The Great Diaper Project of 2012

There’s been some industrious craftiness happening at our house. You may have noticed that I’ve never blogged about folk art, knitting, or scrap booking before. In fact, I was very crafty back when I was a pre-teen and teen living without a TV, but now I find that my kid and a few writing projects are plenty to keep me busy. But the subject of this post is a craft project that was born of serious necessity.

It is a waste management issue, really. Our cloth diaper stash is falling apart. Most of our diapers are BumGenius pocket all-in-one diapers, and we bought many of them gently used. They are adjustable, so we were able to start using them once BabyC’s umbilical cord had fallen off, and she’s now wearing the same diapers on the medium setting. They should last until she transitions to underwear in another year or so. We love them, truly.

BabyC helping with diaper-folding, back when all our cloth diapers were fresh and functional

The only problem we have run into is that the velcro has worn out, especially on our second-hand diapers. It is not very satisfying to change a squirmy toddler and then have her run off, only to find her diaper resting in the crotch of her pants a few minutes later.

One tired cloth diaper

To address this common problem, BumGenius offers velcro replacement kits for $1 apiece. This is great, because these diapers are expensive, and if you have a sewing machine, this gives you an easy fix. Problem is, we want these diapers to last for another child, and I know we’d have to replace the velcro several more times to make it through another kid. And we don’t have a sewing machine. Plus, BabyC is at an age where she’s figured out velcro in general, and she thinks diaper removal is a fun project.

We have a few diapers with snaps instead of velcro. During the early months, I was not a big fan of these. I found the snaps tricky when changing a fussy baby in the middle of a bleary night. Now that the velcro is failing us, I love the snap diapers. So when Husband suggested converting our velcro diapers to snaps, I was intrigued but also skeptical that it would be too difficult. I was wrong, which sometimes happens.

We purchased snaps and a pair of snap pliers from KamSnaps.com. They actually carry matching snaps for the colors carried by the big diaper brands, but we just chose a few gender neutral colors and mixed them up. We found plenty of tutorials online for snap conversion (including YouTube videos), so I won’t bore you with the details. The process involves first removing the velcro with a stitch picker or, in our case, a scalpel (hey, you make use of what you have). Then you pop the snaps on using the pliers.

Diaper revived.

The truth is, I couldn’t tell you how to do this project. Because the best part is that Husband has done it all. Why yes, he is pretty awesome. I think it takes him around 20 minutes per diaper, and he has quite a few to go. But it turns out that this project works well in front of an NBA playoff game, so I haven’t heard any complaints.

I love our new snap diapers. I love the fun colors and the fact that BabyC can’t pull them off. I love the idea that when the weather warms up, BabyC can run around in one of these diapers alone and it makes a cute all-in-one outfit and waste absorber.

Rockin’ a new diaper.

And I love the fact that I haven’t been the one doing the tedious job of picking out stitches.

What are you loving today?

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22 thoughts on “The Great Diaper Project of 2012

  1. Our first bub is on the way and we have purchased MCN’s for her. I have avoided the velcro for just the same reason and have gone all snaps but this could come in handy down the road :)
    Great to see!

  2. Hi Alice! Have you considered diaper safety pins? I’m sure they would last longer than the strongest Velcro, and would be a great time saver for Hubby. Those old reliable cloth diapers would probably last for years! As I recall, they worked well for both of my two children, and I’m told they worked well for me, as well! :-) Try “Googling” diaper safety pins and you’ll find there are plenty of places (Amazon, BedBath&Beyond, Overstock, etc) that sell them…… Just a thought……. Love to all, Jim

    • Thanks for the thought, Jim! I actually think that pins might damage the water-proof fabric used in these diaper covers. And I’m worried that I might damage myself or my kid, too! (Yes, we are spoiled by these fancy diapers!) There is another cool product that people use these days called a diaper Snappi which allows you to skip the pins – but I’m also worried that it might damage the fabric. http://www.snappibaby.com/products/snappidiaperfastener.html
      Love you too:)

      • I’ve used snappis, and they’re great, but you really don’t need them with the diaper covers… although maybe they would have kept baby’s diaper in place while his cover migrated down his leg yesterday!

  3. That’s funny–my little guy had his diaper halfway off and down around one leg inside his pants today thanks to well-worn velcro. My hubby can’t figure out the cloth diapers, so it’s especially inspiring to hear that yours actually made them snappier! Thanks for the post. Good info!

      • It hadn’t happened before today. He just figured out walking on Tuesday, and I think the new movement caused the saggy problem. Or… could it be that his diaper covers have gone through my daughter and cousin’s two kids? Luckily, I just bought some new covers that have snaps. Snaps don’t wear out in the laundry and they are harder for him to undo. Have a great night!

  4. Awesome! So glad I read your post. We have mainly snaps but there are 3 diapers that I don’t use because their Velcro has worn out. I am NOT a crafty person, so replacing the Velcro seemed daunting. I’ll give this a try!

  5. Great idea! We have just retired our cloth diapers to the closet, but I will keep the snap-replacers in mind. We had worn out velcro too and ended up only using a few of the stack of diapers towards the end. Once I picked my son up to put him in a shopping cart and had a panic attack because there was nothing on his butt. His diaper had fell down inside one leg of his pants! So funny- we both blogged about cloth diapers this week! :-)

  6. What a clever idea! I bought a combination of snaps and velco for our first grandchild. Daughter Number 1 has passed them to Daughter Number 2. Will definitely be keeping your idea in mind!

  7. THANK YOU!! I’ve been getting SO discouraged with our velcro diapers (just about 2 years old)…and I’ve been trying to salvage them with snappis. This could be the perfect solution :)

  8. Thank you for posting this! You didn’t just make your old diapers more usable again, I think you also made them look better! Love your choice of snap colors. They add some life to your white diaper. Good job, Mr. Science of Mom!
    -Judy @ KAMsnaps.com

  9. See, I am finding the opposite. Most of my BGs are second hand and have done 2 years on Isabel and are now being used for Oliver. The velcro is bobbled but holding well. However, I’ve got a few BGs with poppers (snaps) and one had to be returned because the popper came out (it was only a week old!) and I’ve another doing the same after a few months. The fabric just seems to be tearing around the popper.

    Haven’t a clue what I’m doing wrong.

    • Hmmm, maybe you are better about using the laundry tabs and air drying than I am? I’m sure more careful washing and drying would make the velcro last longer. Our snaps have held up well for 19 months, but they haven’t been in testing as long as your have:) We haven’t had any fabric tearing – that’s too bad and disappointing! I would definitely contact the company about it. Good luck:)

      • Serves me right for bragging about my nappies… none, bar the much newer ones, seem to be sticking all of a sudden, gah! Think it’s project convert-to-poppers time, hehe

        • Ugh, sorry! I remember it happened pretty quickly on ours, too, and it was suddenly evident which ones we’d purchased “gently used” and which we’d purchased new. Good luck with the conversion. You know, you can always replace the velcro too. I’m not sure that’s easier, but if you prefer the velcro to snaps, there is that option.

  10. Pingback: Are You Ready to Potty? | Science of Mom

  11. Oh thank you for posting!! Our diapers are becoming useless, and I sing the praises of my three snap diapers to anyone who asks. Time to convert! I’m assuming that you bought size 20 snaps, but did you go with the regular cap prong length, or the long?

  12. Thank you Thank you for posting this! I am having the same problem with my BG 4.0s which were second hand but great when my LO was small, not so much now that she is crawling. I am going to try this, I thought it might be possible but didnt realize it was so easy. Thanks Again!!!

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