I'll be honest. I don't like fancy gadgets that can break before you're ready to stop using them. I have a cell phone, but I don't have a smart phone or an ipad, or even an ipod. Or a laptop. Heck, even my stove is as simple as I could possibly find - gas burners with knobs! Except for my sewing machine and my love of running hot water, I think I could happily live like a cavewoman. Except Photoshop. I really like Photoshop! Okay, and maybe my luxury mattress and super soft sheets . . .
pins. It's simple really - snaps can break. Aplix eventually wears out. Once either of those two things happen, you're left with a diaper that won't stay fastened. Now, if a pin breaks, the diaper is fine, you just need a new pin. And pins are much cheaper to replace than sending a diaper off for repairs, and easier than repairing it yourself.
Why pins over a Snappi or Boingo? Universal use and accessability. Pins can be used on all fitted diaper fabrics, but Snappis and Boingos work best with a fabric they can really grab. Pins are easy to source locally, even easier if you don't get the special "diaper" pins, and just use regular safety pins.
And my favorite reason to use pins: they give the best, most adjustable fit! There definitely is a learning curve to using them.
* To get the best fit, gather as much fabric in the pin as you possibly can. This helps the fabric to slide around less when baby moves.
* When putting the pin on, get that diaper tighter than you think it needs to be because stretchier fabrics really sag when wet, leaving gaps at the legs. (This is the reason I don't use interlock cotton, it sags too much when wet.)
* For older, more mobile babies, use two pins and place them at an angle starting from the legs and angle up to the waist. This helps prevent wing droop, just as if the diaper had hip snaps.
* To help slide the pin thru the fabric, it must be either super super sharp, or the fabric must be a really loose weave (like birdseye cotton), or most commonly, lubricated with oil. Sticking the pin in a bar of cold process soap, running the pin thru your hair, or even dunking it in an oil-based diaper salve will all help slide the pins thru the fabric.
Pins I recommend: either Prym or Dritz locking head pins (both brands are the same pins). I do NOT recommend the newer Gerber diaper pins. They are dull and a thick gauge wire - no matter how much you lubricate them, they still don't want to slide thru the fabric easily. The vintage ones were great, though! The cheapie pins you can find on Ebay are okay, but what you get is not always consistent: some have a thinner gauge wire than others, and may easily bend when attempting to slide thru fabric. The upside of those is the thinner gauge wire slides thru the fabric easier than a thicker gauge wire and needs less lubrication. I definitely do not recommend the thin cheap pins for a very mobile child as the wire is so bendable that too much movement can bend the wire and pop the pin open. However, they are great for quick pinning on a young, not-very-mobile baby.
Questions? Comments? Feel free! :)