When looking at nappies, there are basically two ways that they do up – either using Snaps (aka Domes or Poppers) or using Velcro. So the tricky question for every mum or dad is… which is best?
The best option is the one that is going to suit your family, and there are some considerations you might want to think about when considering what style of nappy you would prefer.
We are all looking for a top quality cloth nappy. At Real Nappies we use top quality materials for all our products, and this includes our velcro. Not all velcro is the same and you won’t find the velcro we use on our nappies at your local craft or sewing store and you certainly won’t find it in the discount shops. This is certainly an important factor to consider. We make our velcro to last and it will continue to stick and won’t break. Of course, velcro is sticky, so it can attract lint, but this is easily cleanable and once cleaned, the velcro should be sticking like new.
Snaps can break as they are made from plastic and I’ve certainly seen and heard about this happening. When they do break they need specialist tools to replace them. This is often offered by companies that make snap nappies, but it’s certainly more hassle than cleaning out lint from velcro.
ISSUE: EASE OF USE
Velcro is most like a disposable in that it is a rip and stick sort of situation, so very easy to adjust to get the right fit. It is far quicker to get the nappies on and off, which if you have a squirmy baby is a huge advantage. Snaps can be quite fiddly, however they do stay in place once snapped, which may not happen with a cheaper variety of velcro. Snaps also rely on you remembering what snap you are using this week for a quick change. Velcro tends to be easier for men (with larger hands) or older grandparents (with arthritis) or for other people who might have disabilities.
ISSUE: DAYCARE OR OTHER CARERS
Following on from Easy of Use, is how easy it will be for those that only care for baby ad hoc. While mum (or dad) knows which snap baby is currently fitting, when grandma or daycarer or babysitter comes along, they don’t know, and they might not have the time to sit there try to get the fit right as snaps are not as easy to open and close quickly. Velcro is much quicker and easier to adjust and for daycares that are used to disposables, are closer to what they are used to. In fact, I know of some daycares that insist on velcro cloth nappies for this reason.
Because Velcro is infinitely adjustable you will get a much snugger fit, which means less leaks. Snaps cannot do this as they are set in specific locations and can’t be adjusted. This means you are more able to get a custom fit for your baby with velcro. As baby grows there might be periods where the snaps don’t fit so well as he’s at a stage that is between snap locations on the nappy.
Snaps… well… snap and this makes quite a noise and is quite disruptive for a sleeping baby and much more likely to wake them. They are quite startling and there are many of them. Velcro is also noisy, though if you were super stealthy, you could pull quite slowly and quietly if necessary, and there are only two tabs total. Velcro tends to be less disruptive to a sleeping baby. I, myself, have changed a nappy on a sleeping baby and he didn’t wake up or even stir throughout the entire process!
ISSUE: HURT BABY?
This is a tricky one. And it can depend on your child and on the style of nappy. Both snaps and velcro have the possibility to cause issues for baby. Velcro if it gets onto baby’s skin could chaff, but if you have the fit correct this shouldn’t be happening. Snaps can leave red marks or pressure points on baby’s skin where they have dug into the skin. As a general rule, with correct fit, no nappy should harm your child.
ISSUE: CHILD PULLS OFF NAPPIES
From my experience and what I’ve heard, this is negligible as a worry in terms of differences between snaps and velcro because, unfortunately, babies learn to undo both. People are often worried that a child will pull velcro nappies off easier than snaps, but I can tell you this is not the case. I know of some kids that can undo the snaps, but not the velcro and others that are the opposite. Our 2 year old had trouble taking off his Snug Wraps when we were teaching him how to take his nappies off so he could use the potty and we had to help him.
So, what ever you use, this will be an issue, and the way around it is to either put pants over the top or use onesies that cover the nappy and prevent this from happening.
Gosh, bet you didn’t realise there was so much to consider when buying nappies, right? It’s always good to think about how your family operates and what you might need to consider when investing in anything for baby, so hopefully this will help you think about what is the best option for your baby and the loved ones looking after her.