I'm sure many of you are aware that I dislike the Abri-Form Air-Plus "Premium" for a slew of reasons...
Today, I was headed out and I was originally going to go with my usual, a plastic backed M2, but decided to be bold [clever word for stoopid =)] and give the dreaded Air-Plus "Premium" M2 another try.
Now, I have quite an artistic approach to taping strategies. I get them perfect almost every time. So, I pulled out all the tricks on this one. Some are from what I've learned with the plastic backed M2, which i do wear daily, and some I invented on the spot. So, Here is what I did to finally dial-in the Air-Plus "Premium" M2. This will likely require some type of packing tape if you intend to wear overnight. The Air-Plus "Premium" tapes have a really bad tendency to slide across the cloth back sheet like they're on a skating rink, at night. I have never used packing tape, because I do not need it, so for it, YMMV.
Alright, Here we go!
First, start by gently, yet firmly stretching the top of the back wings were the tapes are attached to the back-sheet. This will reduce the amount of stretching that will occur later, but do NOT overstretch. Get the diaper in position correctly on your bed or on the floor, and add powder. (I powder my diapers directly, but you can do as you please.)
Second, position your bottom on the padding in the middle precisely. At that point, you should put your feet are about 1.5 times your shoulder width apart, with legs stretched out straight.
Third, pull the diaper up and over yourself. While holding it up firmly, not tight, make absolutely sure you are in the exact middle of the diaper. You can tell by holding the padding up and wiggling your mid-section around a bit, you should be able to "feel" the correct spot. Then pull one leg at a time in to about equal with shoulder position. While pulling in your legs, guide the padding into position between your legs, following the curvature of your body.
[Please note while doing this: keeping the wings as "fold-free" as possible before applying the tape will make the fit exponentially better!]
Gently tuck the excess of the wing under your bottom if there is any, and tape the side down, keeping the bottom of the tape about 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch above the bottom of the front wing. This will form the padding into a perfect horse-shoe shape, and provide the best possible combination of comfort and leak protection.
[Please note that the tape position must NOT BE UP! It MUST be slightly down, so about perpendicular to your leg. Their position is really dictated by the rear wings. The tape must be pulling straight away from the rear wing to avoid tearing away from the wing and additional stretching.]
Fourth, With just the two bottom tapes attached, transition to a standing position. This will cause the front of the diaper to open quite a bit. Gently pull the front wings around your hips on both sides to take up the slack, and get the front to close the gap between your body. Then, pull the top of the rear wing up so it comes down around your pelvic bone. At this point, bend your knees slightly, and lean forward a little bit.
(Abenas seem to be follow this curvature perfectly, and doing this position will greatly improve overall fit. Be sure to not pull the front padding up too tightly at this point though, or when you stand up straight the top tapes will pop off.)
Gently pull the top of the rear wing back and fourth and wiggle your bottom to get all the slack out. While doing this, re-tighten the front, if needed, and visualize where the tapes will land. They should be pointed DOWN, just like the bottoms, but the angle of the wings will dictate that. Again, the tapes must be PERFECTLY straight with the wings to avoid tearing them off, and additional stretching. At this point is where the packing tape may come into play. If your tapes will not overlap, you could try adding the packing tape as a pseudo landing zone for the tapes. If they DO overlap, then you luck out like me. Make sure the back and front are perfectly tight to your body and apply the tapes. You may want to gently pre-stretch the top tapes, to try and get a tighter fit, but doing so without a landing strip will likely cause them to pop off. Once applied, apply a generous amount of pressure from both the inside and outside of the diaper to cement them in place as best as possible.
So that is what I do to get the best fit possible with the new and "improved" Air-Plus "Premium". I know that was a very granular and precise explanation, but anything less will result in disappointment. Using that method today worked out actually pretty much perfectly for me. It actually managed to stay in position very well while I worked on my tractor, and cut and carried quite a bit of wood around my yard, with nearly no noticeable stretching or sagging issues. I am impressed to say the least.
The unfortunate thing is, I am only impressed because the previous experiences have all been quite bad. I think this method may help, but the fact is, Abena is taking a step in the wrong direction, and they don't seem to care. As many of you know, the plastic backed Abena's are more than likely soon going to be discontinued, and this will be all we have left...
The cloth backed diaper market may, in fact, be larger than the plastic backed one, but it doesn't change the fact that cloth backed diapers suck by default, and there are virtually no benefits to the end-users...
Ranting aside, what do you guys think, did this method work for you, or are the Air-Plus "Premiums" just terrible in every way? Do you know any tricks that I missed? Let us know.