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AB/DLs in Diapers Already

By B. Terrance Grey

If there is one commonality typical of Adult Babies and Diaper Lovers (AB/DLs), it is the desire to wear diapers again. However, even this is not universal. While many AB/DLs wondered what it would be like to be back in diapers, some did not. This is because they were still in diapers or were back in them already, before their desires surfaced. They might have bedwet into their childhood, or been incontinent.

However, some properties were not affected by these experiential differences. Specifically, the age of onset for AB/DLs in diapers has a similar distribution to that of AB/DLs who were not in diapers. This suggests that the dominant factors affecting the development of paraphilic infantilism or diaper fetishism are similar between the two groups. A factor which is not common to the two groups, being in diapers into childhood, would then not be dominant.

Based on these observations, it seems clear that AB/DLs who stayed in diapers are not that different from AB/DLs who, after getting out of diapers, wanted to return to them. AB/DLs who are incontinent or who bedwet might have had very different experiences than AB/DLs who did not. However, except for the effects of that experience, they and their desires are not that different.

Sections: Method - Results and Discussion - Conclusion and Limitations

Edit 23 December 2016: This paper initially noted a few trends and speculated that they were due to the absence of a small population who weren't feeling a desire for diapers because they already wore diapers for other reasons. Because of the more conservative significance testing implemented as part of the tenth year standards update, these trends were no longer statistically significant. The results and discussion have been updated, and text relating to that speculation was cut. A paragraph on limitations was added to what was previously the conclusion section. The bedwetting curves were removed from the figure on onset age, since the implication that the AB/DLs in diapers were so for bedwetting, as opposed to other forms of incontinence, wasn't explored in the initial text. Some text as well as figures on orientation, primary fetishism, and views as a teen were cut for brevity. Some text from results and discussion was moved to the introduction.

There is a classic cause-and-effect narrative that is often retold among AB/DLs: A pubescent boy goes through early sexual experiences in diapers. Diapers and sexuality become associated, and a lifelong diaper fetish is cemented. This cause-and-effect narrative is of interest to AB/DLs who weren't in diapers at puberty because it offers an intuitive explanation, even though it might not be relevant to them.

Many AB/DLs appear to follow a typical profile: They were raised in diapers, but were taken out of them at toilet training. Then, years or decades later, they desired to wear diapers again. Often, they are without a clue about why their desires occurred. In contrast, there are some AB/DLs who were in diapers late, or who were put back in them for some reason. Comparing the two groups might show us a little about both groups.


This study used data from the first of the AB/DL survey series, as previously detailed by the author (Grey, 2006). The 38-question online survey was composed and posted to the Internet at the author's website, understanding.infantilism.org. The questions briefly explored interests, practices, and backgrounds of AB/DLs. The survey was announced to a number of email and web-based AB/DL communities. Participation was voluntary and anonymous.

A total of 1489 responses were received for this survey, excluding responses from minors and probable duplicates. To avoid averaging across dissimilar groups, the data presented here will be for non-transgendered, male AB/DLs. Of these, 1066 1 self-identified as AB/DLs and completed all the relevant questions. The questions relevant to this paper are self-identification on the AB-to-DL range (S1Q4); sex (S1Q5); orientation (S1Q7); the importance of aspects feeling/sound/smell of diapers (S1Q8), sex (S1Q9), control (S1Q10), babyhood (S1Q11), and convenience (S1Q12); onset type (S1Q14) and onset age (S1Q15); views on being an AB/DL as a teen (S1Q17); and the sexual arousal of diapers relative to a sexual partner (S1Q34). Of those, 8% (85) reported being in diapers at onset.

In this study, onset refers to the first awareness of the desires wear diapers or act like a baby, or the first action along these lines. The onset age would then be the AB/DL's age of this first memory either of having uncommon desires or acting upon them. One factor complicating the study of paraphilic infantilism and diaper fetishism is that their causes and the observation of their effects might be separated by long periods of time. This would be the age at which the participant first remembered having an unusual desire for diapers and/or babyhood, or remembered acting on those desires. If these desires are rooted in a time when the boy or girl was in diapers, then the cause might be separated from the effect by several years in most cases. This study will contrast a special case - those who were still in diapers

Each participant was asked to choose the most appropriate onset type and age. There were seven options for the onset type, in addition to a fill-in-the-blank area. The first option is referred to as Always: 'My interests were there before, but at some time I realized that I was different; that others around me did not share the interest.' The second, Event: 'My interests were probably caused by a specific event (stumbling across a reference to AB/DL activities somewhere, getting introduced to it, an incident of emotional trauma, trying a new kink, sexual abuse, etc.)' The third, Date: 'My interests started at a certain time, but I'm not sure what event caused them.' The fourth, Practiced: 'I remember acting on my interests in diapers and babyhood, but don't remember when they started or when I realized that they made me different.' The fifth, In diapers: 'I was wearing diapers already for bedwetting or incontinence, and noticed that I was starting to enjoy wearing them or being a baby.' The two remaining options were for those who decided to add elements of diapers or babyhood to existing BDSM, ageplay, etc., interests; or who still aren't interested in diapers or babyhood. The age associated with these recollections would be an upper limit: The desires would have formed either at that age or at some time before.

Figure 1 - A bar chart showing the sample size, broken down by onset type and age, for non-transgendered male AB/DLs.
Figure 1, Sample size by Onset Age and Type. A bar chart showing the sample size, broken down by onset type and age, for non-transgendered male AB/DLs, based on S1Q14 and S1Q15.

Results and Discussion

That cause-and-effect narrative was echoed by survey participants. For example, one man wrote "I would wake up in my soaked night diapers with a hard-on and end up masturbating and then soaking my soaked diapers even more." However, other events were described as well. An AB/DL who reported an onset age of 15 wrote "I was a bedwetter my whole life off and on not every night. But my mother would force me to wear diapers and plastic pants up until I was 14 when she stopped I realized I enjoyed it." Another who reported an onset age of 24 wrote "Home from Iraq and started wetting the bed at night. After wearing diapers I became attached to how they made me feel. From that point I found being treated like baby was a big interest."


There are no cases of paraphilic infantilism and diaper fetishism that have been confirmed to not have worn diapers during their infancy. However, the use of diapers later in life might not directly cause these conditions, as suggested by the data plotted in Figure 2. If being in diapers itself caused people to become AB/DLs, trends in diaper use would be reflected in the onset ages of AB/DLs. Unlike the distribution of bedwetting, the distribution of boys in diapers in the general population was not available for contrast. About 36% of five-year-old boys bedwet and so might be in diapers for it, dropping exponentially by about quarter each year afterwards (Byrd, 1996). Anecdotal irregularities might occur. For example, 3% of girls start wetting the bed again at 12 years of age age (also Byrd, 1996). While this bears a superficial similarity to the onset age curves for AB/DLs who reported being in diapers, their onset age curve isn't significantly different from that of other AB/DLs (with two-year bins except for 0-4, and 17+, Χ2[7]=4.03, p=.8).

Figure 2 - A line chart of the onset ages for non-transgendered male AB/DLs who reporting being in diapers at the time, versus other onset groups.
Figure 2, Onset Age Histogram, in Diapers.1 This plot shows the onset ages for non-transgendered male AB/DLs who reporting being in diapers at the time, versus other onset groups, based on S1Q14 and S1Q15.

The key observation from the onset ages is that the dominant factors determining the reported age of onset for AB/DLs in diapers are similar to those not in diapers. This suggests that the dominant factors are common to those either in diapers or not in diapers at onset.


Since the narrative mentions diaper fetishes as an effect, it seems a reasonable place to start. Eight percent (seven individuals) of those who reported being in diapers at onset reported a primary diaper fetish, that is, not being able to imagine a sexual partner that was as arousing as a diaper, contrasted with 11% (107) of AB/DLs who reported other onset types. The difference was not statistically significant, Χ2(1)=0.58, p=.4. This suggests that the classic cause-and-effect narrative might be more anecdote than archetype. Those who go through puberty in diapers aren't more likely to develop diaper fetishes than those who do not.

The survey also asked about sexual orientation, using a five-point range between heterosexual and homosexual plus a solo option. However, here too, those who reported being in diapers at onset did not differ significantly from other onset groups (either Heterosexual or Bi, leaning toward Heterosexual vs. other options, Χ2[5]=3.25, p=.5.)

AB/DLs who were in diapers might have more positive view of their desires than other AB/DLs did during their teens, although this effect was not significant, 25% vs. 17%, Χ2(1)=2.98, p=.08, possibly due to sample size. Any effect on the probability of reporting specific aspects of AB/DL games, scenes, and fantasies as either important or very important was also not significant; feeling, sound, and smell of diapers, 94% vs. 89%, Χ2(1)=1.96, p=.2; sex, 49% vs. 48%, Χ2(1)=0.10, p=.7; control, 47% vs. 39%, Χ2(1)=2.39, p=.1; babyhood, 46% vs. 46%, Χ2(1)=0.01, p=.9; convenience of diapers, 73% vs. 65%, Χ2(1)=2.06, p=.2.

Conclusions and Limitations

While AB/DLs who had desired to be put back in diapers and those who were already in diapers when their desires started might seem worlds apart in their experiences, the survey results suggest that they are more similar than different. That is, the differences in experiences clearly affected the distribution of certain types of AB/DL. However, the various types are largely common between those who were and were not in diapers at onset.

Additionally, the various factors causing or influencing the desire for diapers and/or babyhood don't appear to have been greatly affected by the presence of diapers. This is shown by the distribution of the onset ages reported by AB/DLs who were in diapers, which did not differ significantly from the reported onset ages of those who were not in diapers at the time. A number of other properties were examined, and found not to be significantly different between AB/DLs who were in diapers at onset, and AB/DLs who were not.

Based on these observations, it seems clear that AB/DLs who desired to return to diapers are not that different that AB/DLs who were in diapers already. AB/DLs who are incontinent or who bedwet might have had different experiences than AB/DLs who did not, but they themselves are not that different.

Erratum 14 Feb 2017: For two months, these results mistakenly included some participants who left S1Q15 (onset age) blank. Values shown for them were due to a software bug. Correcting this error changed the sample size from 1097 to 1066. Except for the mode onset age for AB/DLs in diapers (Figure 2, at age 5 yrs, which dropped 2%) the effect on the results was small (1% of the population or less after rounding). No contrasts became or ceased to be statistically significant.

Email BitterGrey[mail] Last Update: 14 Feb 2017| First: 17 January 2009

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[icon] Books and Other References:
  1. Byrd RS, Weitzman M, Lanphear NE. Bedwetting in US children epidemiology and related behavior problems. Pediatrics. 1996;98 (3 pt 1):414-419 (PDF)
  2. Grey, B. T. (2006)The Range Between AB and DL Retrieved from http://understanding.infantilism.org/surveys/between_ab_and_dl.php
  3. Grey, B. T. (2008)Girls, Boys, and Diapers Retrieved from http://understanding.infantilism.org/surveys/girls_boys_and_diapers.php

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