Older Children,Bed-Wetting,and Self Diapering

Colin Community Member January 29, 2009
  •  

      I had covered this issue briefly in an earlier sharepost. This issue concerns me and that is why I felt it needed to be covered in more depth. On this website and others I have read about parents and babysitters diapering  older children with bed-wetting problems. Some of these children are 9 or older. As we all know bed-wetting can be very stressful and in my opinion this stress can be exacerbated by parents not letting their child put on their own protection. By no means am I a childcare expert but my intuition tells me that above the age of 3 or 4 a child should be taught how to put on their own diapers.

     

      As mentioned in a previous post I had a friend who had to babysit a 6 year old. She was telling me that she had to diaper the child before he went to bed. Due to his age I assumed he was potty trained and that the reason he wore diapers was because of a bed-wetting problem. She told me that he went running through the house naked and screaming and refused to let her put the diapers on him,which I can't say as I blame him.

     

      I do believe that an older child,adolescent,or teenager should wear diapers to bed if all attempts to cure it have failed and if other garments such as pull-ups and “Goodnites” don't offer adequate protection but I also feel that the youngster should be responsible for putting on their own protection unless they have some cognitive and/or physical disability that makes it either difficult for them to do so or prevents them from doing so. Diapering an older child has the potential to drastically effect a child's psychological health for years to come.

     

      There are certain tasks that can be accomplished by youngsters who aren't cognitively or physically impaired including tying one's shoes,putting on one's clothes,etc. Diapering one's self in my opinion would fit into this category also.

     

      If the parents are concerned that the child might not fasten the diapers correctly thereby causing the diapers to leak the parents can show the child how to fasten the diapers correctly. One way of doing this is to lay the diaper on the bed,have the child sit in the diaper,and tell them how to fold and fasten the diapers properly. I would do this when the child is young because the older the child gets the more embarrassed the child will feel. This is a very sensitive area for children. Many bed-wetting children feel self-conscious and embarrassed about wearing diapers to bed(although as I have pointed out many times they shouldn't be) and having their parents diapering them will make them feel even more self-conscious and embarrassed. Also bed-wetting makes many children feel helpless and by parents diapering the child it reinforces the feeling of helplessness. That is why children should be taught to be independent in this are as soon as possible.

     

      As far as pin-on diapers are concerned some parents are afraid that the youngster might stick themselves with the pins. This is certainly a valid concern but if appropriate precautions are taken this shouldn't be an issue. I was talking to someone in customer service for a company that sells pin-on cloth diapers and plastic pants for older children and adults with bed-wetting problems to get her take on the situation and she told me that at the age of 7 or below the parents might need to fasten the diapers,above the age of 7 it would depend on the child's development. I believe the same steps taken with disposable diapers can also be taken with pin-on diapers. Again the parents should lay the diapers on the bed,have the child sit in them,and teach them the correct way to fasten the diapers. I can't emphasize this enough-children need to be taught at a young age how to be independent in this area.

  •  

      Another idea I have for teaching youngsters how to be self-sufficient in this area is the following. I don't know how feasible this idea is and I admit it's somewhat unusual but like the saying goes in many situations it's good to think outside the box. In many community colleges they use dummies to demonstrate certain medical techniques to nursing students. The parents could talk to the head of the nursing department at their local community college and see if they could borrow a dummy and then use the dummy to teach the child the correct way of fastening the diapers. If the head of the nursing department asks you why you want to borrow the dummy you can explain that you have a child who wears diapers for a bed-wetting problem and you want to use the dummy to teach them how to correctly fasten the diapers. If you are not able to borrow the dummy you can ask them if they have any suggestions about what to do in this situation. I suspect that purchasing something like this from a medical supply store would be expensive so the nurse at the community college might have ideas about alternative approaches to the situation. In addition you might want to call your local medical/hospital supply store and see if they have any ideas. about how to deal with this matter. As I mentioned earlier this is a very delicate situation that has the potential to do irreparable psychological harm to a child.

     

      I wonder if some parents diaper their older child because on some level they might miss the closeness of the parent/infant relationship and this is a way to recreate this. Some parents either consciously or sub- consciously want to keep their child at a certain level of development because the parents don't want to let go emotionally. It must be stressed that this is just speculation,and I'm not saying this is necessarily the case with all parents who put on their older child's diapers but the fact that this could be a factor with some people should be considered and if this the case it should be addressed with a mental health professional in order to prevent causing emotional harm to the child.

     

      I hope people understand that this post is not meant as a criticism of anyone's parenting skills. It's meant to help people realize that children are very sensitive regarding these sorts of issues. Children need their privacy and independence in these areas and by not respecting this it makes them feel undignified. I hope this helps people look at this issue in a new light. As always I feel dialogue on these matters is very important and I welcome any constructive thoughts on this matter..

     

     

     

13 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Margaret James
    Feb. 10, 2012

    Hello everybody,

                          I have boy 13 staying with me who is from a childrens home, I took him under my wing when my eldest boy moved out a couple of years ago.       He had a traumatic experience...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello everybody,

                          I have boy 13 staying with me who is from a childrens home, I took him under my wing when my eldest boy moved out a couple of years ago.       He had a traumatic experience at onetime as most have at the home, hence the reason they are there.  Some have been affected by this and have bed wetting problems which included the boy I am foster mum to, others who bedwet had other problems.      The  matron in charge said the male nurses diapered the boys who bedwet, female nurses the girls as obvioulsy they did not share the same  dormitory   , disposables were used mostly.     

     I prefer cloth type diapers/nappies/plastic pants at night if I have some available otherwise its disposables,  he cannot pin them properly or fix the tabs on the disposables properly as he never did it at the home, so as they droop/sag when wet hence I have to fix them.      Maybe with patience he will eventualy get the hang of it, otherwise I may have to get some pull-ups, but understand they are not as absorbent as proper diapers/nappies.    To sum up,  I understand the "stigma" if thats the right word to use of diapering older kids, but in some cases you have to.     Margaret.    jmargret96@yahoo.co.uk  

    If anyone would like to comment, the middle A is missing in my address        

    • K N K
      Feb. 11, 2012

      Although our days of dealing with bedwetters has passed, I might be able to offer you a couple of tips to help the 11 yo with the diapers.  First using cloth and plastic pants was, we found, the most reliable method for keeping the bedding dry throughout the night.  There is a bit of a learning curve that goes with them and it has to do basically...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Although our days of dealing with bedwetters has passed, I might be able to offer you a couple of tips to help the 11 yo with the diapers.  First using cloth and plastic pants was, we found, the most reliable method for keeping the bedding dry throughout the night.  There is a bit of a learning curve that goes with them and it has to do basically with the amount and type of padding necessary to insure the bedwetter being comfortable.   My first suggestion would be to get everything ready and have the diapers folded together and lay them on top of the bed.  Have the boy lay down on them and pull them in place without you in the room.  When he has done this have him call you and you can go into the room and pin them so they are snug and then you can leave the room and he can put the plastic pants and pj's on and be ready for bed.  The second is to fold the diapers together in thirds lengthwise.  Have him put them inside of his boys briefs and then pull the plastic pants on and pj's. 

      We just treated the diapers matter of factly and we had no issues with wearing them and they also learned that wearing them kept the surrounding bed clothes drier more reliably than pullups.  Between the time the first bedwetter started wearing them and the second one got out of them was probably a little over five years and during that time if there were a total of a dozen leaks that was all.   Making sure the padding is sufficient and the plastic pants fit properly are the most important parts of using cloth diapers and plastic pants.  Making sure the bedwetter is comfortable with and in them is also important.  Good Luck.

       

    • Margaret James
      Feb. 15, 2012

      Hello "KNK",

                        Thank you for your tips.     I have been diapering kids (mostly boys) for some years now so think I have got the hang of it by now.  LOL   (No offence itended.)

          Some accept it...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hello "KNK",

                        Thank you for your tips.     I have been diapering kids (mostly boys) for some years now so think I have got the hang of it by now.  LOL   (No offence itended.)

          Some accept it with a nonchalant attitude some  are more indeterminate so obviously you have to treat each case differently.                                            Yes he can pull-up the plastic pants by himself, its just the sort with press studs at the side I have to assist with as he is too rough and has pulled the studs out of the sockets.         Margaret                       

    • K N K
      Feb. 18, 2012

      Margret,  Sounds as though the situation is perfectly under control.  You sound like a caring person.  Our bedwetters were 1 boy and 1 girl and for no reason I always used the pull on plastic pants, so when the diapers were on the kids could pull on their plastic pants and pj's, maybe gave them a feeling of some control over the situation. ...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Margret,  Sounds as though the situation is perfectly under control.  You sound like a caring person.  Our bedwetters were 1 boy and 1 girl and for no reason I always used the pull on plastic pants, so when the diapers were on the kids could pull on their plastic pants and pj's, maybe gave them a feeling of some control over the situation.  Sometimes they would play quietly or read or watch TV before going to bed.  I also had some knowledge of diapering as I was the neighborhood babysitter and many mom's were using cloth diapers, also among the kids I sat for there were 3 bedwetters 2 boys and 1 girl and they all wore cloth and plastic pants in bed.  I maybe suprised that moms today still use cloth and plastic pants for bedwetting.

       

       

    • Margaret James
      Feb. 20, 2012

      Hello KNK.

                        Sounds like you also have the situation under control also.

      Yes over here in the U.K. some moms still use/prefer cloth type diapers or nappies as some call them, mostly at night as far as I know.      I have also...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hello KNK.

                        Sounds like you also have the situation under control also.

      Yes over here in the U.K. some moms still use/prefer cloth type diapers or nappies as some call them, mostly at night as far as I know.      I have also some pre-fold type with a pocket so you can fold up 1 of the ordinary sort and use as a soaker.        May I ask how old your kids are/were when you were diapering them?

                        Margaret          

    • K N K
      Feb. 22, 2012

      Margaret,  We diapered between the ages of 5 and 12 and as I mentioned we used cloth on the kids and so it was just an extension.  Oddly enough when I was sitting one of the families I sat for came from UK, her hubby had taken a temporary assignment.  Their son was a bedwetter and she used terries and plastic pants.  If my memory serves...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Margaret,  We diapered between the ages of 5 and 12 and as I mentioned we used cloth on the kids and so it was just an extension.  Oddly enough when I was sitting one of the families I sat for came from UK, her hubby had taken a temporary assignment.  Their son was a bedwetter and she used terries and plastic pants.  If my memory serves me right, I believe the pants came from company called Drylife or something like that.  I remember the pants as being a good fit on a 7 year old and good quality as well.  Her mom would send the terries and plastic pants from the UK.  The terries were square and she would fold one lengthwise into the outer diaper to get the absorbancy she wanted.  Both boys I sat for were nonchalant about having the diapers on, the girl was a bit antsy, but for a time I diapered them all at bedtimes.

       

    • K N K
      Mar. 12, 2012

      Margaret,

      Wondering if you sent a message?  I received a message saying you had, and yet I don't see it posted?

      Anyhow, How are things going?  Hopefully everyone os comfortable and can get a good nights sleep.

       

  • Joey Simmons
    Oct. 02, 2009

    Since bedwetters are generally deep sleepers I recommend using a bed alarm. That worked for me growing up. I found this link with some posted here: http://www.vitalitymedical.com/vitalitymed ical.storefront/4ac527cd0044e9e7271dd8b190 2c06eb/Search/Display

  • Anonymous
    Stewart
    Mar. 25, 2009

    I have seen people use an ordinary pillow as a training aid to show how to affix diapers,the pillow is laid on the bed long ways and this represents the upper and lower abdomen withot arms/legs/head etc.The diaper is then affixed around the lower end using the corners of the pillow to represent where the legas are,and as the average pillow laid this way is...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I have seen people use an ordinary pillow as a training aid to show how to affix diapers,the pillow is laid on the bed long ways and this represents the upper and lower abdomen withot arms/legs/head etc.The diaper is then affixed around the lower end using the corners of the pillow to represent where the legas are,and as the average pillow laid this way is not much smaller than an average abdomen it works really well and doesnt cost a penny or any embarresment trying to obtain a maniquin!

     

    Hope this helps,Stew.

  • Anonymous
    K N K
    Feb. 17, 2009

    Getting diapers on an older bedwetter should not be in anyway punitive.  Cloth diapers and plastic pants are used in our house for bedwetting and it is handled with the utmost respect to the bedwetters.  It is done in private and is meant to keep their beds dry and for them to remain comfortable in spite of the wetting.  Simply  being with...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Getting diapers on an older bedwetter should not be in anyway punitive.  Cloth diapers and plastic pants are used in our house for bedwetting and it is handled with the utmost respect to the bedwetters.  It is done in private and is meant to keep their beds dry and for them to remain comfortable in spite of the wetting.  Simply  being with the child for this time send them a comforting message and as things are being readied the child generally is understanding of why diapers are being worn and that they are not babies or being babied because they wet their beds.  When all is ready then it is simply a matter of pinning, or velcro and the plastic pants.  Once done the pj's go on and then they are free to do what they wish until bed time.

     

    No child should be shamed just because they wet the bed.  They can not help it as they are asleep and in our case it's a deep sleep that causes the bedwetting and so having the diapers on makes a bad situation much better for the kids and the parents.

     

    • Margaret James
      Feb. 10, 2012

      Hello,

               I agree with you completely.  Margaret.

    • Margaret James
      Feb. 10, 2012

      Hello,

               I agree with you completely.  Margaret.

  • Brad
    Feb. 09, 2009

    As usual, Colin is right on. But I think also that a parent continuing to diaper an older kid can be a bit punitive, a way of expressing displeasure regarding the continued wetting. A not very helpful power game.

     

    My Mom called it 'creative shaming'. Every night until I was almost thirteen I had to submit to the humiliating ritual of being powdered, pinned...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    As usual, Colin is right on. But I think also that a parent continuing to diaper an older kid can be a bit punitive, a way of expressing displeasure regarding the continued wetting. A not very helpful power game.

     

    My Mom called it 'creative shaming'. Every night until I was almost thirteen I had to submit to the humiliating ritual of being powdered, pinned into bulky cloth diapers and then being put in plastic pants, usually by her, but sometimes by someone else. Also the timing was at her convenience, so it wasn't always just before bed.

     

    If it was meant to help me stop wetting, I think it had the opposite effect, because I'm still in diapers at night, but with a bit more privacy.

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