Thoughts on the Development of Our Ideas Regarding Diapers and Bed-wetting
It seems that most of our ideas regarding continence related issues such as potty training and bed-wetting are passed down from our parents. Some parents take a more relaxed view of these matters whereas others are more stringent. This is also the case with pediatricians and other medical professionals. For example I saw an ad some years ago by a famous pediatrician(I believe it was T.Berry Brazleton) saying in essence that in terms of potty training parents should let nature take its course and follow the child's natural growth process-when the child is ready the parents should then begin a training regimen.
According to a Mayo Clinic article a large number of children become interested in potty training at age 2 but some don't show an interest until 2 and ½ years or older. As mentioned there should be reasonable parameters established for these situations to rule out physical and/or cognitive problems but we also need to take into consideration the fact that people's bodies develop at different rates. Also some people do have physical and/or cognitive reasons for being delayed in this area. The reason for mentioning people's attitudes regarding toilet training is that many persons extrapolate their ideas from this area onto matters of bed-wetting and diaper use. I n my opinion this extrapolation is not warranted.
Continence and people's conceptions of maturity have been inextricably linked in many person's minds for a long time. I firmly believe it's time to rethink this. People who are delayed in their ability to be continent including bed wetters may have physical and/or cognitive reasons for this and the fact that they have these problems and might need diapers to manage the problems is not a reflection on their “maturity.” People have ailments effecting different parts of their body-their heart,liver,eyes,ears,etc. and use whatever means necessary to correct or manage the problem why should it be any different with a problem like bed-wetting?
People reading this article might come to the conclusion that I believe a person should just use diapers for their bed-wetting due to the emphasis on diapers. Nothing could be further from the truth. As mentioned earlier I don't believe that people should just rely on diapers and not seek out various cures for their bed-wetting. It's very important that a person seek medical advice in order to rule out a potentially serious condition. However,if after seeing a doctor and serious conditions have been ruled out,if all avenues at curing the bed-wetting have proven unsuccessful, are not viable,or not desirable for whatever reason,and if the pull-ups or “Goodnites” are ineffective at protecting the youngster,then the parents need to consider other diapering options such as pin-on diapers covered with plastic pants or disposable tape-on diapers. Although it might take the child or teen some adjustment wearing the diapers,I think in the long run it's better for the child-after all it's unhealthy and unsanitary(not to mention uncomfortable) lying all night in pee soaked bedding and clothing.