When one decides to use cloth diapers, one quickly finds that there’s a whole lot to learn. You’ve got different styles (prefolds, fitted, hybrid fitted WAHM, hybrids, pockets, all-in-two, and all in ones) to choose from, and then within those different styles are a plethora of brands. And the start up cost to building a cloth diaper stash doesn’t help. It can be super overwhelming with an intimidating price tag to start. Before you even start buying, a common question is how big of a cloth diaper stash you need to start. Once you make that decision and figure out the style, there’s another decision to make: how should your diapers close? Do you want Velcro cloth diapers or snap cloth diapers? What are the pros and cons of Velcro cloth diapers versus snap cloth diapers? Or would you rather use pins or covers? Maybe from there you choose a brand to start with… or you choose a brand and let that influence the type of closure.
It’s totally and completely mind blowing. After all, when you decide to use cloth diapers, each diaper is an investment. And I remember that to me, it felt like “do or die” when I was making a decision.
I think it might be a little harder because there really isn’t a right or wrong in this. It’s a matter of what works best for you and your baby.
When I started my cloth diaper stash, I was convinced that snap cloth diapers were the best way to go. I knew that I wanted pocket cloth diapers because they were the easiest to use, and the ones that I was hearing the most about were BumGenius and FuzziBunz. Back then, BumGenius 3.0 was the current diaper, and that only came in Velcro. FuzziBunz came in snaps.
I didn’t have a great love of Velcro, so I bought nineteen FuzziBunz one size fits all diapers to start. That was a perfectly adequate stash that had me doing laundry roughly every day and a half when Norton was a newborn.
And from there I had a bit of a learning curve. I had some problems where I dealt with diaper stink. I had some problems with leaking due to fit. And I had a lot of times where I wondered if my decision to use cloth diapers was the right one.
But still, now that I’ve been using them, I’ve figured out the tricks, and I have a huge and varied stash, I have a lot of fun with them. But still, that doesn’t answer the question of which diaper should you choose…
When I was trying to figure out what I should have in my cloth diaper stash, I was just certain that I only wanted snap cloth diapers. The idea of snap cloth diapers seemed to be just clearly superior to Velcro cloth diapers.
It turns out that I was wrong. There is no superior. There’s just “different,” “personal preference,” and “works better for my kid.” Both Velcro and snap cloth diapers have their pros and cons.
Pros of snap cloth diapers: some babies fit better in snaps. Plus, snaps are more durable than Velcro. Velcro can snag on things that you don’t want it to snag on and eventually lose their stickiness. But snaps are forever. Not only that, but if you’ve ever seen a baby take its own diaper off, you know that’s a definite “do not want.” Snaps are harder for a baby to remove than a Velcro cloth diaper.
Cons of snap cloth diapers: they can be harder to get on since you have to line the diaper up with the right snap to get the right fit. For a newborn, that’s no big deal… but once the diaper change becomes a fight to the death, it’s harder to get the right snaps lined up on a screaming, clawing, fighting toddler. Some sitters find the snaps to be way too intimidating to use.
Pros of Velcro cloth diapers: They really do go on just like a disposable. That level of ease can take care of a lot of the intimidation factor for baby-sitters, grandparents, and moms who are just starting to figure out using cloth diapers. It’s a way to get reluctant fathers on board, too. Because they go on so much easier, you might find that a walking toddler will be more likely to stand still for the diaper change than to lie still for the diaper change. Velcro cloth diapers can be easier to put on a standing child. (At least, it has been for me!)
Cons of Velcro cloth diapers: They make a really nice daisy chain in the wash. I hate how Velcro can come unstuck from the thing that you want it to stick to and end up sticking to (and possibly wrecking) something that you don’t want it to stick to. Because of this sticking problem, the Velcro can eventually get “gummed up” and not stick to itself like it’s supposed to. Plus the super easy on/off part of using Velcro cloth diapers will also eventually make it easier for your toddler to get them off.
Currently, my stash is mostly snaps with a few Velcros… but I’m thinking that the next time I buy cloth diapers, I’m going to go for some Velcro closures. (Not that I need any more cloth diapers, but that won’t stop me.)
Do you have a preference?
Originally written July 12, 2011. Four years and a bit in, I still prefer snaps. The only two brands that I actually prefer hook & loop are Tots Bots and Mini Kiwi. Oh, and not needing cloth diapers still hasn’t stopped me from buying them, either. As an aside, I also find it laughable that I thought I had a huge stash and varied stash three years ago.