination and support of the diaper. While some plastic pants can be noisy, I would not want any of them; those pants are made from a harsh and uncomfortable vinyl. Plastic pants that you will choose to wear because they are soft and comfortable will also be silent!

Tucking plastic pants up and in (Cloth diapers)

An old-timer provided this tip. She reminded me when we were discussing plastic pants that they need to be deep enough so you can tuck the pants waist band inside your diaper at the waist. Also the crotch width needs to be wide enough to allow tucking the leg bands up inside your diaper as much as possible. I wasn't doing it because I had forgotten that my mom used to tuck my plastic pants like that, but I didn't know why. Therefore it didn't mean anything to me, and that detail drifted away. For those practicing dry-diaper wear (i.e., you change as soon as the diaper gets wet), this is not a necessary step and you probably need not spend the extra time doing it.

Assuming you've pinned on cloth diapers per our suggestions, then tucking the waist is easy because you've pinned below the top of the diapers so sliding the waist band of the plastic pants down inside the top of the diapers is quick and easy. But if you've pinned the lower pin low to form a good snug leg cuff, it will take some effort to push the leg elastics up inside the snug leg cuff you have created with the lower pining. The leg elastics get pushed up your thigh/leg and under the diaper.

When you are done, there will be no plastic-pant elastic bands to seen anyplace, all will have been tucked in. The vinyl-pant material wraps around the edges of the diaper and disappears inside next to your skin. While that elastic can get as wet as it wants, it cannot wick onto your outer clothes. I find a comfort edge to tucking the leg bands; you may find the same thing after you try it. Untucked leg bands on plastic pants tend to ride down the leg slightly, so the plastic pants are covering more leg (thigh) than is actually necessary. I find that gets hot, uncomfortable, and I would find myself sliding the leg bands back up against the diapers repeatedly and with my walking movements the leg bands would tend to slide (or walk) back down. While I know that tighter bands would solve this "problem", I happen to have a real sensitivity to snug elastics and cannot tolerate any excess snugness. After being reminded of the tucking technique, my problem was solved. Tucking the leg bands up captured them between the diaper and my leg and keeping that bit of extra skin exposed right up to the diaper itself makes a big comfort difference to me, and well worth mentioning. If you find plastic pants are "hot", you may find your plastic pants are covering more than your diaper. That will lend a "hot" perception. Tucking the elastic bands will insure the plastic pants cover nothing but your diaper and I think that will increase your comfort level since any skin not covered by the diaper can now "breathe" and stay cool.

Forum contributions*

* These Forum contributions date from 2000 onwards. They have not been updated. Some references to websites may no longer be operative.

Doug: that input about cloth diapers is excellent and I want to add it to the diaper primer! You have some great ideas that could work for lots of folks! I've put little into the primer on contour diapers because I don't happen to like them; they don't work for me... again, we are all different! Joe Kelly New England, USA

OH! I did forget to mention one other very important point about the crease method. Doing this allows the diaper to hug the groin area more closely, there by helping to prevent leaks in this area. We all know that a sagging diaper is more prone to leaks than one that hugs the entire diaper area as close as possible. I told you I was tired, to leave out such an important point in the last post. Again, Cheers Everyone! Doug USA

Darn! I really wish I would have done a reload before making my last post. Then I could have include this post. Oh well. Dan, I guess I sure can not go without answering your questions. As it will benefit you as well as any others that may have the same questions. Sagging of a cloth diaper can be avoided by three things, a proper fit (if it is a contour diaper or correct folding if it is a flat diaper), pinning or fastening as snugly as possible and tight-fitting (as possible) water proof pants. Who makes the best cloth contour diapers? Well, that, as with disposables, is a matter of personal preference. I personally prefer the contour diapers that Loving Comfort makes. In fact, the contour diapers is all that I use. They manufacture their diapers in three different absorbencies. I prefer the #2's with Velcro fasteners. You asked about double diapering. The Velcro makes this very easy as you put one diaper on in the usual manner and then you simply put the second diaper on over top the fist in the same way. You would do the same with pins, two sets of course, but it is a great deal more difficult to get a nice snug fit using diaper pins. Velcro can be easily refastened over and over until you get the desired snugness. As to the leg cramps that you experience, I know just what your talking about here. I have a solution that I use and it may just work for you as well as others. I am not sure I can do a good job describing what I do to over come this, but I will give it a try. Here goes. What I do after putting on my diaper and plastic pants, from a standing position I squat just a bit with legs set apart. Once in this squatted position I grab hold of each side of the diaper in the crotch area and pull it in apposite directions. This flattens out the diaper in the crotch area. Then I pull the plastic pants out over top of the diaper to insure no leaks. If the plastic pants are not wide enough in the crotch area to cover the diaper, then of course, you have to tuck in the sides of the diaper so that the plastic pants cover the diaper entirely. Now for the last step and this is the most important step in all of this. Bear in mind that I am still in the squatted position. I take the edge of my hand and run it down the center of the diaper and plastic pants, forcing the diaper and plastic pants into groin, not to much force of course, to form a crease in the crotch area. I do this as I am coming back to a standing upright position. This kind of forms a wedgie of sorts. But it ends up doing several things.
1. The most obvious, the crease allows the crotch area of the diaper to more easily fold rather than bunching, there by allowing your legs to more easily close.
2. The crease keeps the diaper from sagging as the crease reinforces the diaper.
3. The diaper is more easily trap this way by the upper portion of your legs.
4. The really neat thing about doing this. This method causes what appears to be a natural butt crack as one would expect to see on one that is not diaper. It did take a few times for me to accomplish all of this, but with practice, it can be done. Try it! It will even work with thick disposables. I'm a bit tired and I hope that this all makes sense.
Cheers Everyone! Doug USA

One of the comments that Richardtoo made was that even the thick disposables become very thick once they have gotten wet. This is true! I do know this first-hand. It only makes sense. And to me this is a very good point. I have to ask myself the question, "What's the difference if I wear a very thick cloth diaper that stays thick 100% of the time (wet or dry), or I wear a good absorbent disposable that becomes just as thick, and losses whatever stealth it had when I first put it on?". I guess for me the answer is no difference that I am going to worry about. Dan, I will agree with you with regard to the absorbency/inch factor, but as I just pointed out with regard to Richardtoo's comments, you end up with the same factor in a disposable as it becomes wet. It can be no other way. For the sagging factor with cloth, this again has to do with proper fit. I have had the same sagging problems with disposables simply because of the fit. I will also agree that this issue will rage on forever, and it does boil down to whatever works for the individual. Dan, I am curious, what cloth diaper manufactures have you tried to date? Lyle, thanks for the thumbs up! You mentioned that doctors and hospitals accept disposables more readily than they do cloth. I'm wondering, why do you think that is? I have not had a stay in the hospital as yet, thank the good Lord for that, but all of the doctors that I have seen over the years have never given me a second look when they find out that I am wearing a cloth diaper. My GP even asked where I get my diapers as she wanted to inform more of her patients. Joe, you are right about a price to be paid for security, and that price is bulk. But from what I have experienced, you pay fairly close to the same price for the absorbency of a good disposable. Maybe not as much of a price but there is more bulk associated with a Molicare than there is with an Attends regular. As to the stealth factor, as I said before, I wear cloth diapers 24/7. I have had no problems at all concealing even the thickest diapering. It's all a matter of what is worn on the out side. And a big factor to that is just how tight the outside clothing is! Maybe we need to start a discussion on stealth. This would apply to both cloth and disposable wearers alike. Brian, if what Tom says is correct, and I have no reason to doubt what he said, then this sounds very contrary to what NAFTA is all about! Sounds to me like it's almost a Mafia thing. "You wanna sell ina my territory, then you gota pay". I don't blame you for being pissed about this, I would be as well. You could start by contacting you local congressional representative. If that doesn't work, you could contact the group that is suppose over see any problems with the NAFTA deal. There is a NAFTA committee, but I do not know how to contact them. Try doing a .gov search on the web. Cheers Everyone! Doug USA

Dan, I use both cloth and Molicare diapers to control my problem. Cloth are much more comfortable over the long haul, but they are also bulkier than Molicare and do take some care with washing. No matter which type diaper I use the max time I can wear them is two to three hours whether wet or just from perspirations. I could not put a diaper on heavy enough to last all day. If you figure the average adult puts out between 15 to 32cc of urine every couple of hours, no diaper in the world would hold a days worth. I just had a 24hr urine test. This test you collect your urine in a jug for the 24hr then return it to the hospital to be analyze. Because I am incontinent, I had a folly catheter in and in 24hr there was over a gallon on urine collected. Even a good friend of mine who had his prostate out because of cancer, his incontinence is just a dribble, and he uses the belted pads. He has to change almost every hour. I do prefer cloth to disposables just for their comfort, but disposables are a lot easer to deal with when out and about, and they both leak if not changed when needed. Lyle N.W, PA USA

Three times this month I have heard about older diaper-wearing children being killed. As a life-long incontinent diaper wearing adult this disturbs me deeply. In this forum there are many incontinent adults who were incontinent children, or know wetting children. Like most wetters born in the 40's and 50's, we were brought up under the spank and humiliate system of training. Well it didn't work, I saw children beaten, made to stand outside in a wet diaper, left in wet clothes, my parents liked this one. Like many of you our early lives were ones of shame and humiliation. My parents finally took me to a doctor and found I had a bladder problem that would always limit my bladder function; they did me one of the greatest favors they could. My mother came in one day with a large bag, I was wet as usual, I thought I was going to get my daily spanking. But to my surprise my mother took off my wet cloths and pulled out several pairs of boys training pants and a package of diapers and plastic pants She put the trainers on me and the plastic pants. For the first time I was able to go out and play like other kids and stay dry. That night she took off the wet trainers and put me in diapers, remember I was 4 - for the first time I was dry at night. I traded wet cloths and a wet bed for diapers, the best trade I ever made.. I was able to live a normal life wetting or not. We as a people are going to have to get over the idea that diapers are for babies what my parents did for me was the kindest thing they could do. As I see these children being killed and abused simply because parents would not use diapers, it makes me furious. A few dollars worth of old style cloth diaper changed my life...I will always be incontinent and have no shame about it - it is time for the U.S.A to wake up. My son was also a night wetter until he was 15. I say night wetter because his bed was never wet. I never told him diapers were for babies, He wore them by his own choice ,when he outgrew child size diapers I got him small attends that he used until he became dry. Lets stop the abuse and grow up some of us will always be in diapers. Albert Brooks , Ky. USA

Tommy, this is to let you know that you are not alone at all. You may be sure that there are many others in your own school with the same problem you have. Some may only wet at night, and others are like you with problem all the time. To get an idea of the size of the problem, just go to any large grocery or department store and look at the supply of adult and youth disposable diapers. The only reason that they all have a good supply is that they sell. A store will not stock anything that does not sell well. A few years ago, they were only available at medical supply stores, and today are available at most all large stores, in a large supply. Just be glad that you live today. 50 years ago when I was young, there was nothing at all available except hand made diapers made from old flannel sheets, and plastic pants were available by mail from a couple of mail order suppliers at a high cost. The first disposables were about 10 years ago and were pure useless garbage having little absorbency at all. There are literally millions of incontinent children, youth and adults in America, and similar per cent ages all over the world. Until the last few years, it was kept a dark and hidden secret from everyone possible, and most of us as children with the problem were beat every morning and other horrible things we don't like to remember. But diapers are no different than crutches, wheel chairs, eyeglasses, hearing aids, back braces and similar medical items that are there to let us lead a very normal and functional life. DO NOT EVER FEEL ALONE OR REJECTED! You are probably good friends with others who have the same problem with incontinence but also keep it secret. A child born blind is not to blame and neither is an incontinent person to blame. We just use whatever we need to live fully, functionally and happy regardless of what it is. It is really sad that diapers are considered only a baby item by most people. Having had a problem all my life, I hardly even think about it anymore, especially since we have so much available today that works very successfully for out conditions. Live a great life and if anyone does happen to find out, let them know that it is nothing but a medical item that you use due to a problem. Always remember that: YOU ARE PART OF A GROUP OF GREAT PEOPLE!!! CJ Ca USA

To Joe Kelly: I would be honored if you could add the research to the diaper primer! Until I heard that TV doctor's interview, I had never heard of any association of cancer and dehydration. I must confess that with my bladder "activity level" I unconsciously avoid drinking enough water just to keep from constantly having to go to the bathroom, especially when out and about. My dry skin and chapped lips are proof that I am almost always dehydrated. A word of note: That same Dr. Julian Whitaker I spoke about also has mentioned that he disagrees with the accepted "8 glasses of 8 ounces of water daily" standard you hear from doctors. He recommends (and he's a smart guy) that a person needs to drink half of one's weight in ounces of water daily. For me, at 226 -- it's all muscle, of course! (*lie*) -- that's 113 ounces of water each day that I should be drinking. That's about 100 less than what I am getting. When you think about it, why should 8 glasses of 8 glasses be recommended for everyone? We are all different sizes. And during that TV interview with Dr. Whitaker, a group of six other doctors were on with him, and when he said that all of them shook their heads in agreement. So it is not just one doctor out there saying this; it's quite a few, apparently. I know that if a Forum reader takes this to heart, it will mean a lot of additional diaper changes. When I am at home and close to a toilet I usually can get along without a diaper, but if I drank as much water as my body needs... But coping with incontinence and additional diaper changes is a small price to pay for good physical and emotional health. It's not only cancer, but also chronic depression, low energy levels, etc. that can affect your quality of life. (Half your brain's weight is water. A brain of a dehydrated person weighs less than a hydrated person's. That can't be healthy!) Again, I'm no doctor, but in light of what I heard I would have to say that it is far better to just commit to drink half your weight in ounces, or at least that 8 glasses/8oz and then deal with the immediate consequences of more frequent changes, buying more diapers, etc. than restricting water intake over years and then facing potentially serious chronic health conditions five, ten or twenty years down the road. Stay healthy, everyone, and thanks again, Joe! Kendal USA

Excellent heads up warning by Kendal! I would like your permission to include your good points about dehydration in our diaper primer so the info is preserved and remains available for everyone to review. Since we depend on diapers to prevent leaks and thereby be able to go out and function in the continent world it is common for us to restrict fluids. It is totally logical and even though some of us may have read or heard some of the "proper hydration" arguments, we quickly set them aside because in our real world, we don't want leaks and so we don't drink water the way we should. I made some half hearted comment in the primer someplace, possibly the hygiene section, that restricting fluids is not a good idea, but even as I wrote that I figured no one would pay any attention to it. Kendal has raised the new issue that cancer vulnerability may be tied to proper hydration and that should get everyone's full attention! Joe Kelly New England, USA

This is an addition to my previous post about dehydration and drugs for the bladder. I did a search on and found the following article. (Please forgive the long post!) "Reducing Cancer Risks with Water" If you could reduce your risk of cancer by drinking more water, would you do it? Most people would answer yes to this question, however, the majority of the population does not get enough valuable fluids in their diet. For years we've been told to drink at least eight cups of water a day. We all know that water is an essential nutrient required for life, but do we really know the risks from not drinking enough noncaffeinated, nonalcoholic beverages? Several studies have found that individuals that do not keep their bodies well hydrated have higher incidences of bladder, breast, kidney, prostate, testicle, and colon cancer. It is hypothesized that dehydration may compromise the body's ability to remove carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), therefore increasing ones risk for the development of these types of cancers. There is also a connection with fluid intake and the formation of kidney stones. Research has shown that decreased fluid intake leads to less urination and an increased concentration of stone-forming salts. It is estimated that 12% to 15% of the general population will form a kidney stone at some time in their life. This percentage may be decreased if people keep themselves well hydrated. Chronic dehydration results from not providing the body with the needed amount of fluid for a length of time. A large portion of the population may be chronically dehydrated. One of the reasons for this chronic dehydration is from drinking too many fluids that contain caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic that causes the body to increase urine output, which means your body loses more fluids than you've taken in. Alcohol is another natural diuretic, which also increases water loss. It is important to be aware of the effects of these diuretics and to remember that they should not be counted towards the eight cups a day that is recommended. Even more fluids are needed if you exercise, have a high temperature, are in an area with low humidity, are at high altitude, or eat a high-fiber diet. As a general rule of thumb, the minimum recommendations are for people to drink at least one cup of fluid with each meal, one cup between meals, one cup before bedtime, and one cup when they get up at night to use the restroom. [From Kendal: In other words, reach for that extra diaper!] Other fluids can be accumulated through food. It is vital for people to understand that drinking more fluids is essential for the prevention of certain cancers, kidney stones and the promotion of overall good health.
Source: Journal of The American Dietetic Association (February 1999) And this from quoting a Dr. George Ellis, MD: "Inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration, and if this is severe, can cause many complications including kidney damage and brain damage. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough fluid so that the urine is as clear as water". I even found someone selling an audio tape "68 minutes radio interview on real-life evidence of the link between dehydration and multiple sclerosis" at . (Don't ask me -- I just came across this...) I really don't like drinking a lot of water, ie. the need to wear a diaper (and more of them!) But from what I have read dehydration is *very* serious, and we who are incontinent cannot let our need to use diapers keep us from drinking enough water. Anyway, as I said in the last post, I'm not a doctor and only know what I hear from others, but for those of you on any dehydrating bladder drugs (Detrol, etc.), you might want to ask your doctor about it. Stay healthy! Kendal USA

I just read the article "Diapers Get a Bum Rap" on the cloth diapers page which mentions that doctors are much quicker to recommend drugs than diapers. I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training whatsoever, so don't accept what I am about to say without doing some research. I was listening to a doctor on TV named Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD on the TBN network, a noted physician who specializes in natural health approaches. (His knowledge of natural remedies and vitamins is staggering.) He will prescribe drugs to his patients if it is the best solution, but usually he knows of some vitamin or herb that does the trick much safer. His guest was a cancer specialist. He said that the first thing that this doctor's clinic does when admitting a cancer patient was to hydrate them (ie. add water) with an IV solution. They realized that ** all ** their new cancer patients were dehydrated. This guest doctor's opinion was that dehydration opens up the body to cancer, though the exact medical reason is not known. I haven't heard this anywhere else since, but the thought is scary, particularly since many bladder drugs work by drying up the body. Detrol commercials say "side effects are dry mouth, constipation, headaches, etc...", all symptoms of dehydration. I don't know if dehydration increases the risk of cancer, but I thought that I would pass on what I heard. I know that with my bladder I often stop drinking water if I know I'm going to be leaving the house. I know many Forum readers do too. But whether cancer is a risk or not, dehydration has also been linked to chronic depression and a whole lot of other serious medical problems. Again, I am not a doctor and my opinion has no weight to it. But for me, if my doctor recommends a dehydrating bladder drug, I am going to say thanks but no thanks. Diapers are a real nuisance, but at least I'll be healthy. Just my 2 cents... Kendal USA

Kevin, you are right, Depends are noisy! the Molicare Super Thin's are really great. I wear them for daytime every day to work (a quiet office), church, and everywhere else, for that matter. They have a tremendous capacity (at least 2 to 3 times any store brand that I know of) and are by far the quietest I have found. I layer cotton boxer-briefs over them, with nylon-and-spandex sports briefs on top, under my slacks. This combo makes them completely silent. It also supports the diaper so that the padding stays intact for many hours, increasing its useful life and capacity, while preventing bulges. I only need two for the whole day, with a change at about 3pm. They do swell in the crotch when the get very wet, but with this layering they are still invisible under clothes, especially loose-fitting slacks. Richardtoo USA

Hi Seth Smith and Joe Kelly, One point Joe left out about the T-shape Molicare is that it makes up in gel what it lacks in padding thickness. This gives it tremendous absorbency, even though it starts out thin. I have found that wearing a strongly elasticized sports brief over disposables greatly increases their usable life and absorbency, by supporting the padding, preventing it from separating when it gets wet. This aids the wicking process, since the padding is kept together, instead of breaking apart. Also, I point myself "up" in the daytime, so that all the highly absorbent front padding can be used. I agree with Joe's assessment that T-shape is not so good at night, since it lacks wings. But it works very well in the day, and is very discreet because of its thinness and quiet (quieter than most, anyway) plastic backing. Richardtoo USA

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