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Older Children, Bed-Wetting, and Self-Diapering
I briefly covered this issue in an earlier post on Health Central Network. This issue worries me and therefore I believe that it should be addressed in more detail. I have read on this and other websites about parents and babysitters diapering older children with bedwetting problems. Some of these children are 9 years old or older. As we all know, bedwetting can be very stressful, and in my opinion this stress can be made worse if parents don’t allow their child to put on their own protection. I am by no means a child care expert, but my intuition tells me that a child over 3-4 years of age should learn how to put on diapers on their own.
As mentioned in a previous post, I had a friend who had to babysit a 6 year old. She was telling me that she had to put diapers on the child before going to bed. Because of his age I assumed he was potty trained and the reason he was wearing diapers was a bedwetting problem. She told me he ran through the house naked and screaming and refused to let her diaper him, which I can’t say because I blame him.
I believe that an older child, adolescent or teenager should wear diapers to bed if all attempts to cure it have failed and other clothing such as covers and “Goodnites” do not offer adequate protection, but I also believe that young people should be responsible for putting on their own protection unless they have some cognitive and/or physical disability that makes it difficult or prevents them from doing so. Swaddling an older child in diapers has the potential to drastically affect the child’s mental health for years to come.
There are certain tasks that can be performed by youth who are not cognitively or physically impaired, including tying shoes, putting on clothes, etc. In my opinion, wearing diapers would also fall into this category.
If parents are concerned that the child may not fasten the diapers properly and thus cause a diaper leak, parents can show the child how to fasten the diapers properly. One way to do this is to lay the diaper on the bed, have the child sit in the diaper, and teach him how to properly fold and fasten the diapers. I would do it while the child is small because the older the child gets, the more uncomfortable it will feel. This is a very sensitive area for children. Many children who wet the bed feel self-conscious and embarrassed about wearing diapers to bed (although as I’ve pointed out many times they shouldn’t be), and having parents diaper them will make them feel more self-conscious and embarrassed. Also, bedwetting makes many children feel helpless, and parents putting diapers on the child reinforces the feeling of helplessness. That is why children should be taught independence in this as soon as possible.
As for pin-on diapers, some parents are afraid that the child could be stuck with pins. This is certainly a legitimate concern, but if the proper precautions are taken, it shouldn’t be a problem. I spoke to someone in customer service at a company that sells cloth diapers and plastic pants for older children and adults with bedwetting problems to get her to look into the situation and she told me that at age 7 and under, parents should probably buckle up diapers, above 7 years it would depend on the child’s development. I believe that the same steps that were taken with disposable diapers can be taken with needle diapers. Again, parents should lay the diapers on the bed, let the child sit in them, and teach him how to fasten the diapers properly. I cannot stress this enough – children need to be taught at an early age how to be independent in this area.
Another idea I have for teaching young people how to be self-sufficient in this area is as follows. I don’t know how feasible this idea is and I admit it’s a bit unusual, but as the saying goes, in many situations it’s good to think outside the box. Many community colleges use mannequins to demonstrate certain medical techniques to nursing students. Parents could talk to the head of nursing at their community college and see if they can borrow a mannequin and then use the mannequin to teach the child the proper way to fasten a diaper. If the head of the nursing department asks why you want to borrow the doll, you can explain that you have a child who wears diapers because of a bedwetting problem and you want to use the doll to learn how to fasten diapers properly. If you are unable to borrow a doll, you can ask them if they have any suggestions on what to do in this situation. I imagine buying something like this at a medical supply store would be expensive so a community college nurse might have ideas on alternative approaches to the situation. Also, you might want to call your local medical/hospital supply store and see if they have any ideas. on how to deal with this matter. As I mentioned earlier, this is a very delicate situation that has the potential to cause irreparable psychological damage to the child.
I wonder if some parents diaper their older child because they may be missing the closeness of the parent/child relationship on some level, and this is a way to recreate that. Some parents consciously or subconsciously want to keep their child at a certain level of development because the parents do not want to give in emotionally. It must be emphasized that these are only guesses and I am not saying that this is necessarily the case with all parents who put diapers on their older child, but the fact that it could be a factor in some people and if this is the case should be taken into account. contact a mental health professional to prevent emotional harm to the child.
I hope people understand that this article is not meant to be a criticism of anyone’s parenting skills. The purpose is to help people understand that children are very sensitive about these kinds of issues. Children need their privacy and independence in these areas, and not respecting this makes them feel undignified. I hope this helps people see this issue in a new light. As always, I feel that dialogue on these matters is very important and I welcome any constructive thoughts on this matter…
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#Older #Children #BedWetting #SelfDiapering