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  • Tarryn Grobbelaar

Preparation for Pull Ups

There comes a time when you can't just pop into your local Coles or Woolies to grab a packet of pull ups when you run out.

My big boy is now 13 and a half years old. We have been managing his incontinence for just as long, and although he is progressing and using the toilet for both 1s and 2s, he does have the odd wee or two, at least once a day. I also believe Steele's challenge in the "wearing undies" department is also a sensory issue, as we have tried all sorts of options, including the washable incontinence underwear with incontinence pad. Hopefully he will accept the fabric option later on, but for's a clear NO.

We tried the boys Bonds Washable Incontinence Underwear. The quality is great - exactly what you'd expect of Bonds - good, soft fabric, decent stretch, lovely colour options and they look like normal undies. Maximum absorbency of 400ml (in this range) - so will hold a wee or 2 at the max, before becoming wet through. You will have to check regularly to ensure, as the average volume of urine passed each time by a normal adult will vary from around 250 - 400mls, and you don't want your young person being uncomfortable or wet for a longer period of time.

Boy's Washable Incontinence Underwear (Bonds) with incontinence pad

I want to share what I have discovered and what works for us, to try and assist others in similar positions.

When the local store bought Pull Ups are just fine

We only stopped using the BabyLove Nappy Pants (15-25kg) about 2 years ago, simply because they became too small. These were fantastic in fit, comfort and absorbency. He wore these for several years, up to the age of 10 -11 years old and at least 35kg, way past the indicated weight range on the packet. These are readily available at Woolworths, Coles and most other local stores. When we needed to stock up, I use to Google the brand and size to see if any specials were running anywhere, before heading in store, buying online for Click and Collect or delivery. We preferred these BabyLove Nappy Pants to the BabyLove Sleepy Nights Pants (they weren't as snug fitting on the waste/hips) or the Huggies DryNites.

BabyLove Nappy Pants vs. Huggies DryNites vs. ID Comfy Pants

Moving on from convenience

Steele is a fairly average size 13 year old. Narrow hips and smaller waste, but is starting to fill out. He wears a size 13/14 now, with room and weighs approximately 48 kg.

I found it difficult to locate older child Pull Ups anywhere else, but online. It was also tricky to know what to buy without having to trial sizes. There were a few sites that you can request samples to be posted to you, but do this before the current Pull Up becomes too small, as the window between sizes seems very short in the 10 -11 year old window. Be as prepared as possible. When you find the right fit, order online in advance and set reminders to reorder before you run out.

Being prepared

Two great options that have worked well for Steele over the past 2 - 3 years have been the ID Comfy Junior Pants 24 47 Kg 8 15 Yrs and the Abena Abri-Flex JUNIOR XS2 (6x14) 55-80cm - 1500ml .

I D Comfy Junior Pants 24-47 Kg 8-15 Yrs

Both online services providers have been wonderful in turn around times, with the quickest being less than 24 hours from order to delivery on my front door step. I usually do a bulk order of 2 x cartons at a time, which sees us through a decent period of time. Both providers are NDIS registered too.

Abena Abri-Flex Junior XS2

The in-between size

He's not yet a small adult, but bigger than a young child. The frustrating part came into play when assisting him and "pulling up" the Pull Up, it started to rip open on the sides (ID Comfy Junior Pants & Abri-Flex Junior) when doing a quick pull up. Apart from being super frustrating, it's such a waste of a nappy. On the other hand, Steele thinks it's hilarious when this happens! However, that was the sign that the next size up was required.

I went back to the online providers websites and did further investigating. More so, understanding the waste/hip size, whilst keeping the absorbency levels the same and comparing this to the ID Comfy Junior Pants and Abena Abri-Flex Junior XS2 sizes that I knew he was happy with.

Ended up going for the Abena Abri-Flex S1.

Abena Abri-Flex S1

These are quite a bit bigger in size, especially in the length of the waste band, however, the waste band is very stretchy and snug. The elasticated waste sits high, but can easily be folded down, and still sits snug, with the actual nappy base being a good size, in absorbency too.

ID Comfy Junior Pants vs. Abri-Flex Junior vs. Abri-Flex Premium S1

Steele wasn't happy when first putting on the bigger size, but after some convincing that these are "big boy undies", he was quite chuffed with himself. He still prefers the sizing and fit of the other 2, but is getting more use to the S1 size now. Sizing up was inevitable. This new size should see us through for a couple of years at least, or until the next teenage growth spurt.

If I do find something better or more suitable anytime soon, I will update you on my blog, but for now we put the Pull Up sizing trials to bed, knowing we have a better fitting option, that is still super comfortable with more than sufficient absorbency levels for Steele's needs.

Please note - this is purely my personal view and our experience, and what works best for my son Steele. I have not been sponsored, nor paid to promote any brands or online service providers. Hope this little bit of information gets to help out at least one other carer/parent in a similar situation.

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