What’s With the Diapers with Babyish Prints?
If you’ve spent any time on the internet researching or just looking for incontinence products, you’ve almost certainly run into people who wear adult diapers (aka tab-style briefs) voluntarily. That is, they may not need diapers for any medical issue but choose to wear them for other reasons. Many call them AB/DL, which is short for “adult baby or diaper lover.” When you wear incontinence supplies for medical reasons and come across people like this, it can be a bit shocking at first. Who would wear diapers for fun? What are they thinking?
All good, reasonable questions.
Having spent so much time on the Internet, including many forums, I’ve gained an outsider’s perspective on this topic, and I’m here to tell you that these people have been the best thing to happen to the incontinence products industry since the invention of adhesive tape. The very vocal push from the AB/DL community for better, more absorbent products has driven the whole category past the thin industrial products, past the drug store or even national brands, and into a place where there is a size, fit, thickness, absorbency, color, and yes, even print, for every imaginable application. They are hugely responsible for the mindboggling variety we have to choose from.
Who Would Wear Adult Diapers for Fun?
The reasons people are attracted to diapers are as varied as the people who wear them. But I have read that a lot of people connect with diapers due to something called Transitional Object Attachment Theory. In layman’s terms, this means the diapers are a stand-in for the parental love and affection they miss or lacked as a child. The object could be literally anything, but the most common ones provide comfort, like stuffed animals, a special blanket, or something that requires the attention of and physical contact from a parent, like a diaper.
You may have noticed here on NorthShore.com or on other sites, that there is such a thing as diapers with prints on them. If they look babyish to you, that’s not by accident. I don’t think I’m painting with too broad a brush to say that adult babies (AB) look for things that allow them to mentally regress back to a simpler time. The comfort of a diaper is nice, but if they can feel like a baby, well, all the better. That may include clothing, beds, sheets, TV shows—anything that puts them in the mindset of that simpler, happier time in the life they lived or wish they had lived.
Are They Mocking Us?
I’ve talked to a number of incontinent people who felt that those who wore diapers by choice—regardless of the reason—were being disrespectful, making light of, or even mocking the truly incontinent. This isn’t a logical, reasoned objection so much as a reaction to being shocked by something they cannot understand. I have never seen any disrespect for those managing incontinence in any of the conversations I have been a part of or participated in with someone who is an AB/DL.
I’m a pretty live-and-let-live kind of guy and am rarely bothered by what anyone does, believes or feels as long as it doesn’t affect me. You do you. Does it bother me that NorthShore sells diapers with infantile prints on them (Crinklz)? Not in the least. I’ve even tried them. They’re not for me, but they are pretty good diapers with astounding capacity. Further, I’m confident that even the all-business, all-white BetterDry wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the AB/DL community. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that we wouldn’t have access to most of the higher-capacity diapers we do were it not for them.
I have nothing but gratitude for what those in the AB/DL community have helped bring to market.
Check out NorthShore’s ABDL recommendations or call (800) 563-0161 to speak with a Customer Care & Service expert who can provide recommendations.
Some years ago (I decline to say how many), life threw me a curveball and I found myself facing some new and frightening challenges, and having to navigate the confusing world of incontinence products alone. This was pre-internet and, frankly, pre-decent options. Through constant experimentation, I’ve found products that work for me—yes, many of which are sold by NorthShore Care—but the more important part of my journey has been internal. I’ve fought insecurity, isolation, paranoia that EVERYONE was staring at my butt, and fear that I’d never be able to return to the rich, full life I once had. I’m happy to say all of that was unfounded.
Part of the work I did to understand and accept myself included reading. A LOT of reading. I found articles that explained the different kinds of incontinence, blog posts about the various products that were available, and even pamphlets for drugs that offered to solve my problem. What I couldn’t find was practical guidance on and honest thoughts about living with this embarrassing, confusing, and occasionally hilarious new “feature” my body had to offer.
NorthShore gets it, and that’s why I’m here. NorthShore isn’t just a business that sells incontinence supplies, it’s a business built on a foundation of understanding of what you and I are dealing with every day.
I don’t work for NorthShore (would it be too cheesy to say I work for you?) but this feels like the right place for a blog that addresses real-world issues around incontinence. Here I’ll talk candidly, openly, and occasionally uncomfortably about the challenges we face, the products that can help us manage those challenges, and how to go about confidently getting on with our lives.
Let’s get real.
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