Diaper Closure Evolution- Pins, Clips, Snaps, and More!

Securing diapers today is a breeze and our choices are limitless.  Throughout the modern age diapering has relied on various techniques to secure around baby and believe it or not, the diaper pin has only existed for 165 years!  And since that day the goal throughout time as been to invent ways NOT to use it.

Diaper Pin (1850’s)

Vintage safety pin

The diaper pin was invented in 1849, tension kept the sharp end secure making it ideal for securing flats around babies.

Acme Shoulder Diaper Suspenders (1900’s)

Diaper Suspenders

Doctors warned parents of the effect restrictive diapers could have on proper development.  This device by Acme was meant to keep diapers from falling while still allowing movement of legs.

Buckles (1940’s)


The first pinless diaper I’ve found looked a lot like an apron with a buckle.  Invented in 1940, the diaper never caught on but the desire to be done with pins kept driving entrepreneurs to find alternatives. …read the full story here.

Metal Snaps (1940’s)

Early metal diaper snaps

Marion Donovan created the first modern cloth diaper and one of the innovations was the addition of metal snaps.  It wasn’t the first pinless diaper but the snaps caught on more than any other previous invention. …read the full story of the Boater here.

Ties (1940’s)


Diapers with ties debuted in the 1940’s as another new way of avoiding diaper pins.  Tyzon is one of many brands to use this method of closure throughout the years, some brands still use ties.

Diaper Clips (1960’s)



A safer alternative to pins were these diaper clips.   Cloth diapers were still the only option yet diaper pins were always a point on contention for parents.

Velcro (1960’s)


Velcro was invented in 1948, patented in 1955, and found many applications including on diapers! The mystery has been solved folks, velcro on cloth came before tape on disposables. My work here is done.

Tape (1970’s)

Pampers Custom Fit Tape
Disposables were closed using diaper pins until the adoption of fastenable tape in the early 1970’s. Due to the plastic outside tape it was a one shot application with no room for error until they came out with re-fastenable tape.

Snappi (1980’s)



The Snappi, invented by a father tired of using pins, made prefolds and flats a easier option for countless families. Snappi is still the go-to closure device for families today and IMHO ushered in the modern diapering age.

Plastic Snaps (1990’s)

KangaWrap with Snaps

Modern cloth diapers started using plastic, resin snaps in the 1990’s based on what I have seen.  If I find any earlier examples of plastic snapped diapers I will amend that.  Most cloth diapers were still using velcro on their wraps in this era, however.

“S” Hooks (2000’s)


“S” Hooks went in and out of fashion as a diaper closure method in the early 2000’s. Wahmie’s and the WAHM brand TK Cuddlers were the most popular to offer the option.

Boingo (2010’s)

BoingoUsing the same technology that Snappi invented in the 1980’s, the Boingo is a smaller version without the capability of holding the diaper in the center.  Sold in packs of 2.


Love this post?  Want to learn more?  Look at all of my history of cloth diapers articles in my archives.  The ultimate and comprehensive history of cloth diapers timeline coming this month to DDL.

Image credits: Kim Rosas, Photobucket, Snappi, Boingo, lilfamily.com, Flickr.com.
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