Last year about this time I made the decision to go diapered 24/7 come hell or high water. I thought I'd post some of my experiences and tips as to how it went.
At first I limited myself to using a few common brands of diapers I could get easily/locally:
- Depends Maximum Protection
- Certainty (Walgreens brand)
- Tranquility ATN and Slimline
- Tena Super
Within the first three months I had to completely stop using Depends and the Certainty as, well, let’s just say they're terrible products if used alone, although, if you shear the tabs and wings off the Certainty and cut a long slot in the backing they make great boosters for the Depends. Overall though it's not really economical to do this as a higher quality diaper is simply better for your skin and easier on the dollar.
All in all I went through 10 packages of the Depends and 5 packages of the Certainty. I still have about 20 of each left over, which I simply don't plan on using. I started off with buying the medium sized Depends and found that larges simply fit better and leak less as I can get them on tighter. After my 5th leak with them I started experimenting with using the Certainty as a booster. However, due to the bulk of them when they're wet they're impossible to conceal under anything but the baggiest of pants, so they became my night and days-off diaper combination for a good three months.
After that 5th aggravating leak I went and found a local medical supply place that kept Tena products. I tried several of their products, mostly the Tena Supers and Ultras in large. I still use them as a nighttime/morning diaper on occasion. The lack of standing leak guards can result in a leak should you need to use them while standing up. If they aren't on so tight around the leg gathers that you're cutting off circulation, they will spring a large embarrassing leak. Laying down protection is darned good and I've yet to have wet sheets as a result, either from laying on my back or on my side. However the much touted "clothlike" backing means that they tend to "sweat" a little if I try and wear them all day. It’s not an "all day" diaper. Also, if I was dehydrated, it could lead to a very slight odor problem.
The same distributor also had the Tranquility ATN's and Slimline briefs. These are currently my daytime diapers and they work very well all day. I typically only need one per day. They're really good at wicking wetness away and I can get 4 or 5 wettings before needing to change. For funsies I did try flooding them and they're not very tolerant to more than two floodings. The backing is incredibly soft as well as the liner; it’s almost like wearing fur underwear. However, the tapes are not the best. They use a double tape system that has a blue plastic slip to which the actual tape tab attaches. It took me a good week to figure out exactly where to place them on my diaper. Once you put them down they don't come off without tearing the backing and then refastening is an impossibility at that point. So it's a one-shot deal. The plastic backing is also somewhat weak, so to get them on good and tight I use wide packing tape to double up on the tabs and keep them in place.
Plastic backed diapers are by far the best out of the disposables as far as odor and leak protection goes. I won't even consider a diaper for daytime use unless it has standing leg guards. Rustling and bulk from a wet diaper is easily controlled with boxer briefs. They'll also absorb minor leaks should you experience any.
When I first started wearing 24/7, work was very problematic. I was using Depends at the time and they're maybe a one or two use diaper before you have to change, so I was tearing through them at a decent rate, like 3-4 per day. It was not economical. Basically anytime I wet more than the slightest amount I'd have to go and immediately change, because if I'd go to do some desk work I'd invariably be changing my pants as well. I'll never forget the day I wet them, was on my way to change in the restroom, and got pulled into a meeting, where I sat on them for 30 min. and could feel the moisture creeping down the back of my leg. I was lucky to be wearing black that day, and made sure I was first out of the room. That day was the end of the solo-Depends work diaper. I improvised shortly after with using the Certainty diaper cut down into a ghetto-booster for the Depends. Foolishly I bought a case of the Depends and needed to use them up.
I make a point of not using my diapers for bowel movements if I can possibly help it. Although in the spirit of going 24/7 it wouldn't be fair if I didn't use them for their intended purpose. So I went toilet-less for 2 months. It was during this time that I gained a greater sense of understanding for people that are actually totally incontinent. If you want to remain discreet about your diaper use, going toilet-less basically makes that impossible should you have a bowel movement in your diaper. You'll go from smelling normal to sewer in about 30 seconds. Again, work presented its biggest challenge here as I'd basically have to have a bowel movement and then change immediately. I never had any messy leaks, as I'd switched to using the Tranquility by then, and as far as bowel movements go, unless it's diarrhea, any diaper will take a bowel movement like a champ.
I went totally toilet-less for two months, and I doubt I'll go toilet-less again, though I am glad that I did it. IC people have my absolute and utter sympathy. My whole life basically changed, I avoided going anywhere or doing anything because should I need to change either for wetting or a bowel movement, it would have been hard to explain to friends and family why I needed to take my gym bag, which has my diapers in it.
Since then I'm still diapered 24/7 with regards to numero uno, and I've only had one bout of diaper rash. That was no fun at all.
Anyway, cheers! I hope you all find this an interesting read or edifying in some manner.