Need advice on pinning cloth diapers

blissfullyquirky

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I've been experimenting with cloth diapers just to see if I like them. I'm still having a hard time pinning them on though. Can any cloth diaper experts answer these questions for me?

Is it possible to pin cloth diapers on tight like a disposable, or are they just always going to fit more loosely?

How do you pin them on snugly, without poking yourself with the pins? (I know about other types of diaper fasteners, but I prefer safety pins.)

How much of the fabric does the pin go through? I bought the big 3" pins, should the bottom of the pin be entirely under the diaper?

Should I use more than one pin per side?

Any other tips?
 
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Belarin

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Pinning cloth can take a bit of practice to get used to.

In answer:

Yes they can be pinned tighter, maybe not quite as tight as a disposable could be (disps can go pretty tight if you try), they will also loosen a little as you move around. Also depending on what exactly you are using (flat, contoured, prefold etc.) and/or the type of fold you use, you can jelly roll them to make them more snug around the thighs and waist.

Pinning can be made easier with curved diaper pins like These, they are safety pins that have a slight bend or curve to them designed for quilting to make it easier to angle back through the fabric. It's all just practice to get the feel for how to do it.

It can also be helpful to keep a bar of soap handy, carefully pushing the pin into the soap and taking it out will lubricate it and help it to slide more easily between the layers of fabric.

There is an excellent video on This Site at the top on the page that demonstrates how to pin a diaper on a baby.

The pin does not need to go all the way through the fabric, you want to put your fingers inside the diaper between your skin and the fabric, pull the wing around then slowly push the pin at a slight angle toward your fingers, when you start to feel the pressure of the pin but not the point of the pin itself is when you angle the pin back upwards and push it back to the front. repeat on the other side pulling the wing as snug as you can, more than you think will be enough as it will loosen a little.

When I first used pins I thought they should be vertical (or close to) so that the diaper would not slide along the pin but this causes them to twist under the pressure, They should be inserted horizontally.

You shouldn't need more than one pin per side.

Make sure you use heavy duty or hardened pins as the extra weight and pressure on an adult diaper is much more than a babies and can bend cheaper/weaker pins.

Make sure they have a decent locking head as you don't want it popping out while wearing, there are some newer pins like These that are called diaper pins but I would not want them anywhere near one.

Use Youtube, there are loads of cloth diapering videos out there showing different folds and techniques, most will use snappis as these are incredibly good but there are many with pins too.

Buy a smaller (childrens) cloth nappy in a similar style to what you use (flat, prefold, Contour) and find a teddy large enough for it to fit and practice pinning technique on that. It is a totally different angle than doing it on yourself but will help you get the feel for the pressure, how tight you can pull it and where to position them becauses you will actually be able to see it all much better.

I'm sure there are other tips from other members out here too but I hope that helps.
 
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ORBaby

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My pinning technique is slightly different. I start the pin in straight or pointing slightly forward, then when it is through turn towards the back. This keeps the back wing from sliding on the pin. Push the pin through and fasten. This has the pin going from front to back which I find keeps things tight when I pin my own diapers on. You don't need to use the whole length of the pin, just enough to get through the layers. With practice you will be able to get a good fit.
 
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PrettyLilPrincess

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Out of curiosity, could one run a pin through their hair to achieve the same effect as soap? I’m not intending use any sort of cloth diaper myself, I just heard someone on some website mention that and was wondering.
 

dogboy

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I use real baby cloth diaper pins and they go through the cloth so much easier than the big, adult sized pins. I have a 32" waist so I buy the small size, prefold diapers so I'm only pinning them corner to corner. I'm right handed so I pin the left side first. Then I grab the corner of the right side and pull it as tight as possible and push the pin straight down. Then I direct the pin toward the left and push it up through the cloth. I do pin both pins completely through the diaper. It doesn't take much pin to hold the diaper which is why a baby size pin will work well. I can make my cloth diapers as tight if not tighter than a disposable. As others have said, they will stretch as you wear them and they'll stretch even more when you wet them.
 
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ORBaby

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I also use regular baby diaper pins. Mine have white plastic heads. Got them from Buy Buy Baby.
 

OldTerry

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I used pins a long time before I found nappy nippas and I use the larger toddler size 3 of them.love them as I can adjust my nappy standing up as it fills
 

Cottontail

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PrettyLilPrincess said:
Out of curiosity, could one run a pin through their hair to achieve the same effect as soap? I’m not intending use any sort of cloth diaper myself, I just heard someone on some website mention that and was wondering.
That does in fact work very well--unless you're like me and you shave your head. :)

dogboy said:
I use real baby cloth diaper pins and they go through the cloth so much easier than the big, adult sized pins.
Baby pins are my own preference as well, and partly for that reason. They're generally sharper and easier to get through the diaper. I especially like the vintage Reddy, Protect-O, Chick-a-dee, and Chickee diaper pins, which can be gotten from eBay. There are lots of crappy modern knock-offs though, so if you shop for vintage pins, be sure to get them with the packaging.

If you buy modern baby pins, the only ones I'd recommend are the Dritz brand. Many others have very thin shafts and bend easily. Once they're bent, they're permanently disposed to re-bending in the same place and are basically garbage.

Belarin said:
You shouldn't need more than one pin per side.
I'm a one-per-side pinner also. That said, I'm willing to accept that some people with really straight sides might need the extra friction provided by additional pins, especially as traditional diaper fabrics don't stretch and therefore tend to loosen a bit over time.

If you're in that category of wanting/needing two pins per side, you might want to experiment with some of the stretchy (but otherwise traditional) diaper options out there. I don't know of any adult diapers that fit that description, but there are a number of flat diapers for babies that are stretchy and easily worn by adults. I have a small stash of the Fruit of the Womb "Caramel" baby flats. These are very stretchy, and consequently don't loosen (noticeably). When I wear those, I basically stack three of them and put them on like a prefold.

ORBaby said:
You don't need to use the whole length of the pin
Right. I'd go a step further and say that using the whole length of the pin is bad. If you do, then any tension on the diaper fabric is going to stretch the pin, which can cause it to pop open. Ideally, the fastened pin should be able to slide back and forth a little. It's a bit counterintuitive, but the pin being able to slide does not mean that the diaper is loose.

Here's a picture of me in a diaper, brutally cropped for my own privacy. :) You can hopefully tell that the diaper is pretty snug, and yet the pin has room to slide back and forth (highlighted). I generally angle the pins downward toward my crotch, following the crease between my legs and torso. That way I don't feel the pins when I move, and it also seems to keep the diaper a bit more snug through my crotch, which I like.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 7.23.51 AM.png
 
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ORBaby

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I also use flats that I stack together with the middle one folded in thirds lengthwise then folded in half. It then looks like a prefold but when washing and drying it's a single layer that dries quickly. With my larger ones there is so much overlap that I use 2 pins per side, one near my side and the other near the front.
 
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sbmccue

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I have become so frustrated with the entire pinning issue over the past 20+ years that I found a different approach. I bought three of the Rearz Velcro® diaper wraps and a small stack of their adult XS size prefold diapers. I can have diapers prepped and ready to go, and the entire process takes seconds. No plastic pants are involved, which speeds things along.

I still get to use the prefold diaper, which I enjoy, but I no longer have to worry about pins. I found that the older I got, the more pinning was a struggle. Even with a caregiver changing me, pinning was the part of the process that took the most time, caused the most frustration and proved the most difficult. Life is too short ... much as I like the idea of being pinned into a diaper, I no longer have the patience for it. I find that my caregiver doesn't either.
 
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Cottontail

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sbmccue said:
I bought three of the Rearz Velcro® diaper wraps and a small stack of their adult XS size prefold diapers.
I’m hooked on these also. I still love an on-the-back diapering with pins, but the convenience of these hook-and-loop wraps is undeniable. They can accommodate all kinds of padding (but I’m a prefold lover too), they’re more easily changed in other positions, they stay nice and snug, the leg gussets work very well… I’ve been (mostly) converted.
 
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MetalDan86

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I really like the larger blanket pins such as ones you can find at craft stores like JoAnn. As an alternative I find that the stretchy Boingo clips are great and create a tighter fit, when using a pair on each side.
 
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ade

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Mini-bungees for me!
 

ade

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OldTerry said:
What are those?
81JMDkUF1UL.jpg
I usually use just one, across the front, on terry-towelling nappies/towels.
Had enough of being stabbed, pricked and scratched by pins 🤭
I usually sharpen the point of the hook (and bend it inward slightly), but they work as they are if you grab enough material, not necessarily piercing the material.
 
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dogboy

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ade, you're always so amazingly clever. That sounds like a good, working idea.
 

PoofsNFloofs

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blissfullyquirky said:
I've been experimenting with cloth diapers just to see if I like them. I'm still having a hard time pinning them on though. Can any cloth diaper experts answer these questions for me?

Is it possible to pin cloth diapers on tight like a disposable, or are they just always going to fit more loosely?

How do you pin them on snugly, without poking yourself with the pins? (I know about other types of diaper fasteners, but I prefer safety pins.)

How much of the fabric does the pin go through? I bought the big 3" pins, should the bottom of the pin be entirely under the diaper?

Should I use more than one pin per side?

Any other tips?

The not poking myself with the pins is something I still haven't gotten down 100%, but I've certainly gotten better at it than I was when I started out.

I use two safety pins per side. Sites like adultclothdiaper sell slightly larger pins and also some really big pins, but those look like they'd be too damaging to the diaper fabric.

Let's see... When I use a pin, I put it once through the rear wing and then once through the front wing, but I make a little fold in the front wing so I can pass the pin through and still have it come back out in front so that I can fasten it.

As for snugness, you do want to try to get the diaper snugly enough so that it wouldn't slide off from walking around, but it's never going to be at the level of watertightness that you've come to expect from disposables. That job is done by the plastic/PUL/rubber pants that must go over the diaper in order to help it absorb evenly and to keep it from leaking.

Hope this helps.
 

babyp

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...I put my cloth diapers on standing up, but I do this first. Since everyone of my pre-fold diapers are AdultClothDiaperCo. medium ones and are all exactly the same size, I'll "pre-pin" the right side of the cloth diaper since I know how much overlap and where to exactly pin the right front & rear "corners". Then, I'll step into that premade leg opening with my right leg, pull up the diaper snug, then pull up & pin the left rear corner over the left front corner. Been doing this for so long this way I can practically pin on one of my diapers almost as quick as putting on a pair of underwear. Yeah, I know it's not a "babyish" way to put on a diaper, but since I'm mainly a DL, it works perfect for me.
 

dogboy

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Yes, I always put my second pin on standing up. I think it's a lot easier and you can pull the diaper tight.
 

Trekker9527

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When pinning, I typically use 2 sets of 2 pins on each side. This helps me to get a more snug fit akin to a disposable. I send the bottom pins diagonally up and the top pins diagonally down. Though I apply disposables lying down, I prefer to apply cloth while sitting up; this helps me get a tighter fit, which is harder to do.
 
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