FROM the street, Stephanie and Roy’s house is much the same as any other on their Hampshire housing estate. But if you venture inside and up to the nursery, things start looking a little odd.
There’s a cot, a high chair and some children’s toys and books.
A cupboard which is decorated with Winnie the Pooh transfers contains a row of girlie outfits – all frills and bright colours.
But this is no child’s bedroom.
This is an adult baby “nursery”, where people come to dress up and be looked after as if they were infants. The specially-made cot is seven feet long and the high chair is sturdy enough to accommodate the six foot seven rugby player who sometimes uses it.
The “nursery” is run by married couple Stephanie – who takes on the role of “Mummy” – and Roy – an adult baby himself.
Stephanie, now in her mid-40s, met Roy when she was just 19. They were set up on a blind date and soon fell in love, getting engaged after six months.
As a boy, Roy wet the bed and this developed into him finding wearing nappies comforting and relaxing. Shortly after their relationship began, Stephanie found a pair of Roy’s plastic pants and confronted him.
“He broke down in floods of tears,” she says.
“He told me as much as he could but he didn’t know that there were other people out there with the same interest. He had no idea why he liked wearing nappies.
“I can’t say I accepted it straight away because I didn’t understand. But once he explained he likes to be the baby, to be cared for and feel secure, I understood it had nothing to do with being interested in children and I accepted it.”
Stephanie says the assumption that because adult babies like dressing as children they are paedophiles or have any interest in children is completely mistaken.
She adds that although the desire to wear a nappy and sometimes role-play as a baby is a fetish, it isn’t necessarily a sexual one.
“It’s a comfort thing for Roy, it helps him relax,” she says of her lorry driver husband’s ‘diaper loving’.
“If he’s had a stressful day he comes home and he’s a growling bear at the door but if I put him into a towelling nappy and pants he can be asleep within half an hour. I don’t see it as mothering him – I see it as caring. Sometimes I take care of him and sometimes he looks after me.”
Roy adds: “It’s going back to a state of having no worries and that time when you’re completely looked after. You don’t have any stress or have to think about the next bill. You put a nappy on and it’s just total relaxation. You lay there and you’re looked after. When I get really stressed out there’s nothing that can beat it. I used to drink badly but I don’t anymore. I’ve got my comfort blanket. You put it on and regress to that wonderful age when you had no cares.
“I think it’s something I’ll always do. I haven’t found anything that beats it for relaxation. After a couple of hours I’m relaxed for weeks.”
Stephanie says that although she might step into a mothering role when Roy is in adult baby mode – which happens about once a week – in the rest of their relationship they are very much husband and wife, not child and mother.
However, she does play more of a “Mummy” role for the men and women who visit her adult baby “nursery”.
The “nursery” came about when a male friend admired how Stephanie had put her husband’s nappy on for him and asked her to do his. She did as he asked and he suggested it was something she could go into as a business.