What’s with all the SNAPS?! How does a one size cloth diaper fit?

Snap To it – or – Doing It Up Right!!

How does one do up all those snaps on our Lil Helper cloth diaper covers?

The Spectrum of Scary

For those new to cloth diapering, the snaps could scare anyone. How DOES a one size cloth diaper fit?! On the Spectrum of Scary, it’s exactly between putting together furniture from IKEA and meeting one’s in-laws for the first time.

one size cloth diaper fit

We’ll let you decide which is the more scary end of the spectrum. We don’t judge.

Our mandate at Lil Helper is to make your life simpler, not more difficult. The snaps can—and have—confounded the brightest and best minds of our generation. Some take to them like the proverbial duck to water, while some are less inspired. So, without further ado, today’s blog post.

Don’t let this happen to you!

And for the record, these are TRUE photos one of our customers posted on our Facebook Group (please join us) and she’s very kindly given us permission to use these photos. Thank you Customer X! And yes, these are from our old-style charcoal covers which we currently don’t make. The great thing is, you can see the snaps so clearly!

one size cloth diaper fit

We’re not sure what happened here. We know from the mum who shared this with us that she did a quick demo, then wrote instructions for her caregiver that day. But something(s) went terribly terribly wrong. Those of you who’ve taken their B-12 today (or is it magnesium? I guess I forgot…) will note: there are no inserts. That is only the first thing to go awry.

The second thing? The diaper swings unfettered and free, like the dulcet ears of an elephant catching that first soft summer breeze (and she sips from the water hole and it is good). We’re not sure how the caregiver thought this was a good thing.

We know what you’re wondering: Was the diaper used, snapped like this?
All we can say is: Yes, to disastrous effect.

Before we get too smug, let’s face it: those snaps CAN confuse. While this is the most extreme example of a bad-snap-job, we’ve seen some doozies. Let’s step back a bit and remind ourselves that most people are used to disposables. It’s straight-forward stuff: Left Tab, Right Tab.

Self-Contained and Fairly Explanatory

Like the Coen Brothers, we at Lil Helper Cloth Diapers Lil Helper Cloth ALSO love to make films. And below is one of the very first we ever made. Again, the star of the show is an old-style charcoal but perhaps it’s a bit better for viewing the snaps.

The Snap Map

What I’ve posted below is the “SNAP MAP” I’ve been sending to people. I know this isn’t what you’d call a professionally done photo, but I think you get the idea: What we have is

  • Tummy Snaps
  • Leg Snaps
  • Rise Snaps

one size cloth diaper fit

Tummy Snaps

Soooo the top row is for tummies; and as you saw from the video, the tummy can go fairly wide AND fairly narrow.

Leg Snaps

The second row is for the leg openings. I’ve included a photo of how they snap into each other.

one size cloth diaper fit

Rise Snaps

Depending on the size of your baby, and the number of inserts you use (you don’t have to use both), you may  not even need the rise snaps. These are for lengthening or shortening the “rise” or gusset of the diaper. Use the bottom row or second-from-bottom row to snap into the third row shown here.

one size cloth diaper fit

The Trick?

Sigh, there’s always a catch, isn’t there?

Once the rise is snapped up, make sure you tuck the fold up.


This decreases the amount of “pull” on the front of the diaper.


one size cloth diaper fit

I know what you’re waiting for. You’re waiting for me to say “see, it’s a snap!” but I won’t do that to you. That’s not who I am.

Coming soon is a blog (with better photos and graphics than I can ever make) offering fit suggestions for large, small, and in-betweenies.


Have any questions about your dipes, or cloth diapering in general? Give us a call (1-877-2-877-930) or email us: delight@lilhelper.ca and we’ll help you out. And if no one answers, please leave us a message. We’re around somewhere (possibly watching Raising Arizona or eating those little chocolate-covered berries we put in your orders).

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