More of a mindset than a physical locale, littlespace is the adult lifestyle that involves a return to a younger, childhood age. Each so-called “little” decides which age he or she identifies with and engages in practices and behaviors that correspond to that age. Littlespace is, therefore, a mindset and lifestyle that involves specialized activities, cute clothing, and sometimes even adult diapers, caregivers, and sexual activity. Littlespace experiences can be very similar from person to person, but they can also be quite different, being customized to each little according to his or her preferences.
The Littlespace Mindset
The littlespace mindset is one of relaxed, carefree regression. It is a type of thinking and behaving that adults engage in to relive childhood memories or to create playful, loving memories that may have been absent during earlier childhood years. From this regressive space emerges a set of behaviors and interests that differ from that of adult peers and more closely resemble the interests and behaviors of children. This tendency toward regressive behaviors is considered atypical, as it is relatively uncommon and falls outside the standards of what is considered “normal” or “preferable” adult desires and behaviors.
But while this behavior is not “typical”, it can be enjoyable, and even therapeutic at times. In particular, if an adult was deprived of a fulfilling childhood, littlespace can invite a sense of comfort and safety through the many activities, clothing choices, and interactions with other littles and/or caregivers. (It is important to note that adults who engage in littlespace play are of legal, consenting age, which helps create the comfortable and safe atmosphere required for enjoyable littlespace play.) Some prefer to be called littles, while others prefer to be referred to as adult babies. Still others prefer to the term middles, as they most closely associate with an older child’s age. Whatever the preference, the mindset and consequent activities across littlespace share a similar vein and are meant to create soothing enjoyment for all involved.
Littlespace activities range across many interests, depending on the age that the little most closely identifies with. For very young age ranges, it is common for littles to spend time watching cartoons and movies meant to entertain young viewers. They may enjoy playing games like peek-a-boo and doing arts and crafts, such as finger painting. Littles may also engage in pacifier use, as pacifiers are known to be soothing and to promote a good night’s sleep. Littles who identify with older ages may enjoy coloring books and picture books, as well as more involved games like hide-and-seek. They may also enjoy playing with dolls, putting together puzzles, and playing age-appropriate video games. Bedtime stories are not uncommon in littlespace play, and littles may exhibit other regressive behaviors, like thumb-sucking, limited speech, and regressed knowledge.
But these are just some examples. Since activities are entirely dependent on a little’s preferences, they can vary widely. Perhaps unsurprisingly, littles tend to take on a submissive role and may prefer to have a caregiver who engages in play and activities with them. Regardless of what the activities and play look like, ultimately, littles are seeking comfort and enjoyment with each activity, and each little is in control of how to express his or her unique personality.
Littles often opt to wear youthful clothing that has cute, fun prints and designs reminiscent of childhood. And the options are virtually endless. As littlespace has become more well-known, more brands have emerged with designs that fit the preferences of those who engage in littlespace. For instance, clothing may include socks and undergarments printed with bright colors or pastels, or they may have baby animals and other prints like those seen often on children’s clothes.
Many littles like wearing onesies, which have snaps in the crotch area that easily allow for diaper changes from caregivers. Onesies are a particularly specialized clothing option for littles, as they are designed to fit much like baby garments. Clothing, like other aspects of littlespace, is very dependent on the little’s preferred age expression, and while some littles may enjoy the feel of a onesie, others may want to act a tiny bit bigger, preferring dresses, suspenders, hair bows, and fun sweaters. They may style their hair with braids and pigtails and play dress-up with tutus, necklaces, and bracelets. These accessories are often extra glittery and attractive to remind the wearer of the items that catch children’s eyes in stores.
Some (though not all) littles who engage in littlespace like to wear diapers. There are several options of adult diapers available on the market, some of the cutest of which are labeled as ABDL, which stands for adult baby diaper lover. The designs tend to be colorful and printed, unlike plain white diapers. However, there is also a plethora of plain white options, including ones that are made with cloth-like materials and others with plastic backings. There are pull-up styles, which are great for littles who love a tiny bit of independence, and there are traditional diaper styles, which must be secured with tape tabs by caregivers and which are great for the littlest of littles. Adult diapers encourage littles to get into the right headspace, a transition that may take time depending on the other, day-to-day activities, and responsibilities of the little.
Littlespace invites comfort and relaxation; appropriate attire, adult diapers, and fun activities can each serve to relieve stress and tension and remind littles how to feel relaxed and carefree. Adult diapers are often described as extremely soft and fluffy, offering the kind of protection a young child gets. The additional care required from caregivers helps littles feel that extra bit treasured and cherished. Some littles just love how adorable they look in diapers! Ultimately, littlespace is a safe space where each little gets to determine if and why he or she wears adult diapers.
(It is important to note that there is a distinction between ABDL and littlespace. Although there can be a crossover, as noted earlier, not all littles enjoy wearing diapers and not all caregivers enjoy providing this extra care.)
Private and Public Littlespace
Most littlespace activities and behaviors are enjoyed within the comfort and privacy of a home. This can be the little’s home or the caregiver’s home. Although people with regressive tendencies have found many ways to enjoy littlespace, such tendencies are often contained within a private space to avoid unwelcome judgments and undue explanations to others. However, just because littlespace isn’t widely understood doesn’t mean littles have to leave all of their littlespace tendencies behind. Some littles opt for subtle reminders that they can take into their public, day-to-day lives – sort of a secret, but one that only they know about.
One such subtle reminder (a favorite among littles) is a beaded bracelet. It’s youthful and colorful, and the little can even play with it to ease stress and anxiety during uncomfortable moments. Another form of subtle littlespace play is the use of adult coloring books. The images are more “grown-up” (and often more challenging) than those in children’s coloring books, but the act of coloring (the important part) by itself can help to bring littles into the space they enjoy. Other subtle practices can include wearing onesie pajamas out on a cold night, or perhaps wearing a sweater with animal ears on it during fall and winter to keep warm and comforted inside and out.
Caregivers and Littlespace
Some adult littles enjoy spending time with another adult who is labeled as a caregiver. This caregiver may be assigned a role-playing name, such as “Mommy” or “Daddy.” These labels are helpful in defining the roles of each littlespace participant, clearly identifying who is in the regressive, submissive role and who is in the authoritative, care-taking role. Caregivers often partake in play and activities with littles, putting favorite movies on, engaging in interactive games, and reading bedtime stories. Also, depending on the little’s age and preferences, caregivers may also assist with changing clothes, playing dress-up, and changing diapers. They may spoon-feed their littles, offer beverages in sippy cups or bottles, and help them clean up after a messy meal. They may brush and style their littles’ hair, kiss and cuddle them, sleep comfortingly beside them, or even surprise them with gifts like toys and coloring books. Caregivers may also reprimand and punish littles, as a parent would a child. Finally, since littlespace involves consenting adults, it is also possible that caregivers and littles engage in sexual activity.
Sexual Activity and Littlespace
Adult littles may feel inclined to allow sex from a caregiver while in littlespace. The tendency during sexual activity is for littles to take a submissive role, allowing his or her caregiver to take the lead, offering guidance and dominance along the way. Littles may get extra shy during sexual playtime and may engage in self-soothing activities, such as holding on to a stuffed animal or reaching for a pacifier. Sexual activity will be different for each adult engaged in littlespace; some encounters may be sweet and playful, while others may include restraints and discipline or other, more extreme forms of domination and submission. Some caregivers may use sex toys or other objects for enhanced stimulation, such as paddles for spankings. When engaged in more involved sexual practices, the use of a safe word is extremely important. Although the sex lives of littles vary wildly, some adults who engage in littlespace keep sexual activities limited to their adult (or “big”) lives, preferring to regress entirely into the comfort of a child’s mindset, meaning without the incorporation of adult practices such as sex.
Littlespace is a way for adults to express their atypical personalities within the comfort of regressive activities that offer security and relaxation. Adults who engage in littlespace operate with respect and care for one another, so each can feel happy and fulfilled in their respective roles. Each little will identify his or her preferred age and all activities and clothing styles will emanate from that chosen mindset. Regressive games and arts and crafts are considered healthy activities for personality expression in littlespace, and the care provided by caregivers promotes a feeling of safety and well-being for littles. Ultimately, littlespace is a means by which adults with similar interests can fulfill one another’s needs with safe practices that encourage thorough self-expression, youthful tranquility, and lasting enjoyment.