The first few weeks I used cloth diapers, I became somewhat discouraged because we were having pretty serious leak issues. I tried several different kinds of inserts of different bulk and absorbancy levels, but even with the most absorbent ones, the diapers would often leak. I knew it wasn't a matter of not changing them often enough, and I had ruled out absorbancy issues, so I didn't know what to do.
A friend of mine who has been cloth diapering a lot longer than I have said it may be because of a poor fit around Cecelia's legs. Here's a picture of how the Alva diapers fit her:
Yep, it looked like the Alvas weren't fitting Cece as well as I thought. I had read during my pre-cloth research that Sunbaby diapers are good for skinny babies because they have two sizes of one-size diapers (two different cuts, rather). The size 1 diapers fit skinny babies better, and the size 2s fit chunkier babies. I ordered 6 Sunbaby size 1 diapers through a co-op to try them out, and right away I loved them. Check out the fit on this girl:
I proceeded to order 6 more on eBay (new!), and had to make do with those 12 for a long time. I was trying to sell the Alva diapers, but had FOUR people buy and not pay for them on eBay before someone actually followed through with payment. I used that money to buy 12 more Sunbaby diapers and they finally came a couple days ago, so I'm finally back to a full stash! Yaaay!
SO... Alva vs. Sunbaby. There really isn't anything wrong with Alvas, especially if you have a chunkier baby. I think the quality is fine and they do the job. Sunbaby diapers are slightly more expensive, but they definitely are of a higher quality; the fabrics feel so much nicer and they have some nice construction/design features. Most importantly for me, of course, is the amazing fit. I think these would have even fit my super skinny first baby. And the size 2 diapers seem to have a very similar fit to Alva (I owened one size 2 for a while).
The photo at the top of this post shows an Alva (left) beside a Sunbaby diaper. You can see how much more trim the Sunbaby diaper is. The Alvas always seemed quite bulky. Again, these are both one-size diapers.
So for my money? Sunbaby.
I have only had these diapers leak once since I started using them... that was today, and it was just because I left it on way too long (an hour after I put it on we went to the gym for an hour and then went grocery shopping for almost two hours. Oops.). I have much more of a problem with blowouts with disposible diapers for sure.
I have both the 100% bamboo and the bamboo/microfiber blend inserts and I haven't noticed a difference in performance. They both work well for us for now.
For nighttime I use one bamboo or bamboo/MF insert plus two Zorb inserts and that lasts all night. If I'm using disposibles I have to put her in a size 4 (she wears a size 2 during the day), and even that sometimes leaks.
I know I still have a lot to learn and there are many more options out there, but this has been a fun hobby... weird hobby...
I have even started making my own detergent! So much crunchy!
...my baby's poop receptacle is cuter than yours.