Cloth-diapers

Like many parts of the world, cloth diapers are gaining traction in Singapore too. There was a recent newspaper article which highlighted this trend.

There are two schools of thought which draw people towards cloth-diapering. The first would be the environmental degradation that disposable diapers cause. A child would use up to 5400 diapers in 3 years, which ends up in landfills or, in Singapore’s case, additional trash which needs to be incinerated. The other thought is the cost. A starter of cloth-diapers would cost about $400-$500, but disposable diapers would cost upwards of $2000 and more.

Yet, the take-up rate is slow. A parent even put her name on record that she prefers disposables, that is how mainstream disposable diaper usage is in Singapore. None of my relatives cloth-diaper their kids in the ‘modern cloth diaper’ sense, but they still do cloth diaper then with muslin cloth for the first year or so. The reasoning is that newborns go through several napkin changes a day, and their skins are delicate.

Furthermore, my grandma and aunt claim that baby poo isn’t really that bad smelling cos they don’t have the germs that adult ones have, hence its ‘easier to handle’. Plus, they use a sheet of Napkin Liner, essentially a tough tissue paper, that took most of the solid away for easy washing. This is something the article did not mention when they talked about Muslin cloth diapers.

But the rate of napkin usage has been dropping too. The advent of cloth-backed diapers, replacing plastic-backed ones in the process, ensures that skin-breathability has massively improved.

Which brings us back to why people still use disposables. The first reason is the convenience of wipe-and-throw, and the second is the perceived notion that disposable diapers will never leak. A third reason, as cited in the article, is that many daycare centres do not allow for cloth-backed diapers in their centers.

All three of these reasons have to do with the mindset of ease and convenience. “The environmentalist doesn’t have to deal with baby excretions,” my aunt declared as we debated, which kind of shut me up.

– Selv

Does Wearing Diapers Affect One’s Social Life?

A guy sits at his work desk typing away at his computer for hours. A female executive stands in front of her company’s boardroom doing a presentation. A schoolgirl attends lesson after lesson in school, while a salesperson stands at the cashier, scanning and packaging his customer’s groceries at a supermarket. Ordinary people do ordinary things, even as their clothes hide their incontinence aids.

If you look around all the ABDL and incontinence support sites which attempt to answer this question, most agree that wearing diapers need not hinder your personal aspirations, nor should they stop you from having fun and leading a quality life. By and large, society accepts incontinent folk into their midst, and is somewhat understanding of their predicament.

Yet, school and work is not all that defines a person. Interpersonal relationships also play a part in defining who a person is. A person’s first impression, their language and accent, their fashion style etc. all affect the way others interact with them. Anything abnormal about the person, he/she gets judged – immediately. That is human nature. So throw in the fact that you wear diapers, and you fuel that negative judgement. Mention that you don’t actually need them, and you’d probably damage that relationship.

Incontinent folk don’t have it easy. The need to wear a bulging undergarment, and having to regularly change it would definitely affect their quality of life, as well as that of their closest friends and partners. Friends would have to be mindful of not making toilet-jokes, catering time for their friend to change, making them feel that they can do things despite their dependence on their special underwear. Yet, the social impact here is small, and somewhat socially manageable because the person’s thinking is perceived as normal. Thus clubbing, going out, even sport is possible.

But ABDLs wanting to wear diapers would be in for a rough ride should they choose to pursue being diapered 24/7 without any medical need. These group of people would face the same set of physical challenges i.e finding clothes to mask the diaper, masking the smell, chafing etc. But here, the people around them would be faced with an individual whose thinking is truly unconventional. ‘Why would you WANT diapers when you don’t need them’, they may ask. Often the ABDL’s answer would suggest either a fetistic desire, or an unexplainable ‘inner’ desire. This idea – that this person wants to do something ‘abnormal’ just just because he/she FEELS it would be a turn off for many.

Then there is also the ABDL camp who uses diapers part-time e.g. at night, when home alone etc. This is the category which is very commonly seen. The person could go about their day-to day life just like anyone else. Their school/work, social life could be as ubiquitous as anyone else. This is because the fact that they wear diapers could be well hidden from almost everyone, thus if you work hard to fit into your society, your social life (and indeed your quality of life) should be good.

The problem with the all the above is when it is time to reveal your dependence on diapers to your significant other. For them, it could go either way, from wishing to indulge in diapers too, declaring neutrality, to totally demanding a stop to them. This is something that is beyond your control, something that is dependent on the other party. That is why most ABDLs are asked to focus on building the relationship first, so the relationship is about the couple, not their quirks! Even so, conventional wisdom suggests that one reveals their diapered needs and desires to their significant other BEFORE proposing to them. If you are at the receiving end of the proposal, then do it just after the proposal. Issues such as financing diapers (Monthly it could be $83 for 24/7, $16 for once daily), specific times to use them etc. would need to be worked out.

I’m focusing on the mental aspect of one’s social life in this post, as the physical nature has been analysed over and over again, all over the web. The same things will crop up i.e the need to wear loose fitting clothes, tight short skirts for women would be an issue, chafing while doing exercise, sports and heavy physical activities, the hassle of finding places outside to change regularly to mask smells of pee and poop, added padded comfort while sitting on hard seats, no need to leave your actives halfway to go use the bathroom, no need for extra pads for women on their periods… The list goes on and on.

We shall omit parental views here, for more often than not, they will cover your ass whether or not they agree with your views on being diapered.

In conclusion, I would say that the impact for the incontinent folk is significant, but it can be greatly minimised. But for the ABDL, even the part-timer, wearing diapers can affect one’s social live adversely if you flaunt your diaper to other people who are not in the community.

To Wear Or Not To Wear

     As I sit in my dad’s car, my lower stomach gives yet another jolt. I shift in my seat uncomfortably, hoping that my dad doesn’t notice. But it didn’t have to be this way.
     I’m serving my time in the Army. It is a rite of passage for Singaporean sons, giving up two years of their time to serve/defend their nation yada yada.. And we have to stay in our camps for the working week. Five out of seven days without seeing my laptop (and my bed!) You can already guess what I am going to touch on.
     I spend 5 out of 7 days outside the house. My diapers are inside the house. And I am about 42.195 km away, on the opposite side of the island holed up within the SAF Armour Training Centre. This poses two major problems.
     Firstly, I can’t use the diapers. I have to share my room with about 20 other guys, and wearing a diaper is simply not an option. No need to further elaborate this.
The other big headache, is the constant nagging fear that the diapers (that are about 42.195km away), will be discovered by the parents. Oh, this is the biggest worry that I have whenever I store diapers at home (which is very rare these days).
     I’ve been caught hiding diapers. Several times. So my parents will know the signs when they see it. It takes just one Freudian slip, or a careless pack of wet tissues lying around, and there goes the deck of cards – into the dustbin. Just the very thought of my dad saying those two words (translated: you’ve started again), sends shivers down my spine. For my folks have made it their business to make sure that I do my business the correct way. (Notice I didn’t put quotation marks around correct.)
     So, what do I do about the numb nagging sensation at the bottom of my stomach? Empty it into the filthy camp squatting toilet bowl, or hold it until I’m home diapered, and squatting? This week, I had the luxury of choosing the latter. And here’s the picture of the result.
photo 1(okay, I won’t gross anyone out with such a picture)