Podcast: Episode 001 Cloth Nappies Overview
This week Vicki and Vashti talk about all the different types of cloth nappies. From traditional to modern cloth nappies. Or as some people call them reusable nappies.
Nappy Leaks Transcription: Cloth Nappies Overview.
Andrew: So, how are you Vashti?
Vashti: I’m good, thanks, Andrew. How are you today?
Andrew: I’m doing fine. How about you, Vicki? How are you feeling today?
Vicki: Pretty good. Pretty good.
Andrew: Excellent. So, today we’re talking about newborn cloth nappies. How many types of newborn cloth nappies are there?
Vicki: Do you want to take that one, Vashti?
Vashti: Sure. Cloth nappies of any description and then especially newborn cloth nappies can be broken up into three different categories, I suppose. You’ve got your traditional, and your fitted, and your modern cloth. [00:00:30] Traditional are more like your old school terry flats and your pre-folds. Your fitted nappies require a cover to go over the top of them, but they’re shaped so they go on nice and easy. Your modern cloth come in three different sorts: your all-in-ones, all-in-twos, and your pockets. They have the cover, the waterproof shell, and all the absorbency within them.
Andrew: What would be the most basic made nappy? Which one is that?
Vashti: The most basic nappy would be a flat.
Vicki: Yeah. [00:01:00] Essentially it’s just a flat piece of fabric about 60 by 60 centimetres, and you do a little bit of origami and pop it on your baby.
Andrew: Do you have to use pins?
Vicki: No, snappies. Well, you can use pins. You can use snappies, or you can use the cover to close it.
Andrew: So, they’re not waterproof?
Vicki: No. They’re completely absorbent and they need a cover to go over them.
Andrew: What do you both think of them as far as convenience?
Vashti: Traditional nappies, or flat nappies, [00:01:30] definitely take a little bit more time, but I think that they are a really great staple in your stash. They’re fantastic to use as burp cloths, change table covers, floor rags. I still have 90 percent of the terry flats that I used with my nearly 12 year-old, and they’re still going strong today.
Andrew: So basically, after you’ve had the nappies on the baby you can then use them to polish your car.
Vicki: Pretty much. Pretty much. Look I’ll be honest here, it’s been 13 years that [00:02:00] I’ve been using cloth, and I still can’t fold a terry flat. However, there are multiple YouTube videos that will show you how to fold them, but I completely agree with Vashti. They’re so versatile that I think every nappy stash needs them.
Andrew: How many companies make terry flats?
Vicki: We do.
Vashti: We have a few different brands at our shop. Big softies are still around, and they’re you’ve very basic [00:02:30] plain cotton terry that come in white or in different colours. That’s if you want something a bit flashy. There’s things like the Bubblebubz, which are a bamboo cotton blend. Nature’s Child do an organic cotton, and there are many more companies out there. So, they are fairly easy to get your hands on, and you could even make them yourself if you really wanted to. Head down to your local fabric store and grab some-
Vicki: Or, even cut up some old towels. It doesn’t have to be anything flash.
Andrew: It’s [00:03:00] the same fabric as a towel, is it?
Andrew: Okay, so you’re looking; You want to buy some. What tips would you offer to buying some?
Vicki: You get what you pay for. If you’re looking at, say, something from Big W, all you have to do is just feel it. Quality does really make a big difference in flats.
Vashti: Yeah, definitely your lower priced flats, you will generally find are a [00:03:30] lower-
Vashti: … absorbency, a lower quality of materials. So, they’re much thinner.
Andrew: So you mean you have to change it more often?
Vashti: Very much so.
Andrew: Okay. So after terry flats, what would be the next type of nappy?
Vicki: Well, you move onto your pre-folds, which are, I suppose, the stop-gap between modern cloth and traditional nappies. They’re essentially a flat nappy [00:04:00] that has got extra absorbency sewn into the middle. So, the origami side of it is a lot less. You can fold them into three as a [inaudible 00:04:10] fold and pop them into a cover, put that on your baby. Or, there’s a couple of different folds that you can use for newborns. Jelly roll or angel wing tend to really be quite popular. Again, they’re super flexible with their ability to fit every single baby, which is what your traditional [00:04:30] nappies are going to be [crosstalk 00:04:32].
Vashti: We’re still using the pre-folds that we took to the hospital, and my youngest just turned three last month. So, we’ve just used them in different ways all the way through.
Vicki: You can use them later on to pad out fitted nappies.
Vicki: Just use for extra boost in nappies. They’re, again, something that is incredibly versatile and well worth having in you stash.
Vashti: And when you finish with them, polish the car.
Andrew: [00:05:00] Excellent. When they go on, do they go on like the terry flats? Do you need pins?
Vashti: You will need something to secure them. There are several different things on the market. You could use your old school nappy pins, although a lot of people are shying away from them due to the simple fact of you’ve got to make sure that your hand is underneath it and you end up poking yourself and stuff.
Andrew: [inaudible 00:05:23].
Vashti: Yeah. But, there are other options like the snappies and [00:05:30] you can get something called a [Blingo 00:05:32], which is similar to a snappy, but it clips over the top and holds it in place. You need a couple of them per nappy.
Andrew: I like the snappies.
Vashti: Yeah, snappies are very, very easy.
Andrew: Okay. Again, they’re obviously not waterproof? We need to put a cover on those?
Vashti: Yeah. If it’s a nice sunny day, like nice and warm, and you’re just hanging around the house and not putting clothes on or not putting them down for a sleep or in a car or anything, you can [00:06:00] get away without a cover. It just means that you’ve got a little bit more notice when your baby is wet. So, you will see-
Andrew: You can see it coming out?
Vashti: You can very much see it coming out.
Vicki: Or you put them on your hip. [crosstalk 00:06:12] you’ve got a wet nappy darling.
Andrew: That’s when you give it to grandmother, and grandmother looks after them, “Oh, I think we’ve had an accident.”
Vicki: No, that’s when Dad comes in.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s happened to me.
Vicki: [inaudible 00:06:24] the poos? We always fought over the poos. Whoever smelled [00:06:30] it had to change it.
Andrew: That’s it. Whoever smelled it changed it. What do you think of them as far as convenience goes?
Vashti: Oh, they’re super easy. If you’re comparing them to your old school traditional flats, then they are heaps easier. My partner wouldn’t touch a terry flat, just flat out refused. I still remember, the first time with my eldest I left him at home alone with his father for the first time just to go to the shop, and have a coffee, and have half an hour on my own. [00:07:00] I’d said as we walked out, “We’re out of disposables, I’m going down to get some,” because back then we used a combination of terry flats and disposables. I hadn’t even walked in the door of the supermarket and he’s ringing me going, “Where are the nappies?” I’m like, “They’re in the drawer.” “No, not the stupid origami things. Where are the real nappies?” I had to go home, because he would not change that [poo-y 00:07:27] terry flat.
Andrew: How long did you get a break [00:07:30] out of the house?
Vashti: About ten minutes. Enough to drive to the shops, get out of the car, and then get back in the car and drive home.
Andrew: Did they have enough time to make the coffee?
Andrew: Again, how many companies make these?
Vicki: Pre-folds are a lot easier to get than flats. Having said that, flats are easier to get anywhere. You don’t necessarily need to go to a dedicated nappy shop or a baby shop that sells [00:08:00] nappies. Whereas, pre-folds you’re going to struggle a little bit more to get them in real life, most likely going to have to go online, but there’s lots and lots of brands.
Vashti: I think, there’s a Bricks and Mortar store in almost every capital city now.
Vicki: Getting close, yeah.
Vicki: I think Perth is only one … Perth-
Vashti: Perth and Darwin-
Vashti: … are the only one’s that don’t have Bricks and Mortar stores, and I think Perth isn’t that far away.
Vicki: And Darwin does have some [00:08:30] shopping. Coconut Grove I think it is-
Vicki: … Little Rompers that are stocking modern cloth now, which is good.
Vashti: Yeah, I think, if you make the effort, you can definitely find them, but it’s a matter of finding somebody. Otherwise, you go online, and online shopping these days isn’t that hard.
Andrew: It doesn’t take too long to get stuff from online either.
Andrew: Again, tips? What should you look for when you’re buying those?
Vashti: [00:09:00] Nice, good quality, a nice thick weave.
Vicki: A nice stretch.
Vashti: You can buy pre-folds in either stretch or terry. A terry is like your traditional terry flats, and it doesn’t have the stretch to it. I always found that a really good stretchy pre-fold meant that I got a much better fit on my little man, and it caught in around the back of the thighs and stopped any chance of leaks.
Andrew: [00:09:30] Okay. So, what’s the next nappy, the next manufactured up as far as [inaudible 00:09:37]?
Vicki: That’d be your fitteds from there-
Andrew: Fitteds? Okay.
Vicki: … which, again, a fitted nappy is a completely absorbent nappy. The difference is it has elastic around the legs and the waist so it fits to the shape of your baby. Can do like, again, with snappies, or Velcro, or snaps.
Andrew: Is that giving you more protection on leaking? [00:10:00] Is that what you’re getting with these ones?
Vashti: It’s more of a carer friendly nappy too. So if you’re having to put your little one in daycare early, or you’ve got a nanny, or grandma and grandpa are looking after them, a fitted nappy is easier to get on, because it is shaped to fit. So, it’s shaped like a nappy that you’re used to using.
Andrew: Okay, so it’s shaped like every other nappy you’ve seen out there?
Vicki: But, you do need the cover to go over it as [00:10:30] well.
Andrew: Okay, so you still need a cover.
Andrew: So, they’re not waterproof. From a convenience point of view, what do we think of those? Is there a lot less steps than the previous two types of nappies?
Vashti: I wouldn’t say there’s less steps. I’d just say it’s easier to get a better fit, especially if you’re not used to putting nappies on. If this is something that you’re not used to doing … Yeah, I always get a much snugger, trimmer fit [00:11:00] as well. Traditional terry flats can be a little bit bulky, especially on newborns. Whereas, a fitted nappy you can generally find that you get a much snugger and trimmer fit around your baby with less chance of leaks or anything.
Andrew: And, husbands are happy to put them on?
Vashti: Very much so.
Vicki: If you’re going to give them a choice between a flat, a pre-fold, and a fitted, they’ll go for the fitted every single time.
Vashti: Brent, my partner, he through those early days when [00:11:30] we were using our little fitteds, that’s the only thing he would reach for. Whereas these days, he’s more of a fan of pre-folds, because he can just [padfold 00:11:39] it and lay it inside a cover, and it’s very quick and easy.
Vicki: Another thing is the convenience. I think with cloth nappies you’ve got to understand it’s really quite basic. You’ve got an absorbent nappy. It doesn’t matter what type of style the nappy is, you’ve got the absorbent part, and you’ve got the cover part. We haven’t got into some of [00:12:00] the other styles yet where it’s all built in together, but essentially that’s it. You’ve got a nappy that’s going to absorb all the [wee 00:12:09] and the cover that’s going to protect you, and your baby, and your clothes from that said wee.
Andrew: Pins, how do you do these up?
Vashti: it depends on the fitted that you get. fitteds can either come with no closures, such as the [BamBam 00:12:28] and the [Big 00:12:28]. They [00:12:30] have no closures on them, which means that you can get a very customised fit for your little one. There’s others such as the Baby [Beehinds 00:12:39] bamboo or hemp fitted and the TotsBots Bamboozles. Now, Baby Beehinds have snap closures, whereas the TotsBots Bamboozles have a Velcro closure. So really, it’s up to you what you’re going to find works best for you and your family.
Andrew: Okay. So, they need to wear a waterproof cover. Before we move on to other nappies that don’t have a waterproof [00:13:00] covers, talk a bit about waterproof covers. What are they, and how do they go on?
Vicki: A waterproof cover is made from … Well, you’ve got a couple of options. Nine times out of ten, when we talk about a waterproof cover, we’re talking about PUL cover, which stands for Polyurethane laminate. Essentially, if you think of it as, the polyurethane laminate is like contact. So, it [00:13:30] is stuck onto the fabric, and it makes the fabric waterproof. The other option as a cover is wool, and that’s the only natural option that you get that will be waterproof. So, you can’t use bamboo or cotton or anything like that as a cover. If you want to go natural fibres, wool is the only option as a cover.
Andrew: And, a wool cover will go on all of [00:14:00] the previous nappies we’ve talked about?
Andrew: And the plastic nappy, that would go on all the previous nappies that we’ve talked about?
Vashti: Yeah, the PUL.
Vicki: Yeah, the PUL cover.
Vashti: Yes, it’s not plastic.
Vicki: Well, there’s two different sorts that you can get for your waterproof covers. There’s PUL or polyurethane laminate or TPU, which is thermoplasty laminate. The reason that they’re different is just purely because they have a different bonding method. One of them is heat bonded, whereas the other one [00:14:30] is synthetic bonded. [crosstalk 00:14:31] yeah.
Vashti: You can still get PVC, like plastic.
Vicki: Very rarely. They’re becoming more and more rare, the old PVC Pilchers.
Vashti: Yep, and you want to stick away from them anyway, because they don’t breathe.
Vashti: They’re like a little sweatbox.
Vicki: I still remember my little brother … I was 15 when he was born. He used to be in the terry flats and the old PVC Pilchers, and he sloshed down the whole way, because it holds everything in.
Vashti: Like a swimming pool.
Vicki: Yeah. [00:15:00] Whereas with your PUL and your TPU, they are breathable, so they do allow the airflow around your little ones bottom, because the way they’re made. There’s millions and millions of minuscule holes, which allows that airflow around, but it doesn’t allow the moisture out. It keeps in smells as well.
Vashti: Well if you get the nappy to capacity, absolutely you can.
Vicki: That’s the big thing that you’ve got to remember about PUL and TPU is it’s not waterproof; It’s [00:15:30] water resistant.
Vicki: So if your nappy is full and you’re just not changing regularly enough, then it is eventually going to leak out.
Vicki: What normally happens is you’ll find it leaks around the legs first, because that’s where the stitching is, so they have bigger holes. But, if you still don’t change, it will eventually push directly through the fabric.
Andrew: So, that’s the trade-off? They’re not completely waterproof, but they do allow the nappy to breathe.
Vicki: I talk to customers about a [00:16:00] bucket. Okay? So if you nappy has a capacity of two litres, which you’ve just got to imagine a two litre bucket, and you try and pour two and a half litres in it’s got to go somewhere. Once something reaches capacity that’s it, whereas with the PVC or plastic or anything like that it would just still contain that [inaudible 00:16:20].
Andrew: What do you both think of the fitteds as far as convenience goes.
Vicki: I love the flexibility of a fitted [00:16:30] being able to boost it for overnight. In particular, I’m a big believer in using what you’ve got in your stash. You don’t need to buy a specific nappy for a specific use. If you’ve got a fitted nappy and a pre-fold from when they were newborn and a nice wool cover, you can put that together and make an awesome night nappy, you don’t need to necessarily buy a dedicated night nappy. That is [00:17:00] probably the biggest thing for me on fitteds.
Vashti: I just love the flexibility of them. With some of the fitteds you can get a really fantastic fit, and it can be really customizable to your baby, especially if they don’t have any closures on them to start with. That way, you’re using whatever closures you choose, such as your pins, and your snappies, and your Blingo’s, to fit the nappy to your baby and to make sure that [00:17:30] it’s just perfect.
Andrew: Yeah, I want to go in on that subject a little bit more. So with the clip ones, the clips are so far apart. How far apart are the clips? [crosstalk 00:17:40].
Vicki: Depends on the brand.
Andrew: Depends on the brand?
Vicki: Two, two and a half centimetres.
Andrew: Okay. So, you’ve got basically two and a half centimetres, where with these fitteds if you’re using the type of snaps you can actually get an exact [inaudible 00:17:49].
Andrew: Is that really important when you’re with a newborn or is it important with [crosstalk 00:17:54]?
Vashti: I think it’s really important with a newborn, because newborns are so tiny, and they have [00:18:00] scrawny chicken legs. To get that really customised fit is really going to help you make sure that you don’t end up with any leaks or [poo-namis 00:18:08].
Vicki: Newborns come in such a huge range of sizes.
Vashti: They do!
Vicki: You put a five pound newborn baby up against a ten pound newborn baby you’re talking a baby that’s twice the size. So, the whole entire shape of the baby is different, so [00:18:30] using a fitted that doesn’t have any closures is going to get you the best result.
Vashti: Yeah, it will definitely make sure that things are a lot snugger and a lot trimmer. I remember we used one particular fitted style of nappy for my eldest. When my daughter came along, they honestly didn’t work, because she was such a really tiny, skinny mini. He was a ten pound eleven baby. She was seven pounds fourteen. There [00:19:00] was just so much variation in them, because he was chunky and chubby, and she was tall and skinny. So, the same nappy just didn’t work. We had to go out and find something different for her.
Andrew: So, you’re saying that something worked on one child didn’t work on another child?
Andrew: Who would have thought?
Vashti: But, those nappies that we did use on him they had closures on them. They were snap closures. While they’d worked perfectly for him, for her it wasn’t an option. It meant that we couldn’t get that customised [00:19:30] fit. We couldn’t make sure that the legs were completely sealed and stuff like that.
Andrew: How many companies are making this sort of nappy?
Vicki: Yeah, most brands will have within their range some … Well, most have flats of some sort, a fitted, and then an all-in-one, or all-in-two [inaudible 00:19:51].
Andrew: For this one, what should you look for when you’re choosing one of these? Let me tee that up for you first. [00:20:00] Would you go with one with clips or one without?
Vashti: It depends on when you’re wanting to use it. For me, I would always recommend that they look at what’s going to be easiest for them. Now, if the families circumstances dictate that they’re not going to be real [flashed 00:20:19] with snappies, then get one that has Velcro on it. If you have other kids in the house that you know are going to remove nappies all the time, then get one with snaps on it.
Andrew: [00:20:30] Because the kids will learn how to take the Velcro ones off?
Vashti: Well, yes and no. I mean, Velcro sounds really good. While Velcro is fantastic for a newborn, I’m not a fan of Velcro for older babies, because once they hit probably about 10 months they’re good enough-
Vicki: They love that ripping sound!
Andrew: Yeah. I heard my Gabriel standing in the hallway just making that rip, rip, rip until it’s off.
Vicki: Yep. Do you remember Abby in the [inaudible 00:20:56]?
Andrew: Oh, yes.
Vicki: Yes, I put her down in a dress [00:21:00] in a nappy with Velcro. Yeah, she painted with it.
Andrew: All these people [inaudible 00:21:06] have seen the picture. The only thing we can say is that’s not chocolate.
Vicki: It’s [inaudible 00:21:14]. Yeah.
Andrew: And, that’s not chocolate in her teeth. What should you look for when you’re choosing this nappies?
Vashti: Once again, check the quality. I mean, check the workmanship. Have a look at the stitching.
Andrew: A lot of people like to feel and touch. What [00:21:30] should you look for when you’re feeling and touching it?
Vashti: Feel the thickness of the fibres. Have a look at the stitching. Have a look at how it’s produced. I’m also a big fan of telling people to jump on and check out reviews. If you’ve got the time and you’ve got the resources, research the nappies that you’re looking at. Do a quick Google search and see what the Google reviews say. There’s a great website called Cloth [00:22:00] Nappy Reviews. It’s run by the Australian Nappy Association, and that has some amazing reviews on that that you can look at and see the different styles and types.
Andrew: In the next type of nappy, like a little bit more convenient, what would that be? How many different types of those ones are there?
Vicki: Well, this is when you’re moving into your all-in-one, all-in-two, and pockets.
Andrew: So, we’re moving into what people call modern cloth.
Vicki: The modern cloth, which is pretty much, as I explained earlier, your nappy and your cover all in one [00:22:30] or two pieces.
Andrew: They just put one thing on and be set to go?
Vicki: Pretty much, pretty much.
Andrew: A lot of the ones that I’ve seen are beautiful coloured. Some of them have pictures and stuff like that, so pretty much they’re pants too aren’t they?
Vashti: They are, yeah.
Vashti: In your warmer months you can team it up with a t-shirt, or a singlet, or a few little girls put a beautiful little dress on over the top and show off your nappy, actually make it part of the outfit. It cuts down the cost of your clothing bill, and it [00:23:00] can really be a feature when you’re going out and about. It’s a bit of a road stopper as well. I’ve quite often been walking down the street and been stopped and asked about my gorgeous pants that my little one’s wearing. I’ve had to sit there and say, “Well, actually it’s a nappy,” and then you can see their face. They’re really quite shocked and surprised.
Vicki: Oh, you mean it goes over the nappy? The amount of times that we see that at expos and you’re demonstrating one of the styles. I mean, “Aw, that goes over the nappy.”
“No, no, no, that is [00:23:30] the nappy.”
Vashti: No, no … is the nappy. With those three styles … So, you’ve got your all-in-one, your all-in-two, and your pocket. A pocket is basically a waterproof shell that has a little pocket, an opening, in the front or the back of the nappy, and you can slide absorbency into that pocket.
Andrew: Okay. Well, let’s start with the all-in-ones first.
Vashti: The all-in-ones?
Andrew: So, the all-in-one you just pop them on, and you’re done? Who makes those?
Vashti: Oh, pretty much everyone.
Andrew: Everyone makes those?
Vashti: An all-in-one is pretty much like a [00:24:00] disposable nappy with the only difference-
Vicki: It’s the closet you’ll get to a disposable.
Vashti: … being … Yeah … that you wash it.
Andrew: So, it’s the most convenient? You put it on, take it off, wash it, and put it back on again?
Andrew: Well, maybe dry it.
Vashti: Yeah, we’ll go dry it first.
Andrew: Dry it first, okay. From a convenience point of view, they sound really convenient.
Vashti: They are very, very easy. They are the most simple nappy. They’ve no pins, no bits to get lost. You pretty much throw one of those in your bag. When you’re out and [00:24:30] about, there’s just one piece, the trim-
Vashti: … so very, very easy. It closes on over the top.
Andrew: What are the pros and cons?
Vashti: The pros are definitely the fact that it’s one piece. It’s easier put on. You can’t lose any bits and pieces. You can get them sized or one-size, so depending on your baby will depend on what you choose or your families circumstances you might decide to go for a one size [00:25:00] so it fits your baby for the majority of the time that they’re in nappies. Or, you may decide to get a sized, so you get a much better fit early on and then move up into something else that’s going to fit better later.
Andrew: So, this is the sort of nappy that when somebody’s babysitting the baby this is the nappy you give?
Vashti: Yeah, definitely.
Vicki: Oh, yep. Yep.
Andrew: So, daycare …
Vicki: It’s easy. Then again, I don’t know whether you remember when your mom changed Gabriel once. She managed to get an [00:25:30] all-on-one … She put it on inside out and back to front, which I’ve got a picture of that somewhere, and I’ll see if I can pop in on the [inaudible 00:25:38]. It beggars belief how … I think there’s this misconception that cloth nappies have to be hard. So, she’s tried to find the most complicated way to put it on and has succeeded in putting it on completely wrong.
Vashti: Well, I know we sent all our all-in-ones to daycare with my daughter. I still remember the day [00:26:00] I walked up to pick her up, and they had it on back to front. I’ve sort of like taken a double take … And, she’d been there for about six months at this stage, so they’re well and truly used to them. I asked them about it, and they [inaudible 00:26:14] said, “Yes. We know it’s back to front. It stops her from taking it off.”
Vicki: Oh! It’s a Velcro.
Vashti: It was a Velcro.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:26:19].
Vashti: Actually, GDiapers have designed a nappy that has the Velcro tabs at the back similar to a side [00:26:30] snap nappy to stop kids doing that.
Vashti: So, this is the advantage of cloth over disposables is they’re designed by moms and dads.
Andrew: How would you change a nappy that’s got the [inaudible 00:26:41] at the back?
Vashti: Exactly the same as a side snap.
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Vashti: It’s more at the sides, but it’s an unnatural motion for the child to put their hands towards the back of their hips to pull it off. Yeah, look, I’m a big fan of all-in-ones, but some of the big cons with them … Not so much [00:27:00] here in Brisbane, but … drying tends to be a big issue with all-in-ones.
Vicki: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:27:05] a lot longer to dryer.
Andrew: Is that because-
Vashti: Yeah, because everything’s together. It’s all stitched in.
Andrew: Okay, [crosstalk 00:27:09].
Vashti: So, there’s a lot more layers that the sun has to get through to be able to dry them.
Vicki: Also leaks, because you’ve only got that one layer of protection. Fitted in a cover you’ve got two layers. If something happens to escape the nappy, it’ll get caught in the cover. Not so much an issue with older kids, but certainly with newborns.
Vashti: [00:27:30] You can combat that in ways. There are some nappies that have double leg gussets in them, which are really, really great at containing everything. Yeah. You’ve also got the issue with an all-in-one: you have to change the whole nappy every single time, which means that you have a lot more nappies in your stash. If you moved into an all-in-two, you can actually have extra inserts. So if baby’s just had a wee and hasn’t soiled the shell you can just replace the inserts.
Vicki: Also, boosting … [00:28:00] You can’t.
Vashti: Yeah, it’s very hard.
Vicki: There’s only so much you can boost an all-in-one, and by boosting we actually mean adding extra absorbency to the nappy. There’s only a finite amount of space there until you start to get gaps around the legs.
Andrew: Is this where you’re saying your terry flats would come back in?
Vicki: Or your fitteds.
Andrew: Or your fitteds.
Vicki: Yeah, because you can boost between the nappy and the cover.
Andrew: Okay. After all-in-ones, what’s the next one?
Vashti: Your all-in-twos.
Vashti: An all-in-two is very similar to an all-in-one, [00:28:30] but instead of the absorbency being stitched in it snaps or Velcros in. So, you can take all that absorbency out and have your waterproof shell separate. You can buy extra absorbency just so, as I said before, you can just replace the absorbency is baby’s just done a wee or hasn’t soiled the shell of the nappy. You can also use pretty much anything you’ve got at home as absorbency. So if you’ve got old towels, cut them up [inaudible 00:28:54] the edges-
Vicki: Or pre-folds-
Vashti: Or pre-folds-
Vicki: … from when their baby [crosstalk 00:28:57].
Vashti: … old terry flats. You can use the shell of your all-in-two [00:29:00] over your fitteds. They really are quite a versatile-
Vicki: You can use them as swim nappies without absorbency.
Vashti: Yeah. You can use them as training pads too. So when you move into toilet training, you can just slowly start to reduce the amount of absorbency in an all-in-two. Some of the all-in-twos have a little bit of elasticized waists so that you can just slide them up and down. There’s a couple of brands on the market now that do that, so they’re more [00:29:30] like a pair of Pull-Ups.
Vicki: Also, of course because you can remove the boosting, you can pop that in the dryer.
Vicki: Which is much faster.
Vashti: [crosstalk 00:29:38] only one you can’t necessarily do, because heat … Something we haven’t really gotten into is heat can affect the polyurethane laminate.
Andrew: And the elastic.
Vashti: And the elastic, yeah. So, being able to separate your boosting, which is perfectly fine to go through the dryer and hot washes and [00:30:00] stuff like that … Being able to separate that out is a huge convenience too.
Andrew: As far as putting something in the dryer, it’s not too detrimental to the nappy? It just shortens its overall life? Is that what you’re doing?
Vashti: It’s about having realistic expectations. A dryer does the same thing to your nappies that it does to your clothes. So all of that fluff that you in the filter, that’s actually come … They’re minuscule little fibres that have come off your nappies, off your clothes. Yeah, you need to-
Andrew: I’ve emptied out [00:30:30] our filter in our dryer, and it’s almost like taking a nappy off the dryer sometimes.
Vicki: Yeah. The things that degrade elastic are bacteria and heat, so it’s kind of like the perfect storm actually. A nappy is obviously full of bacteria, and if that is not washed well and then you expose it to heat, it’s kind of going to degrade. I mean, it’s not going to happen the first time you [00:31:00] do it. If you’re going to use the dryer every single time, you need to be aware that come two years of using the dryer your nappies aren’t going to be quite as nice as if you had have hung them on the line.
Andrew: So, the pros and cons with this … Obviously one of the biggest pros with this you can separate the nappy, so it dries faster.
Vashti: Very much so.
Vicki: Yeah, that’s huge.
Andrew: What are the other pros and cons?
Vashti: Well, one of the cons is the fact they have to be put back together. To increase the life [00:31:30] of your nappy, we always recommend that you pull the inserts out of the shell before you wash them so that there’s no undue stresses on the fibres or anything through the washing machine. But that also means that when you’re pulling them in off the line, you’ve got to put them back together. Now, that wasn’t such a big deal for our family back when I had the older two, because my partner would just sit there at night in front of the TV and fold up all the nappies and put them all together while I put the kids to bed. If I was [00:32:00] really lucky, he would have put the nappies away in the change table, but nine times out of ten I found a basket sitting on the end of the couch.
Vicki: That’s pretty much where our nappies [inaudible 00:32:08], wasn’t it?
Vicki: Oh, we did have a chest of drawers kind of thing. If I needed the basket, they’d just end up in there. They wouldn’t necessarily be put together. Nobody had time for that.
Vashti: But yeah, that’s probably the biggest downside to an all-in-two is the fact that you do need to put them back together. [00:32:30] While that can be quite [theraputing 00:32:33] sitting there at night putting nappies back together-
Vicki: It also can be a pain in the butt.
Vashti: ,,, it can drive you crazy, especially if you’ve got kids that are screaming at you and not sleeping and stuff.
Andrew: I used to just put them together as I used them.
Vashti: Yeah, and some people do.
Vicki: [crosstalk 00:32:47].
Andrew: Sometimes it was hard to dig through the basket to find all the pieces you needed, especially when you had a lot of different types of nappies. But, just grab that, grab that, put that together … I got pretty good at putting them together too.
Vashti: When we go back to your pre-folds and you fitteds, [00:33:00] that makes it very easy, because you just grab a cover. And, you grab your pre-fold, and you throw your pre-fold in your cover, and you’re done.
Vicki: You’re done.
Vashti: So, you don’t need to match up particular inserts to particular shells, because … While I understand why companies do it, you will find a lot of companies will have their own size snap, and it doesn’t correlate with another company’s snap. Or, somebody will have two snaps on their insert, and another company will only have one snap.
Vicki: [crosstalk 00:33:29].
Vashti: [00:33:30] So, not always do all inserts interchange with all covers.
Vicki: But having said that, like laying a pre-fold in, just because it doesn’t snap into the cover doesn’t mean you can’t use it.
Vashti: It doesn’t matter. No, you will find that if the cover is on nice and snugly anything will work.
Vicki: It’ll work. Yeah, it may just move around a bit, and that’s neither here nor there.
Andrew: Okay, so that’s all-in-two and all-in-one. What’s the other type?
Vashti: We never had pockets.
Andrew: [00:34:00] We had one pocket.
Vashti: No, no. We had three actually that had sharks on them that were very cute.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:34:06]. Right. They were cute, but I never put them on.
Vashti: So, pockets are a bit of a cross between the two of them. When it’s all put together, it’s like an all-in-one, but the benefit is that you can actually remove the absorbency from this pocket of the shell. Pockets mean that your nappy dries faster, but the downside is that you do need to change the entire nappy every time you change a nappy, because there’s wee [00:34:30] and poo on the shell of the nappy.
Vicki: And, that is the biggest-
Vashti: The biggest downfall is pulling out the dirty inserts.
Vicki: Yeah, trying to get the inserts out, especially when you’ve got a great big fruit poo-
Vicki: … that just goes everywhere.
Andrew: I love the ones when we’ve given them-
Vashti: Blueberries or banana.
Andrew: No, it’s grapes sort of-
Andrew: Sultanas [crosstalk 00:34:54]
Vicki: That come out of grapes.
Vashti: Yeah, [00:35:00] it’s that whole if you’ve got a poo-nami in the nappy and you’ve got to try and pull the insert out and not spill the poo anywhere. It’s like, “Ugh!”
Andrew: When I was using them I discovered that they weren’t real good at stopping things coming out the side of them as well. Is that still the case today?
Vicki: I think that had to be something to do with how you were putting it on probably.
Andrew: Oh, [crosstalk 00:35:21].
Vicki: See, the advantage of a pocket is you can add a little bit of extra boosting than you could with, say, an all-in-on.
Vicki: For [00:35:30] Abby, I think it was, I was using pockets overnight and actually found them really quite convenient overnight. She didn’t poo overnight unlike Gabriel who of course did.
Vashti: See, in the early days, we did use a pocket overnight. We just added extra boosting to it, and it worked great. By the time he was probably about six months old we needed to looked for a dedicated night nappy, because he was just feeding nonstop and peeing nonstop.
Vicki: It just wasn’t enough.
Vashti: It was not enough, so having that dedicated night nappy with [00:36:00] a good wool cover over it worked beautifully.
Andrew: I do hope your podcast gets a G rating even though we’ve said poo a lot of times.
Vicki: If you’re a first time mom listening to this concerned about poo, the poo in nappies is the least of your concern. You’re going to be covered with poo, and spew, and-
Andrew: If that’s the worst thing you have to touch, you’ve done well.
Vicki: That’s it.
Vashti: The really beautiful thing about newborn poo, especially-
Vicki: It smells sweet.
Vashti: Well, if you’re breastfeeding, if that’s your choice and you get that opportunity, [00:36:30] breastfed baby poo really doesn’t have a smell. It’s water soluble, so you can rinse it in the laundry sink if you want. Or, do what I do and let the washing machine take care of it, because it rinses straight out. So, keep it simple.
Andrew: Put your washing machine on a pre-wash?
Vicki: A really short cycle or a prewash with a little bit of detergent, perfect.
Andrew: Okay. Any last comments on any of the nappies?
Vashti: I really think it comes down to your family [00:37:00] and looking at-
Vicki: And your budget too.
Vashti: Yeah, your budget as well. I mean, if you’ve got a really tight budget, then you might want to look at something like a terry flat, because they come out a lot cheaper than your all-in-ones. So, there is a very big scale there on price. Having a mix of things in your stash as well so that … Your all-in-ones are great for when you’re out and about, but your fitteds and your flats are great for when you’re at home. If you live in a colder climate, look at your all- [00:37:30] in-twos and your pockets so that you can get them dried a lot more quicker.
Yeah, it really comes down to your family and what you’re capable of doing. The biggest thing, if you get the opportunity, go and touch and feel. Go somewhere that you can touch and feel. Talk to friends at work. If baby’s already here and you’re at a playgroup, talk to other moms at the playgroup and see whether or not they’re using cloth nappies and whether you can have a look at them. You don’t need to be [00:38:00] where there’s a shop. You can just talk to your friends and family.
Andrew: I actually really had a conversation about cloth nappies at a playground with a gentleman once.
Vicki: Did you really?
Andrew: Yeah, I saw that the child was wearing a cloth nappy, and we had a good talk about it. I was actually curious to find out how he found out about cloth nappies. Yeah.
Vashti: Well, my partner used to with big kids … Like, the oldest is nearly twelve, so we’re living in Central Victoria. When I found modern cloth when [Brace 00:38:26] was about eight months old, my partner was working in a [00:38:30] tank workshop … So, big, burly, greasy mechanics. And, he was taking my cloth nappies to work and shoving them off to all the boys in the workshop. I had the wives coming to me and saying, “Would you tell Brent to stop, please. My husband is coming home and harassing me that we need to start using these nappies.” And, they were all back at work, and so they didn’t want to do it. Really, it’s not that hard. It’s a load of washing every two days.
Vicki: It’s funny. I had the exact [00:39:00] opposite experience when I was pregnant with Abby. I took basically my first prototype into my boss all excited, “Look at these teeny, tiny little cloths.” I won’t actually repeat what he said, because we do want to keep it G rated. Needless to say, I was called an idiot for even considering using cloth. Thankfully, things have turned around quite a bit since then, and it’s not quite as frowned upon. A [00:39:30] lot of the misconceptions are not being –
Andrew: And, that’s what we’ll cover in future episodes. Okay, I think that’ll do it for this subject. I think that’ll do it for this podcast. Thank you, Vashti.
Vashti: Thanks, Andrew. It was lovely being here.
Andrew: Thank you, Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.