Baby diapers and adult diapers may seem very similar to many people but in many aspects, they are very different. The needs for babies and adults are similar but different in many respects and I will go through them. Many of the adult babies and diaper lovers out there want just a bigger version of the baby diapers. While, in my opinion, this can be achieved to some extent – the design characteristics, absorbency, and other factors have to be changed to conform to the adult body and it’s needs.
Baby diapers are made with not only absorbency in mind BUT they aren’t meant to be completely soaked to the brim and sat in for hours upon hours. This is a major difference between many of the adult diapers and baby diapers. Many of the people who wear adult diapers either have to be in a diaper for a longer period of time or choose to stay in a wet or messy diaper for a longer period of time. This is not the case when it comes to baby diapers. Many baby diapers are wet or defecated in once or twice and then changed quite soon after because the risk of chaffing, uncomfortableness, etc comes into play with babies. So, the absorbency of many baby diapers is not designed to hold the maximum amount but rather the average void usually of a baby since most babies do not sit in their diapers for more than an hour or so. While, adult diapers are made with maximum absorbency and is a important factor in buying adult diapers. Adults want good absorbency because they can’t always change their diaper whenever it needs to be changed nor can they risk the chance of leaks of any sort as that would be humiliating to many adults.
The comfort and fit is important both to babies and adults but different factors come into play with each. Most babies bodies are quite similar for the most part while adults body shapes vary. For example, babies thighs can vary but for the most part are fairly similar in size/diameter; but, adults thighs can differ by several inches sometimes in diameter which makes a huge difference in what diaper is going to work for you. Some adult diapers are made with larger leg openings to accommodate larger thighs while some other adult diapers have smaller leg openings that will probably still fit but may be a little tight.
Waistbands are typically an important characteristic in adult diapers because adults like the diaper to hug their waistline and it helps to prevent leaks out of the top of the diaper. This characteristic is not as popular in baby diapers but it does exist. The need for this feature is just not as prevalent for babies as it is for adults.
The infamous one large tape on each side of the diaper is famous in many baby diapers and sought after by some adult babies and diaper lovers. Very few companies have attempted to replicate this “two-tape” (one tape on each side) system for adults because the mechanics behind the design is quite complex and not very feasible. In baby diapers, the one tape on each side is sufficient in supporting the adult diaper enough when it is wet or dirty and is able to prevent too much sagging. But, the average void for adults is a lot larger than babies and causes the adult diaper to become a lot heavier and the one tape on each side system is not able to properly support the diaper. That is why you see many adult diapers with either two tapes on each side or three tapes on each side because adult diapers when they are wet or messed in need the extra support in order to accommodate the extreme weight of the urine or fecal matter.
The thickness of many adult diapers compared to baby diapers is quite different. Baby diapers are used at a high rate and therefore do not require the same absorbency and thus the thickness of the baby diaper is diminished. While, on the other hand, the adult diapers usually require a lot more absorbency (more SAP and pulp) and thus thickness is a lot higher. Thickness is usually a sought after item in the adult baby and diaper lover community but in the incontinence community, thickness is not always a good thing for discreetness purposes.
Overall, the same factors go into baby diapers and adult diapers but in varying degrees. Babies don’t need or want the same things that adults look for in adult diapers. While the baby diaper can be somewhat replicated into adult diapers – in my opinion – the only thing that is not feasible to replicate is the one tape on each side system because it just is not feasible to support adult’s needs when it comes to urine and fecal matter. As nice as a one tape on each side system would be, it might be good for looks, but it presents several problems when it comes to adult diapers. .