Snaps or Hook & Loop???
November 14, 2013 11:35:39 AM EST
Most newbies to cloth diapers want to know, “Which closure should I go for? Snaps or hook & loop?” When I decided to cloth diaper my youngest, I too asked this question. I didn’t want to spend the money on a certain closure and then regret my decision later on. When I heard that snaps where much more durable than hook & loop, I decided that was what I was getting for my son. I definitely didn’t want to get a closure option that was going to wear out! I ordered 12 bumGenius 4.0s in snaps to start out, and eventually I ended up with 27 diapers all in snaps.
I did most all of the diaper changes at that time, because my hubby was resistant to cloth at first. I started thinking to myself, “Dang. I wish I would have gotten a few hook & loop diapers! Then maybe hubby would be a little more on board, since they go on just like disposables.” I started to regret not having at least giving hook & loop a try….
Now, don’t get me wrong! I LOVE my snaps! I just wished I hadn’t put all my eggs in one basket. I weighed the pros and cons of hook & loop to help me decide whether or not to add them to my stash...
First, the PROs of hook & loop:
Hook & loop diapers have a smaller learning curve than snaps. The go on and off just like a disposable, making them perfect for those who may be new or hesitant to use cloth diapers, such as babysitters, daycare, a hubby like mine, etc. Caregivers with arthritic hands may find it difficult to connect some snaps together. It takes a little more effort to snap together a snap, than to simple attach a hook and loop tab.
Squirmy babies may also make using snaps a little more challenging. My son is really bad about this. As soon as I get the diaper underneath him and go to snap it, he does the ol’ flipperoo! He has to get away, and he refuses to lay still long enough for me to get it snapped. Often times, we are snapping the diapers shut while he is standing. Once you know what snap setting works for your baby, you will be able to quickly snap it to that setting with practice. But it will never be as fast as putting on a hook & loop! It also makes for easier nighttime changes when you want to get the diaper on fast, before baby fully wakes up.
It’s also easier to get a perfect fit with hook & loop. Snaps are set at certain points on you diaper. With hook & loop, you -have a full panel to work with. You can place the tabs higher or lower on the panel if you need to, which makes for a more customized fit.
Now, the CONs of hook & loop:
Snaps are popular for a reason: they are made to last. They almost always outlast hook & loop! Over time, tabs can lose their stickiness and eventually need replaced. Hook & loop can also start to look dingy over time. The ends may start to curl up, and you may get dark around the edges. Snaps? Pretty much always look great.
Caring for hook & loop is a little more difficult than snaps. Before putting hook & loop diapers the washer, you should fasten the laundry tabs, or you are going to end up with a bunch of diapers stuck together, AKA: a diaper chain. The problem with this is that strong Velcro attaching somewhere it wasn't meant to attach to can damage the material when you pull off the tab. Fabric can also collect in the tabs and needs to be picked out so that it doesn’t affect the stickiness of the tabs. Snaps are just easier to care for. You don’t have to do anything with them!
There usually comes a point in time, when babies learn to take off their diapers. Snaps seem to be more difficult for little hands to figure out than hook & loop. That being said, my son mastered his snaps at a very young age. It did take him a little more finagling, but he pretty much got them off just as fast as hook & loop.
So with all of this in mind, I decided to go ahead and try hook & loop diapers out. I have to say, I’m so glad I did! I almost always reach for a diaper in hook & loop at bedtime, since my son is usually asleep when I am changing him into his nighttime diaper. I try get it on him as quick and gentle as possible to avoid waking him, and this type of closure just makes it easier for me. I also have hubby doing some of the diaper changes now, although at this point he can easy slap a diaper with snaps on him! Regardless, it’s definitely nice to have a few of these around!
So my thoughts on the whole hook & loop versus snaps debate? Honestly, I love them both. If I had to choose just one, it would probably be snaps for their durability. I also like that with snaps, I don’t have to worry about fastening laundry tabs (which I almost NEVER remember to do!) and that I most likely won’t have to replace them down the road. My ideal stash would be mostly snaps with a few hook & loop sprinkled in, here and there. I also think it depends on the brand of diaper you choose. I have to say, I am LOVING my SoftBums and Tots Bots hook & loop! I have had the Softbums for several months and it is just as good as it was when I first bought it!
So I guess I am being a bit wishy washy. It really just comes down to personal preference. Although I love my snaps and glad they make up the majority of my stash, the last several diapers I have purchased have been Hook & Loop.... it definitely has its place in my stash.
*I have purchased all products mentioned in this post. Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.
Stephanie Beck is the mother of a dinosaur expert, a set of twins somehow born 13 months apart, and a wild baby boy. She enjoys being outdoors with her kids, going on walks, swimming, fishing, and yard saling with her hubby. She started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN, and also helps out with TGN’s twitter, so if you want to chat about cloth diapers, or just want to say “hi”, go ahead and send her a tweet!