This week on Instagram, Laura asked us which closure option we prefer: hook and loop or snaps?
(If it just occurred to you that you may not be following Thirsties on Instagram and you navigate away for a minute to find their amazing feed, I won’t be offended. All the best tips, tricks and secrets can be found @thirstiesinc on Insta!)
Naturally, this got me thinking that it was time for a Thirsties Cloth Diaper Showdown, The Closure Edition. And most of all, I wanted to answer some questions like ‘why DO we have two closure options?’ and ‘why DO people have a preference?’
As I began my prep for this post, I also realized that some people feel very passionately about their closure options. There are die hard hook and loop lovers and then some that are so sure that snaps are obviously the better choice. But what makes this such a polarizing cloth diaper topic? Let’s find out.
In this article, we are going to discuss which cloth diaper closure option is the best, how they function differently and why different closures are preferred by different families.
Hook and Loop
Different closure options can be great for all the different stages of baby’s cloth diapering years. The newborn stage tends to bring parents and caregivers a sense of feeling overwhelmed, and they are most likely looking for anything to make life a little easier. Enter, hook and loop.
The hook and loop closure is great in the newborn phase because, as baby is being changed very frequently, it is the easiest closure to use. Getting a great fit with the hook and loop option is simple and the closest in concept to a disposable diaper. The loop strip on Thirsties newborn diapers extends from one end of the front panel to the other, making sure that you have lots of options regarding where to place your tabs.
Hook and loop closures are also very useful when there are multiple caregivers in charge of diapering baby. Some daycares will only accept hook and loop diapers and others simply request it due to its functionality and ease of use. Hook and loop is also a popular preference with older caregivers who may have limited range of comfortable movement in their hands. Snaps can take a little hand strength to close completely and this may not be a possible option for everyone.
To clean your hook and loop closure cloth diapers and duo wraps, make sure to fold the tab inward and stick it to the opposite tab so that your hook and loop stay free from dirt, lint and hair when running through your wash cycle.
The Breakdown: So, why DO people prefer hook and loop? Hook and Loop is simple to take on and off, there are no questions about which snap baby is using now and they are the closest in concept to a disposable diaper. Almost all caregivers can use hook and loop easily and daycares are even more accepting to hook and loop style cloth diapers.
The snap closure, on the other hand, is a favorite among many parents because it can be a lot harder to remove. In other words, if the toddler is in a ‘take all my clothes off in the middle of Target because it’s just Tuesday’ phase, it’s much less likely that they will be able to remove their snap closure as easily as their hook and loop. (It’s also less likely that you will end up THAT parent who brought the naked kid to Target, so you know, I say take the win.)
Snap closures are also slightly easier to keep clean than hook and loop. There are no little hooks to snag the stray hair or string and snaps will never need to be folded or moved out of the way before washing. To care for your snaps, simply unsnap your diaper and place it in the washer before running your normal cloth diaper wash routine. Snaps don’t require any special steps or care. Snaps also don’t wear out like hook and loop sometimes can if not cared for properly and some parents tend to like the small pops of color that snaps bring to certain Thirsties prints too.
And if you’re trying not to wake a sleeping baby, snaps are the way to go. I can’t even count how many times our hook and loop has woken up baby as I was trying to do a secret stealth change in the middle of the night. Snaps are definitely so much quieter.
The Breakdown: Why DO some caregivers prefer snaps? Snaps are much more difficult for children to remove and they clean so easily without any extra steps. Many families prefer snaps when entering the toddler years as baby becomes more mobile and continues to hone their fine motor skills.
I actually began my cloth diapering journey with snaps and didn’t think to use hook and loop until my second baby was almost out of diapers completely. Something about hook and loop just intimidated me and I had seen so many more snap options, that I think I just assumed they were preferred by more people.
By the time I had my third baby and was cloth diapering a newborn, almost half my diaper collection was hook and loop rather than snap. I realized how incredibly easy hook and loop was for my husband to use and that I had a better chance of him helping to change diapers altogether if his preferred style was clean.
When making any cloth diapering decision, whether it be closure option, style or laundry routine, I always recommend that you consider the caregiver. Consider who will be changing baby and what their personal preferences may be. This may mean that there are more than one style of diapers in your collection or it may mean that there are different closures in your collection as well. But trust me, you will have much more diaper help if there are diapers available that are everyone’s ‘favorite’.
Are you currently using Thirsties hook and loop or snap closures? Or are you still trying to choose the right cloth diaper system for your family? Are you a super fan of one specific closure? Tell us in the comments!
You can shop Thirsties cloth diapers at your local retailer or online with Thirsties. For more cloth diaper tips and tricks, you can visit Thirsties on Facebook or join the online community, Thirsties Groupies. And don’t forget to checkout Thirsties Instagram feed, @thirstiesinc.