Within the past 20 years or so cloth diapers have become more popular with parents. One of the reasons for this is the perceived environmental impact of using cloth. Another reason that cloth is popular is that many people feel that cloth is better for a baby's skin. There are many online companies that sell cloth diapers for babies, but what many parents might not realize is that they also make cloth diapers to fit older children, teenagers, and adults with bedwetting problems. This article talks about my favorite cloth diapering method for bedwetting – pin-on style cloth diapers covered with a pair of plastic pants(what the old timers call “rubber pants”). While many people consider this style old fashioned and many parents might recoil at the thought of using safety pins, pin-on diapers are very good for managing bedwetting. This article talks about the use of pin-on style diapers to handle an older child or teenager's bedwetting, including the different brands of pin-on diapers as well as online stores that sell these diapers. The information in this article is also appropriate for adults that wet the bed.
To start with – most parents are probably asking the following question: why in the world would I ever want to use safety pins when there are diapers with other types of fasteners such as Velcro and snaps? That is a valid question and this article talks about some of the advantages of pin-on style diapers. First off, even though there are a lot of older children, teenagers, and adults that wet the bed, the cloth diaper market for this segment is somewhat limited – there are a few companies that make cloth diapers that fit older children, teens, and adults but not nearly as many as those that sell cloth diapers for babies. Consequently, the styles available are somewhat limited. As far as diapers with Velcro fasteners, diapers with Velcro can wear out after a while – the Velcro tends to lose its ability to stick after a number of washings. As far as snap on diapers are concerned, the snaps on snap on diapers can break. Before the advent of these styles of diapers, pin-on diapers were the only game in town. They are considered the workhorse of the cloth diaper world, and even though they are not as popular as they once were, many parents still use them for their babies and there are also incontinent adults who wear them.
One of the advantages of using pin-on diapers is that there is a large degree of flexibility in terms of getting an appropriate fit as well as layering the diapers in order to get the best protection. For instance, with pin-on diapers you can add more layers in the diaper to increase the level of absorbency. Another advantage of pin-on diapers is that they have very good wicking ability. Wicking refers to how well liquid is dispersed throughout the diaper. A diaper with good wicking ability offers better protection and makes the person wearing the diaper feel dry and comfortable. Third, pin-on diapers tend to be very durable and last for years. The reason some parents are reluctant to safety pins as a diaper fastener, is due to the fact that babies frequently squirm around when being diapered, thus making it difficult to use pins – in situations such as that, parents have sometimes stuck themselves, the baby, or both with the safety pin. My recommendation of the use of safety pin style diapers is strictly for older children and teenagers so this is not an issue.
As mentioned, with pin-on diapers you can add layers to the diapers to make them more absorbent. Many companies that sell pin-on diapers have inserts you can place in the diaper to increase its absorbency. You can also buy infant size cloth diapers from places such as Walmart. Walmart sells Gerber brand flat style and prefold diapers which you can use to layer the diapers. There's a certain amount of trial and error associated with this. The older child or teenager will have to determine the appropriate amount of liners to place in the diaper – although thick diapers are good for heavy wetters, if the diapers are too thick they can be uncomfortable to wear because the diapers will bunch up between the legs. This in turn can cause chafing.
As far as diapering is concerned there are two folds which are easy to do. The “angel wing” fold and the “newspaper fold”. Kelly's Closet has an illustrated tutorial on how to do both of those folds. The link for this tutorial is http://www.kellyscloset.com/Prefold-and-Flat-Diapers_c_601.html. An older child or teenager should be able to handle these folds by themselves. It's very important that an older youngster be responsible for diapering themselves, unless they have some physical and/or cognitive disability that prevents him or her from putting on and changing their diapers. I would copy the folding instructions from the website for the child or teenager and have them look at it so they can familiarize themselves with how to fold and fasten the diapers.
Cloth diapers, unlike disposable diapers, do not have a waterproof outer layer, therefore the diaper must be covered with a pair of waterproof pants. Plastic pants(also known as “rubber pants” even though this is a misnomer – generally this is a term used by the old timers) are the most popular type of waterproof pants. Plastic pants are also known as “vinyl pants”, vinyl being a type of plastic. Plastic pants come in two styles – snap-on which are generally used by people who are non-ambulatory, i.e. people who can't walk, and pull-on styles. The pull-on styles are usually cheaper, and are the most commonly used form of waterproof pants. For more information about plastic pants for older children and teenagers please see my post from April 25, 2009 entitled "Brands of Plastic Pants for Older Children and Teenagers With Bedwetting Problems."
Adultclothdiaper.com(also known as All Together Enterprises), Angel Fluff Diaper Company, and Changing Times Diaper Company, all sell pin-on style cloth diapers for older children, teenagers, and adults with bedwetting problems. Angel Fluff and Adultclothdiaper.com have both gauze and birdseye diapers. The gauze diapers have a loser weave which is supposed to be more comfortable to wear during the warmer times of the year such as spring and summer. If expenses permit, you might want to consider purchasing a few of each to see which style works best for you. Here are the links to each of the companies mentioned in this paragraph as well as the various sections of the websites that are relevant to pin-on diapers:
Angel Fluff Diaper Company:
Changing Times Diaper Company:
I hope this article is useful to those parents who may be having a difficult time finding a suitable product for their bedweting child or teenager.