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The Diapering Dilemma PART 1

by Julie Keon on January 14th, 2019

Who knew diapering could be such a nightmare? Parents of kids with extra needs, that’s who. Hell hath no fury, than a parent trying to find appropriate incontinence products for their growing child.

For many children with disabilities, incontinence is a lifelong issue. This is the case for our daughter and since her growth has been very slow and steady, we have been able to use regular diapers, like Pampers, for the last fifteen years. However, there comes a time when picking up diapers at a box store becomes a thing of the past. When our daughter outgrew the largest size of diapers available over the counter, we discovered that Pampers makes a size 7 which Amazon ships to us each month. But all good things must come to an end and Pampers does not make a size 8 diaper. A recent growth spurt forced us to begin exploring the next options. I was under the impression that this would be a straightforward process. It was not.

The adult incontinence product market is overwhelming, confusing and frankly, not designed for this in-between-stage. To begin my research, I called a local medical supply company and requested a couple of samples. All I needed to do was give them my daughter’s hip measurement. Easy peasy. A package was received within a couple of days and I knew immediately, that this was not going to be as simple as I had anticipated. I had a brief (pun intended) moment of panic when I compared my daughter’s present diaper to the small adult one.

The one on the left is the adult small sample that, according to my daughter’s measurement, should do the trick. The one on the right is what she is presently wearing and quickly outgrowing. Herein, lies the problem.

It was not going to even come close to fitting. To ensure I was not making assumptions, I strapped that beast onto her which looked more like a diaper/ girdle/ bra contraption than a discreet undergarment. I knew that I was going to need more assistance.

I ditched my plan of figuring this out on my own and went straight to the experts……other parents who have had to find suitable products for their kids. The number of comments and the speed in which they were posted indicated that an easy solution was not to be had. It was clear that some products worked better for boys than girls and there were products that some parents raved about while others posted warnings. I read every single comment, asked questions and made a list of what I thought would be a good starting point.

It was clear that a trial run with potential products was in order. To do so, I was going to need samples. Since there was one product, in particular, that I thought could be THE ONE, I called the company that had sent me a couple of samples earlier but it wasn’t a product they carried. To save myself a wild goose chase, I called the makers of this product and after dialing the Canadian toll free number, I spoke with a nice woman in Washington. She was happy to help: “Yes, we do have a trial pack of products that we will happily ship for free but no, that particular item is not part of it. And no, we do not ship it as an individual sample.” Back to square one.

I went over my scribbled notes and narrowed it down to three products that came in x-small or small youth sizes. There were so many aspects to the products that needed consideration: the size, the fit (bulky or discreet) and tabs versus pulls ups. So many things to consider and at this stage of parenting, I am easily overwhelmed. These are the days I wish a real live Diaper Genie would appear to do all of the legwork and research and just point me in the right direction.

I am happy to report that there is a Diaper Genie by the name of Kelly. A couple of parents had recommended a Canadian company out of Ottawa,ON that would be able to assist me in navigating the world of incontinence products. I went to the website to find a phone number and discovered an ENTIRE section for kids with special needs and youth including an incredibly handy Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear for Special Needs Children and Teens.I promptly printed off the chart and then called My Liberty.Life

Kelly answered the phone and listened to my rant about the incredibly frustrating task of finding proper incontinence products for this in-between-stage. She listened like a seasoned therapist, validating my irritation with the current incontinence market. She also, more importantly, assured me that we would find the best product for our daughter. After taking down a couple of measurements, Kelly wanted to know what we had been using, what we liked about our current product, whether or not we wanted tabs and more details about our daughter’s body type. This company not only provides hundreds of incontinence products for children/ youth and adults but they have mastered the diapering dilemma for parents like me. For anyone in Canada with incontinence issues, this company is your best starting point and probably your last. They have so much solid information on their website and really understand the challenges that go along with incontinence. Their service is GOLD STANDARD, personable and genuine. Unfortunately, at this time, they only ship within Canada but families in the USA and beyond can certainly benefit from the information they provide on their website.

There is a gap between the largest size of children’s diapers and the smallest size of adult incontinence products. Thankfully, some companies have recognized this and are starting to create youth sizes. Since Pampers/ Huggies, etc. have mastered the fit and absorbency of a child’s diaper, it would make far more sense for them to get on board and start making a couple of larger sizes to get kids like mine from this stage to the adult stage. The companies that design and manufacture adult incontinence products are taking on this task however a melding of the two would be ideal.

Until then, I am anxiously awaiting a shipment of samples from MyLiberty.Life. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Diapering Dilemma as we test drive these samples and see which one comes out on top.


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One Comment
  1. Krista permalink

    I feel your pain. We went through this a few years ago when our son outgrew children’s diapers. I remember writing to Huggies AND Pampers asking them to consider making larger pull ups and diapers for our children… Transitions are hard! We were finally successful with Tranquility SlimLine briefs, XS. And while I wouldn’t compare them as equals to the children’s pull up/ diaper – we have adjusted ( accepted) them as our normal.
    Good Luck with your selection! Onwards and upwards. ( sigh).

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