Though the name might not be helpful when you’re trying to figure out all the cloth diaper lingo, Snappis themselves are actually pretty useful little gizmos.
So, what exactly is a Snappi? A Snappi is a safer alternative to the traditional diaper pin that’s used to fasten cloth diapers around your baby. Snappi’s come in a variety of colors and are made from a stretchable non-toxic material. Plastic, t-shaped ‘teeth’ on each end of the Snappi grip the fabric of the diaper to hold it in place.
What Diapers Need Snappis?
Snappis are only needed when you want to secure the absorbent part of a two-piece diaper (like a prefold, flat, flour sack towel or fitted diaper) to the baby before putting on a diaper cover.
You don’t need Snappis for all-in-one diapers, all-in-two diapers, pocket diapers or many fitted diapers as all of those come with snaps and or Velcro to secure them onto baby.
Snappis work best with cotton prefolds, terry cloth diapers and other cloth diapers with loose enough fibers for the Snappi to hook into. They don’t work well with tightly woven fabric such as flannel diapers and microfiber (which you wouldn’t want to secure to baby anyway, for reasons you can read about here).
Now that you know what it is, let’s talk about if it’s any good, and how to use it.
Are Snappis any Good?
According to the maker’s website, snappibaby.com, “Snappis are the most popular cloth diaper fasteners in the market. Over 80 million units have been sold worldwide, and there is much trust in the Snappi name.”
The company goes on to say that when using prefolds for nighttime diapering. Snappis are easy to use even half-asleep in the middle of the night.
Unlike pins (and its competitor the Boingo) Snappis come in two sizes, “infant size” and “toddler size” though it is difficult to find the toddler size at some retailers.
Because Snappis are one-piece, getting the right fit on bigger babies or with diapers that don’t wrap around the sides of the baby very far can be difficult.
With that said, Snappis are easy to use and work well when you can get a good fit. Snappis are also priced well compared to the competition.
What are the Alternatives to Snappis?
To fasten diapers, you currently have three popular choices, Snappis, Boingos, and the classic diaper pin. If you’re not yet sure which one is best for you, I have a full post about when, how, and what cloth diaper fastener you may want to choose, which you can check out here.
But this post assumes you have chosen Snappis as your fastener of choice, and now I’m going to help you use them like a pro!
How to Use a Snappi Diaper Fastener
Using a Snappi is pretty easy once you try it a time or two. Below I have a quick video showing you how to use Snappis from My Green Nest, as well as written directions in case you’re with a sleeping baby and don’t want your phone to make noise.
1. Stretch the Snappi fastener a couple of times before its first use.
Do this just by holding the Snappi in the center with one hand (not by the rings) and with the other hand stretch out all three clasps a few times (10 or so).
As you do this you should feel the material soften a bit and get more of that stretchy elastic feel.
I’ve also heard that stretching the Snappi out first triggers the ‘memory’ of the Snappi to return to its original size and allow for a snug fit. Since it’s good practice anyhow, that sounds good to me.
After you’ve stretched it out a few times, the Snappi is then good to go!
2. Wrap the diaper on baby and hook the first side.
Since Snappis are made to secure the absorbent diaper part to baby, the first step is wrapping that part, be it a prefold, flat, flour sack towel, fitted, etc., around baby and in place.
Once you have the diaper in place hold the center of the snappi in the middle and secure the first side. If you’re right-handed, it may be easiest for you to do the left side first (and vice-versa), as the second side will require some stretching:
3. Hook on the second side.
Make sure that your Snappi is hooked well and attached securely before moving on and attaching the other side:
4. Hook on the center clip, creating a “Y”
Once both side clips are good and secure, you’re going to pull down the middle clip turning the T-shape of the Snappi into a Y-shape as you see here:
This resistance is to help keep the Snappi in place.
5. Cover it all with your diaper cover of choice.
Snappis must always be used with a cover for safety and because it may be knocked off or ripped off by tiny fingers if not covered.
Bonus Tip: Cover the teeth when not in use!
Snappi Diaper Fasteners have a safety feature for when they are not being used. Just fold the thin strip of rubber at the end of each of the three clips over the teeth of the white grip piece as you see here:
This acts as a barrier and prevents the sharp teeth from being exposed.
A Few Care Tips and Cautions When Using Snappis
To clean your Snappi, just wash it in hot soapy water. Do not launder them with diapers in the washer as this may weaken the grip attachment or damage your diapers in the wash.
- Tears in the Snappi can lead to the separation of a piece, presenting a possible choking hazard. Inspect your Snappi before each use and discontinue using immediately if there is any sign of cracking, tearing, breakage or wear of the teeth or any other parts.
- Do not cut your Snappi. This could create weak spots and cause tearing of your Snappi.
- Keep out of children’s reach when not in use.
- Do not leave your Snappi in the sun as it is not UV resistant and can reduce its elasticity.
Where Can I Find Snappis for Sale?
Currently, I am not able to find Snappis at Target, Walmart, or any of the other big box stores, but Snappis are available on Amazon, and at most cloth diaper shops.
For a list of local cloth diaper retailers near you, you can check out our Cloth Diaper Directory here.