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Six months of full-time wear - a review

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I've been in nappies for six months now, so it seems a good time for a review. I can still confidently say that they bring hours of pleasure and comfort and I would very much like to continue wearing. What stands out most I think is how easy it has been, perhaps because so few of the potential negative effects have really surfaced. I have not had any UTIs, skin rashes or any other immediate health issues from wearing. The cost has not been excessive, there have been no seriously embarrassing moments (although a couple of unexpectedly exciting ones), nor any evidence that people have really noticed or treated me differently. No wet seats, only a couple of tiny leaks due to 'user error', no unexpected changes of clothes. I like to think this is due to careful preparation and attention to detail, and confidence to pad up appropriately for the conditions.

My routine has refined a little since the first tentative weeks but the general principles are as before:
*Usually about 5 changes per day, often three wet and two messy.
*Plastic-backed highest absorbency disposables only, e.g. Lille at night and Molicare during the day, often with boosters.
*Plastic pants all the time, Gary high-waist at night and tight-fitting Suprimas during the day.
*Tummy control knickers over the waterproofs.
*Flushable liners in the seat to help dispose of mess.
*Pre-wet the nappy with water when urine output is likely to be low and concentrated, to dilute it.
*Always travel with one day's supplies minimum, including enough clean-up gear to cope with four messy changes.

Having a steady, low accident rate, my confidence in using my 'wearable toilet' has increased enormously. I have no difficulty wetting more or less anywhere, still with the exception of driving. Regardless of how much I need to do I trust the nappy to deal with it so things can be allowed to flow freely. I haven't lost any continence - I do have to think about wetting before it happens, but not in a verbal way any more. I just feel a wet urge and do the wet, bypassing the 'I need to wee, but I'm wearing a nappy so I can just let go' thought. On the few days I have been out of nappies, I felt a bit naked and unprotected at first, worrying that I would make puddles everywhere, although after the first few near misses there's no difficulty holding it. There is a sometimes a disappointment and frustration that I can't go whenever I want and that does last through the day.

I have learned exactly what my waterproofs will achieve in controlling smells, so I can be more confident about where and when it's OK to have BMs. I usually do one while out and about during the day, and it is now rare that I have to hold it, I can usually let it happen there and then. My bottom has become much more regular, even while working long, random hours, sleeping at odd times, missing meals and then bingeing, somehow my tummy manages to sort this all out into two nice firm deposits per day, normally one after a sleep and one after a meal. Even when I have felt urgent pressure that suggested diarrhoea, which at first encouraged me to take off the nappy and do it in the toilet, what has actually come out is just a larger-than-average firm deposit. As a result I now just do it in the nappy regardless, and it's usually fine. On a few occasions when under pressure, I have used the toilet or potty to save the cleanup time, although cleanup is fun especially now things are less sticky.


And it's a big but. I worry about scrotal temperature. Whether it's a justified worry I am not qualified to say, but the fact that the worry is there is enough to put a damper on things. I'm not worried who sees my nappy bulge through my jeans, I'm not worried about doing a poo as I walk down the street chatting to friends, I'm not even worried any more that I am taking liberties using the baby-and-parent room when I need a change at the mall. But I am worried about possible long-term effects on fertility etc. So for this reason alone I am taking a break from full-time nappy wearing. I'll probably wear at night and at times when I want the convenience of not having to use the toilet, just not all the time. In deference to my little girl side, I will probably use my potty when at home, rather than the grown-up toilet. Emptying the potty can symbolically take the place of nappy changing in my routine.

I look forward to another session of 24/7 in the future and would encourage everyone to try it at least once. Even if you don't think you like messing, just try it, stick with it for a few days and get good at it. Nappies rule!

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