A Rant Against Snaps

Baby clothes that zip are so much easier than baby clothes with a gazillion snaps

Baby clothes that zip are so much easier than baby clothes with a gazillion snaps

It’s hard to dress a newborn. Their necks are so floppy. They seem so fragile. And even something simple—like putting an arm in a sleeve—can be so awkward.

At one month old, Leone jerks her little arms and legs like a conductor to postmodern music. At night she often soaks the cloth diapers we’re using so I like to change her at least once when she wakes up to nurse.

During the day changing her diaper calms her when she feels out of sorts and since she pees all the time and poops often, there’s a lot of diaper changing going on in our house lately.

And a lot of dressing and undressing and re-dressing of the baby.

Which brings me to the subject of snaps.

It seems like every piece of baby clothing we have right now has a least a thousand snaps.

Unsnapping is easy, you just pull, but it’s nearly impossible to fasten all those snaps back up even when the baby isn’t fussing.

When Leone is crying and I’m trying to dress her and the outfit has snaps, either I cry too or I end up leaving her half snapped. Then I feel guilty carrying around a half-dressed baby, even though no one else is looking (Leone to her therapist: “It all started when my mother didn’t close the snaps…”)

I. Hate. Snaps.

Zippers work much better. You zip it up. You unzip it. You’re done.

Sadly Leone has only two outfits that zip. I got both of them from a free sale before she was born. She has almost outgrown them, which feels calamitous yet inevitable.

Maybe we need a grassroots protest to urge American clothing manufacturers to make more outfits with zippers and drawstrings and ties like they do in France.

My older kids can carry the signs: NO MORE SNAPS.

Don't be fooled by this cute, cozy outfit; with the snaps in the back it's impossible to get on and off the baby

Don’t be fooled by this cute, cozy outfit; with the snaps in the back, it’s impossible to get on and off the baby

What baby clothes work best for you? What tips do you have for dressing a floppy newborn? Please share your experience, wisdom, frustrations, and preferences in the comment section below.

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19 thoughts on “A Rant Against Snaps”

  1. Omigosh! I agree!! H&M had some very cute organic zip sleepers that my son still lives in. Snaps are awful in the middle of the night. A zipper is completely doable half-awake.

  2. I agree with you. Along these lines, my husband always used to say that wet babies and pajamas simply do not go together. Pulling those clothes on a baby who has just had a bath is nearly impossible.

  3. This brings back memories to when I tried so hard to put a snowsuit on my younger son and ended up in a pool of sweat because of his protests. By the time I was finished, I had no energy to take him outside!

  4. Yeah, and I think that little blue outfit with the snaps was the very one that she was wearing the other night, the one that James had put on backwards! Which makes sense, because, I mean, how does one snap up the back of an outfit on a one month old? Lie them on their face while you do it? Wierd.

    I have a similiar rant: I hate onesies. If they pee and wet the onesie, the entire outfit has to be changed!! I’m all for separates.

  5. That’s funny, Jenny, I have mixed feelings about onesies. I had Leone in a separate polar fleece top and bottom today and the shirt kept riding up and exposing her belly to our cold house. I got frustrated, then she spit up all over it, and I decided to switch back to a onesie. On the other hand, with onesies, you have the problem of getting it over the baby’s head (except the French kind — the French are very smart about this and make the onesies so they can be put on more simply) and the THREE OR MORE SNAPS (aargh) at the bottom…

    Vera, I’ve never caught a baby’s skin in a zipper (maybe because of the onesie underneath? Ha ha.) But the zipper-skin problem has definitely been a problem with my 6-year-old son who refuses categorically to wear underwear…

  6. RE: Vera’s comment – YES!! My mom caught my brother from knee to crotch in a zipper when he was tiny, and then my husband says he also zipped up his own leg in his jammies when he was about 8. Maybe kids clothes are hazardous no matter what. :/
    .-= Stephanie – Wasabimon´s last blog ..Food Blogger Spotlight: Adam Roberts =-.

  7. I also love the comparison of a conductor to post modern music. It was perfect.

    I hate the outfits that snap up in the back. It always felt wrong to flip them on their stomach and start snapping since they can’t even get their face out of the way. I don’t know, something about it bugged me. I worry about zippers though.

    My little brother (I have 3 and won’t mention who since he probably wouldn’t like me mentioning this online) zipped up his privates once when he was in a hurry to dress and decided against underwear. It was an embarrassing and painful day in the ER for him.

    My youngest son, who is EXACTLY like the above mentioned brother, zipped up his PJs once in a hurry and caught the skin at the base of his neck. He screamed and screamed and luckily we have a neighbor who is an EMT and was able to get it removed.

    So, I have zipper issues. ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, I really REALLY hate velcro. Let’s face it, babies should be born in summer when you can stick a tshirt and diaper on them and leave it at that. (but all mine were winter babies too). ๐Ÿ˜‰
    .-= Claudine´s last blog ..My Recipe Exchange =-.

  8. I’m with Claudine, summertime babies are so convenient–they can just lounge in their diapers all day–no snap, zippers or buttons to worry about.

    I have to say I had one layette that I just loved–never mind it was probably meant for a little boy with its blue background and clouds (I have all girls) and forget that it was probably passed down from who knows where, the layette extended down so far that I didn’t need snaps or buttons at the bottom. It was soft fabric with a flimsy ribbon tie at the top that worked great. Added bonus–you could easily change diapers by rolling it up and then down again.
    .-= ReadyMom´s last blog ..Cereal and Christmas Trees–Announcing the contest winner =-.

  9. I love the post modern conductor too, but the perfect phrase is babies with “floppy necks.” Couldn’t say it better. They always scare the hell out of me, those floppy necked babies.

  10. I once cursed out my MIL from afar (she lives in Fla and I live in Pa–she really could not hear me) for sending an outfit that had buttons on the back. Then she had the nerve to ask me to send her a pix with the baby in this IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT ON WHILE SLEEP DEPRIVED outfit. I honestly thought the woman was trying to torture me. Now that I’m more rested though, I can see how she wouldn’t have ever thought that the outfit might be hard for me to navigate. Now it seems perfectly reasonable to do buttons. But then? They seemed like a I had to first knit the outfit or something.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..Why I

  11. The ONLY thing I put snaps on (since I make all our baby clothes and diapers) is the diapers. Velcro is a pain cause it wears out quick in the laundry with how much you wash em. But there’s only 2 snaps on diapers, I can’t say I’ve ever managed to pinch baby either, which is the other complaint I hear from moms trying to dress little babies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I totally relate to this, Jennifer!

    I avoid snaps when I can. I do like them for cloth diapers sometimes. But our baby clothes do not have snaps. I live in Japan and here the clothes for newborns often have ties and are kimono style so they are very easy to put on. Since we practice elimination communication, my other pet peeve about newborn clothing is clothing with feet – simple kimono wrap gowns are much easier.
    .-= Christine at Origami Mommy´s last blog ..Nostalgia =-.

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