It’s also important that you change your teen’s diaper as soon as it is soiled as this helps to avoid health issues like rashes and infection which could further worsen the situation. Take him to the restroom and quickly set up for the change. Put on your gloves and place the disposable underpads on the changing table. The underpads create a barrier between your teen and the table surface. You can also use a waterproof picnic blanket in place of a disposable pad.
Then help your teen onto the table. Unpack the contents of your diaper bag in stages - just as you need them. You want to minimize the chances of picking up germs. If they can help with holding some items, you can ask for their help.
- Changing diaper in a standing position. If your teen is able to stand, that’s better. It is easier to manage the space available in this position, plus it minimizes contact with surfaces and, by extension, germs. Place an underpad on the floor and have your teen stand on it. Pull down the pants and release the side tabs of the diaper while still holding it in place. You want to be careful in case the diaper is heavily soiled to prevent messing up the place. Begin pulling down the diaper from behind while also wiping the area. Then pull down the front and wipe as well until the area is clean. You can let them hold you or hold onto a railing if they need support.
- Changing diaper in a sitting position. Place an underpad on the changing surface and have your teen sit on it or have them raise their body slightly while you place the underpad under them. Release the diaper side tabs and have them move their body while you pull down the diaper and clean from the back to the front. Changing diapers in a sitting position requires that the person is able to move their upper body to a great degree. This position can be used in the family changing or in a place where the facility supports changing in a sitting position.
- Changing diaper in a lying position. This method is needed when the teenager’s mobility is severely limited or when the diaper is heavily soiled. You help them onto the table or floor when it has an underpad placed on it already, depending on what is available at the facility. Pull off their pants completely and gently push their knee towards their chest. Release the diaper side tabs and pull down the diaper, wiping from front to back. Pull out the diaper completely when you are done.
When you are done removing the diaper and cleaning up your teen, whichever position you have used, roll up the diaper with the used wipes within for disposal. Also, check that their clothing is not soiled. Dispose of your gloves and thoroughly wipe your hands. Then take some skin cream and apply to the diaper area. You may want to let your teenagers do this themselves if they can as this can feel too intimate. Always observe the area to ensure that there are no rashes or redness in the skin. Then pull on a fresh diaper, securing it adequately with the side tabs. Adequately dispose of the diaper and other waste generated in the process and clean up the place. Wash your hands and your teen’s hands as well.
Accepting that your teenager needs to stay in diapers can be quite difficult. The economic strain it puts on the family, the social image, and the relational imbalance. It may be difficult to treat your teenager as a grown-up or trust his or her judgment and your teenager may also find it difficult to act his or her age. Making public appearances with your teenager can be a challenge because of the limited availability of changeover rooms.
Having to change a soiled teenager in public can be an embarrassing situation for both you and your teen but you have to stay calm and in control. Remember, you didn’t choose this part of your life so focus on your journey and not the perceived or obvious opinion of others. Depending on how severe the condition of your teen is, you may communicate about the need for a diaper change when you are out. This saves you having to check them out in the open, thereby exposing their diaper and saves their self-confidence. If your teen is unable to communicate, you may take a quick, careful peep into the diaper.
You may want to check ahead of time if the place has a restroom with adult changing tables. This might be a restroom for people with special needs, also called the handicap bathroom. If there is no handicap bathroom, you can check for the mothers’ changing room or family changing room. You can also check for the first aid room as this provides a lot of privacy in the form of a screen or curtains. If a facility has a first aid room you can find out on their website. It’s always better if you can find a private room that you can lock. That gives you privacy to do your thing.
When you’re out with your teen it’s important that you pack all the necessary items needed for a changeover. You should take some diapers, disposable underpads, wipes, barrier skin cream, a pair of gloves, and hand sanitizer. It’s important that you schedule the number of times you change your teen in a day because this will help you ensure you don’t run into a diaper emergency.
Be in control
This process can be challenging for both you and your teenager every time you have to go through it. You may find that your teen tries to resist you and this may tend to frustrate you thus you need to be adequately calm to help them through the phase. Resist the urge to lash out on them as the situation is already difficult and embarrassing. Reassure them that the process will only take a while and that they’ll be okay. As much as possible, only change them in closed up spaces. An understanding between the mother (caregiver) and the teen will go a long way in helping the process succeed and preserve their self-esteem.
You go shopping with your teen and halfway into the shopping you begin to perceive some awful smell. You look around trying to make sense of the smell and your eyes lock with those of your teenager who gives you the knowing look. He’s soiled. You begin to wonder how you can take charge of the situation before it becomes a nuisance and you begin to draw the attention of other shoppers.