Understanding Infantilism (.org)

Parents' Frequenty Asked Questions

You might be reading this because your son told you he likes to wear diapers. If so, he showed a lot of courage and faith in your relationship in deciding to tell you. Or, more likely, you found diapers that your son had hidden, or wet/soiled underclothes, etc. Either way, the discovery can be quite a shock.

No one can claim to be certain how to respond to this discovery: All children are unique, but hopefully these answers can help you.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer, communication within the family is generally important. He might be seeking your acceptance and understanding. You should be able to share your concerns, as well as expectations regarding privacy and discretion.

Male pronouns will be used for simplicity. While there are girls that enjoy diapers, they are greatly outnumbered by the boys.


You probably will need to ask your son why. Before asking, consider mentioning that you are aware that some men enjoy wearing diapers. Some boys might be tempted to say they need the diapers to avoid the topic of wanting them. He might think he is the only one in the world wants diapers.

He might say that the diapers are for a genuine need. For example, he might have started having accidents or wetting the bed again. Please don't assume that he's lying, but don't miss the opportunity to stress that medical treatment ideally doesn't lead to diapers. Make it clear that treatment will have the goal of correcting the problem, eliminating the need for diapers. After all, diapers are troublesome and expensive.

The accidents or bedwetting might also be due to a psychological need, separate from wanting diapers. These should be discussed with the pediatrician or urologist while exploring possible physical causes. Again, the focus would be on finding and fixing the problem.

In contrast, if he says that he doesn't need diapers but wants them anyway, respect his honesty. He might not know why he wants them. Given the wide range of possible causes, this is understandable. Alternatively, he might offer some intuitive reason, such as diapers being comfy, making him feel safe and loved, etc. While there might be a deeper, primary reason, these would be honest attempts to answer your question.

Is this a phase?

If the diapers are for needs such as accidents or bedwetting, your pediatrician or urologist would have a better answer.

Assuming needs are ruled out: If you found an isolated diaper, maybe. Kids are curious and experimental. They haze, take dares, and loose bets. However, if it seems that this has been going on a while, it probably isn't just a phase. If he seems to have struggled and resisted the urge to wear diapers, it will probably be lifelong.

Is this my fault?

There is generally no reason to conclude that it is your fault.

Should I let him wear diapers?

Assuming the diapers aren't needed for accidents or bedwetting, the question here is whether you want him wearing diapers on your terms. If you provide him with your expectations of discretion (e.g. no going around the house in just a diaper and t-shirt) and reasonable privacy (e.g. to avoid involving bothers and sisters), those terms might be respected.

Getting put back in diapers all the time in hopes of "getting it all out of his system" is a common occurrence in the fantasies of ABDLs. Arguably, this might set the stage for confirmation of your son's forgotten decision to be potty trained the first time. However, it is unclear how often this tactic is actually tried, or if it works more often than it backfires. In contrast, suppressing the desire to wear diapers through childhood is a common element in the backgrounds of many ABDLs.

Laying out a reasonable plan for getting diapers might also be worthwhile. Again, the decision would be whether you wanted things to be according to your terms.

Will he want me to change him?

Given the hundreds or thousands of times you've changed him, you may understandably connect his wearing diapers with your having to change them. However, he might have forgotten about his own infancy (infantile amnesia). That connection won't be as strong in his mind as it is in yours.

Assuming he's old enough to change his own diapers, feel free to say no if asked. Also feel free to refuse preemptively if the unasked question seems to be clogging communication.

Is it just diapers, or will it be more?

He might or might not be interested in other baby items, such as pacifiers, bottles, etc. His interests also might migrate over time.

Should we get professional help?

If he says he wants diapers for a medical need, yes. The urologist or pediatrician should be able to appraise his physical condition and may be able to help.

In contrast, if there isn't a medical need, professional help will be less beneficial. A doctor or therapist, after some face-to-face time, might be able to offer some advice. However, he or she probably won't have experience with paraphilic infantilism or diaper fetishism. (That is, the desire to be a baby at times or the desire for diapers, respectively.) Medical research mainly focuses on serious conditions, and enjoying diapers is mostly harmless.

Why would he hide this from me?

Society might have impressed upon him the need to hide your differences and conform. Parents or teachers might have shied away from topics like sex and excretion. He might be just following their lead.

Will he turn gay?

Most who are into diapers aren't gay.

This question usually comes up because you've found that your son was viewing pictures of boys or men in diapers on the Internet. This doesn't mean that he is gay, any more than having posters of male pro wrestlers or race car drivers would. He might simply want to be like the pro wrestler or the race car driver, just as he wants to be like the guys in diapers.

Will he become a pedophile?

There is no reason to be concerned that your son will become a pedophile. Pedophiles desire sexual contact with younger children. They generally wouldn't be interested in wearing diapers or being babies themselves.

Please note that if your son doesn't have private Internet access, many of the pictures of diapers that he would have access to will be ads for baby diapers, baby clothing, etc. That is, they would be pictures of babies. He might wish to be the baby in the picture, or might simply be interested in the diaper.

Is this harmful?

If he hasn't shown any other symptoms, it might just be an interest in diapers. While distressing, this isn't that serious. A diaper fetish is usually just a diaper fetish. The most severe medical risk is diaper rash. Of course, there are indirect risks, such as guilt or social isolation. These can be avoided. A knowledgeable doctor or counselor might be able to check for other conditions if other troubling symptoms are present.

Will he be able to live a normal life?

Most who enjoy diapers are reasonably happy and successful. Of course, dating is more complicated, and will be something that they will need to keep hidden from their kids.

How can I help him?

By reading this, you are taking the first step. You are thinking and learning. Kudos. The next step would be to engage in conversation, including this question.

Does his girlfriend/partner know?

It would be safer to assume that his partner does not know. That way, there is no risk that secrets will be betrayed. Asking your son about it discretely is one way to know for sure. He and his fiance' should discuss it before marriage: This permits her to make an informed decision. However, discussing it too early in the dating process might be awkward or inappropriate.

I recently had another baby...

Birth order does play a role in developing a desire for diapers. However, it might also be simply that the new baby provided a ready supply of diapers and a persistent temptation for an already existing desire.

- Updated:29 May 2014  1st:14 May 2014     

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