As an avid fluff addict and frugal mama, I always search out and read cloth diaper reviews before putting my money down for new diapers. But most reviews are by necessity limited in the amount of time they cover. It’s rare to see reviews for diapers that have been tested longer than two or three weeks, a couple of months tops. So I decided it would be helpful to review some of the older diapers in my stash to see how they have held up over time, both in terms of appearance and in performance. Back in April of 2011, I bought one dozen Sunbaby diapers directly from the manufacturer in China. Today I’m going to review how they have held up since then.
Anatomy of a Sunbaby Pocket Diaper
Sunbaby diapers are very economical one size pocket diapers made in China. They’re advertised to fit from 7-35 pounds and are currently sold in packs of 6, 12, or 24 with your choice of microfiber, bamboo, blend, or no insert. They only come in snaps; there is no hook and loop version.
These diapers have a waterproof PUL exterior and come in many different solids and prints. (The range of prints available on the website changes from time to time.) The inner lining is microfleece which helps wick wetness away from baby’s bum. The pocket opens in the back and has a microfleece flap that covers the opening to keep the insert covered and to help hold in leaks. There is an extra strip of PUL sewn in the front to help stop wicking and tummy leaks.
Sunbaby diapers have a flat front and elasticized back. Because they’re one size, these diapers have a LOT of snaps to adjust the fit to your baby. This diaper has 3 rows of 2 snaps on the front to adjust the rise and size of the diaper. There are 10 snaps across the front to adjust waist sizing and 4 snaps at each hip for leg hole sizing. Each wing has 2 waist snaps and 1 hip snap, but no crossover snaps.
To adjust the diaper to its smallest size, snap the top row of rise snaps into the bottom row. Use the middle row for the medium size, and leave the snaps undone for the largest size.
Diaper Fit & Performance
When I bought these almost two and a half years ago, my first little girl was 14 months old, 22 pounds, and 30″ tall. Tee wore these on a daily basis until she was around two and a half. They’re easy to stuff, even for daddy hands, and can accommodate one or two standard inserts and even a trifolded prefold diaper. Tee was a heavy wetter (hence stuffing with prefolds), but I never had any problems with leaking or wicking unless the diaper was on for too long (more than 3 hours). She regularly napped in these with no problems, but I can’t comment on overnight use since we didn’t use pocket diapers overnight.
When Kay was born, I found them to be a bit bulky on her so she didn’t begin using them until she had outgrown her newborn diapers at about 12-14 pounds. I think they would have fit her okay earlier. I just preferred the trimmer fit and look of sized newborn diapers. If I had not had my newborn diapers, I would have been fine to use the Sunbabys.
Today Kay is one year old, 20 pounds, and 28.5″ tall. As you can see, they fit her comfortably, don’t gap in the legs, and don’t leave red marks on her chubby thighs. We don’t have any problems with nap time leaks, but I have experienced wicking at the legs and at the waist when the inserts get completely saturated during overnight use.
Did They Last?
Back in April 2011, I paid $48 USD for twelve diapers without inserts. Shipping was free. What an incredible deal, right? But how did they stand the test of time?
I’m happy to say that two babies and more than two years later, every single diaper of the original 12 is still functioning perfectly. Not one diaper has delaminated. Not one snap has come loose. The elastics are all in good shape, and the PUL has not faded significantly. From a cosmetic perspective, the microfleece linings are quite pilly as would be expected after two years of washing. The lining also has noticeable yellowing and staining. Neither of these issues affects the diaper’s function in the least.
The only criticism I have is around sizing. My first baby outgrew her Sunbabys when she was two and a half years old. She was about 28 pounds then, nowhere near the 35 pounds these diapers are advertised to fit. I think Sunbaby recognized this problem because later in 2011 they came out with size 2 diapers. I have a few of these in my stash, and they definitely fit larger. The size 2s have a wider crotch and a higher rise. My one-year-old is already on the largest size of her size 1 Sunbabys, but still has one row of snaps left to go on her size 2s. For your reference, here’s a picture of the two sizes side by side.
Overall, I would recommend Sunbaby diapers to any mom looking for economical diapers. The initial start up costs of cloth diapering can be intimidating to new parents, and I appreciate that these diapers are really affordable and therefore more accessible to parents who might not otherwise be open to cloth diapering.
I know that some may take issue with the fact that these diapers are made in China. As so many of our consumer goods here in North America are made in Asia, I don’t see a big difference between diapers made in China, and onesies or baby carriers or iPhones made in China. On the Sunbaby website, the owner states that her diapers are manufactured in Shanghai under fair labour conditions.
These diapers fit both my babies well (up to 28 pounds), and my experience has shown that they’re surprisingly durable for such an inexpensive diaper. If you want them to fit until potty training, I would suggest going with size 2 unless you have a preemie or a small baby. However, don’t expect the size 2 diapers to fit properly before 10-12 pounds. Size 1 would do a better job there. At this price point, it would be a reasonable option to use size 1s for the first while and then get some size 2s if/when your baby outgrows them.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I have no relationship with Sunbaby Diapers or its retailers, and I did not receive any compensation financially or in kind. I bought these diapers with my own money. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experieence. Your experience may differ.