Information Regarding Pin-On Diapers for Older Children and Teens that Wet the Bed

Published: 18th May 2009
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This article discusses information about cloth diapers for bed-wetting,specifically pin-on diapers. As mentioned in another article, many people consider pin-on diapers to be the best type of reusable diaper to use for bed-wetting because most of them provide the best absorbency for nighttime incontinence. In general they seem to be more absorbent than alternatives such as pull-on cloth diapers. Also the pin type closures are supposed to have certain advantages over other types of diaper closures. For example I've read that alternative diaper fasteners such as Velcro can wear out and the snaps on snap-on diapers can break. Some people find that snap-on diapers and Velcro diapers are more convenient to use for daytime use when multiple changes might be required although some people use pin-on diapers during the day also. If you have an older child,adolescent,or teenager that wets the bed you might want to consider using pin-on diapers covered by plastic pants. A valuable source for information about diapers and waterproof pants is "The New Diaper Primer." What makes this source particularly valuable is that it is written by someone who suffers from incontinence. The section on pin-on diapers is particularly valuable for any parent who is thinking about using these diapers to manage their child or teenager's bed-wetting. The web address for this article is www.incontinentsupport.org.

In terms of both folding and pinning on the diapers there is a certain technique which is designed to offer maximum protection against leaks in addition to providing the most comfort. This technique is described in great detail "The New Diaper Primer." "The New Diaper Primer" is divided into several sections or chapters. The chapter that discusses how to pin on cloth diapers is chapter 9 and is called "Pinning On Diapers." The other chapters that are very informative in the diaper primer are chapter 1B "Cloth Diapers",chapter 4 "How Much Diapering Do I Need?",and chapter 7 "Diaper Types".If you decide to purchase pin-on diapers for your bed-wetting youngster you should let the youngster fasten their own diapers. I have read and heard about situations where people have diapered older children with bed-wetting problems and this can cause severe psychological damage. I discuss this further in my article "Older Children,Bed-Wetting,and Self Diapering." If the parents are concerned that their child/children might not fasten the diapers correctly they can have the youngster read the "pinning on diapers" section of "The New Diaper Primer." It's very important for a child's self-esteem and emotional health to be independent in this area.

One of the key points mentioned in "The New Diaper Primer" is wearing multiple diaper layers. This coupled with the pinning technique mentioned in the "Pinning On Diapers" section is supposed to provide the best protection for problems such as bed-wetting. Additionally, the author of "The New Diaper Primer" says that most pull-on diapers do not offer adequate protection for bed-wetting. This is something that parents need to keep in mind if they decide to purchase reusable products to manage their youngster's bed-wetting. Adults with bed-wetting problems should also keep this point in mind. The main reason for the introduction of products such as pull-on diapers is the stigma associated with wearing diapers. Furthermore the label "pull-on diapers" is a misnomer as many products labeled "pull-on diapers" are not really diapers at all but extra thick underwear. One person said that the products that are labeled pull-on diapers are basically training pants which generally don't have the absorbency required to deal with heavy incontinence such as bed-wetting. As far as increasing absorbency of diapers,another method to consider is adding liners to diapers. One person on an incontinence forum who wore adult cloth diapers to bed said that he used the Gerber brand baby cloth diapers as a liner or "booster pad" for the adult cloth diapers. Gerber cloth diapers can be found at stores such as Target and Walmart in the infants section of the store. In addition you can purchase other diapering supplies at these stores such as diaper pins(known as safety pins),baby wipes,powder,and diaper rash ointment such as Desitin, Balmex, A&D ointment,in addition to other items.

This would be a good time to talk about skin care. There have been a number of articles pointing out the importance of having a good skin care regimen when incontinent. Although diapers do a good job of protecting both the person and bed they can also cause skin problems such as diaper rash if you don't clean the skin carefully after waking up and changing out of the diaper. The Health Central Network has an article called "Skin care and incontinence" which talks about the various products out there designed to minimize or prevent the occurrence of skin problems resulting from incontinence including moisturizing creams,skin cleansers such as aerosol sprays,foams,and wet wipes,as well as skin sealants and moisture barriers including creams and ointments. Additional sources of information about how to maintain healthy skin when incontinent include wocn nurses(known as wound,ostomy,and continence nurses), urologists, your primary care physician,and your pharmacist. All of these individuals might also have suggestions regarding this issue. There are also a couple of organizations that you can contact-The Simon Foundation for Continence and the National Association for Continence. These organizations might be able to provide you with information about proper skin care when wearing incontinence garments such as websites,articles,and other sources. Finally incontinence forums could be an especially good source of information on this topic because these people have first hand experience dealing with incontinence and are well aware of the skin problems that can result from wearing incontinence garments and how best to deal with these problems. Some companies that sell skin care products for incontinence are Continence Connection, National Incontinence,and HDIS(Home Delivery Incontinence Supplies). I talk more about the importance of bedwetters maintaining hygiene and how I feel that wearing diapers to bed is an important component of this process in my article "Bedwetting and Maintaining Appropriate Hygiene."

Right now I'd like to talk briefly about both getting a proper fit with cloth diapers and how comfortable the diapers are. The author of the New Diaper Primer in his discussion on cloth diapers says that the size and weight of the diapers are important factors in both how well the diapers fit and how comfortable the diapers are.

Another key point discussed in the Diaper Primer in terms of cloth diapers is their wicking ability. The technical term for wicking is capillary action. The Diaper Primer mentions two aspects of diapers that are important-absorbency and wicking. The primer defines wicking in this way- "Wicking is the ability of cotton(and some other fabrics) to pass liquid along from "particle" to "particle" " and Wikipedia defines capillary action in this manner- "Wicking is to absorb something and then drain like a wick. Paper towels absorb liquid through capillary action, allowing a fluid to be transferred from a surface to the towel. The small pores of a sponge act as small capillaries, causing it to absorb a comparatively large amount of fluid. Some modern sport and exercise fabrics use capillary action to "wick" away sweat from the skin. These are often referred to as wicking fabrics, after the capillary properties of a candle and lamp wicks." In another words wicking means a diaper's ability to disperse liquid throughout the diaper.Basically wicking allows multiple wetting of the diaper by dispersing liquid throughout the diaper. The article in the Diaper Primer uses an analogy of a face cloth to describe how wicking works: "Picture, if you will, adding multiple tablespoons of water to the face cloth. As you dump a second or third spoonful, note how the center gets saturated but then recovers over time(as wicking transfers the liquid to dryer parts). When you add the next one,you see the saturation occurs again,just in the center where you added the water and then wicks into the rest of the face cloth as time passes. That momentarily saturated central spot becomes un-saturated after time. Wicking occurs and the particles have transferred liquid to other, outlying particles. " Basically wicking allows time for the diaper to disperse or transfer liquid throughout the diaper allowing it time to dry,which in turn makes the diaper capable of absorbing more liquid later if the person wets again. Cloth diapers have superior wicking abilities which makes them a good choice for heavy incontinence such as bed-wetting because of their ability to handle multiple wettings. As I have mentioned in another article,some bed-wetters wet multiple times during the night and the pin-on diapers seem like they'd be more effective in regards to protecting the youngster if they do wet more than once at night. This will enable the child or teenager to get a better night's sleep because they won't have to get up throughout the night to change themselves if they use reusable pull-on garments instead of pin-on diapers.

There are several different types of fabrics that cloth diapers can be made of. These fabrics are birdseye, terry cloth,flannel,and gauze. The author of the Diaper Primer thinks highly of gauze diapers. Both Adultclothdiaper.com and Angel Fluff sell gauze diapers. According to the Adultclothdiaper.com website one of the advantages of gauze diapers is that they allow air to circulate real well which helps to reduce the likelihood of diaper rash. Additionally,they're real absorbent and are very comfortable to wear in hot weather. There are also different styles of pin-on diapers-prefold,flat,and contour. Contour diapers can have elastic in the waist and and leg openings and are usually more expensive than flat diapers. Flat diapers are not used much anymore and the only place that sells flat diapers near the U.S. is a company based in Canada called Bear Bottom. Prefold diapers have a soaker strip in the center of the diaper. Prefolds are the most popular style of adult cloth diapers. For a more in depth discussion about the different styles of cloth diapers see the diaper types section(chapter 7) of the New Diaper Primer.

It's very important to realize that there are two different websites with very similar addresses. The one mentioned earlier in this article is for a website called Incontinent Support and has "The New Diaper Primer." There is another website which has a web address of www.incontinencesupport.org. (The url for both websites is slightly different-the one url has "incontinence" in the web address while the other has "incontinent" in the address.) The web address with "incontinence" in it is for the Incontinence Resource Center. I'm not sure whether these websites are related in any way. They seem to be slightly different. The best way to get to the appropriate website is to do a Google search and type "The New Diaper Primer" (with or without quotes) in the search bar.

One of the things I've mentioned repeatedly in my various articles is that picking an incontinence product is very subjective. In some cases there is a great deal of trial and error involved in picking a product that will best meet your needs. The factors involved in making this decision include the type and level of incontinence,whether your incontinence occurs during the day,night,or both, whether or not you want(or have) the time to wash diapers and plastic pants,etc. That is one of the reasons people prefer disposables-for the convenience they offer. If finances permit you might consider trying both disposable tape-on diapers and pin-on diapers and plastic pants to manage your youngster's bed-wetting. By trying both kinds you'll be able to determine what works best for you. Many people use both kinds of diapers. Some individuals alternate using different types of diapers-on some nights they wear pin-on diapers covered with plastic pants and other nights they wear disposable diapers to bed. There are also cases where people wear cloth diapers and plastic pants only during certain times of the year. For example some people use the pin-on diapers and plastic pants to manage their bed-wetting during the cooler seasons such as fall,spring,and winter, whereas during the summer months they switch to tape-on style diapers(also known as disposable briefs) In addition some people with both day and night incontinence wear disposables during the day and pin-on diapers at night. It's good to be flexible and open-minded. That being said,some people might be inclined to stick with cloth diapers because of the savings and what many people consider to be the environmental advantages of cloth diapers. An advantage I see of using both disposable diapers and pin-on diapers is that you're washing the diapers and plastic pants less which means that theoretically they should last longer. Cloth diapers do wear out over time. If you do decide to use both styles of diapers you can have the child or teenager wear the pin-on diapers and plastic pants for four nights and the disposable diapers for three nights(or vice versa) Ultimately parents have to decide for themselves whether or not to use both kinds of diapers for their bed-wetting child or teen. Some of the factors that need to be considered when making this decision include your budget(do you want to spend the extra money for disposable diapers or do you want to save money by just using cloth diapers) and if the child or teenager feels uncomfortable wearing the pin-on diapers covered with plastic pants during the spring and summer months when the weather is real hot.. If this is the case,you should consider switching to disposable diapers during this time. Just like some parents use both cloth and disposable diapers for their babies, it might be a good idea to consider using both kinds.

A good way to get information about incontinence products is to go to incontinence forums and ask questions about various forms of protection. As far as pin-on diapers are concerned,there seem to be certain advantages over pull-on cloth diapers for bed-wetting. One person who used both pin-on diapers and reusable pull-ons said that the pull-on diapers wear out faster than the pin-on diapers. Another person mentioned that it's easier to put additional layers of material in a pin-on diaper to increase the absorbency of the diaper. With a pull-on diaper you can put extra material in the diaper to make it more absorbent,but if you move around a lot at night there's the possibility of the extra material in the pull-up shifting around and bunching up which can be uncomfortable in addition to causing leaks. This person also mentioned a few other advantages that pin-on diapers have over pull-on diapers,particularly for heavy incontinence such as bed-wetting. One is that the pin-on diapers have a more snug fit which is an advantage if you move around a lot at night. Also diapers that have a more snug fit are more effective at preventing leaks. Second,the elastic waist bands on pull-on diapers are not adequate to hold the pants up when they get wet. When pull-on diapers get wet,the pants have a tendency to get heavy and the elastic waist band will not be able to hold the pants up. Third,the pin-on diapers are generally of higher quality than the pull-ups. This, combined with the fact that it's easier to manage layering in a pin-on diaper, results in a thicker diaper that is more snug and offers better protection at night. The other disadvantage of pull-on diapers which was mentioned in the Diaper Primer article on diaper types was that in general pull-on diapers aren't absorbent enough to handle multiple wettings because they're not thick enough. If you wet all night while you sleep the pull-on type diapers will not be absorbent enough to deal with this type of problem. To quote the Diaper Primer regarding pull-on diaper pants-"Most are typically a thick pair of underpants with a soaker strip sewn in the crotch,which in some cases doesn't even extend from waist to waist. We wish to emphasize that the the pull-on is not a "full fledged diaper"."





Some of the other advantages of pin on diapers mentioned by various people include their versatility(many people use cloth diapers that used to be worn by babies for various household chores such as for dust cloths and washing cars),they take less time drying,the pins tend to last longer than other methods of fastening diapers such as Velcro and snaps,they're easy to store,and there seems to be a great amount of flexibility in terms of folding,layering,and pinning the diaper to allow more protection in certain areas. For instance if the person needs more absorbency in certain areas such as the front,back,or middle, the pin-on diapers enable the wearer to adjust the diapers to meet those needs. This advantage was discussed on the AdultDiaperSpecialist.com website in their article entitled "When and Why It's Beneficial to Use Flat Adult Diapers that Require Pins." Finally one person commented in the context of using pin-on diapers for infants that this style of diaper allows for more flexibility in adjusting the diapers to fit different body types. I would suspect that this advantage would also apply to the use of pin-on diapers for older children,teenagers,and adults. In fact I would think that this would be more applicable with this group. If the parents are concerned about the amount of laundry and the time involved in taking care of cloth diapers and plastic pants, the parents can use disposable briefs instead. There are a number of disposable briefs that are considered good for managing bedwetting. I talk about these brands in my article "Choosing the Right Diaper to Manage Bedwetting With Older Children and Teenagers." If the parents do decide to use cloth diapers and plastic pants but want to cut down the time involved in taking care of these items,the parents can alternate using disposable and cloth diapers as I've mentioned previously in this article.

It seems that pin-on diapers don't seem to be used as much as cloth diapers with other fasteners. Some of the reasons for this are that many mothers are afraid that they might stick either themselves or the infant with the pins especially since many babies squirm and wiggle when being changed or diapered. Also some people feel that it takes more time to layer the diapers and pin them on. This objection seems to be leveled mainly at pin-on diapers for infants. As far as the use of pin-on diapers for older children,teenagers,and adults that wet the bed,it would appear that these drawbacks wouldn't be a concern. In fact the advantages of pin-on diapers seem to outweigh any disadvantages. I hope my writings on this topic will get parents to consider the use of diapers(both cloth and disposable) to manage bedwetting. At the very least I want to let parents become aware of these choices so they have more options available to manage their youngster's bedwetting besides garments that are considered more socially acceptable such as pull-ups and "Goodnites."

As mentioned before,if you do decide to use pin-on diapers for your bed-wetting you should consider reading chapter 9 of "The New Diaper Primer". There are two versions of this chapter-one is just text and the other has both text and pictures demonstrating how to fold and pin cloth diapers on in order to get the best fit and provide the most comfort and protection.

Another point I'd like to mention regarding using cloth diapers to manage bed-wetting. If you do decide to use pin-on diapers keep in mind you must use waterproof pants to cover the diapers. The most widely used type of waterproof pants are plastic pants(which many people refer to as rubber pants even though this is a misnomer). Plastic pants such as the Gary,Suprima,and Comco brands have excellent reputations. Plastic pants have many advantages over other styles of waterproof pants including comfort,durability,and cost. My article "Brands of Plastic Pants for Older Children and Teenagers With Bedwetting Problems" discusses some of the more popular plastic pants available for bed-wetting.

Some companies that sell pin-on cloth diapers for both youth and adults include Loving Comfort Diaper Company,Angel Fluff Diaper Company, Babykins(also known as KINS which stands for Kinder Incontinence Supplies),and Adultclothdiaper.com(also known as All Together Enterprises) I was on the Loving Comfort Diaper Company website and they mention that they can custom design diapers to meet specific needs(for instance if you have a child or teenager that won't fit into standard size diapers or if you need diapers with a particular level of absorbency they can design diapers that meet those needs). I read on an incontinence forum that Loving Comfort might have gone out of business. If you consider purchasing pin-on diapers from this company I would try to contact them to make sure.

As far as laundering cloth diapers and plastic pants,the Diaper Primer has an entire section on how to take care of cloth diapers and plastic pants. The laundry section(chapter 5) deals with this issue. One of the things you'll need to purchase is a diaper pail. I suggest you read this section for further information on this topic.

If your older child,adolescent,or teenager is having difficulty adjusting to wearing diapers to bed you can read my article "Ways Parents Can Encourage Older Children,Adolescents and Teenagers to Wear Diapers for Bed-Wetting"

Whatever you do don't get discouraged if it takes you a while to find a suitable product to manage your child or teenager's bed-wetting. There's a lot of high quality products out there to deal with bed-wetting and other incontinence problems. As with everything else in life it's good to be well informed. This includes reading as much as you can and asking questions. With perseverance you'll be able to find a product that will make your older child or teen feel confident and secure.


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