Scientists prove a point by injecting liquid into babies' diapers

It's not always glamorous, being a scientist. Sure, occasionally you get to smash subatomic particles together or sequence a genome, but other times, you are stuck in a room, alone, waiting for a baby to fall asleep so you can fill its little diaper with simulated pee. To be fair, in doing that you might be helping alleviate more human misery than any lunar voyager.

As most parents know, children will continue happily playing if their diaper is full. They'll continue playing if their diaper, leggings, and shoes are full. But what happens if they're not distracted? This is crucial both for parents' sleep cycle and their peace of mind. Should a parent wake up a sleeping baby to change its diaper? Or should they let it sleep, taking the chance that a wet diaper might wake it up early anyway? It's not rocket science, but many a new parent has pondered it.

So researchers got together 34 infants. They waited for them to go to sleep. Then they stuck a syringe full of water in the diaper and filled that sucker up. After that, it was just time to sit back and wait for the results. As it turns out, "simulated voiding was unable to induce arousals." In other words, kids are happy to sleep in a puddle of pee. (If only the rest of us could be similarly serene when it comes to our surroundings.) So there it is - don't worry about a wet baby. They're happy to lie in their own piss until they wake naturally.

Inject: Paul Goyette

[Via NCBI.]