A Redding man has been living part of his life as an adult and part as a two-year-old child.
Stanley Thornton says he works to keep his adult baby habits confined to the safety of his own home to avoid making others uncomfortable, but when he was approached by the producers of National Geographicâ??s Taboo he decided it was an opportunity to explain the lifestyle to those who don't understand.
Thorntonâ??s Redding home looks just like anyone else's until he opens the door to his bedroom that's been customized for a two-year-old.
"I'll play with the block or Legos. I have the play pen I'll set that up in the living room and watch TV or play with Play-Doh. Just kind of relaxing into the role of a kid," Thornton said.
The 30-year-old was recently featured on the National Geographic Channel's Taboo
because he finds comfort in dressing up like a baby. It is known as infantilism, and it's something Thornton has been doing since he was a teenager.
"It started about a year after the bed wetting started I was 13 and about 6 months later I happened to be walking through the store and they had a little pack of four diapers for a dollar and I said all right let try it out and see how it works,â?쳌 Thornton said.
Over the years he has worked with doctors to find the underlying cause of his bladder issues that caused the bed wetting. He says they believe it may be connected to his PTSD and spinal injury; both the result of childhood abuse.
"My dad would do it physically. I'd just curl up in a ball and wait for it to stop. He was drinking a lot at the time. I was taking a lot of hit for my younger brother trying to protect him the best I could," Thornton said.
Thornton says the abuse wasn't just physical. He says his mother would have him purposely admitted to hospitals where he was restrained on beds and isolated in dark rooms.
â??Because of the abuse it is really difficult for me to feel safe. So when I am in the crib, I surrounded I feel protected and I can actually get some sleep," Thornton said.
During the first few years, Thornton says he tried to keep his adult baby behaviors hidden from his family. When they found out he says his mother and younger brother were not accepting. The uncomfortable environment led to a suicide attempt when he was 17.
Fortunately he survived.
In 2001 found his first caretaker who he called, adult baby mommy, and moved to Albany New York to live with her.
"Once I got out there it was a completely different environment. It was the first time I really felt what love felt like," Thornton said.
The 30-year-old has been on disability for several years because of his PTSD, depression and bipolar disorder. He says he only spends between one and four hours a day playing baby. The supplies cost him about ten dollars a month.
"When I'm role playing I pretend I'm a different kid with a different family. And It helps me deal with multiple things, like I said the abuse and the diapers. I just helps me relax,â?쳌 Thornton said.
Much of Thorntonâ??s waking time is spent working on his website
he created to help others like him understand what they are going through.
"I think the biggest thing is to know that they are not crazy. They are not sick or perverted, and just because they like to wear a diaper or drink from a bottle doesn't make them a pedophile or a danger to kids,â?쳌 Thornton said.
After living as an adult baby for more than 15 years, Thornton says he is still learning more about the roots of the behavior everyday He admits he doesn't know what the future holds for his younger self.
"I don't know if it is going to role play as a baby forever or if it will grow up that baby over time. I can't say. I'm still learning about it, and all I can say is its going to be the two-year-old for a while," Thornton said.
Thornton isn't alone. His website has more than a thousand members, and he says there is at least one more adult baby living in Redding with three others possibly in the area.