You may have noticed that recently there was a big political ‘something’ going on in the world. Instead of watching results come in we combed through our beloved one size pocket diapers and assessed them. Yes, with cloth diapers you can often use them on multiple children, but for one-size diapers that your children wear for several years, they will need a little TLC at some point. Yes, sometimes cloth diapers need repaired. Is it the end of the world? Of course not. If a button fell off your shirt, you wouldn’t throw it away, you’d fix it, right? Diapers are used day and night, over and over again. Imagine washing velcro shoes every other day. Eventually, there’s going to be a bit of damage done, and you’d expect it to affect the shoes. Diapers are more essential and have a more specialized use, therefore, they do need some attention, particularly if you plan on using them on successive children. Since our 2nd child is still kind of small, even at almost 15 months, we’re attacking this issue now before her ‘medium’ sized AIOs no longer fit. There are 3 areas that we’re having to deal with right now: elastic, velcro, and snaps.
I have 5 of these diapers and they’re all being sent off for elastic repair. My oldest daughter night-trained just before she turned three, so she wore the bottom diaper, which is very stretched out, for a couple of years. My youngest also wore the one on top, but it’s started to stretch at the legs so we’re going to have it done as well. The other 3 are in varying states of ‘elastic wear’. Mostly in the legs and also the inner elastic which is supposed to help keep #2’s in their rightful place, and away from the legs. Thankfully I won or used a gift card for all of these diapers, or I’d be a lot more disappointed with their performance for the price. As it is, I have to pay for the inner and outer elastic separately and it will be pricey!
This diaper was used gently and then stored for a while. The front velcro bar looks pretty good and the tabs are only slightly curled. We can probably get a lot more use out of it without causing ‘diaper chaining’ in the wash/dry cycles–which has always been an issue for velcro-based diapers. Because we enjoy the ease of the hook and loop, we’ll keep this one and about a dozen or so more than look to be in good shape for grandparent/sitter use and of course, for us! At least 12 were in storage while others were in a large rotation, so none of them are horrible, but these look better than others and it’s safe to assume we’ll get baby #2 potty trained while still using some of these diapers. I was pleased that the elastic looks good on them, too! Sitting there sorting through diapers was probably just as nerve-wracking as people watching the polls come in!
This diaper may have been used for around the same amount of time, or perhaps for 2 years. The tabs are curled up a bit more and the front velcro bar is starting to shred, if the threads loosen much more, the bar will start to separate from the diaper itself. This usually happens because another diaper has curled tabs, loosens from the laundry tab and sticks to another diaper, usually at an odd angle that requires removing forcefully. Not good. This one (along with 9 others with similar issues) will be sent off to have the velcro replaced with snaps. If your front bars look pretty good and it’s only the laundry tabs causing issues, you could easily send off for the laundry tab replacement kit (or just velcro ‘loop’ on a roll cut to fit) and sew them on by hand, cleaning out the fastener tabs really well for a cheap refresh–those little tabs fill with fluff and stop sticking, causing a ‘diaper chain’ in the laundry.
Snap diapers have their own issues. A lot of people swear by them, but we’ve discovered one big problem: our dryer likes to eat snaps. Just when we figured ‘all right, let’s just convert ALL the diapers to snaps and be done with it’.. THIS happened. The snap caught along the inside rim of the dryer, stuck there, and then melted from the heat. It had to be yanked out and obviously is out of commission. I lost THREE diapers to this in one week. Needless to say I was very disappointed, although it’s not the diapers’ fault, and the dryer is old, so I suppose at some point it will have to be replaced, but for now we either hang the pockets to dry, OR we put them inside mesh laundry bags and let them dry in the dryer on low. Not a perfect solution, but once we have more pockets in rotation, it will help considerably to have some that can just be tossed in without fear of the evil dryer monster (velcro)and some of course that babies can’t rip open at a moment’s notice that need a touch more care when washing (snaps).
Now, if I had a sewing machine that was set up, and a snap press, I could
easily replace with some great difficulty because I’m impatient all of the components, but none of that is true, so I’ll have to pay to have it done. Be sure to check your diaper’s manufacturer warranty to see which diaper ‘issues’ might still be covered and replaced/repaired at a nominal cost (such as shipping) or even free! Diaper companies are all small businesses that want to work with you, so be courteous, have your receipt, and be ready to accept what they have to say, even if it’s ‘I’m sorry, no’. My diapers are all pretty much out of warranty even though some, like the one above where the snap came off, I hadn’t been using for the duration of the warranty, it’s from the PURCHASE date, not the first use date, so be aware of those warranty dates and inspect your diapers every couple of months for general wear and tear. I’ll publish an update on the repair process.