Monday, June 27, 2011

Cloth Diaper Fasteners: Snaps vs. Velcro

Modern cloth diapers has given rise to new options of securing your baby's diaper to their cute little butt.  And with options now comes the question - why would someone choose a snap over a velcro, (aka aplix, aka hook and loop) fastener?  What are the pros and cons? I get this all the time in my workshops, so I tend to address the question before it's even asked.  Today I'll put it in writing.  Let's weigh the pros and cons of both:

The Velcro Fastener
  1. Most closely simulates a disposable diaper fastener
  2. Goes on very easy which is great for a squirmy baby or one who does not like to get their diapers changed.
  3. Wider range for fit at the waist line.
  1.  Wears out eventually... some more quickly than others. 
  2. Once baby gains some dexterity will eventually undo the fastener and walk around with their diaper hanging half off :)
  3. If the velcro strip isn't long or wide enough or not the best quality, once your baby starts toddling the diaper will start coming apart and dropping off your baby.
The Snap Fastener
  1.  Very durable.
  2. Will not come apart, so diaper won't come off of baby when toddling.
  3. Baby won't have the dexterity to pull the diaper off themselves for quite some time, if at all.
  1. Can be more difficult to put on with a squirmy child.
  2. Though most cloth diapers with snaps have a ton of placement options, you are limited to fixed points rather than "as tight as I can get it" at the waist line.
By this comparison it would appear that snaps outweigh the velcro, but, the human variables of preference and  behavior should be accounted for. I've met moms who just prefer the velcro because it makes putting on the diaper so much easier. And some babies are squirmy while others just lay there patiently for diaper changes, so, it's not a problem putting them in a snap diaper. 

So what advice do I give my moms on this topic? For newborns and infants who aren't moving around too much yet, in that first 0-6 months or so when they're growing like weeds, go ahead and get a velcro cover or diaper.  You won't be using it for a very long period of time so it won't wear out on you, and it'll be easier to change your baby's diapers.  Once they start toddling, snaps all the way.  Remember, their weight won't fluctuate as much as it did in those first 6 months, and they'll be in the same size diaper for a much longer time - think another 2 years if they're in a one-size diaper.  So you definitely want something that will last for the long haul.  I should also note that there tends to be more postings online from someone looking for a seamstress to either replace the velcro tabs or for a snap conversion.  Rarely do you see a snap to velcro conversion. If you really do prefer a velcro fastener over a snap one you could always just make sure your baby is wearing a onesie, or pair of shorts to keep it all together if the velcro starts wearing out.  But do you really want to cover up those cute cloth-diapered bums all the time?

I pretty much decided today that I'll definitely maintain some velcro one-size and larger-sized diapers and covers in stock, but, I'll probably be ordering snaps more heavily now.  To me, it just makes sense.

What do you think about velcro vs snap fasteners?

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