Photography by Polly Borland DIGITALSEX / May 2014


Photography by Polly Borland
Text by Dora Moutot

What happens when the world of travesty and the world of childhood meet? When these two worlds cross over, we dive into the world of the AB/DL, “Adult Babies / Diapers Lovers”.

Yes, some adults want to be children. Their desire is to be infantilised, treated as babies. They demand the right to regression and they spend their evenings in diapers, bottles in hand, babbling away.

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Instead of travestying their gender with the characteristics of the opposite sex, they switch their age. Instead of assigning themselves with female alter egos, the adult baby assigns himself with the alter ego of a baby. Sometimes travesty and age get mixed up together, and the adult baby becomes a baby of the opposite sex. A man can then become a little baby girl.

We don’t want to be with a child, we want to be the child”, explains Derek in a Channel 4 documentary on adult babies, making it clear that his condition has nothing to with pedophilia.

Photographer Polly Borland has successfully uncovered the private world of adult babies. Over the course of five years in the 90s, she photographed over 35 male adult babies travestied as baby girls in England, France, the USA and Australia.

“They looked amazing”, says Borland. “They are like giants dressed as babies; they are giant babies, crawling round the floor in all this satin, those frilly ribbons and little flowers. It appealed on some fantasy level; it was almost carnivalesque. There was something pretty and ugly about it: pretty yet ugly; baby yet not baby.”


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Adult babies determine their own age and wear adult-sized clothes inspired by the designs of children’s clothes. Bib aprons, pink frills, romper suits, onesies and pyjamas. These clothes are bought on the Internet where a real “Adult Baby” industry has emerged. Ebay is notably overflowing with stores for adult children. On the Internet, these adult kids get together to discuss their paraphilia. They exchange information through forums such as ABKingdom for the French speaking, or ADISC, and DailyDiapers for the English speaking. They share recipes of mashes for children and compare the quality of baby food pots.

The Internet is also the place where they source their furniture, because these big kids also reconstruct themselves actual adult-size nurseries. Cribs, beds with giant bars, playpens, rocking horses, changing tables… they reconstruct the playground of their dreams. It’s a place where they can feel “very small” once again. Stuffed toys lie about on the floor and the television is usually switched on playing cartoons. Rattle in hand and dummy in the mouth, they entertain themselves on a play mat and get tucked into bed in sheets adorned with Disney characters. These adults cultivate their sense of aestheticism and the pleasures of childhood. Some like to pee in bed, while others take great pleasure defecating in their diapers. (The diapers used by adult babies are not originally made for AB/DL, they are actually diapers for those suffering from incontinence).

“The diaper is a bit like safety net, a parachute against the strains of emotional stress, the responsibilities of adulthood, or something like that. It’s simply something that I love, I know that can seem strange”, explains Jean Francois, in a personal account on the website


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The majority of Adult babies are men as demonstrated by Polly Borland’s reportage. They often seek a woman who will be willing to play “mommy” with them. They seek a mother who will powder their bottoms, change their diapers, read them a story and cuddle them. Some like to have rules set for them, as well as particular bed times and clothes. When the said rules are broken, the “mother” can punish them by grounding them into a corner or by a spanking. These infantilists are in a process of emotional regression and wish to relinquish control of the situation in order to get closer to the state of infant. Could this be a form of escapism in the face of adult responsibilities?


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 “Adult Babies are defined by their sense of egoism. They want to regress to the state of baby or young child and that involves losing control over one’s decisions and in facto, responsibility”, confirms Lionel, an adult baby, in an account on the website

A demanding mother? Hard to find, you might say. It’s probably down to this need to be mothered that photographer Polly Borland was able to integrate their world and create such an intimate reportage. “I think the whole thing of the camera looking at them felt like a very intense gaze, a bit like a mother’s gaze”, she explains.

But not all Adult Babies have had they chance to be the subject of a photo reportage, and some actually resort to paying a dominatrix with whom they can give free reign to their fantasies. These dominatrixes will then play the role of “mommy” or “nanny”. There also exist a number of adult nurseries, offering “Adult Baby Regressive Therapy”, such as ABcooning in France. The sessions last a few hours, offering adults the possibility to regress in a favourable environment.


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By now, you must seriously be asking yourself if this is all a sexual fetish. You might wonder if AB/DL is a form of submission and masochism. Some practices of AB/DL undoubtedly seem very close to these. In masochism, the dominant partner uses submission and discipline in order to exert control and power. When drawing the analogy with the world of AB/DL, the figure of a strict mistress gets replaced with a more maternal yet firm female figure. Leather and chains would then be substituted for diapers and feeding bottles, as well as the loss of control in AB/DL.

The Adult Baby / Diaper Lovers can be divided into two groups: the adult babies or AB and the diapers lovers, or DL, who have a fetish for diapers. A diaper lover is not always an adult baby. But an adult baby is for the most part a diaper fetishist.


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The Adult babies use diapers for non-sexual reasons. For an infantilist, wearing a diaper provides a sense of security and comfort, where sexual relations are banished. For the diaper fetishist, the diaper becomes more about the pleasure and a kind of sexual arousal. Diaper lovers affirm their fetish and sexual attraction for diapers. The diaper becomes the centre and object of their fantasies. Diaper lovers don’t necessarily desire to be infantilised; they are simply adults acting like adults who have a fetish for diapers. But the limits between AB/DL are often blurry.

Some will play the role of baby and want cuddles with their mommy. Other times, they will want a sexual relation with their partner as an adult, even if they’re wearing a diaper.


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In everyday life, these adult babies have jobs and normal lives – a far cry from their feeding bottles and rocking horses. But as soon they return home and find the opportunity to do so, they “transform” themselves. Some keep their secret locked away, when their family is not ready to hear about their alter ego. A widespread compromise for Adult Babies is to discretely wear a diaper in their “normal life” underneath their adult clothes, somewhat keeping the link to their adult baby alter ego alive.

“I met a multitude of different babies. They were straight and gay, truck drivers and one High Court judge, men with wives and children and men who were too obsessed with infantilism to get involved with any other kind of life”, explains Polly Borland.

The reasons that lead adult babies into this lifestyle are mysterious and they are themselves unable to explain it. For many, the desire to be once again mothered appeared early on in their life and remained an obsession owing to an unhappy childhood.




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2 Responses to “WHO ARE YOU, ADULT BABY?”

  1. bigbabybilly says:


  2. patts44 says:

    je suis bébé adulte et aimerai trouvez une maman pour biberon changer la couche totote

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