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Understanding Infantilism (.org)
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How to do ... what ABDLs do

By B. Terrance Grey

Sections: Diapers - Sex - Babyhood and Roleplay - Coming out - Moderation

While the basic desires of ABDLs are simple, a wide range of practices and a large body of how-to knowledge have developed. While there are some important points (this first section), neither ABDLs nor non-ABDLs are expected to know all the details. Specific FAQs are available for parents.

Briefly put, the superset of ABDL practices includes anything diaper-related, anything babies or children might enjoy, anything adults might enjoy, and some details that are necessary since ABDLs aren't real kids. However, it is unlikely that any particular ABDL will enjoy all of these.

An ABDL's process of learning what he enjoys may be a lifelong journey. (While not all ABDLs are men, we'll use the male pronoun for brevity.) Binge-purge cycles might be a problem early in this journey, and later on, habituation might be a problem. About halfSTATS of all ABDLs go through binge-purge cycles, which can be troubling and costly if not properly managed. Later, as the ABDL becomes more experienced, habituation will occur. Habituation causes the newness of repeated activities to fade. While ABDLs should be open to trying new things, they should be aware that they won't stay new.

The best way for someone else to learn about the interests of any particular ABDL is to ask him. The ABDL and his partner will need to communicate their desires and boundaries. This process is called "negotiation." It should take place before roleplay and in a mature headspaceDEF. In addition to the more pleasant details of checking and changing, the partners should discuss elements of their biology or past that can flare up during roleplay, commonly called "landmines." They also need to maintain balance in the relationship as a whole, compromising so that the needs of both partners are met in a way that will last for the long-term. Unlike a chronological baby, the adult baby won't outgrow diapers and/or babyhood.

Since these details are things chronological babies wouldn't be concerned with, they are easily overlooked. However, they can prevent long-term stability and happiness if overlooked. With them out of the way, we can briefly touch on some of the more enjoyable ABDL practices. Below is a more detailed but incomplete summary of the interests of the ABDL community. Most individuals would be interested in some but not all of them. Generally, those who are strictly adult babies will emphasize roleplay and babyhood, while those who are strictly diaper lovers engage in them. However, many ABDLs aren't strictly one or the other, but a mix of bothSTATS.

Diapers

For most, diapers are critical part of being an ABDL, with about half strongly preferring a specific typeSTATS. Depending on the type, this may include plastic pants, rubber pants, or less often decorative covers. ABDLs may enjoy the feeling of bulk and warmth, and may add thickness by doublingDEF or stuffingDEF. The diaper may be decorated with stickers or babyish prints. The covers might also have babyish prints, lace, or rumba panty ruffles. The diaper type of fantasy is often the one that was common when the ABDL was a small child, not necessarily the one he or she was raised in. ABDLs might enjoy looking at themselves in diapers, simply relaxing, or shopping for diapers. The may also collect or customize diapers, pants, etc. They may also enjoy the scent of diapers as well as the scent or application of baby powders and oils.

ABDLs may also enjoy the sounds of the diaper, particularly the disposable's plastic backsheet. A number of companies produce diapers specifically for ABDLs with this backsheet (silenced in many mainstream adult diapers). These ABDL-specific diapers may also come with a babyish print and may have only one pair of tapes.

ABDLs may wear diapers under clothes in public. Some are stealthy so that the diapers can't be detected, and most are discreteSTATS.

Diaper changes may also be enjoyed. Changing from underwear into diapers, especially in public restrooms, can be awkward. Wearing only one or two cloth diapers a week can also have its complications.

About half of ABDLs have either worn diapers 24/7 and liked it, or would like to try itSTATS. However, the enjoyment of actually wearing diapers 24/7 varies. Some enjoy wearing diapers all the time, while others find wearing them intermittently more enjoyable and/or more practical. ABDLs should consider the pros, cons, and options when deciding how often to wear diapers. Analogous to eating when hungry, an ABDL should want to wear diapers more, unless he is already are already wearing too often.

An ABDL may shave his diaper area to aid in feeling babyish and to make cleanup easier during diaper changes.

Wetting

Most ABDLs enjoy wetting diapersSTATS. This may include the process of wetting itself, being in a wet diaper, or less often, letting others wet their diaper. About halfSTATS had a 'shy bladder' which made wetting diapers difficult. With practice, ABDLs might also be able to develop easier, more frequent, and less intentional wetting when wearing diapers.

Adult diaper wearers are more prone to leak than babies are, because physics is unfair. Men will also need to be careful of penis position, since this also affects the tendency to leak.

Some ABDLs also enjoy wetting pants, etc.

Messing/rectal activities

ABDLs are divided over messingSTATS. Many events specifically exclude messing due to the odor, and many ABDLs consider cleanup after to be unpleasant. ABDLs may take chlorophyllDEF, Devrom® (bismuth subgallate), or activated charcoal to reduce the odor. They also may simulate messing with oatmeal or bananas. Other rectal activities include enemas, temperature-taking, and wearing a butt plug.

Incontinence

Many ABDLs enjoy the thought of having "accidents" or of helplessly needing diapers. Some would choose to be incontinentSTATS. Some progressively untrainSTATS or start to dribble small amounts. Some ABDLs have tried hypnosis STATS with limited success, possibly due to the need for compatibility. Ironically, the intent might be to achieve a babylike precontinence.

WARNING: Some ABDLs attempt to loose short term urinary control by catheterizationSTATS (which includes a risk of serious infections) or withholding urine to cause desperation (which might cause kidney damage).

Rectal incontinence is easier to simulate using laxatives as some ABDLs doSTATS.

Sex

While most ABDLs find partners as arousing or more arousing than diapersSTATS, many ABDLs find diapers sexually stimulatingSTATS. Diaper sex might involve masturbation by hand, vibrator, etc., or rubbing the outside of the worn diaper on a partner or object ("dry humping"). The diaper may be wet or have a lubricant inside it. Some ABDLs omit the diaper, wearing only plastic or rubber pants.

However, many don't consider sex an important part of being an ABDLSTATS, and many exclude sex from times of roleplay or regressionSTATS. They might defer sex to avoid being 'adult' or in favor of an innocence associated with infancy. Some ABDLs go a step further, with the diaper providing genital isolation itself or in combination with a conventional chastity cage or belt.

Babyhood and Roleplay

Many ABDLs engage in roleplaySTATS. The archetypal, but not universal, ABDL scene involves a male ABDL assuming the role of a baby, and a woman assuming the role of mommy. Many ABDLs enjoy a sense of babyhoodSTATS, with toddler being a more common age than newbornSTATS. It may involve acting like a baby - crawling, crying, etc. Unlike a baby's biological age, an adult baby's ages in fantasy and roleplay may be different and don't need to align with any specific set of age-defining features. ABDL roleplay is comparable to sadomasochistic roleplay, but with differences in content, tone, and terminology.

More often than not, roleplay involves getting into a regressedDEF headspaceSTATS. This may be described as going into a less stressful state of mind, forgetting about the stresses of life, or allowing their inner self out.

Caregivers

Many ABDLs enjoy or think they would enjoy being changed by someone elseSTATS and having someone else control when they get changedSTATS. They may also enjoy having their diapers checked to see if a change is needed. This serves as a reminder that they are in diapers, are being cared for, and that someone else is making the decisions.

Non-sexual physical contact is also enjoyed; cuddling, being held, snuggling, hugging, curling up together, etc. Adult babies might also enjoy being spoken to as if they were small, having their hair brushed, being bounced on a knee, etc.

Few ABDLs have visited professional mommies or caregiversSTATS.

Some male ABDLs are willing to be daddies to ABDLs and ageplaying littlesDEF. Almost none of the ABDL women would choose to be mommies.

Oral/Nursing/Feeding

Pacifiers are common among adult babies, although long-term use may affect the teeth. Larger nearly-adult pacifiers such as the Nuk® 5 are becoming more available. They may be attached to clothing by a pacifier clip. Drinking from a baby bottle is also common. The nipple may have been modified for a higher flow. The contents of the bottle vary, with milk being most popular, followed by water, apple juice, and formula. Less common liquids include tea, beer, and wine. Other adult babies prefer sippy cups. There is also interest in being breastfed, although getting a partner to lactateEXT is difficult. Falling asleep while nursing may cause decay in adult teeth over the long-term.

Adult babies also sometimes enjoy sucking their thumbs.

Some adult babies enjoy baby food, other soft food, or being spoon-fed.

Toys and objects

Many ABDLs have stuffed animals, but their significance variesSTATS. These stuffed animals are snuggled, carried, slept with, etc. Building blocks (especially Legos®), blankies, dolls, rattles, Tonka® trucks, etc., might also be enjoyed. Few adult babies have custom adult baby furnitureSTATS. ABDLs should give some consideration to what will happen to their paraphernalia, especially any furniture, when they move, die, etc.

Clothes

Some adult babies have custom adult baby clothesSTATS. The most popular clothes are footed sleepers ("footies", increasingly available for men) and Onesies™DEF. Adult babies might also enjoy shortallsDEF, overalls, jumpersDEF, rompersDEF, tights, etc. These may have been modified to have a snap crotch. Some male ABDLs dress as baby girlsSTATS. (They are called sissies and are not necessarily transsexual.) Sissy/baby girl clothing is more lavish, often pink and frilly, and may range into clothing for older girls.

In contrast, some ABDLs enjoy wearing just a diaper, or diaper and T-shirt (particularly loose, oversized T-shirts) around the house.

Activities

The most common adult baby activities include watching children's TV or movies, and coloring in coloring books. These can be done individually and inexpensively. At home, other popular activities include getting baths (especially with bubbles), being read to, playing pretend, and building blanket forts. Some sissies in particular are fond of playing playing dress-up. Away from home, activities include playing in the park (especially swings and jungle gym), climbing trees, and visiting the zoo.

Physical activities might be moderated or constrained, because the adult babies aren't kids anymore.

Sleeping

Some ABDLs enjoy naps and sleeping, especially in cribs and with plastic or rubber sheets, and especially with a stuffed animal. They may enjoy wearing a diaper to bed, waking up in a wet diaper, etc. They may also enjoy bedtime rituals, including having a specific bed time, bedtime stories, lullabies, and being tucked in.

Domination

Some ABDLs enjoy a loss or transfer of controlSTATS, and some enjoy non-baby themed masochistic activitiesSTATS. However, ABDLs are split on whether they would choose to mix baby-themed and non-baby-themed elementsSTATS. This sense of loss of control or of being forced to do something can be achieved in a number of ways. With the exception of self-bondage, hypnosis, laxatives, etc., these require a dominant partner. Spanking was the most popular means of domination, although not baby-themed. Some enjoyed measures to prevent diaper removal, such as mittens or locking panties. Baby-themed or child-themed approaches include time-outs/corner time, scolding, wearing a child harness and reins, and swaddling.

These may include verbal humiliation or exposure.

Coming out

Most ABDLs grew up with the expectation that they wouldn't be acceptedSTATS, and so the decision to be open about their interests with someone - to come out - is difficult. Most spouses knowSTATS, along with many friendsSTATS, some parentsSTATS, and few coworkersSTATS.

Being an ABDL complicates the parent-child relationship, irrespective of whether it is the parent or the child who is an ABDL.

Community

There are many ways for ABDLs to connect with each other if they are over 18. There are a number of ABDL-specific online forums, such as ADISCEXT and DailyDiapersEXT. An email-based group, Big Babies, Infantilists, and Friends (BBIF)EXT, also has some regional chapters.

Local groups will often have a social lunch or dinner meeting at a restaurant, called a munchDEF. These munches are open, in contrast to parties or other gatherings, which may be by invitation only. ABDLs seeking to start a local community in their area should consider starting a munch.

The ABDLs in the furry fandom, called babyfursDEF or diaperfurs, also meet at furry conventions and on multiplayer online games, such as FurryMUCK.

Media

ABDLs might also collect stories, pictures, artwork, etc., as well as create new ones. While there are a lot of pictures of women models in diapers, the main character in favorite ABDL media items was often male, someone the ABDL wanted to be like. This is in contrast to conventional pornography, which generally focuses on a desired sexual partner. However innocent an ABDL's desire to be a baby is, because of this contrast there is a risk that collections of baby pictures might be misinterpreted by non-ABDLs.

Moderation

Implicit in any discussion of practices is the awareness that no single activity, no matter how enjoyable, can be the source of lasting happiness. Self-discovery and relationship building are journeys, not destinations.


- Updated:6 Jan 2015  1st:18 Jan 2006     

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