I received this product free for review. All opinions remain my own.
I’m the first to admit to being a bit of a “Cloth Diaper Snob.” I definitely have my issues with
so-called “China Cheapies” certain overseas diapers in terms of quality control, false-representation, customer service and ethics of manufacturing practices. That being said, not all “ China Cheapies” imported diapers are created equal, and I wanted to be able to offer my own, honest opinion on popular brands that my readers often ask me about.
June 2020: The term “China Cheapies” has long since dropped out of my vocabulary. I adopted it without any consideration, following the lead of other cloth-diaper fans as a newbie to the industry. I’ve grown a lot more aware of the power of the terminology we choose, and regret that it never dawned on me (a person of Chinese descent) that it’s a gross term on many levels. The term “grey market” diapers is one I now prefer, meant to designate diapers that are imported without proper safety testing and with unknown ethical practices. I discuss this more in a much more recent post about LPO Diapers. Big thanks to the commenter who took the time to bring this to my attention; it’s been a long time since I’ve looked over old blog content!
I wanted to try out Sunbaby because, along with Kawaii (my review is only in French right now), this is a brand that I frequently hear Mamas raving about in cloth diapering forums. In fact, my desire to try Sunbaby stems specifically from Olivia at This West Coast Mommy’s post about how well her Sunbaby stash has held up over two years.
Sunbaby diapers can be purchased only in packs of twelve directly from the manufacturer, based in China. My preference is to work with Canadian-based resellers, and I was happy to discover that an Alberta Mom, Brigitte, is an official retailer of Sunbaby in Canada, and you are able to purchase diapers from her individually.
Sunbaby Cloth Diaper Review
For my review, Brigitte sent me a Size 1 and a Size 2 Sunbaby, along with a 4-layer bamboo insert and a microfibre/bamboo blend insert:
Don’t be fooled by the “Size 1” and “Size 2” classifications for Sunbaby. It’s not the same sizing as with AppleCheeks or AMP, where you need to size up as baby grows. Both of Sunbaby’s sizes are technically “one size” designs. The Size 1 is simply one inch shorter in rise, and designed to fit on smaller/leaner babies.
The waist size is the same on both Size 1 and Size 2 Sunbaby diapers.
I tested the 4-layer bamboo insert and Size 2 Sunbaby diaper on Cub, and gave Adrienne the Size 1 to test on Evan. My initial impressions of the diaper were all very positive (much to my surprise). The inner fleece is super soft, and doesn’t feel as flimsy as other “economical” brands I’ve seen. The 4-layer bamboo insert is awesome. I love that it’s 4-layers in one, versus having two separate, 2-layer inserts to achieve the same effect.
The fit on Cub is totally fine: he definitely needs the Size 2 because of his long torso (he gets a plumber’s crack in our TotsBots). There is still room to grow at the waist, though I hope he’s not in diapers long enough to test that out!
Honestly, I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything I dislike about the fit or the functionality of this diaper. The only time we experienced a leak was when he wore it for 5 hours (I didn’t want to wake him to change his diaper when transferring from the car, and I hadn’t expected him to fall asleep before I could change him.) In terms of snap closures, after testing a lot of different designs, I’ve determined my preference in wing snap alignment is to have a hip snap and then two vertical snaps at the end of the tab (like Funky Fluff), and Sunbaby’s snaps are horizontally aligned, so not my favourite configuration, but truly this is neither here nor there.
My favourite things about our Sunbaby diapers:
- I absolutely adore that you can order the shell and then choose your inserts. I hate microfiber inserts and usually end up swapping them out for natural fibers. However, so many brands include microfiber inserts standard. Sunbaby diapers from Sunbaby Canada can be purchased without inserts all together, or with your choice of microfiber, 4-layer bamboo, 3-layer bamboo or bamboo/microfiber blend.
- The pocket opening is at the back! (I hate front pocket openings, I always have to touch pee-soaked inserts.)
- The Size 2 has a nice, tall rise, and I love that, based on your baby’s physiognomy, you can also opt for the Size 1 with the shorter rise.
Things I like less about our Sunbaby diapers:
- I’ve written before about my dislike of “China” brands using knock-off prints. I always figure that if I were to stumble upon another blog using my same Wolf Cub logo, I’d be pretty pissed, and so would my cousin-in-law who designed him. So no, I’m not happy that our Size 1 diaper came using the recognizable “Owl” design used by Skip Hop. This doesn’t affect function, and if you share my dislike of copy-cat prints, you can simply avoid them.
- The “Size 1” and “Size 2” monikers are really confusing. I always thought that this implied you would need to buy two different sets (like AppleCheeks.) It might help with marketing to have their names be something like “Sunbaby Petit” and “Sunbaby Regular.”
- As explained above, the configuration of the snaps on the closure tabs isn’t my favourite, however, this isn’t a deal breaker.
Look, my absolute preference for cloth diapers is to purchase as North American-made as possible. But above that, my preference is for people to choose cloth over disposables, for the long-term benefit of their bank accounts and the planet. Shopping with Brigitte at Sunbaby Canada means you are still supporting a Canadian family with your purchase, and that you will have someone ready to help you with troubleshooting who is in your timezone (or close to it). Brigitte is also not like some unscrupulous diaper resellers, slapping a new label on Alvas and tripling the price. Her prices are equivalent to those listed on Sunbabydiapers.com.
Have you tried Sunbaby Diapers?