One of the many options from which to choose when deciding on your cloth diapers is which closure method. Some styles make it easy by offering only one or the other, while some lines have both options available. Which is the best for you?
The decision basically comes down to personal choice, but there are pros and cons to each type of closure.
Snaps are usually made of plastic, and (as the name suggests) snap together to fasten the diaper. Some styles of diapers have just one row of snaps, while others have two to allow you to adjust the legs and waist independently to get a great fit. Snaps can be tricky at first, but once you have discovered which snap setting works for your kid, they are very easy to use. They can be a little trickier for anyone not using them frequently to learn though (e.g. babysitters, grandparents etc). One trick I use is to leave a diaper snapped up to our settings for them to use as an example so they can see which snaps we use.
Pros of snaps:
- Long lasting
- Very secure
- Hard for even Houdini toddlers to undo
Cons of snaps:
- Limited adjustability (e.g. finite number of snap settings)
- More finicky to get a good fit
Hook and Loop
Also known as Aplix or the brand name Velcro, hook and loop can stick at any point, making closure adjustments limitless. Fastening a hook and loop diaper is almost exactly like putting on a disposable diaper, so they are awesome for babysitters, daycare or grandparents. However, hook and loop does collect a variety of substances like pet hair and lint, and can lose its stickiness over time. Some brands (e.g. Tots Bots) have incredible, durable hook and loop, while others offer replacement kits which allow the hook and loop to easily be replaced with minimal sewing skills required.
If you do have hook and loop diapers in your collection, be very sure to stick the tabs to the laundry tabs before throwing them in the diaper pail. Otherwise they will stick to everything, snagging other fabrics and forming a super fun "laundry chain" when you pull them out of the machine.
Pros of hook and loop:
- Infinite fit settings
- Super easy to use
Cons of hook and loop:
- Can wear out prematurely
- Can snag other laundry
- Easier for toddlers to undo them (and run amok with a naked bum)
- If any hook and loop touches skin, it can cause irritation
It is also possible to have a mix of both types of closures in your collection!