Monday, October 11, 2010

Disposable Diapers to Manage Bedwetting With Older Children and Teenagers

Bedwetting is a common problem that many children and teenagers deal with on a nightly basis. There are a number of products out there that parents can use to help the youngster stay dry at night and eliminate the need for laundering wet bedding and clothing. Most parents might not be aware of the full range of nighttime garments available to manage this issue and the purpose of this article is to talk about the different brands of diapers that are available for older children and teenagers with bedwetting problems. In addition these brands are also suitable for adults that wet the bed.

First off I'd like to get a bit of terminology out of the way. One of the most popular styles of incontinence garments marketed for heavy forms of incontinence are “disposable briefs” more commonly known as “adult diapers.” “Adult diapers”, just like the name sounds, have the same fit and design as baby diapers such as Pampers, Luvs, and Huggies - they have tapes for fastening the garments, elastic leg gathers to prevent leaks, a waterproof outer layer made of plastic or non woven cloth, and many have elastic waistbands which are also designed to prevent leaks. The only difference is that they are designed to fit older children, teenagers, and adults.

One of the most popular brands of garments for older bedwetting children ,and the ones that many parents use, are “Goodnites” . These are an underwear style of garment that pulls on instead of being taped on like a disposable brief. “Goodnites” were introduced in the marketplace in 1994. It was thought that because the garments looked like regular underwear it would be less embarrassing for an older child or teenager to wear to bed, as opposed to wearing a diaper. While these garments do work for some children and teenagers, other children and teenagers have had problems with leaking through the products, thereby soaking their bed. In a situation such as this , a parent may want to consider purchasing disposable briefs. In general, disposable briefs tend to be the most effective type of garments available to manage heavy forms of incontinence such as bedwetting. If your child or teen loses large volumes of urine at night and/or wets multiple times during the night, disposable briefs are an option to consider for managing the youngster's bedwetting. The next few sections talk about several brands of disposable briefs suitable for managing bedwetting and where to purchase them.

Finding a suitable product to manage your child or teenager's bedwetting is a matter of trial and error for some folks. Some companies offer sample packs of briefs. It's good to take advantage of these offers so you can see if the product is effective at managing the bedwetting before spending money on a package or case of briefs. If you are considering trying a certain brand of disposable briefs and a sample pack is not available, your best bet is to purchase a pack of briefs instead of a whole case. There are incontinence forums that discuss various topics related to incontinence including questions about incontinence garments - if you're unsure about a particular brand of diapers you can post to see if anybody has used that product and what their experiences have been with it. Most of the brands of disposable briefs out there have waist ranges for children and teenagers ages 9 through 18 years old. There are some brands of briefs that may fit children as young as 7.

At this point I'd like to list some companies that carry disposable briefs available to manage bedwetting with older children and teenagers. The first company is XP Medical ( This company has been around since 2003 and is run by an incontinent individual so you know you can get reliable information about incontinence garments because he's been "in the trenches." XP Medical sells the following disposable briefs which should fit children ages 9 and older. Some 7 or 8 year old children may also fit into these briefs: Molicare Slip Maxi Brief, Molicare Slip Super Plus Briefs, Seni Quatro, the iD Slip PE (plastic backed) Briefs, the Abena Abri-Form Premium X-Plus Briefs and ConfiDry 24/7 Maximum Absorbency Briefs. As far as the ConfiDry 24/7 briefs are concerned, in the adult diaper reviews section of the website, it is mentioned that the ConfiDry 24/7 briefs has a capacity of 95 ounces making it the most absorbent diaper they've tested - here's a quote from the website regarding this diaper: "The new Dry 24/7 is now made in the USA, and still claims the title of "most absorbent adult diaper". 95 ounces is unmatched by any product we have ever tested (and we test a lot). This incredible absorbency combined with low press out make a great all around performer." So, if you have a child or teenager that loses a lot of urine at night you may want to consider giving this product a try. XP Medical has a sizing guide so you can make sure you get a correct waist and hip measurement before purchasing briefs.

A second company selling incontinence garments is NorthShore care supply NorthShore care also sells the ConfiDry 24/7 briefs as well as the Wellness Briefs Superio Signature and Wellness Briefs Original which are two highly rated briefs for overnight use. In addition to selling disposable briefs the company sells diaper liners for added absorbency, skin care products, wipes, disposable and reusable underpads, diaper liners, as well as other incontinence products.

Another company selling incontinence products is L.L. Medico. L.L. Medico sells a disposable brief called BetterDry. These are maximum absorbency overnight briefs. The sizing starts at medium which fits waist ranges from 29 inches to 43 inches. These briefs should fit a large size older child (12 to 14 years old) and teenagers. According to the L.L. Medico website "these briefs hold up to 148 oz's of liquid!"

The last company I'd like to talk about is HDIS ( HDIS stands for Home Delivery Incontinence Supplies and has been around since 1986. HDIS has a brief variety pack with tape tabs for $9.95 which is a great way to sample various disposable briefs in order to determine which brief or briefs work best for your child or teenager. As with NorthSure care supply listed above HDIS also sells skin care products, underpads, diaper liners, as well as other incontinence supplies.

Finally, I'd like to mention one other disposable brief suitable for older kids that wet the bed - the Abena Abri-Form Junior brief. According to the McKesson website Abena Abri-Form junior size briefs are "Disposable diapers for teenagers and children, designed specifically to fit juniors between 5-15 years that suffer from quick and uncontrolled urination." These briefs are available from several places online.

I hope this information helps those parents who may be having a difficult time finding a suitable product to manage their youngster's bedwetting.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Older Children,Bedwetting,Diapers,and Discretion:Dealing With Babysitters,Nannies,and Other Caregivers

One of the key concerns of older children that wear diapers for bed-wetting is how to maintain discretion. For many children that wet the bed parents going out for the evening is a situation that elicits a considerable amount of anxiety. This article addresses this issue.

As mentioned in my article "Older Children,Bed-Wetting,and Self Diapering" older children should be responsible for putting on their own protection unless the child has some cognitive and/or physical impairment that prevents or makes it difficult for him or her to do so. If this is the case this should be brought up to the babysitter beforehand.

With this in mind there is really no reason to involve the babysitter. The only scenario I can see where this might be necessary is if the child has to wear diapers and plastic pants to bed. There could be situations in which the parent or parents have not finished laundering the diapers and plastic pants. As a result the babysitter might notice plastic pants hanging up to dry or have to take diapers out of the dryer when they're done to give to the child before he goes to bed. Or the diapers and plastic pants might be laundered but the parents might have forgotten or not have time to put them in the child's room and the babysitter has to give them to the child. Depending on the relationship you have with the babysitter and their maturity level this may not be a problem. Usually a parent's intuition should be a fairly reliable guide to how well the person taking care of the child will respond to this issue. If the parents feel that the babysitter is responsible and level headed they might have no qualms about involving them in dealing with the protective garments.

That being said, another thing to consider is the child's relationship to the babysitter. The child might not feel comfortable with them knowing they have to wear diapers and plastic pants for bed-wetting. If this is the case or the parents don't feel the babysitter will react to the fact that the child has to wear night diapers in a mature,respectful fashion then the parents need to make sure the garments are ready for the child prior to the babysitter coming over. As discussed in previous articles there are instances where bed-wetters wear both reusable and disposable diapers. If this is so the child can wear disposable diapers when the parents might be out for the evening and use the cloth diapers and plastic pants on other nights. This way the babysitter doesn't have to know about the bed-wetting and diaper use. As far as the child's relationship to the babysitter is concerned another factor involved in how close the child feels to the babysitter is the sex of both the child and the caretaker. Girls tend to be more mature than boys and as a result are usually more responsible. Also the girl's maternal instincts come into play which means in general girls tend to be more nurturing and sympathetic. When you combine the traits of responsibility with being nurturing it's very likely that a girl babysitter might be more sympathetic and understanding about the fact that the child needs to wear diapers to bed. As far as the sex of the child and how this relates to how comfortable the child feels with the babysitter knowing about the bed-wetting and diaper use,this has to be taken on a case by case basis. For example, some boys feel more comfortable discussing certain issues with a female. Likewise the boy might feel more at ease discussing other types of problems with a male. The same can be said for girls. Bed-Wetting and the use of diapers to manage it is also a case where the child might only feel comfortable discussing it with a certain sex. The parents have to make a judgment based on the child's personality and that of the babysitter.

At this point I would like to talk about nannies. Many parents use nannies and au pairs to take care of their children. Since the nannies live with the family and are responsible for doing chores around the house such as laundry it is impossible for them not to be aware of the child having a bed-wetting problem and being involved with taking care of the wet items. Since there are a large number of children that wet the bed I'm sure this is not a big deal. However if the child has to wear pin-on diapers and plastic pants and since older children are more self-conscious about wearing these styles of diapers, this might need to be addressed with the agency beforehand. I would talk to them and say that you have an older child that needs to wear pin-on cloth diapers and plastic pants because they wet the bed. I would mention that they might feel self-conscious about the nanny dealing with these garments and ask them if they have suggestions on how to broach this subject with the caretaker or if the agency can talk to them beforehand about it. Since taking care of children requires a person who is highly responsible and mature I would think that the individual would be able to handle this in a gracious manner. In addition it's in the nanny's best interest nanny to have a reputation of being judicious and responsible so they get good references in order to get hired again. Again the child might feel somewhat anxious about this and the parent should let them know that you're taking their feelings into consideration and that you'll make sure that the person responsible for taking care of them will handle this in a caring manner.

If the child is staying with relatives the parents need to make a judgment call as far as how they think the relatives will respond to the child or teen's problem. If they feel they will be understanding about the bed-wetting and diaper use the parents can disclose this to them. If however they think they will not respond in a positive manner the parents need to come up with a plan to help the bed-wetter keep the problem private. Perhaps the child can wear disposable diapers and dispose of them in a garbage bag. The youngster can double bag to make sure that there's no telltale odor. The child can put them in a a garbage bag,spray some Lysol or other disinfectant in the bag,tie the bag up,then put that bag in another garbage bag. You should find out if the child will be sharing a room before hand so you can devise a plan to keep the issue private. Hopefully the parents will have a close enough relationship where they can discuss this issue beforehand. Unfortunately not all people are understanding about this problem and if the parents of the child feel they might not be supportive then it might be best to follow the suggestions mentioned earlier. Incontinence and parenting forums are a good place to get suggestions about these types of issues. Incontinence Resource Center has a forum where you can ask questions about incontinence and incontinence products. Many people suffering from bed-wetting and other forms of incontinence have dealt with these types of concerns and should be able to provide suggestions about how to be discreet about the bed-wetting and diaper use. It might be a good idea to post a question on the forum of the Incontinence Resource Center and see if they have additional ideas about this matter. Their web address is

At this point I'd like to talk about boarding school. If the child or teen is going away to a boarding school and is dealing with bed-wetting the parents need to talk about this with the school beforehand. I would tell them that you have a child who needs special accommodations due to a medical problem and ask them who you would talk to about that. I suspect they have a specific individual(perhaps the school nurse) that handles these matters. When you talk to the person responsible for dealing with this subject you should ask them if the school is set up to wash diapers and plastic pants(if the child or teen uses these types of diapers) or should the youngster wear disposable diapers instead. Another thing to ask is if the school can make arrangements for the youth to either share a room with a student with similar issues. If not what sort of steps can be taken to enable the youngster to be discreet about the problem. Given the fact that many children,teenagers,and adolescents wet the bed I'm sure they're used to dealing with this. Again I would check out various parenting and incontinence forums to see what advice they might have regarding this.

The last thing I'd like to talk about is camp. For many youngsters summer camp can be a real fun experience,however it can be nerve wracking for a child or teen that wets the bed. Again the same advice applies. This is a fairly common situation and most camps should be well versed in how to handle it. There are camps that deal specifically with youths with bed-wetting and other incontinence issues. One of these camps is called Camp Brandon for Boys. Here is their contact information: 14 Jerry Drive, Plattsburgh NY 12901. Their phone number is (518) 570-5184. I couldn't find a web address for them. Another camp for children with bed-wetting issues is Camp Kirk in Canada. Their web address is There is a resource that lists camps for youth with special needs called which is an online summer camp directory. Both Camp Kirk and Camp Brandon were listed on their website. Their web address is If you do a Google search you might be able to come up with other camps of a similar nature or if you contact they might have suggestions about resources to contact that may have camps not listed on their site.

Bed-Wetting and the use of diapers to manage it doesn't have to be a stressful experience. With appropriate preparation it can be dealt with in a way that allows the child to maintain their dignity. It's important for the youngster have a strong support system. This will go a long way in helping him or her feel less self-conscious about this problem.

Bedwetting and Maintaining Appropriate Hygiene

When one talks about bed-wetting and what type of garments to manage it,there is an undue emphasis on the image of the garments. The key evidence of this is how the products are marketed. For example disposable diapers for older children,adolescents,teenagers,and adults are called "disposable briefs". As mentioned in a previous article these garments have the same design,fit,and style as baby diapers. The reason they call them disposable briefs is because if f they called these garments diapers no one would buy them. Another way that the stigma surrounding incontinence garments(particularly diapers) drives what products will be made,sold,and marketed is the prevalence in the market for products that are underwear like in design and appearance. For adults these garments are known as "protective underwear" and for older children,adolescents,and teenagers they're called "pull-ups" and "Goodnites" I have mentioned in a prior article that although these seem to be the most popular forms of protection, garments such as diapers actually appear to be the most effective form of protection to manage heavy incontinence such as bed-wetting. In general,bed-wetters lose a large volume of urine at night and in some cases they can wet more than once at night. With this in mind,it would be prudent for parents of bed-wetters to consider using diapers to deal with the bed-wetting.

There is debate among people about whether or not parents should require their older child,adolescent,or teenager to wear diapers to bed. I have addressed this issue in previous articles. Most people feel that the choice of what type of protective garments to wear to bed should be left up to the individual,or they feel that if the person that wets the bed chooses not to wear protective garments at night(whether diapers or other forms of protection), that's okay as long as he or she takes care of the wet clothing and bedding. I feel that there is a central issue that doesn't seem to be addressed in this context and I believe that our attitudes in this area need to be reexamined. I also feel that this issue doesn't seem to be considered in general by most people or if it is considered it takes a back seat in the decision making process about what type of items to wear for bed-wetting. The issue I'm talking about is hygiene. From what I can tell,most people would rather wear a garment that is less stigmatizing or none at all. However,as I discuss in this article this emphasis on image versus effective protection is misguided and could have detrimental effects. This article talks about the negative effects that urine can have on the skin and why it's necessary to maintain appropriate hygiene when you're incontinent. To that end, it's a good idea to wear the most effective type of protection for bed-wetting if that means diapers,then diapers should be worn. It's much more prudent to wear a garment that provides adequate protection(and therefore offers suitable skin care and comfort) then to wear something that leaves the person and bedding wet thereby increasing the risk for skin problems.

There are a number of articles that discuss the importance of skin care when you're incontinent. National Incontinence,a company that sells incontinence products and is run by a nurse who specializes in incontinence, has an article on their website which mentions several problems that could result from exposure to urine:1.)Maceration which means becoming soaked or "waterlogged". National Incontinence has this to say regarding maceration- "This added fragility puts the skin at greater risk for damage caused by friction,shear,and pressure." 2.)Incontinence dermatitis also known as perineal dermatitis or diaper rash is the second problem that this article talks about. The article describes perineal dermatitis this way- "Perineal dermatitis involves the irritation and breakdown of the skin as a result of over-exposure to moisture and chemicals in urine and feces." 3.)Bacterial infection-resulting from exposure to urine. This can be particularly detrimental for elderly patients because their skin tends to be more dry. Because of this dryness cracks can appear in the skin and the bacteria can be absorbed in these cracks 4.)Exposure to caustic agents-Ammonia is one of the caustic agents found in urine and this can irritate the skin and can contribute to the growth of microorganisms. 5.)Fungal infection- To quote the article- "The damp,warm skin environment generally associated with incontinence is ideal for the proliferation of pathogenic fungi." Some of the steps they mention to reduce the likelihood of skin problems resulting from incontinence are the following: 1.)Prevent excessive skin wetness 2.)Maintain the skin at its natural pH range(between 4 and 7) 3.)Minimize direct contact with urine and feces and 4.)Cleanse gently to avoid friction One of the articles the National Incontinence website references is "Skin Protection for those Dealing with Incontinence." Some of the things they say in the article are the following: "Health care professionals agree that prompt,proper,consistent perineal care is essential in dealing with incontinence" and "The best prevention against skin damage caused by incontinence is to keep the skin dry" Two of the steps they mention-minimizing direct contact with urine and preventing excessive skin wetness, go directly against the prevailing thinking on this issue espoused by many people who believe that it's okay if a youngster chooses not to wear protection to bed. A large number of people feel that as long as the youngster takes a shower in the morning,it's okay if he or she doesn't wear diapers to bed,but the points brought up in this article on the National Incontinence website suggests that not wearing the most effective protection to bed(and not just the form of protection that is most socially acceptable) or wearing none at all is contraindicated. Other medical professionals also emphasize the importance of proper skin care when incontinent. Lying all night in wet bedding and clothing for several hours a night does not "prevent excessive skin wetness" or "minimize direct contact with urine and feces" as the article on skin care from National Incontinence suggests.

As I point out below,many bed-wetters feel that garments such as pin-on diapers covered with plastic pants and disposable tape tab briefs offer more effective protection than underwear and pull up style products for the management of heavy incontinence such as bed-wetting. I'm not suggesting that pin-on diapers covered with plastic pants and disposable tape on diapers are the best choice for everybody that wets the bed. I'm also not suggesting that reusable or disposable pull-ups don't work for some people that wet the bed. In general,though,as I mentioned at the beginning of this article,bed-wetters lose a large volume of urine during the night and with some people the pull-ups aren't absorbent enough. As I have also brought up at the start of this article, some bed-wetters wet multiple times during the night and might require more than one pull-up. Individuals like these lose a large volume of urine throughout the night and the fact that they go through several pull-ups per night can be very expensive. In a situation such as this, instead of using a less absorbent product (which causes the person to get up several times during the night to change one's self,thereby preventing him or her from getting a full nights sleep) it would be best for the individual to wear a garment that provides better protection. This can be especially important if the bed-wetting persists into adulthood. At this point I'd like to digress for a moment and talk about this delicate issue. There are a couple of reasons why you need to carefully consider what type of product to wear to bed if you're an adult with a bed-wetting problem. Both of these reasons pertain to relationships and out of consideration for the person sharing the bed with you,certain precautions should be taken. First and foremost you don't want to pee on your partner!(I hope that didn't sound impertinent-I meant this in a completely lighthearted way. I feel it's good to have some sense of humor about these types of things) Second, you don't want to disturb him or her by having to get up several times during the night to change yourself if you wear a product that isn't absorbent enough. With these points in mind I thought I'd discuss other options. There seems to be certain advantages with garments such as pin-on cloth diapers and disposable briefs for the management of bed-wetting and it might be good for some bed-wetters to wear these to bed instead. What I'm suggesting is that a person should consider using pin-on diapers and plastic pants or disposable briefs if they have tried the pull-ups and find that they don't offer effective protection. There are also cases of people who use both pin-on diapers and disposable tape on diapers. Some people find that the pin-on diapers and plastic pants are too hot to wear in summertime and only wear them during the cooler months of the year. During the summer months they switch to disposable tape tab briefs.

The bottom line is that a person should use the most effective method to manage their bed-wetting. If a person finds the pin-on diapers and plastic pants or disposable tape on diapers are more absorbent than underwear like products(thereby providing them better protection,comfort,and security),they should switch to these products,after all, it's important for the bed-wetter to maintain appropriate skin hygiene.

Some people suffering from incontinence have said that wearing diapers has caused them skin problems. While it is certainly true that wearing diapers can cause some skin problems,it must be stressed that this most likely occurs if the person does not adhere to a regimen designed to promote and maintain healthy skin while using these garments. This has been pointed out repeatedly by many medical professionals when using incontinence garments. In addition,many pediatricians and parenting articles talk about the precautions that parents must take to make sure their infants don't get rashes and other skin problems from wearing diapers. It's also possible that the person might have sensitive skin that makes them susceptible to developing skin problems from wearing diapers,but this can most likely be minimized by talking to either a urologist to help them decide on an appropriate product to wear,or by talking to a customer service representative from the company they purchase incontinence products from. They should be able to recommend a garment that will help in this regard,or recommend certain skin care products that are especially designed for people with sensitive skin. Other medical professional who deal with incontinence and what steps to take to manage are wound,ostomy,and continence nurse,also known as a wocn nurses. They can suggest measures you can take to deal with skin problems resulting from incontinence. You might want to check with your local hospital or primary care physician to see if they can put you in contact with a wocn nurse. In addition your pharmacist might have suggestions on skin care products designed to prevent any problems that may result from wearing diapers.

A common problem that parents experience with their babies is diaper rash. This can also happen as well with other age groups who use diapers to deal with incontinence. Products to deal with this issue are found in food stores, stores such as Walmart and Target,and pharmacies such as Rite Aid, CVS,Walgreens,and similar stores. These products include diaper rash ointment such as Desitin, A&D ointment, Balmex,and other brands, baby wipes, powder, and related products. You can find these items in the infant section in the stores just mentioned. I think it would be a good idea to look into buying some of these products in order to prevent your youngster from developing any skin problems that might result from wearing diapers for the bed-wetting. In addition places such as HDIS(Home Delivery Incontinence Supplies), Continence Connection,and National Incontinence sell skin care products for incontinence.

Finally,if the person does not use diapers for the bed-wetting,they're just exposing more areas of the skin to detrimental effects. At this point I'd like to get back to the suggestion by most people that a bed-wetter will not suffer negative health effects if they don't wear diapers to bed as long as they take a shower in the morning. In my opinion this is a case of locking the barn after the horse is out. It is true that it would be advisable for a person to take a shower in the morning if they choose not to wear diapers to bed,if only to clean one's self and to eliminate the tell tale odors of urine before changing into the clothes the person is going to wear for the day. However, as pointed out earlier,the person's skin is still exposed to urine for several hours per night,thereby increasing the risks that some type of skin problems could occur. In this case,wearing diapers to bed is a preventative measure designed to minimize the risks of developing skin problems down the road. Another thing that should be kept in mind is the following possibility. During the winter time there is the potential for catching a chill if the person lies all night in wet sheets and clothing. By catching a chill the person is at risk for catching a cold if the person's immune system is weak for whatever reason. This is a point that doesn't seem to be considered by people who tend to downplay the negative effects of lying all night in a wet bed and although this risk might be negligible,it is something that shouldn't necessarily be discounted. Furthermore,wearing diapers to bed would cut down on the time needed to get ready in the morning-instead of having to take a shower in the morning,all the person has to do is clean around the diaper area. Using diapers to manage the bed-wetting would also cut down on the amount of laundry one has to take care of,allowing the person opportunities to take care of other things. In today's day and age when people are trying to compress more and more activities into a shorter time period, time is a precious commodity and anything that might help in this regard should be considered.

I hope this article gets people to reconsider their thinking in this area. Although there is a tremendous amount of stigma surrounding using diapers,in the end it makes more sense to use whatever means are necessary to mange this problem in a way that both makes the person suffering from bed-wetting more comfortable and provides better hygiene.