We are a self-conscious bunch when we wear in public - I know from experience. Here are some ideas that helped me through; I hope they help you equally.
You're Not Alone -
It can be nerve-wracking to the step out into the world with your deepest secret tucked under your clothing. If you are still on the path to confidence in who you are, you're not alone.
Maybe thoughts like these are circling inside your head:
"Someone's gonna find out."
"What if my shirt rides up?"
"Will a sudden gust of wind expose me?"
"Is that crinkling as loud to them as it seems to me?!"
"What if mutant space aliens come down upon Earth and zap my clothes away and expose my secret to everyone?"
Fortunately, once you know what to expect and how to prevent it, your worries will vanish. If the mutant space aliens come though, well, then you're on your own.
Yes, a disposable diaper crinkles, but most people don't notice, and if they do, they still don't recognize what's making the noise. If you are still worried, these solutions work for me:
■ Pocket change - covers up the crinkling! (Just be careful not to let the coins fall into evil sofas, car seats, or through pocket-holes. They have a reputation for doing so, just ask my car.)
■ Keys - clipped to a belt loop - kill diaper noise and prevent losing keys.
■ Headphones - cranked loud enough their high pitched noise will cover your high-pitched crinkling.
■ Cloth-like Disposables - leak more but crinkle less.
■ Plastic Pants - are an extra sound barrier as well as a leak barrier, especially if your used cloth-backed disposable gets damp when sat on.
■ Intentional Noise - Slamming things on counter tops, purposely opening/closing doors, rustling newspapers; it’s like a mini temper tantrum where you actually get what you want. If all else fails, cough.
Bulk of the Matter -
How much is too much exactly? This answer comes down to personal preference, there is no simple answer. It's important to figure out these factors to determine what you should wear or if you should not wear all together.
"Where am I going?"
"What will I be doing there?"
"How long will I be there?"
"What will the weather be like?"
Go with common sense and ask yourself these important questions when getting ready for your day. If you have to second guess yourself then you probably shouldn't be wearing in the first place. Be practical.
What's that smell? -
■ Change Often - Again, CHANGE OFTEN. If you anticipate not being able to, use deodorant or perfume. Or both. Just don't overdo the perfume or you risk smelling like a skunk on a cheap date.
■ Messing? - Simply don't, if you have any choice in the matter. I don't recommend doing this when out in public. I find it's very disrespectful to others around you who should not have to put up with it. If you're incontinent, that's a different situation all together, and to be honest, it wouldn't be fair to you for me to comment on this subject because I don't do it myself. I know there are some pills out there that help with fecal odors but I'm no doctor so my advice would be to either Google it or consult your physician.
...is easier than you think, with some planning.
■ Where to? - For restrooms, choose gas stations - the smaller the better, as their restroom door is not only outside but requires its own key, giving you complete privacy with no chance of intruders. Just keep your change time short so staff / the public won't bother you.
■ How to? - Practice makes perfect. Learn ahead of time how to re-diaper yourself: practice leaning against a wall and practice pre-taping your disposable and pulling it on. Bear in mind whether your footwear will go through the leg-holes or need to be taken off first.
■ Not alone? - Someone else in the stalls? You can start an air drier on your way in or flush just before you un-tape; flush again if you need to. Consider carrying scissors on your person - small folding ones - to avoid the noise of un-peeling tapes or the tape ripping open the diaper. Have a baggie or at least a grocery bag handy BEFOREHAND.
...should be baggy.
Don't wear short tee-shirts that may ride up. Try wearing a onesie underneath your clothes which will cover the diaper on both ends and look like a simple under shirt. Boxers help with slipping issues along the waistline; any regular underwear over your diaper should cut down its noise. Track pants also cover noise. A hoodie or other clothing that has a tendency to flare out covers the bulge. You might also consider a choosing different diaper which has a thinner profile for wearing in public than the diaper you choose to wear in private.
■ Special mention - Don't keep pulling your shirt down! Most people wearing do this subconsciously or consciously, and it only draws attention to you. Wear clothes you would normally wear. If you don't normally wear track pants, then don't wear track pants just to wear a diaper. People that know you will notice and wonder...what's up? You want to draw attention to yourself as little as possible.
Final Thoughts -
You may think the whole world already knows but they don't. If you are still scared, remember that if anyone does catch you they will probably be more embarrassed than you. If they try to mock you, just tell them you’re incontinent. What can they possibly say after that?
I hope all the grounds I have covered here have helped you bestow some faith in yourself that you can do this. There's really nothing left to say on this matter, so I will simply leave it to you. Good luck.
A special thank-you to Raccoon for help with editing.