Special Needs Children and Teens - Parent's Guide to Diapers and Underwear

Finding diapers and underwear for special needs children is like looking for a needle in a haystack. . .

Finding diapers and underwear for special needs children is like looking for a needle in a haystack...

Do you care for a special needs child with changing bladder or bowel requirements? Is your child moving from toddler-sized diapers and pull-ups into the new world of incontinence products for larger children and teens?

If you find it all a bit confusing, perhaps even overwhelming, you aren’t alone! Every day, we hear from at least one mother, father or grandparent of a child with special needs.

"She has grown so quickly and the pull-ups we used don't fit and they leak like mad. Can you help?"

"I am so frustrated because my son is always wet but he's too small for adult sizes. What can I do?"

We understand how incontinence products work and fit across all kinds of size requirements, and we have come up with what we hope is a useful solution.

Finding the right incontinence products for your special needs child is like finding treasure

One Less Thing to Worry About

Our Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear for Special Needs Children and Teens makes finding and choosing the right product for your special needs child fast and easy.

Download MyLiberty's Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear for Special Needs Children and Teens

Not only will this visual chart help you - at a glance - find the incontinence products you need, right now, but it will continue to work as your child grows and changes.

We carry over 100 products and like you, we've found that not one manufacturer has the same quality standards or levels of absorbency or capacity as the others. It makes it darned hard to compare and contrast what you need without spending lot of time and effort while you hunt.

As an online company, My Liberty has no restrictions on what we make available to our customers. This allows us to bring you the biggest selection and range of sizes available—regardless of where you live in Canada.

We know that between searching for care, support, medical assistance, schools and activities and the demands on the rest of your life, there’s not enough gas in the tank to sit down at 10:30 p.m. to begin looking for the right underwear for your child. So, sit back and relax, because our team did the work for you.

Quality. Fit. Capacity.

That’s what it’s all about.

  1. Quality — The brands we've chosen for you have outstanding construction, unbeatable absorbency, first-rate odour control, overall capacity to contain leaks and an ability to be good to your child's skin.
  2. Fit — When your child graduates out of store-bought diapers and pull-ups, you move from buying according to weight to buying according to waist size. Where appropriate, all of our products are available in a wide range of sizes.
  3. Capacity — Once you know the output of urine produced (we have an simple formula below that will help you figure it out), you simply choose a product that can hold that amount. Easy!

Urine output calculation: children versus adults

As promised, here’s an simple way to figure out how much urine your child is passing.

Option 1 (in ounces): Take your child’s age and add 2. That’s how many ounces of urine the child is passing. A five-year old, for example, will pass 7 ounces (age + 2 = 7).

Option 2 (in millilitres): Take your child’s age, add 2 and multiply by 30. That’s how many millilitres of urine the child is passing. A five-year old, for example, will pass 210 millilitres. ([age + 2] x 30 = 210 ml)

Compare those numbers to adults, who pass an average of 8 ounces (1 cup) of urine or 237 millilitres at a time.

That means that as your child grows, it's critical to find products that are based on capacity, or how much the product can hold before needing a change, or before leaking.

It's no longer about picking products based your child's weight alone

Unlike baby diapers, it's now time to find products that meet your child's volume of fluid output, over time. 

Next - ask yourself if you're worried about protecting your child during an active daytime, or are you looking for longer, overnight coverage to ensure the maximum amount of comfortable sleep time? Or both?

At My Liberty, we are committed to helping you get what you need quickly and easily. Since the product manufacturers don't use the same language to describe their products, it can be difficult to understand the difference between "moderate protection" compared to the "heavy protection" described by others.

To help you sort it out, we’ve developed a standardized Total Capacity Rating system that we use across all the brands and incontinence products we sell. Our Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear for Special Needs Children and Teens is especially tailored to help you match up products easily for your child.

Watch for the Total Capacity Rating on the briefs, underwear and swimwear we sell to make sure the products you choose are right for your child.

Caregivers need love, too

We all want our children to be happy, loved, safe and nourished. Without a good night's sleep—for them and for you—the work of caring for a special needs child can be more difficult than it has to be.

The daytime protection you choose for your child may not be enough to prevent overnight leaks. We've looked at all of the products available and found some wonderful options that lets the entire family sleep undisturbed. Just imagine!

Learn more about the connection between incontinence and sleep from our friends Judy and Robyn at Tranquility, who joined us for a webinar on 5 ways to get a better night’s sleep

Every child is unique

As parents and grandparents ourselves, we understand that some children are sized differently, and that you need options. 

We have found some wonderful manufacturers who know that tummies can be large while legs can be tiny. The world of research and technology has made wonderful advances in modern incontinence products—they've figured out how to create soft, cloth-like materials and reduce bulk and odour, while increasing capacity.

It may come as a surprise to parents that a child who is always wet can manage with higher-capacity, discreet pads during the day while at school. You don't—you shouldn't—have to struggle with keeping your child dry with training pants.

Did you know that a mobile child can use pull-ups with great capacity and absorbency that will see them through a good part of the day?

Today's technology offers useful options

The message here is that you don't have to assume a graduation path that starts with smaller pads with an adhesive strip to pull-ups or underwear, all the way to to adult diapers. Instead, these products are capable of absorbing a wide range of fluids, depending on the situation you're trying to solve.

If bladder leaks only are your concern, check out our full line of discreet pads shaped for male vs female anatomy. However, we developed our Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear For Special Needs Children and Teens to concentrate on diapers and pull-ups because of the great demand to manage both bladder and bowel leaks.


Download MyLiberty's Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear for Special Needs Children and Teens


We want you to understand the broad range of products available as your child grows and matures, so we've grouped them into categories for you:

Shaped Pads to insert into your child's underwear

Shaped PadsShaped Pads are offered in 'regular' (shorter) or 'long' (longer than regular) sizes, and there is a considerable difference in the physical size of the pad between the two. Regular-shaped pads are for light to moderate incontinence and 'long' are for Moderate to Heavy conditions.

Example of a shaped pad designed for the light bladder leakage needs of womenShaped pads are contoured to fit the body thus ensuring a good, snug fit. They have a waterproof backing and a stay-dry layer to prevent leakages. Most have a sticky strip on the back to aid in positioning and are meant to be worn with the user’s own close-fitting underwear.

These pads can be either unisex or specially shaped for male versus female body shapes.



Booster Pads to 'boost' the capacity of an 'outer' pull-up or diaper

Booster padsBooster pads are different from shaped pads. They do not have any waterproof backing. Instead, these pads are used together with another product such as pull-ups, to 'boost' or reinforce overall absorption levels of the pull-up.

The booster pad will absorb some liquid but also allow the outer product to absorb a further amount, thus increasing overall absorption.

Disposable underwear (pants, pull-ups, pull-ons) for day or night

Pull-ups or disposable underwearPull-ups are disposable underwear that work well for a range of incontinence from moderate to maximum.They are popular because they are worn just like regular fabric underwear.

Pull-ups are available in moderate to heavy to maximum levels of absorbency. Most disposable underwear have tear-away sides for easy removal after use. There are one or two particular soft pull-ons with really large stretch-and-roll-down features.

Pull ups or disposable underwearThe material is soft and pliable. These sit high on the tummy with lots of elastic so they can either be rolled down for a gentle fit or slightly torn down if the belly is larger.

There are also several products that have double rows of elastic in the legs for back-up leak protection.





Briefs / Diapers with higher capacity options for your child

Briefs / diapersBriefs or diapers deliver moderate to heavy to maximum protection. They have adhesive or hooked tapes on either side to hold the diaper in place, and can help contour the fit.

Thanks to technological advances, there is very little bulk in these products, yet they emphasize leak prevention and offer major absorbency, odour reduction and skin protection. Again, the materials can be soft and fabric-like which also reduces any rustling sound.

Consider washable pads, underwear, bedding and chair pads

There are many innovative absorbent and waterproof products - pads, underwear, bedding and chair pads that offer effective, washable and affordable options for people looking to reduce their costs and waste.

However, the underwear is rated for light absorbency, so if you're looking for a higher capacity product, consider the pull-up, or diapers / briefs.  

Cleansing Wipes and Creams—better than soap and water

Your child's growing body calls for greater awareness of skin irritation and infections. A lack of airflow, damp conditions or stale urine or feces can cause the skin to break down and result in painful and dangerous rashes, sores and yeast infections.

Cleansers for managing incontinenceIncontinence cleansers are developed specially to allow them to be rubbed gently into the skin to dissolve urine and feces left on the body without the more aggressive rubbing needed with soap and water.

Wipes or washcloths for managing incontinenceWhen it comes to wipes, it’s good to know that you can move from baby wipes to extra large ones. As time goes on, a good skin-care wipe makes it easier to cleanse without the need for baths or showers. This can be extremely useful if you are dealing with more severe forms of incontinence.



TENA Bathing GloveDid you know there are new "bathing gloves"? Like wipes, these are pre-moistened with cleanser, but offer a better grip to make cleaning easier and more convenient. Like wipes, these can be warmed ahead of time to reduce cold shock!


We help you find the right incontinence solution for your special needs child 

As the parent of a child with special needs, you can count on MyLiberty.Life to work with you to provide an array of solutions for your child's incontinence needs.

What if you could give your child the chance to enjoy a pool without worrying about about bowel leaks? Guess what? There are excellent swimwear options created by companies here in Canada—and from the beaches of Australia—who've figured that out for you.

From diapers, wipes and briefs to swimwear, bedding, and bed and chair pads, we invite you to browse our selection that includes some of the best products on the market today. These products offer a range of protection levels—from Light to Maximum—to ensure that you have one less thing to worry about.

Our Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear for Special Needs Children and Teens makes finding and choosing the right product for your special needs child fast and easy.

Download MyLiberty's Parents’ Guide to Diapers and Underwear for Special Needs Children and Teens