Making the choice to use cloth diapers is an awesome step, but don’t put that Magic 8-Ball away just yet—there are still a few decisions ahead. Which brand, style, and type of closure should you choose? When it comes to cloth diapers, there are two types of closures: snaps, or hook-and-loop. It can be confusing trying to choose a style when you don’t know where to start, but that’s what we’re here for.
What’s The Difference Between Snaps and Hook & Loop?
If you’re new to cloth diapering, you may find yourself wondering about the difference between snaps versus hook-and-loop, and which option would be best for you. Both styles have their benefits, and most caregivers have a preference. And you can find both styles on all kinds of diapers from newborn diaper covers to AIO cloth diapers. So, what do you need to know first? Let’s break down the advantages and disadvantages of both types of closure, so you can make an educated decision when building your stash.
Pros Of Hook & Loop Cloth Diapers
First let’s look at hook-and-loop, who’s origin story starts with a hiking trip! Hook and loop cloth diapers function just like a disposable diaper, it’s the easiest to use, especially if you’re new to cloth diapering. It’s pretty simple to get a good fit, and most caregivers can use it without much practice. Our pediatrician raved about hook-and-loop because he could quickly remove and replace the diaper without having to remember which snap setting to use.
As a new mom, I loved hook-and-loop for its simplicity. There were so many things to learn about newborns and sustainable parenting, I was grateful that our diapers didn’t take too much effort. Hook-and-loop can also be secured to your baby quickly, which is essential when you have a squirmy child.
Cons Of Hook & Loop Cloth Diapers
One minor inconvenience of hook-and-loop is that the tabs need to be secured before washing; otherwise they can and will get caught on other laundry and cause damage—not to mention the twisted mess you’ll end up with. It will start to wear out much sooner than snaps, and it can collect unwanted lint and hair.
Hook-and-loop might also be louder than you’d want during those night changes when you’re trying to be stealthy. It can also rub painfully on your child’s belly once they are mobile if you don’t have a perfect fit. This was my experience with hook-and-loop when my son started crawling, and ultimately why I switched exclusively to snaps.
Pros Of Snap Cloth Diapers
Next, let’s look at snap closure. Cloth diaper snaps have a much longer life, especially if you’re using the diapers for multiple children. Diapers with snaps can be easier to clean because you don’t have any tabs to secure. They are also more visually pleasing, as the snaps usually add a pop of color, while hook and loop is stark white and eventually ends up looking dingy.
Snaps are considerably harder for your toddler to remove when they start trying to undress themselves—and they will! (I can’t tell you how many times I caught my son with a naked bum after he removed his diaper!) While not impossible for a toddler to undo, snaps are at least somewhat of a deterrent.
Cons Of Snap Cloth Diapers
On the other hand, snaps can make it more difficult to get a good fit if your child is between sizes, because there is a limited number of snap settings, and there is usually a learning curve to get a perfect fit in the beginning. Depending on the diaper brand, the wings can sometimes droop below the tabs.
Snaps can also be more challenging for caregivers who are not using them frequently enough to learn, such as an irregular babysitter. They might take longer to put on your baby than hook-and-loop, but only a few seconds at most. They are also harder to put on in the middle of a toddler struggle.
Conclusion: Snaps vs. Hook & Loop Cloth Diapers
Both hook-and-loop and snap closures work well to secure a diaper, but it’s helpful to try them both so you can decide which works best for you. You’ll also find some help from our “how to use cloth diapers” blog. You may end up with a strong preference for one type of closure, and you might find yourself using different types for the different stages of your child’s diaper-wearing years. It’s possible you’ll even prefer one style for sleeping and the other for awake times.
Whether you decide to add snaps, hook-and-loop, or a combination of both to your diaper stash, Nicki’s Diapers has everything you need.