One thing I have mentioned briefly in past posts are China Cheapies. China Cheapies is a general term for cheaper diapers that are made in China. Some are very high quality and some are not, but I'll be the first to admit while they work wonderful, and if it's all your budget allows, are very worth it, but other more expensive brands can be better! I much prefer my Rumparooz or GroVia to my China Cheapies but when I started cloth diapering I didn't have enough money to buy nicer, more expensive diapers so I built my stash up with these, especially from Co-ops to get them at an even cheaper rate. I am still very happy with them and I still use them, but there can be issues like long ship times, differences in sizing etc. That being said these are GREAT for people on a budget! It's also a great way to get started for less then use what you would be spending on diapers to build a more ideal stash if you so desire!
There are many overseas brands and each have their pros and cons. Most importantly tho, each works differently on every baby. As always, I suggest you try a few different ones for yourself on your little one before investing in all one kind for your entire stash. Some popular brands are Babyland, Babycity, Alva, Sunbaby, and JCTrade. I will be comparing Alva, Sunbaby, and JCTrade.
To see pictures that go along with my blog post, please like my Facebook Page and look at this album of photos. While you are at it, feel free to share it with friends and to follow me on this blog and on twitter to stay up with all my new blog posts, exciting giveaways, and fluffy goodness! In this blog I will be talking about the diapers themselves, not inserts. The reason is I buy most of my pocket diapers without inserts and instead use an infant sized prefold to stuff them. It's a little more bulky but a lot more absorbent and cheaper! Also, something else to think about is these diapers are coming from China, so shipping, customs, etc can take a while. It can take anywhere from a week or two to a month to get your diapers.
Sunbaby diapers are the first diapers I ever bought that weren't prefolds and covers. Sunbaby makes onesize pocket diapers. On their site you will notice that there are two "sizes", I prefer to think of them as "series" or "models" because they are actually both onesize, (meaning they will fit from about 12-15lbs until potty training, hopefully, but it all depends on the size and shape of your baby!) they are just cut differently. The reason they are cut differently is to allow for differently shaped babies. For instant my oldest son is a skinny boy. He is 3 years old and 45lbs (and tall. I know that sounds like WAY too much but this kid is stick skinny when you see him in just a diaper, he has a really high metabolism and is as tall as some kindergartners!) and he can still fit into a size 1 diaper. It won't cut off the circulation on his legs or anything else. My youngest son, however, is a chunky monkey. He has always nursed and nursed and nursed. So he has chubby thighs and a very chunky tummy. For those reasons we get him the size two that are cut a little bigger. They still are not cut as big as other diapers such as JCTrade and Alva, but we'll get to that. You can buy Sunbaby diapers in Co-ops or online here. So, onto the short list of pros and cons!
Different "sizes" for a more customizable fit
Hip snaps for less wing droop, less leaks, and a better fit
Foldover pocket for less leaks because the insert isn't as exposed
Extra strip of PUL at the top of the tummy to help tummy sleepers not leak
Smaller cut than other China Cheapy diapers
No snaps on wing for a better fit
Insides can pill after a while and get not as soft, still plenty soft, just not as soft as they start out
Alva Baby diapers are probably my favorite of the three we are going to talk about. They are cut bigger yet have hip snaps and snaps on the outside of one wing so you can cross over for an even more customizable fit. This way they fit chunkier/older babies but they also can fit little ones pretty easily as well. I do like that most of the inners seem to stay soft and not pill the way Sunbaby diapers do. I also love the fun prints they come in, just like Sunbaby and JCTrade. You can buy Alva diapers here.
Inside doesn't pill as easily
May not fit as well until older/chubbier
Pocket is open to the back so inserts can be exposed causing leaks
No extra strip of PUL at tummy
I will be honest here. The only reason I bought JCTrade diapers to begin with were because they were SUPER cheap in a Co-op and they had cute prints such as sesame street, cat in the hat, mickey mouse, and more. I ended up loving them. I don't know if there are different ways to order them to ensure you get hip snaps but so far I haven't figured it out and most of mine don't have hip snaps so those are what I will go off of. It may just be that they are cheaper without (which is honestly probably what it is!) so maybe that is one of the ways we got a great deal! Even without the hip snaps though, we like them. You can buy JCTrades on co-ops. So far I have not found them online in an online store but I may just not be working hard for it. My hugest problem with these tho are the inconsistencies. Some have the same inners as Alva. Some have the same inners as Sunbaby. Some have the snaps on one wing, some don't. Some have hip snaps, some don't. If you get them cheap enough, it doesn't matter, but if you pay premium for them, you might want to look closely at what you are buying before you make your purchase. I prefer the ones that are more like Alvas with the hip snaps, cross over snaps, etc.
Pocket opening is in the back so it may leak
No strip of PUL at the tummy
Lack of hip snaps on some
Lack of crossover snaps on some
Beware the Rebrands
Another thing that can get you in cloth diapering is paying premium prices for China Cheapy diapers online. One big reason this is such an issue is because of rebranding. Some popular China Cheapy companies will, for a small fee, put your tags on their diapers so you can resell them as your own brand. This leads to Alva diapers (and others) being sold for $10+ a piece on popular sale sites like Zulily, ebay, and other sites. This really saddens me but if you really want that print and want them now, I guess it's a good option.
Want China Cheapies but don't want to wait?
No problem! Some people do want to buy from Americans so that there isn't a communication barrier if something goes wrong with their order and so they can get them quicker. If this is what you would like to do I suggest this site. There are others but I have heard GREAT things about this one. You can also find them new and used on for sale sites, B/S/T pages, and online swaps.
The bottom line
The bottom line is this: I do suggest China Cheapies but I suggest you try out a few of each (and other brands, why not!) to see which one works best for you and your little one! I try to buy from Co-ops if I am not in a hurry to get them even cheaper. You can also buy directly from the sites or from Superstash.net. You can see pictures of the different brands I compared here, on my facebook page.
So! Tell me your favorite brand of China Cheapy! Or your favorite brand of diaper, period!