How to Use Diapers for Nocturia

Diapers and adult incontinence products provide a clean, dry environment for someone prone to night wetting. Properly using diapers helps a child or adult you are caring for with nocturia maintain a sense of integrity while he is transitioning to or away from using the toilet. Parents and care providers who take the time to make sure the person wearing the diaper is comfortable before putting him to bed will also have a better chance of a good morning the next day.

Choose the appropriate diaper or incontinence product, cover trousers and wipes. Diapers are available in cloth, disposable, recycled paper, plastic coated and/or pull-up style. You may want to use cloth or recycled paper diapers that are biodegradable if you prefer to reduce pollution. Cloth diapers are covered with a separate plastic, fleece or wool pant to minimise leaks. If you prefer to handle human waste as little as possible you may want to use disposable gloves and diapers. For children or adults who can easily step into a diaper the pull-up style disposable underwear allows them to preserve dignity and get dressed with minimal help. Choose the size of diaper and/or pant based on the person's weight and build. Sometimes a diaper may indicate it is for a certain pound range, but does not fit properly. Experiment with different sizes to get the right fit. Wipes are available in stores or you can simply use a clean washcloth with warm water.

Have enough diapers and/or trousers available for the time frame needed. You can purchase diapers at a local discount store, online or you can even make your own cloth diapers.

Store the diapers discreetly. If you are caring for an adult or older child who may feel embarrassed about using diapers, keep them in an area that feels best to the person.

Choose a protective pad for the bed. Even the best diapers can leak. It is worth looking around for a good fit to prevent them, but it is also advisable to purchase or make a protective pad for the bed. Pads are available at a local discount store, online or you can make one by washing and shrinking a wool blanket. Place the protector under the bed sheet or the person, depending on which type you get.

Communicate with the person about how they would like to maintain privacy. If you are using diapers for a pre-verbal child it is appropriate to change her in a private area. An older child or adult will have her own need for privacy that you can work with.

Close the door or use a bathroom. If there are windows the curtains may need to be pulled. Privacy measures ensure the person's dignity is respected and left intact.

Don't talk about diaper or elimination needs in front of other people. Even small children can be sensitive to the judgments that may come from others. Keep conversations between you and the person who is using the diapers.

Put on the diaper immediately before bed and change when wet. If able have the person use the toilet before putting on the diaper. Use disposable gloves if preferred and remove the wet diaper. If the person is lying down lift the buttocks slightly and slide the diaper out. Wipe from front to back with a clean wipe or cloth. Allow the area to dry.

Apply ointment or powder if needed. Dust or spread a light layer of ointment or powder in the diaper area if it helps the person stay comfortable.

Let the person help with the steps he can to put on a clean, dry diaper. Make sure the diaper fits snug, but not too tight. You should be able to put your finger under the diaper waist and leg bands. If the diaper leaves red marks or causes pain it is too tight.

Dispose of or wash diaper. If there is bowel movement in the diaper shake it into the toilet and flush. Dispose of the diaper or place cloth diapers in a cold wash.

Things You'll Need

  • Diapers
  • Cover trousers
  • Wipes
  • Protective pad for bed
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About the Author

Amy Phoenix began writing professionally in 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications, including Mothering. Phoenix is a certified parent educator, trained meditation facilitator, and enjoys writing about natural health, parenting, spirituality, and organization.