Paraphilic infantilism, also known as autonepiophilia and adult baby syndrome involves role-playing a regression to an infant-like state. Behaviors may include drinking from a bottle or wearing diapers. Individuals may engage in gentle and nurturing experiences (an adult who only engages in infantilistic play is known as an adult baby) or be attracted to masochistic, coercive, punishing or humiliating experiences. Diaper fetishism involves “diaper lovers” wearing diapers for sexual or erotic reasons but may not involve infant-like behavior. Individuals who experience both of these things are referred to as adult baby/diaper lovers (AB/DL). When wearing diapers, infantilists may urinate or defecate in them.
There is no recognized etiology for infantilism and little research on the subject. It has been linked to masochism and a variety of other paraphilias. Though commonly confused with pedophilia the two conditions are distinct and infantilists do not seek children as sexual partners. A variety of causes has been proposed, including altered lovemaps, imprinting gone awry and errors in erotic targets, though there is no consensus. A variety of organizations exist to promote infantilism or meet with other practitioners throughout the world.