What to Do If Your Loved One Doesn't Fit into Baby Diapers Anymore

Brianna Maguire

Written by Brianna Maguire on Mon Jun 08 2020.

What to Do If Your Loved One Doesn't Fit into Baby Diapers Anymore

If your loved one has been incontinent for a long time, you’re probably used to the traditional baby diapers found in stores. But when your child grows and is still in incontinence products, it can create a sense of panic: What happens when there’s not another size up?

Rest assured, there are many incontinence supplies out there that you can’t necessarily find on store shelves. Our site features advanced, medical-grade products for many ages and sizes.

When your loved one has grown out of the baby diapers they’ve been using, try our “youth diaper” options, which come in smaller, more fitted sizes than adult options.

Caregiver favorite: Abena Abri-Form Junior Diapers with Tabs, XS2

These feature a slim cut and a narrower leg opening to better-fit youth bodies! Plus, they’re highly absorbent.

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Caregivers say:

  • “No more redness or irritation . . . my 5-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy is 56 lbs and has a 42-inch waist, these fit great and keep her comfortable.” 

    (Tracy L.)

  • “My 13-year-old daughter had surgery for Crohn’s disease and had trouble controlling her bowel movements for about 3 months after surgery . . . these were a godsend. Rarely leaked, even at night. Held full bladder as well.” 


Don’t be put off by the word “adult”

It’s true that many baby and youth products are specially cut to fit youth bodies. That being said, if your loved one can’t find the right size in a youth product, switching to a small adult diaper is a wonderful option. There are lots of choices, they have great features, and they’re designed to accommodate long-term incontinence (baby diapers, however, are designed for frequent changing, not long-term needs).

Caregivers love:

Prevail Daily Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

The extra small size can accommodate waist sizes of 15-22 inches, and the small accommodates 20-31!

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Abena Abri-Form Premium Diapers with Tabs, S2

One of our caregivers says: “I love those diapers, the best for my 7yo/85lbs son with severe autism.” (Svetlana T.)

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TENA Small Incontinence Brief, Moderate Absorbency

One caregiver says: “After searching the internet forever trying to go from a pampers size 7 there were no options to be found . . . Tena size small works perfect for our special needs daughter.” (Michelle H.)

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Always measure the waist and hips to get the right size

If you’re transitioning out of baby diapers, you’re probably used to using weight to get the right size. For youth and adult diapers, though, you’ll want to measure both waist and hip sizes in inches, then use the larger of the two when referencing our sizing guides to ensure you get a great fit.

You may not need a traditional “diaper”

Some protective underwear or pull-up styles come in very high absorbencies and have in-between sizes great for those who can’t find a baby diaper large enough (or an adult diaper small enough) for their needs.

Of course, there are some – like those who are immobile – who should stick to a traditional tab-style. “Pull-ups” or protective underwear are best for those:

  • Who are potty training or have occasional accidents

  • Who are relatively active and mobile

  • Who do not have severe incontinence, or bowel incontinence

We recommend: Cuties SleepOvers Youth Underwear

These pull-ups can accommodate weights of up to 140 pounds, so they’re a great choice for children and teenagers that need incontinence protection, but can’t find a good fit in adult products.

Caregivers are saying:

  • “My son is autistic and 6 yrs old so finding a diaper that didn’t look like an adult Depends was fantastic!” 

    (Melissa C.)

  • “It is hard finding pullups in the store as they end at a certain size with no additional options. So glad I found these.” 

    (Nicole C.)

And finally, the good news

Transitioning out of baby diapers is tough, especially if you’ve been using the same product for a long time. But there is a bright side! Youth and adult diapers and pull-ups are specially designed for long-term incontinence, so they’re typically going to be much more absorbent than what you’re used to using. 

Baby diapers are designed to be changed often, so they don’t have as much polymer in the core (the tiny absorbent beads that soak up moisture). You’ll have fewer changes, less laundry, and you’ll likely be able to change products less often.

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Brianna Maguire
Brianna Maguire

Brianna Maguire heads up Carewell’s Customer Care Team, and serves as a resource for caregivers that need support. Whether it’s helping customers decide which products are best for their needs, answering caregiver questions, or just providing a shoulder to lean on on a tough day, her job is to make caregivers’ lives easier.