The Joy of Cloth Diapers, Part I – Pockets! Alva Baby vs Sunbaby vs American WAHM-made

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I have about five years cloth experience with my first two kids, but it’s been a long time.  I’m ready to see what the world of cloth looks like nearly a decade later!  I have ordered several options to try when the baby is born, and I’m going to give my first impressions now of the difference between pocket style (i.e. you stuff the absorbency in an opening in the back of the diaper, and then it becomes an All-in-One diaper that you use just like a disposable diaper) diapers ordered from China vs. four different American WAHM sellers I found via etsy.

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On the left, we have a newborn & one-size Alva Baby as well as a Sunbaby one size pocket diaper, and on the right there are four different WAHM diapers.  The top yellow/black peanuts print diaper is from Little Butts http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleButtDiapers and the white with robots next to it is a one size pocket from Sew Little Stuff http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewLittleStuff and on the bottom row we have the newspaper print medium pocket is from Curious Wee Giraffe http://www.etsy.com/shop/CuriousWeeGiraffe and the oranges print one size pocket is from Mommy Soup http://www.etsy.com/shop/MommySoup !

First, the Chinese companies.

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Sunbaby diapers are only able to be ordered by the dozen and is so very cheap with free shipping, great customer service, an easy to navigate site, fast shipping from China, and in fun prints.

Alva Baby has a lot more options.  The newborn option is adorable,

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but it has yet to be tested (as all of these) and Sunbaby doesn’t have any newborn size options.  The best part, though, is that the regular one size pocket diaper doesn’t have to be ordered with regular PUL, you can order silky soft Minky prints with hidden PUL backing, which is softer and snugglier.  And even better, is that you can order the inner in bamboo fleece so if you aren’t a fan of microfleece (or, in Alva’s case, suedecloth) and want to use natural fibers touching baby, then you have that option.  I never liked synthetic stay dry inners the first two go-rounds with cloth, but maybe this third baby will really need a stay dry liner, so I have quite a few just in case.  If she ends up not minding feeling the wetness, I’ll sell them and convert to a natural-fibers-against-skin system.  If I were to order more from China right now, I’d go for bamboo-inner Alva baby 3.0 diapers (the 4.0 have crazy double gussets that I don’t care about), and only order as many as I need, not by the dozen.

As for the American made ones, the Curious Wee Giraffe diapers have flannel inners, which I don’t see the advantage of, but the price is really low and reasonable, even factoring in shipping, but of course more than from China.

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The Sew Little Stuff pocket seems HUGE but it was the cheapest and probably has the most growing room for very big toddlers, but I imagine I won’t be able to try it on my baby until she’s at least 15 pounds,

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whereas the Mommy Soup one size seems like it snaps down crazy small, so points on design (as well as price!).

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We shall see, though.  The cutest is the Little Butts in adorable cotton print outers (i.e. Hungry Little Caterpillar or Peanuts),

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but I am wary of cotton print outers, which can wick moisture through from the inside, past the PUL, to the outside and onto clothes.  I swore off cotton print outers when my boys were babies, but I just got sucked into the inners.  These are the most expensive, by far (twice the price of the other American made, and four times the price of the Chinese cheapies).

Bottom line is that even though the pretty prints of the American made diapers are aesthetically much more charming to me, if I were to order more, they’d be from China.  I just can’t justify two to four times more in price, especially when I have no ethical issues with the companies Alva and Sunbaby, as far as what I’ve been able to glean from reading around the internet.

In a couple months when I actually have a baby to diaper and I can try out these pockets, I’ll post again about them!

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