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Thread: Diaper proportions - Adult compared to baby

  1. #1

    Default Diaper proportions - Adult compared to baby

    Hi all. I was thinking the other day - a baby's body is way out of proportion to an adults body, so I assume a baby's diaper seems to cover more of a baby's upper leg than an adult diaper covers an adult's upper leg. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If this is so, are there any adult diapers made, (maybe bambinos?) that replicate the amount of coverage that a baby diaper gives to a baby?

    Sorry if that didn't make sense

  2. #2


    From what I seen in my dealings with adult and infant diapers they look pretty much the same to me. I also seen many types of adult diapers like attends classic 10 with no waistband seamed like they were for a brick. Sort of like that Huggies ad.

  3. #3


    hmmm i wodent know. if i wanted to cover more tho get a size biger diaper and it will cover more. just not like super biger than your butt.

  4. #4


    Might depend on the baby, but the way a diaper fits my little sister, and the way an adult diaper fits me... is the exact same way.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Mandi View Post
    Might depend on the baby, but the way a diaper fits my little sister, and the way an adult diaper fits me... is the exact same way.
    Yes, I took my turn enough times diapering our two babies and how I remember diapers fitting them is pretty much what I've seen with adults in adult-size diapers.


  6. #6


    A lot of people will say that this isn't the full story. There are quite a few factors that come in when you're gauging what a diaper covers and what kind of absorbency it has.

    First, you're looking at leg gatherings. Really the best way for a diaper to be absorbent is to block any liquid that comes out from the absorbent core area - which is especially crucial if you're in a position that would cause that liquid to flow every which way. The elastic gatherings should be completely tight against your skin. Since this is on a much larger scale than that of a baby, the elastic has to be made stronger. Unfortunately this isn't supported by current manufacturing processes because it would cause the newly manufactured diapers to effectively collapse on themselves. Therefore you are not quite as hermetically sealed as a baby.

    Second, many babies spend a good part of their time lying down. This means that their weight is distributed over their entire body. When you're wearing an adult diaper you probably spend a good part of your time sitting upright, which compacts the padding and hampers absorption. Sitting on a diaper with all of your weight on your butt also does no good to the diaper's wicking abilities that move moisture away from the core.

    Third, your body generates a lot more sweat than that of a baby. If you don't believe me, take a brand new diaper, put it on as tight as you can, and wear it for 24 hours without wetting it. When you take it off there will be a bit of ambient moisture in there. The sweat generated by your diaper area, while consisting of very little moisture, can cause the absorbent core to become matted and thus prevent efficient absorption.

    Lastly, adult diapers are often no thicker than baby diapers. Yet the adult bladder has a capacity of about 510mL [1] and a one year old baby's bladder holds about 67mL [2]. That's about 7.6 times smaller than an adult bladder. Therefore the ideal adult diaper should have 7.6 times the padding, sodium polyacrylate, and wicking technology as your typical size 3 Pampers. Frankly very few diapers (except MAYBE Bambinos) will match up to that.

    So, yeah. That's why adult diapers used on an adult tend to suck compared to baby diapers used on a baby.

    Last edited by DannyTheNinja; 02-Jul-2008 at 01:55. Reason: s/thinner/thicker/

  7. #7


    I think Bitter Gray had a nice section on comparing baby and adult diapers...where is it...ah, here.

    Why Big Babies Leak - part one
    and here
    Why Big Babies Leak part two

    I have to find a way to remember that fancy link encoding HTML thingy.

  8. #8

  9. #9


    I must admit you guys have put a lot more thought into this than even I would. I believe the primary factor here is snugness of fit. Some diapers just seem to fit better than others. Attends 10s for example... didn't fit very well. The lack of a waistband combined with flimsy tapes and low quality plastic make for a diaper that leaks all over the place... even on the first wetting.

    Also... as many of you probably know... getting the proper fit requires some practice. While there are some general guidelines for self-diapering each diaper brand is different and there are different ways to put them on. One thing helping the infants is the fact that someone else is putting the diaper on them. IDK how many of you have recently been diapered by another person... but you actually do get a much more snug and secure fit when someone else does it.

    And Danny... let's be reasonable here... noone can put a brand new diaper on and go 24 hours without wetting it... it's impossible. Also... quoting wikipedia is usually frowned upon as the information is not generally accurate.

    While it is true that an adult's bladder does hold more than an infant's I believe we as AB/DLs run into more leakage problems b/c the majority of us are actually continent and are using diapers for fun or convienience rather than out of necessity. We tend to wait until we have to go... then release a whole bladderful into the diaper at once and hope that it will hold up. These diapers were designed for incontinent people who leak or dribble constantly. Many small voidings will make a diaper last far longer than one or two large ones.

    As far as skin coverage goes... most of the quality adult diapers will cover the same amount of area on an adult's body that a small diaper would cover on an infant's body. The only difference I see is pull-ups. Pull-ups for kids are really just diapers with stretchy sides sewn on. Pull-ups for adults are pretty much incontinence pads with underwear sewn on. There is a big difference in padding and performance there. I've tried a lot of adult pull-ups... and I can't find any that cover in the way that goodnites used to.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Darkfinn View Post
    And Danny... let's be reasonable here... noone can put a brand new diaper on and go 24 hours without wetting it... it's impossible.
    For purposes of his experiment, I think you could just wear it and remove briefly for peeing. I've never tried to go 24 hours between, but I have quite a long-lasting bladder, so I think I could. I can't see any good reason to do so, however. In any event, I don't think people sweating is in dispute. Can't really run an equivalent experiment with a baby, though.

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