Reasons to LOVE cloth diapering with old school diaper pins!

Posted by Becca on 6/19/2014 to Cloth Diaper How-To

Why I love diaper pins!

Over five years of using cloth diapers, I’ve done diaper pinsthings backwards. I’ve gone from the most modern cloth diapers to the most old­ fashioned. I used to be a pocket diaper junkie, but now I prefer pinned prefolds. Flat’s aren’t really my thing in the traditional sense but I stuff my pockets with them (for my husband and for daycare) because they’re so easy to wash. I know why I switched to prefolds—they’re easy to clean and they work better than pocket diapers for my son. I’m not sure what exactly lead me to fasten them with pins rather than my Snappi or Boingo fasteners, but I have a couple of guesses. Maybe it just brings me back to my very first cloth diapering days—7 years old and using diaper pins and prefolds on my baby brother because those were the only cloth diapering options back then. I guess there’s just something about diaper pins that feels safe and familiar. I still remember when my mom would have to replace a package of them because my sisters and I had lost all of ours. The heads on the pins those days had different colored animals on them—yellow ducks, blue bears, and pink piglets. Most people my age don’t know this stuff because disposables were on the rise during the 80s. But I remember those pins—using them, sticking myself with them, losing them, and fastening diapers with them.

So there’s the nostalgia. That has to be the reason I started using pins, but it’s certainly not why I keep it up. There are a plethora of other reasons that I haven’t traded in my diaper pins for more modern options.

Great fit

Maybe it’s just that I’m not well­practiced with a Snappi, but I really feel that you can get a better fit when using a prefold with diaper pins. Get that angel folded prefold wrapped around a baby’s bum and with gentle but firm tugs on each of the corners, you can wrap that diaper almost as tightly as a fitted when you use diaper pins.


Diaper pins are sturdy. They’re durable. They’re hardy. They don’t break or fall apart—especially if you buy the kind that are made entirely of metal.

Safe to go cover less

I like to let my babies go cover less. It reminds me to change their diaper as soon as they’re wet, and lets their sensitive skin breathe. I also like using prefolds. You can’t let a baby go cover less in a prefold if they’re using a Snappi or Boingos because those are easily removed and then the sharp teeth are exposed to sweet, little fingers. Diaper pins are safe to use on a prefold without a cover. Little fingers can’t unfasten them, and the sharp point is safely tucked inside.


Anything that you’re familiar with is easy. If you have never used diaper pins, you’d disagree with me that they’re simple to use, but if you used them all the time, the practice will make them pretty straightforward. When I first tried them on my daughter, all the practice I’d had as a kid was out the window. I just couldn’t get them to work. Because I use them all the time with my son, they’re now easy for me.

Narrow prefolds

Some of my prefolds are rather narrow. When I try to use a Snappi with these guys, it either makes the diaper too tight around Baby Bear’s waist, or it doesn’t reach at all. This problem doesn’t happen with my diaper pins (or my Boingos, to tell the truth).

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a Snappi or Boingos. They’re easy and quick to use and fasten a diaper just great. But I just can’t help but prefer my diaper pins.

Maybe it’s because of the memories, or maybe it’s because of the reasons listed above, but they are and will always be my favorite fastener!


Date 6/19/2014
With my first son (he is 3 now) I tried to do prefolds and pins but I couldn't figure it out. I ended up going back to disposable. With my second son (7 months old now) I've been doing pocket diapers and I love them. I still hope to learn how to use prefolds and pins one day!
Date 6/19/2014
I use pockets for overnight, and a prefold inside a cover during the day. I tried going cover-less, but then changing the baby also meant changing my pants (where she sat and peed), or washing the carpet (where she sat and peed), or the couch ( get the picture). I almost gave up on cloth entirely at that point (I did give up for a couple months), but then I found some flip covers while thrifting, and it was a total revelation! Sooo addicted to cloth now. What am I going to compulsively buy and hoard once my baby is using the toilet??? lol
Date 6/19/2014
Jami Smith
I rememeber those pins! I still have a duckie that was from my mother's stash. I wore it on a ball chain necklace during my grunge stage in the 90's, I used it with my emergency stash of cloth with my first two children, my third daughter took her first step with that pin in her diaper and it's now safely kept in my mother's antique jewelry box. I keep it as a reminder that her choice to cloth diaper was never second guessed and her journey had a lot more struggle than mine. I think pins hold better than the boingos and are my go to with my wool and fleece covers and the occasional no cover day.
Date 6/19/2014
Mia Hicks
Thank you for sharing this! I am new to cloth diapering but I really enjoy hearing what works for everyone and what people have found to be the easiest way of cloth diapering.
Date 6/19/2014
Maureen L
My mom used them on me when I was little. I have Snappi's for my little one. Lately it's hard with diapering the squirmer to think about trying to get a pin on her!
Date 6/19/2014
Melissa Larkin
I remember using pins in my baby sitting days. However, my son is so squirmy and flips over so fast during diaper changes now, I'd never get a pin on fast enough - I can barely press the Velcro down in time!
Date 6/20/2014
erin meeh
I don't know if my lo would hold still long enough to use pins!
Date 6/20/2014
Ainee Ramos
Love pins occasionally :)
Date 6/20/2014
Suzy Smith
I have been debating using some kind of fastener on my prefolds under covers and was pretty sure I was going to buy a snappi, but now you've got me thinking.
Date 6/20/2014
Rebecca T
I never really got into using snappis. I don't seem to get a good fit. Maybe I should try pins instead! For now I just trifold in a cover.
Date 6/20/2014
I never thought about reverting to diaper pins.
Date 6/20/2014
Kristen P
We're going to use prefolds and covers with our next baby. We're used to using pockets, so it'll be all brand new! We're using Snappis for now.
Date 6/20/2014
Mallori Loughridge
I go back and forth between liking covers with flaps/prefolds and all in ones. I have never tried pins as my LO, like the other mommas here have said , is super rolley poley when I am changing her. Do you have any suggestions to be able to get a pin in ( since you said they are an awesome fit) without drawing blood from you or said wiggle worm?
Date 6/20/2014
Danielle B.
My sister was all set to use prefolds with her daughter when she was a newborn. Once the baby was born, she decided she didn't like them. I may still try prefolds when I Have my own kids. I kind of liked the boingos in addition to snappis. I'm not sure if I'd like pins.
Date 6/20/2014
My Mamaw used diapers like this. I don't think I would be able to use pins. My little girl moves around way too much during changing time. It is hard enough getting the snaps or Velcro on her in time.
Date 6/20/2014
Hey, this is the way our grandmothers use to do it!
Date 6/20/2014
Cassy Johnson
I don't know if my lo would hold still long enough to use pins! :)
Date 6/20/2014
Ainee Ramos
Love pins occasionally
Date 6/21/2014
Maggie M.
I've always used prefolds and flats and covers but I've never used pins before. I don't even know why, I just haven't ever thought of it. Awesome post!
Date 6/21/2014
Amy Wright
I agree. Love the simplicity of a prefold.
Date 6/23/2014
Jennifer Waller
I have not used flats or prefolds. At first, they just didn't appeal to me. I wanted the convenience of aio's. I'm coming around to the idea now though. Unfortunately, I can't use covers with my LO because of an allergy, but I am definitely going to try flats and covers if we have another.
Date 6/26/2014
Great post. I am so scared I would accidentally stick her with a pin! But I do love prefolds with snappi's.
Date 6/26/2014
Hmmm I find this very interesting. I am thinking about cloth diapering it sounds like a good option for us. But I was going for prefolds. I guess I'll see where the adventure takes me.
Date 6/27/2014
Brenda P
I'm new to cloth diapering. I have slowly built my stash throughout my pregnancy but have shied away from prefolds and flats and I think that's largely due to my memories of them! Lol. I remember the plastic pants and leaks that always went along with them. I know now that leaks can be prevented though. I just purchased my first prefolds last week with the intent of using them in covers. I'll see how that goes before I start using pins ;)
Date 6/30/2014
andrea sypek
Maybe ill give it a try. This has me curious.
Date 7/4/2014
My mom and dad cloth diapered me when I was baby, and they used good 'ol pins and flats. No fancy cloth systems back then :)
Date 7/4/2014
Ashley Wakeland
I'm new to the whole cloth diapering thing! I bought 3 bumgenius 4.0's and am hooked! I ordered some more and are waiting for them to come in. Can't wait to make the full switch over to cloth!
Date 7/7/2014
Audrey G
I like the IDEA of pins. I just can't get on board. I am still too scared I'd stick my wiggly baby.
Date 7/7/2014
Cindy Garcia
I want to have a few flats and refolds in my stash and I/m undecided on pins or snappis. One of the girls on FB told us horror stares about snappis flinging into her husbands face, though I don't want that to happen to me, I wouldn't mind it happening to my husband every now and then loll!
Date 7/8/2014
rosy moreno
I tried prefolds and pins, my baby is 21lbs now, I'm not sure if I'm buying the wrong prefolds, but when I folks them up to put around her, it barely reaches to pin it... so I went ahead and night 35 pocket diapers.
Date 7/10/2014
I have found prefolds to be much easier and less complicated. I love them. They're cheap, too!
Date 7/10/2014
Jessica O
I really need to get over being scared of using pins! I use a snappi on my prefolds and fitteds now and it never seems to "catch" right!
Date 8/14/2014
Ashley Seymour
Right now, I'm wishing I had more Velcro in my little one doesn't hold still! I can't imagine using pins on him; when he was younger, sure. My mom used cloth with me. There were no disposables when I was a baby, I just hope for her sake, I wasn't a squirmer, lol :-) :-)
Date 9/4/2014
Jessica C
I've definitely done more damage to my fingers with Snappi and Boingos than with pins! I love a flat in origami fold with a single pin in the center. Such a great summer diapering option. And receiving blankets make super-cute flats!
Date 9/13/2014
Erin B.
Those are some great benefits. I used snappis, but could see how pins would give a tighter hold and fit. I probably would have been better at fastening pins than the snappi!
Date 12/7/2014
Mara Davenport
I use both pockets and prefolds with covers, although it never occurred to me that I could let my little guy go coverless if I used pins!!! I am gonna have to try that!
Date 1/14/2015
Katie M
I've never thought about using diaper pins but may just give them a try because I never know if it'll be easier for me or work better than the snappis I have. Anything to make cloth diapering easier for our first time.
Date 4/16/2015
Jessica Martinez
Glad to read this about diaper pins. Can't bring myself to buy some snappis. Like you, I started out expensive with #1, but with #2 coming soon, I am ready to do prefolds! So excited!! :)
Date 5/27/2015
Rachael F.
Where can you find diaper pins? I've never been able to find them at any baby store in my area.
Date 7/18/2015
I have started with the most simple, covers and prefolds with pins. The Snappis and such were tempting. I do have a few pockets and AIOa.

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