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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
Jami Smith
Date: 6/19/2014
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.
Mia Hicks
Date: 6/19/2014
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.
Melissa Larkin
Date: 6/19/2014
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!
Maureen L
Date: 6/19/2014
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: 6/20/2014
I never thought about reverting to diaper pins.
Kristen P
Date: 6/20/2014
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.
erin meeh
Date: 6/20/2014
I don't know if my lo would hold still long enough to use pins!
Mallori Loughridge
Date: 6/20/2014
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?
Danielle B.
Date: 6/20/2014
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!
Cassy Johnson
Date: 6/20/2014
I don't know if my lo would hold still long enough to use pins! :)
Suzy Smith
Date: 6/20/2014
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.
Ainee Ramos
Date: 6/20/2014
Love pins occasionally :)
Ainee Ramos
Date: 6/20/2014
Love pins occasionally
Rebecca T
Date: 6/20/2014
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.
Amy Wright
Date: 6/21/2014
I agree. Love the simplicity of a prefold.
Maggie M.
Date: 6/21/2014
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!
Jennifer Waller
Date: 6/23/2014
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.
Brenda P
Date: 6/27/2014
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 ;)
andrea sypek
Date: 6/30/2014
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 :)
Ashley Wakeland
Date: 7/4/2014
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!
Cindy Garcia
Date: 7/7/2014
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!
Audrey G
Date: 7/7/2014
I like the IDEA of pins. I just can't get on board. I am still too scared I'd stick my wiggly baby.
rosy moreno
Date: 7/8/2014
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.
Jessica O
Date: 7/10/2014
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: 7/10/2014
I have found prefolds to be much easier and less complicated. I love them. They're cheap, too!
Ashley Seymour
Date: 8/14/2014
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 :-) :-)
Jessica C
Date: 9/4/2014
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!
Erin B.
Date: 9/13/2014
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!
Mara Davenport
Date: 12/7/2014
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!
Katie M
Date: 1/14/2015
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.
Jessica Martinez
Date: 4/16/2015
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!! :)
Rachael F.
Date: 5/27/2015
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.
Date: 12/20/2015
I am probably too late to comment on this article because it is an old article. I used a diaper service that had 3 different sizes and even a size for older bedwetters! My friends started to use cloth diapers after they saw how great a fit they were and poop didn't run up the back of my baby, even as a newborn. The way I used cloth was with diaper pins and rubber pants. I would take a frozen gallon ziplock and put the dirty diaper in the bag and it prevented everything getting wet on outings AND there wasn't any foul smelling urine in the diaper bag because it was sealed shut. Awesome fit no matter how old. If you find the diaper pins are thought to get through the diaper, you can do a couple of things to eliminate this completely. Put a bar of soap on your diaper changer and you poke the soap and the diaper pin glides through the cloth diaper. Also, you can run the diapers pin quickly thru your hair and easy as pie, glides through the diaper. Sometimes it is hard to find plastic pants but I do know Target and Wallmart carry smaller sizes of rubber pants. Also, my diaper service sold them as well. I would recommend that you buy the prefold organic diapers. They are the BEST! Also, potty raining is so easy and neither one of my kids ever had an accident after there first week transitioning from the diaper to underwear.
Date: 1/6/2017
Diaper pins are a waste. First, they are so thick that it takes a lot of efforts to push them through flats, I never tried them with Prefolds. Then they take so much time and third they don't keep diaper on place. My diaper is strangely distorted after some time, may be I am not a pro on it. But snappi is so much easier and my diaper is not an inch moved..
clarice a.
Date: 4/15/2017
We have a new adopted 14 year old daughter and we are using the Gerber flat cloth diapers in the 24x 27 inch size on her with the diaper pins and adult size rubberpants over them,24/7 dur to her wetting accidents.We started her off from day 1 in the cloth diapers and rubberpants and they are work great so far.she doesnt mind at all wearing them.
Date: 5/27/2017
When our 12 year old daughter made her First Holy Communion last year with the 7 year olds,I pinned her first communion cloth diaper on her with pink diaper pins and then put the loose fitting rubberpants on over it.All of the little girls had their communion cloth diaper pinned on with the traditional diaper pins as well.
Date: 8/15/2017
To Julie-At our parish,the cloth diaper and rubberpants is also worn by the little girls under their communion dresses.For confirmation at 14,the girls wear the same outfit-either a larger size communion dress or a flower girl dress and the veil with lace anklets and the white shoes.The confirmation cloth diaper is made bigger to fit the 14 year old girls and many moms pin the diaper on with the first communion diaper pins.Most of the parents by the adult size small or medium size rubberpants for their daughters to wear over the diaper.
Date: 11/12/2017
Have been using cloth diapers pins and plastic pants on two bedwetters for four years now and they work well never have leaks and the kids are perfectly comfortable with them on.
Date: 4/21/2018
Our daughter is 15 and has been a bedwetter for two years now and we use the gerber flat cloth pin on diapers in the 24x27 inch size on her with adult size medium plastic pants over them.At bedtime,i lay out the diapers on her bed and fold them,then put the diaper pins,baby powder and the rubberpants beside them.She sits down on the diapers and lays back,i apply the baby powder,bring the diapers up and pin them,then put the rubberpants on over them.On a few occasions,i have accidently stuck her with a diaper pin and some times one of the pins has come unsnapped and polked thru the rubberpants.Even tho she is 15,she likes wearing the rubberpants with babyprints on them the most and also wears pink,yellow and blue ones as well.
Date: 6/29/2018
You give squirmy babies a toy or book to look at. It gets the job done. Lol
Date: 3/12/2019
To Marjory-Our daughter is 16 and a bedwetter like your girl.I sew the Gerber flat cloth diapers in the 24x27 size to make one fairly thick diaper for her and pin it on her at bedtime,then put the adult size rubberpants on over it.Sewing the diapers together like that i find is easier to wash and put on her.She is being confirmed[10th grade confirmation] on May 19 and per the parish dress code,all of the girls have to wear the white,puffy,ankle length dress and veil with white tights and white patent leather shoes.Dad and i told her that she will have one of her cloth diapers and rubberpants on under the tights for the whole day.
Sarah B.
Date: 10/10/2019
Our 16 year old daughter just did her confirmation last sunday,October 6th.The boys had to wear a suit and ty and the girls had to wear a white,short sleeve,floor length,poofy dress with the veil,white tee shirt,cloth diaper,plastic pants,white tights and the white patent leather shoes.I got the Gerber flat cloth diapers,10 to a package,in the 24x27 inch size and the diaper pins at Walmart.I sewed the diapers together to make the one diaper out of them.I got her white adult size rubberpants tights and tee shirt were bought from a dancewear store.I pinned the diaper on her,put the rubberpants on over it,then the tights and tee shirt.She looked somewhat like a toddler with the diaper and rubberpants showing thru her tights!All of the girls looked very nice and pure in their white outfits!
Sarah B.
Date: 10/10/2019
Our 16 year old daughter just did her confirmation last sunday,October 6th.The boys had to wear a suit and ty and the girls had to wear a white,short sleeve,floor length,poofy dress with the veil,white tee shirt,cloth diaper,plastic pants,white tights and the white patent leather shoes.I got the Gerber flat cloth diapers,10 to a package,in the 24x27 inch size and the diaper pins at Walmart.I sewed the diapers together to make the one diaper out of them.I got her white adult size rubberpants tights and tee shirt were bought from a dancewear store.I pinned the diaper on her,put the rubberpants on over it,then the tights and tee shirt.She looked somewhat like a toddler with the diaper and rubberpants showing thru her tights!All of the girls looked very nice and pure in their white outfits!
Date: 10/12/2019
2 years later and still using cloth diapers pins and plastic pants on two bedwetters. They work well and hardly ever get a leak.
Rosalie J.
Date: 4/19/2020
I was born in the early 60s and wore the cloth diapers and rubberpants as a baby.When i hit puberty just past age 12,i started bedwetting every night,so mom made me bigger cloth diapers and got me the extra large super size rubberpants to wear over them,so i was in diapers and rubberpants again! I actually didnt mind wearing them as they kept my bed dry and i had pastel colored and nursery print rubberpants that were actually cute! My bedwetting lasted untill i was almost 15,then it stopped! My daughter is now 18,and when she hit puberty,she too started bedwetting,so i used the cloth diapers and rubberpants on her,only now days there are adult size rubberpants that i got her to wear over her diapers.She too was like me and didnt mind wearing them.Her bedwetting also stopped before 15.

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