The right Diaper – Part 4 : Diaper Metrics

Moving on with our exploration of the world of diapers, we are now once more focusing on the aspect of feeling secure when wearing them, but from a different angle. After you have made up your mind which shape and form you prefer, you need to think about the details, in particular size and thickness.

Let’s begin with the thickness of the padding. As mentioned in the previous article, a bulky pad can show through your clothing layers. In addition, a thicker diaper needs more room which in turn may require you to buy your clothes larger. Now neither of these two is an issue for me. As I have mentioned several times, I don’t care too much what other people may or may not think when peeking my diaper. With regards to the clothing issue, I have always preferred to wear trousers with a loose fit – back then when I was still cycling a lot my thighs were rather strong and these days of course I already need a bit of extra room for my tummy.

Beyond that there’s the psychological aspect – I need my nappies to be reasonably “feelable” to feel safe and comfortable, i.e. I need to know that they are there. That may be in part the little toddler in me needing to feel cosy, but on a more rational level when I’m e.g. on the road I need to be reasonably certain I can get there and back again without having to worry about a diaper change. And while in theory I would mostly need to take care of my rear incontinence, of course it’s simply practical to wear a thicker padding when using public transport or moving about in public places where toilets may be out of order or locked shut – just letting go can quite literally be a relief when waiting for a late train out in the cold.

One more thing may be the cost factor. Wearing a thicker diaper for a longer time can be less expensive than using two thinner products in the same time. This is of course totally subjective and dependent on the specific situation. Specific medical requirements may necessitate more frequent changes and when at home, you might prefer to dress lightly, in a manner of speaking. Since neither for me are an issue I’m in a position to use whatever I prefer (and what is the most affordable product on sale with my retailer), most of my nappies are on the thicker side. A selection of them is depicted below.

Diaper SelectionDiaper StackDiaper Stack

As you can see from the pictures, there are some distinct differences in how thick those thingies are even fresh out of the package and how they are folded up. Don’t let yourself be fooled by that, though, as this doesn’t always give an indication of how cushy they feel or how much liquid they can absorb. Due to the differences in the actual mixture of the absorbent pad and how the liquid distributes within it even a thin package may soak a lot.

As a concluding thought to this paragraph there is of course nothing wrong with using thinner materials, it just doesn’t make much sense to me on so many levels. The little bad boy I am I once said to a mildly shocked shop assistant “I might as well wrap a paper shopping back around my bum!” and that’s just how I feel. If I were to use an Abri-Form M1 (where 1 stands for the thinnest available layer thickness) instead of an M3 or M4 (level 4 = maximum) I’d be busy either changing my diapers all day or having to “preserve” it by going to the bathroom everytime I have to pee, which not only defeats the purpose but is a considerable annoyance and will wear out the adhesive tapes, anyway.

One thing people are totally ignorant or oblivious about is the matter of picking the right size. I’m not saying this merely based on my own experiences, but also having gotten wrong advise from sales personnel, having had to put up with oversized diapers in hospitals and discussions on respective forums. You really can do a lot wrong. Since none of this would make much sense without a proper frame of reference, let’s look at the relevant measurements. Yepp, this is me posing lightly clad and hoping the informational value will up make for the shortcomings of my body.

Body Measurements

My waist is about 95 cm (37″), my hip 90 cm (35″), my leg circumference 60 cm (23″) and my crotch length 70 cm (27.5″). Size wise I’m wearing 34″/ 35″ jeans and international size M underwear, so the above may not be 100% correct. With that info, you can now relate the measurements to the ones of the actual diaper.

Diaper Measurements

Getting to the good parts, I took the same product at two different sizes and laid it out flat. There was no specific intention in picking a specific product, I just happened to have this at hand. Below you can see a Molicare Premium Super in size L on the left (3 stripes) and in M on the right (just 2 stripes).

Diaper Measurements

The measurements are as follows:

Width (W) Height (H) Pad Width (PW) Pad Length (PL) Front Height (FH) Back Height (BH)
Size M 66 cm/ 26″ 80 cm/ 31.5″ 17 cm/ 6.75″ 63 cm/ 25″ 16,5 cm/ 6.5″ 22,5 cm/ 8.75″
Size L 75 cm/ 29.5″ 95 cm/ 37″ 18 cm/ 7″ 75 cm/ 29.5″ 22 cm/ 8,5″ 31 cm/ 12″

As you can see, despite the size difference some parameters only change slightly. In particular keep an eye on the pad – while it’s longer, it’s not really much wider. In turn this means that when you go bigger you do not gain that much extra “storage space”. This makes buying one size larger a pointless exercise. Looking at the photos below also reveals additional problems, so have a gander (M on the left, L on the right).

Diaper Size Comparison Front ViewDiaper Size Comparison Side ViewDiaper Size Comparison Back View

The problems in the pictures are quite apparent, but allow me to summarize them for you.

  • The too large diaper is not properly airtight. You can see this by the dark shadows around my legs in the side view, where the seams to not properly enclose them. This potentially allows excretions to seep out sideways.
  • As you may gather from the same side view there is a lot of extra air in the diaper itself. This again means that your bodily fluids have way too many alternate routes they can take before actually being absorbed. If you are a male this is particularly critical since when sitting or in bed your little friend will move sideways and instead of firing straight into the pad, the urine will go elsewhere first. “Let him swing” in this case is not a good idea.
  • The larger diaper crinkles and rolls up a lot because there is simply too much material and no way to hold it. My belly pushes the diaper down and on the sides the extra wrap from the front slipped down. Aside from simply not looking good, these rolled up areas can cause strangulation marks and imprints, cut off blood circulation, cause hematoma and simply feel uncomfortable when lying on them during the night.
  • The adhesive tapes barely end up in the right spot on the larger diaper. Depending on the product this reduces their hold and increases the risk of loosening them because e.g. when you bend forward, there is more movement.
  • Because there is too much room for the diaper to move around there is a higher risk of something tearing overall.
  • I do look a lot more sexy around the hip with an M sized nappy. ;-)

With the above in mind you can see how important it is to pick the right size. This is especially true when you do not have a perfect body where you could wrap a larger diaper around your trained stomach and still look attractive.

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