Being a Daddy to Adult Baby ‘Little Boys’

Your son will grow older one day. He’ll grow out of his shortalls and cuddly sleepers and before you know it he’s sleeping in a racing car bed and coming home with frogs in the pockets of his overalls.

Thankfully if you’re a daddy to an adult baby, there’s no such thing as “growing up” – he may act more like an 8 year old than a 1 year old, but he’s still your little boy.

And what’s even more amazing is that while this weekend he might be your little boy, it’s quite likely that he’s your baby again next week, and you’ll have him back in his crib, thick diaper crinkling securely, teddy hugged close to his chest.

Age is a Number
One of the things I’m reminded of because of adult babies is that age is just a number.

There’s no age limit to being a little boy inside: you might be 16 or 60, but if you are a baby at heart then that’s who you are, and daddy sees the bright spark, the creativity and vulnerability, no matter what the rest of the world might see.

There are no physical age limits to being an adult baby, and I don’t see a difference as a daddy: I see the little boy inside no matter what it says on your birth certificate.

But the same rule applies to someone’s “inner age”. For an AB, they may start with a certain feeling – of being a two year-old, say, or a newborn. But that also is just a number, and the reality is that most ABs will have a variety of feelings when it comes to expressing who they are.

Maybe they feel like they’re 6 months old when bedtime rolls around: they prefer a crib, thick night diapers, and cuddly snug clothing.

At other times, they’re like a little toddler, filled with a sense of adventure and exploration.

And often, it will depend on how daddy treats his little guy, how he dresses him, talks to him, and cares for him.

The key is that there’s no magic rule. You don’t need to discover the “perfect age”. All you need to do is help your ‘son’ discover all the amazing ways that he can express the special feelings he has inside.

You can label those feelings “baby”, “toddler” or “little boy” but the truth is they’re all variations on who he uniquely is and feels.

Taking Care of Little Boys
Now, a lot of ABs need a special kind of care and attention.

They don’t feel safe if they aren’t close to daddy and they feel anxious without guidance and care. They need you to change them, feed them, bathe them and put them in their crib at night.

These are important rituals that strengthen the bond between a daddy and his baby boy, regardless of the other adult things you might talk about or share (remembering that no matter how much he’s a baby boy, he’s still an ADULT baby).

But others will show more independence. They’re clearly more of a “little boy” (or LB).

But ironically, I think, the way that a daddy shows his care and love often includes more guidance and structure when it comes to caring for a little boy.

Put it this way: with an adult baby, daddy will make dinner and help to feed his little fellow. But when you’re caring for a little boy, you might find that he’s made supper on his own, but it consists entirely of gummy bears and chocolate milk.

So while an LB might be better able to do stuff on his own, daddy still needs to provide structure and guidance in a different but by no means lesser way.

The Emotional Landscape of the LB
But something to remember is the following: it can be very easy for a daddy to a little boy to think that he’s somehow more self-sufficient or less ‘needy’ than a baby boy. But I don’t think this is true, and believe that there’s a whole level of emotion and feeling that is really important not to ignore.

When an AB is expressing the little boy inside, that little boy is often expressing feelings, vulnerabilities, fears and dreams that are complex and intense. A daddy needs to recognize that an LB can be a bundle of energy, but deep inside he’s also just a little guy who needs his daddy’s care, protection, understanding and attention.

Your little guy may seem like a self-possessed little tyke, he may be out collecting frogs in the pond or making mud pies in the sandbox rather than playing with his toys in a nice safe playpen – but that doesn’t mean that at the end of the day he doesn’t need his daddy’s love, snuggles and attention just as much.

But let me ask: if you’re a “little boy”, or during those times when you’re caring for someone who is expressing that side of themselves, what’s the best way for daddy to show his love and care, and how can he provide the safety and guidance that his little guy needs? Any secrets for a daddy when he’s caring for a little boy?

23 Replies to “Being a Daddy to Adult Baby ‘Little Boys’”

  1. Two things that make me feel loved by a daddy more than anything else–and they kind of contradict each other a bit, so bear with me.

    First thing is routine.

    I try to keep a very rigid structure to my days if I can help it; it can drive my friends and family crazy. I want to know what is going to happen that day, how long certain things will take, when I go somewhere, why, how etc etc etc.

    Having the same things happen each time makes me feel safe; hearing my caretaker running the bathwater for me before coming to wake me up for the day, the smell of coffee in the morning, or the other noises and mannerisms I pick up on. Little things like that go a long way in making me open up. I have had some daddies get annoyed that I want the same things to happen over and over, but it makes me feel safe. In those ritualistic things you mentioned (diaper changes, baths, bedtime, etc… change is not good. It’s the gentle repetitiveness that we want.

    The other thing I enjoy is spontaneous affection. Nightly cuddle sessions, bedtime stories and the like are fun, but it’s the little unexpected hugs, kisses, cuddles, diaper pats and other things which go right to my heart. I have a tendency to get a little moody sometimes. I don’t shift suddenly, but certain days I can be left feeling nasty and burdensome. The easiest way to erase that feeling is a long hug out of nowhere or a pat on the diapered bottom when I don’t expect it.

    That’s all I can think of right now.

  2. This is EXACTLY it . . . I’ve never got the “helpless” baby thing, but the need to be autonomous, yet still need Daddy . . . yep, I get it.

  3. I would love to have a daddy like this.

    I’m a little boy age 5 or 6, I have constant bedwetting and somewhat frequent daywetting. I love my sippy cup in the day and a bottle before bedtime. I also love my paci and my teddy bears and snuggling close to daddy watching a disney movie before beddy by. I’m definitely a daddys boy and whatever daddy wants daddy gets.

    Please someone that wants a little boy instant message me.

  4. Daddy,

    Your writing is so thoughtful, even soothing to read. Thank you for inviting us into your thoughts. You help us to understand ourselves, and to be even more open as the babies we are.

    I have a wonder for you. I am an adult baby boy — who loves the playful world of the child inside me. Like most of us, I spend so much time in the big-boy world, and most of my relationships are very adult. I have a partner with whom I’ve never shared my baby side. I’m not afraid of what he’d do or say, as much as I’m at a loss for how to invite him to know the joys, the challenges, the fun of being an AB’s daddy. I few years ago, I couldn’t even imagine it — our relationship has always been lovely as it is. But lately I’ve been feeling like the time may be right to share a new side, and see where it goes. I know there’s no “one way” to open this world to him – and I know it can’t help but be awkward along the way – but I wonder if you’d have any thoughts on how I might begin.

    Thanks for all that you share…

  5. Thanks NJ!

    It’s hard for me to say what’s the best way to bring this up with your partner. I know for myself that I was with someone too and told him about my own feelings about caring and being a daddy. He took it really well and it ended up lasting for several years!

    I do remember that it took time and that we took things slowly. This is something you’ve been thinking about for a long time and it may be very very new to him. He’d need some time I think to sort of let things sink in.

    My personal feelings about any situation like this is that honesty is sooooo important. But trying to be considerate of someone’s else’s feelings, how they may need time to understand and process things – well, that’s important too.

    I sure wish you all the happiness in the world. If you are grateful for what you have, honest about your needs, and considerate of others’ feelings it sure feels to me like while things may not go entirely as planned, you’ll be able to look back and say you were a true and faithful person to the end.

    Hugs and good luck!

  6. Being new to the daddy scene (was an ab/dl more) I am glad there is material out here like this to help get a feel so to say. My little one lives not to far away in the same city so its really fun to have actual interaction. The thing I like about this so far is the amount of love and affection I can give my little one, having some one depend on me some one I can take care of and someone who loves me in that special way.

  7. Who is sam? If your not sam then who are you? hehehe

    This is me running around climbing trees and building forts during the day and a bottle full of warm chocolate milk in bed thickly diapered with my bear by night.

  8. Being a little boy but never having been taken care of I can still lend a hand lol. I think the most special thing would be just the reassurance that I am loved for who I am inside. I think also that other LB’s will agree with me when I say if I have something in mind that I want to do independently that we still want a ‘Daddy’ there but maybe not giving the appearance of helping. Sometimes we want to show him that “We can do it” but we still want him there to watch and be proud. Hope that helps now if you’ll excuse me I need to get back to watching Avatar the Last Airbender 😛 lol-Alden

  9. Alden – I think lots of us who are AB’s lack something as far as love from one parent or another or in some cases maybe some AB’s never had a parent at all for whatever reason. My Mom was always there I have to say and I do miss her every day. My Dad was sick on and off when I was growing up and he was not necessarily always there. Even today alot of times I cannot deal with him and he simply is not there or NOT as understanding about human issues as my Mom was. :p

  10. yeah I have to agree. For me my family is in pretty much chaos and when my parents found out about me my mom called me a freak so…yeah I see where you are coming from…

  11. Well Alden when I go on a trip if My Dad is house sitting its easier to take everything apart like my crib and just make it a day bed and take the high chair apart because who would understand it anyways. BUT don’t feel like you are alone in any way. I have to do a baby sweep anytime I want to go anywhere make sure everything is put away and locked up. One of the other AB’s I knew when he and his wife were getting married took everything down for a month and locked it away in a storage unit until everyone was long gone and had left. 🙂

  12. Daddy Thank you.

    For helping me to find the courage to start looking for my special daddy again. When he finds me I know he’ll be just great! And I’ll point him to these wonderful pages and to a special daddy who helped to keep me safe in mind till the day he found me.


  13. Dear Daddy,

    It’s been two years since I wrote in to you, thinking about telling my partner about my diapers and the joys of being an AB boy. Some things take a lot of time and courage! Just last week, I finally told him. We’ve been together for 10 years, and it felt great to finally say something. I was very surprised that he hadn’t already figured it out — I guess I keep secrets well!

    Anyway, he took it wonderfully. Just last night, I put a diaper on before he came home from work. I didn’t get into AB-mode — thinking it best just to ease in to it all. He never batted an eye. It may take a while before he learns the fun of it, and how to be playful with a boy like me — but it was so sweet to go to bed and cuddle close to him with my diaper on last night, and wake up as a wet boy next to him this morning.

    Thanks for your gentle thoughts, and your wonderful site! I wonder if you’d ever write a blog that might have someone like him in mind — a total newcomer to understanding AB boys, who suddenly has one on their hands. What would you say? Where would you start?

    Thanks for all your gentle, playful words over the years!

  14. You idiot, you have spammed the comments so much you don’t remember where you have posted and have now asked yourself to text you. I don’t think anyone will text you you make yourself sound so stupid. Please stop spamming.

  15. I want to thank you for all of the great posts.. I am just becoming a Daddy and needed to read so many lovely posts and thoughts from daddies and boys alike.

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