Alternatives to Cloth Diapers from China
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First, let me say that I would rather families use cloth diapers from China than disposable diapers. This post isn’t intended to shame the many families who use and love their Chinese cloth diapers, but in my opinion, there are better options out there.
Many people may not know that when you buy cloth diapers from China you are also potentially supporting copyright infringement, content theft, and unfair labor practices. In addition to the moral dilemma, diapers from China are often inferior to many brands made in the USA and Canada. When you put them side by side you will see differences in the materials used as well as the craftsmanship. Plus we’ve all heard about the concerns with materials used in a wide variety of products that are made in China.
Another bonus when you buy cloth diapers stateside is that you don’t have to wait two weeks or more for your diapers to arrive. I’m all about instant gratification so that’s a huge plus for me.
Once your Chinese diapers do finally arrive it’s a gamble as to whether you will get some that will last or ones that will delaminate after only a couple of washes. If they do delaminate or fall apart then unlike American or Canadian brands, you may not have warranty protection on those diapers so you have to replace them, therefore costing more money in the long run.
Believe me, I get it. Why spend $20 per diaper when you can buy one for $5? I waited six months to start cloth diapering my son because the start-up cost was scary, but it doesn’t have to be.
Cloth diaper for free
Yes, that’s right. There are ways to cloth diaper your baby for free.
Many cloth diaper brands will have occasional seconds sales. What this means is that there is a small imperfection in the diaper that prevents them from selling it at full retail and the savings is passed on to you. Of the seconds diapers I have purchased, I have never been able to detect the flaw. These flaws are usually slightly crooked stitching, an upside down print, or even something as minor as a first quality diaper getting a little dirty in transit.
There are people selling their used diapers all over the internet, in thrift stores, and yard sales. One of the things that make cloth diapering such an attractive option is that you can resell the diapers when you’re done using them. You can find diapers for sale in Facebook groups, sites like Cloth Diaper Trader, and Craigslist.
Freebies and free shipping
Keep costs down by shopping at stores that offer free shipping or freebies with a minimum purchase. A lot of times the freebie is a free diaper.
Lower cost US & Canadian brands
There are some US and Canadian brands that are on the inexpensive side but don’t have the ethical baggage.
- Imagine – ranging from $8.95 for a cover and $12.95 for AI2, this is an affordable brand that has gotten consistently good reviews. Check out these reviews from Parenting Patch and Zephyr Hill.
- Nicki’s Diapers – In the same general price range as Imagine diapers, Nicki’s Diapers offers their own line of cloth diapers. You can read a review of these diapers from Mama Banana’s Adventures.
- Diaper Rite – This brand is exclusive to Diaper Junction and at $8.95 for a cover and $10.95 for an AIO, you really can’t go wrong. My Diaper Rite AIO was one of my most reached for AIOs in my stash.
- Diaper Junction – At the same price as Diaper Rite, the Diaper Junction brand is also a nice choice. Parenting Patch has reviews of the Diaper Junction AIO and cover.
- Diaper Safari – Diaper Safari has their own line of inexpensive cloth diapers that are $9.95 for a cover and $3 for an insert. They also sell a 3-pack for even more savings. Padded Tush Stats raves about this diaper.
- Buttons Diapers – Buttons is an AI2 diaper brand which is nice because you can reuse the cover by wiping it out and replacing the wet insert with a dry one. Buttons are on the lower end of the price scale for AI2 diapers. Check out my review here.
- Kawaii – Kawaii is a Canadian company whose diapers are ethically manufactured in China and their materials have been tested for safety. Cloth Diaper Addicts has reviewed the Kawaii heavy wetter cloth diaper.
- All-in-two (AI2) and covers with prefolds – after cloth diapering for a while I started to grow tired of stuffing diapers. If I had to do it all over again I would only have AI2 diapers along with covers and prefolds or flats. I didn’t even use a fastener, I just trifolded the diaper and laid it inside the diaper cover like an insert.
If you still think that cloth diapers from China are the best option for you, I would suggest using Sunbaby. Her diapers are good quality for the price, I far prefer them over Alva, she hasn’t been known to use knock off designs and prints, and she manufactures her diapers ethically in China.
Our Sunbaby cloth diaper was my husband’s favorite even though we had a stash with some high-end diapers in it and it is still going strong after three years. This West Coast Mommy also shares her long-term experience.
With my first baby I tried a couple different brands. I had 1 Kawaii cover, didn’t use it long before the stitching started coming apart, so probably won’t use those again. Love the Imagine diapers, in fact I got several newborn AIOs I’m looking forward to using once #2 is here in a few months.
We definitely try to buy U.S. made diapers, though I’ve recently found some Canadian ones that I love! I recently wrote a blog post on the joys of B/S/T groups. They’re my new favorite thing for getting discounted diapers in general!
Mother-ease is another Canadian company and I love their diapers!
Kawaii is our favorite for night time. We tried because of the price and got hooked!
Can you believe that I have never tried Kawaii?? They were always on my wish list, but it just never happened.