Podcast Episode 006: Travelling with Cloth Nappies

This week Vashti and Vicki have a special guest. Jenna answers questions about how she went overseas and used cloth nappies on an international flight and the struggles she had when she first got into cloth nappies.

Transcript: Travelling with cloth nappies.

Andrew: So how are you Vicki?

Vicki: I’m good Andrew, yourself?

Andrew: Excellent. And Vashti, how are you?

Vashti: I’m very well thanks, Andrew, how are you?

Andrew: Excellent. So today we’ve brought in a special guest. Jenna is with us and Jenna is going to answer some questions about the struggles that she had when she first [00:00:30] got into cloth nappies. So let’s start out Jenna, how did you find out about cloth nappies and what made you use them?

Jenna: I had a friend who was doing them. She showed me what they looked like now. I realised they weren’t terry towelling anymore. Oh you can do that. I thought they were really cute, and I gotta admit, I’m mostly stingy so I wanted to do cloth to save money.

Vashti: That is hands down the most common reason people start to do cloth.

Jenna: It’s definitely the reason I started. Second was that they’re really [00:01:00] cute, and I got to admit, at the time third was the environmental factor. But we did two weeks in disposables and I was already completely terrified by the amount of waste we had. And then that very quickly became a priority.

Vicki: How much garbage do you think you had each week in the beginning?

Jenna: Well we’ve never filled our bin before, then all of a sudden we were filling it.

Vicki: You were filling it?

Jenna: Yeah.

Vicki: Wow, that’s pretty huge.

Jenna: Newborns. They poop a lot.

Vicki: They do. They do, a lot.

Vashti: What is it, 500 nappies in that first six week?

Jenna: [00:01:30] Yeah.

Vicki: I’ve had customers of mine who had twins say that before kids, they’d have one or two bags of rubbish in the bin at the end of the week, and with their twins, their bin was over full. They were having to sneak stuff into neighbours’ bins.

Vashti: You didn’t introduce Ryan. Everybody hear Ryan?

Andrew: Well I was going to do it when you guys finished talking, because those cute baby noises that you can hear in the background, that’s Ryan. [00:02:00] I’m actually thinking about making a track and making it the background track of all our other podcasts because it sounds so cute. Baby noises, because we’re a baby podcast so we need a baby backing track. So we’re going to put that in the background. What’s your favourite nappy to use? I see Ryan’s wearing an all-in-two. Is that your favourite nappy to use?

Jenna: I definitely like all-in-twos. When I started my research, the first thing you’re sitting there and you read all the acronyms, and you’ve got no idea what’s happening. [00:02:30] I found a couple of great YouTube videos. There’s one called Obbs and LaLa who did a cloth nappy basics and stuff. I kind of binge watched those, and my husband was like, “Can we please stop watching three hours of cloth nappy videos?”

Andrew: You were watching on the television, right?

Jenna: Yes, which he really liked. It’s American, not all the information is pertinent but I understood how it was structured, I understood which were the waterproof bits, the absorbent bits, how they all work. [00:03:00] Immediately to me it was like well, the all-in-twos seem like the best option and the most variable. They’re the most flexible. If you want to hot wash stuff, you can without damaging the PUL and the other stuff. I like all-in-twos.

Andrew: Would you go down the cloth nappy path again if you had another baby?

Jenna: Definitely. I have a friend who … Her and I are already planning on buying a newborn stash between us and sharing it so that we … Because we won’t have kids at the same time again. That we can both use newborns and pay for them.

Vicki: So you can use newborns …

Vashti: By the way, I’ll bring you some BamBams.

Andrew: Oh no, you can’t say brands. [00:03:30] Non-brand specific.

Vicki: It’s supposed to be non-brand so we say …

Vashti: I said it, not Vicki.

Vicki: So you didn’t use newborns, you went straight …

Jenna: I did, but I had a friend who lent me her stash. The one who introduced me to them in the first place. We were planning on starting at about three months, giving ourselves some time to find our feet, and she came and brought them to me. So I could use them or not use them, wasn’t saving or losing money by doing that, so it took the pressure off a lot. I think he was two weeks and we were like, “I think I’ve worked out how to do a disposable change, let’s make [00:04:00] it hard and try new things,” so we started at two weeks in the end, and it was so easy. We were basically going, “Why didn’t we start earlier?”

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: Yeah. And do you think that that was a perception? That being a first time mom, you don’t know what you don’t know?

Jenna: Yes. I definitely had the idea that it would be harder and I should just start disposables ’cause it’ll be easier and everything, but I think the fact that we started so early was good, ’cause I don’t even remember the first two weeks. I don’t remember what it’s like to use disposables. To me, any little extra effort, and it is a little extra effort but not a lot … [00:04:30] I don’t know what it’s like not to do that.
We travelled recently and I used cloth, so I think we actually came back with more disposables than we went over with. I took 10 back ups, and then one day we had trouble getting to a laundromat, and so we bought a pack of disposables ’cause we were panicked we were going to … And we used one of them. So we brought a whole pack of disposables back.

Vicki: Where did you travel to?

Jenna: We went to France, Ireland, and England.

Vicki: Ah, so overseas.

Jenna: Yes.

Vicki: Wow.

Andrew: So you changed a cloth nappy [00:05:00] on an international flight?

Jenna: Here’s a lie. I didn’t, my husband did them all.

Vicki: Did you think it was difficult having the cloth nappies? Having to cart them around or …?

Jenna: Actually, my friend Jess put it really well. That’s the one who I’m going to buy the newborn stash with. She had been travelling … yeah, my friend Jess, her husband had been living in Canberra and so she’d been flying a lot. Every time she flew, she switched to disposables, and after the third blowout [00:05:30] on a plane, she was like, “That’s it, I’m taking my cloth next time.” She talked to me afterwards and she was like, “You know what, do what you know.” She said, “Don’t suddenly switch to something you don’t know at this point on a plane.”
We had a backpack and one section was all wet bag and one section was all clean nappies, and like I said, I have to admit, I think I did one … We flew 30 hours each way and I did one nappy. So my husband did probably better than I was. But, no. I asked him how it was going and he said it’s easy, it’s what we already know, so that was-

Andrew: You were telling us before the broadcast you had a little [00:06:00] problem on the plane?

Jenna: Oh yes, yes. On the way back, I was throwing up for seven hours on an international flight, and Casey pretty much had to do the whole flight on his own as a single parent. So that was fun for both of us. And then as we landed, Ryan projectile vomited all over the plane.

Vicki: Oh no!

Jenna: So, I figure if I can do that, I can do anything now.

Vicki: That’s very impressive effort.

Vashti: It’s like cloth on a plane.

Vicki: Really?

Jenna: Cloth on a plane was quite easy compared to that.

Andrew: Cloth on a plane doesn’t stop [00:06:30] throwing up though.

Vashti: No.

Jenna: No, no. But it did stop us having to clean poop off a bassinet. That was nice.

Vicki: Awesome.

Jenna: I gotta admit, with using cloth, I’m a little smug every time I see poop in an elastic, ’cause then I know. I’m like, “That would’ve got me out. That would’ve got me.”

Vashti: Well it’s because in disposables, you’ve got shirring elastic, which is like string, so even talking about a all-in-two with newborn poo, which doesn’t have the same kind of containment that a fitted and cover would. That sticks into elastic. [00:07:00] Compare that to a piece of string elastic, you know?

Jenna: Seven months, I’ve had exactly one poo explosion, and I think you know when this was. It was a brand new Candy that I threw on as I ran out the door and didn’t actually fit properly. Got him out of the car, I sent it to Vicki, and I said, “I’ve had my first poo explosion,” and she looked at it and went, “That’s not a poo explosion, Jenna.” It was a little bit of poo that escaped but that’s the worst I’ve had in seven months. I’m pretty lucky.

Vashti: Yeah, I think it was barely even noticeable on the link. I’m like, “Eh, okay. [00:07:30] Try harder next time.”

Jenna: Yeah, I know. Ryan’s a bit slack. Catch up.

Andrew: You’ve probably written down all these great tips along your cloth nappy journey. What would you say to someone who’s just starting out?

Jenna: The best thing you can do is familiarise yourself with the different types, and like I mentioned, there was a YouTube video that really helped me. One of your first podcasts, that’s the kind of thing that’s a really good place to start [00:08:00] so you at least know the lingo. And then what I did that I found really well … you could either go down the nappy library route if you can, if you’re in Brisbane. Is there any other bricks-and-mortar nappy stores in Australia?

Vicki: There is a few. There’s three in Victoria now. There’s one in Sydney, and then there are a few that do market stores and stuff like that.

Vashti: I was wondering, I’m sure there’s one in Adelaide too, isn’t there?

Vicki: Oh yeah, [crosstalk 00:08:29] Owl Baby.

Jenna: [00:08:30] If you can get to a bricks-and-mortar store and play with them, that’s really good, but to be honest, what I did is I just looked up a bunch of different brands and I had a poke around some Facebook groups. Sit back and just watch the Facebook groups and see what questions are being asked and watch troubleshoot and stuff, and you get an idea for things pretty quickly.
What I did that I found that worked well is that I picked 10 different ones that I liked the idea of, bought all of them, just bought one of each of them, and then I tried them all out, and whichever ones we liked … And it was very obvious [00:09:00] very quickly what our favourites were. I had a spreadsheet all made and everything and the wise Vicki said, “It’ll be so obvious which ones you like,” and I was like …

Vashti: It’ll be the first ones out of the wash that you grab again.

Jenna: And she said it’ll be so obvious, and she’s right, it was. It was really easy to work out which ones we’d buy more of, and then we just filled our stash with more of those. I still have the ones that I wasn’t a huge fan of. They’re really good if you go away for the weekend and your husband doesn’t listen to you and doesn’t do the laundry and you end up in day six of nappies like I was this week.

Vicki: Nice.

Jenna: I had to dig out the ones that I wasn’t a big fan of, but you know what? I had six days worth of nappies [00:09:30] apparently.

Vashti: We had way more than that.

Andrew: That’s right.

Jenna: I could’ve gone day seven, and then I would’ve been trying to put BamBams on an eight-month-old.

Andrew: Every single prototype Vicki made never got taken out of the rotation. “It’s staying in the rotation.” We had make sure it would last a long time.

Vashti: Or it’d also be, “Oh, I haven’t done the washing. I’d better go get a nappy out of stock.”
“So do you need to soak Bamboo before you put it on? Well … Not [00:10:00] in an emergency.”

Andrew: We never did.

Vicki: No, I’ve done it quite often where I’ve taken Kylan into the shop with me and haven’t had a nappy bag. Stocks come straight off the shelf and onto his bum. It works.

Jenna: Oh, that sounds like my idea of heaven. Just walk in and be like, “Which one do you want?”

Vashti: I actually did that the other day when I went to the warehouse, but it was wet bags. After our podcast a couple weeks ago about wet bags, and you using them for everything, I took two wet bags away with me. [00:10:30] I had my dirty underwear from travelling in one of them and the other one I had … ‘Cause I suffer migraines, I had all of my … this is my drug bag.

Andrew: Don’t call it a drug bag, you’re supposed to call it your-

Vicki: Prescription bag.

Andrew: Prescription bag.

Vashti: My prescription bag is my favourite bag.

Jenna: You sound like when I told my mum I needed to drug the baby and she went, “Maybe that’s not how we’ll word it.”

Andrew: That’s terrible when she’s going through airport x-ray and they say, “What’s in here?”
“Oh that’s my drugs”

Vicki: So you [00:11:00] said that you really like all-in-twos. I’m assuming you’ve got your favourites and-

Vashti: But you’re not allowed to mention those.

Jenna: I was about to say names. I was carefully not mentioning-

Vicki: Is your stash mainly the one brand? Or …

Jenna: Three brands.

Vicki: Three brands?

Jenna: I have three favourites and it’s pretty evenly split between those three.

Vicki: And are they all all-in-twos or …?

Jenna: All all-in-twos.

Andrew: You said with the next baby, you’re thinking about having fitteds instead of an all-in-two. Why are you going to do that?

Jenna: Because I just found them really … My friend who lent me her [00:11:30] stash, it had all-in-ones, all-in-twos, and fitteds in there, and I just found it so much easier to get a fitted on those tiny, scrawny newborn legs.

Vicki: Did you have any pre-folds as well?

Jenna: I had some pre-folds, but I was just scared to use them. Now I’m like, that’s silly, that’s what we use every night. I definitely would get more pre-folds next time. I just think in those really … I find all-in-twos fit great now, but just in those really tiny, scrawny leg stages, and they’re not too wiggly at that point either. It’s not hard to put a pre-fold or a fitted on. I wish I had been less scared of the pre-folds.

Vicki: [00:12:00] That is such a common [crosstalk 00:12:01]. You see it on Facebook and all of that. The two things people say: “I wish I had have bought newborn nappies or some form of newborn stash until a one size nappy fits,” and the second, “I wish I had have used pre-folds.”

Jenna: There’s a couple of friends I’ve kind of mentored and helped get into cloth that were kind of dabbling but a little unsure. One of them was a person I just harassed in Nest and started telling them what to do.

Vashti: Didn’t you become really good friends with her?

Jenna: Yes.

Vashti: So I go to Vashti’s store and you [00:12:30] can pick up friends.

Jenna: I think it was Heidi in that day, and she was looking at pre-folds and she’s like, “Oh I just don’t know if they seem too difficult,” and I’m standing there. Casey’s like, “Jenna, don’t. Stop telling …” and I was like, “I’ll just tell her what to do a little bit.”
I’m like, “Don’t be scared, they’re actually really easy.” I was like, “Here, you do this,” and I totally butted in while Heidi’s trying to sell them. I’m just like, “I sold [inaudible 00:12:51] anyway.”
I was like, “Here, do this, and this, and this,” and then added her on Facebook. We became really good friends.

Vicki: It’s a really common thing in at Nest.

Vashti: So you can [00:13:00] swipe right at Nest now.

Vicki: No, we have it regularly. I’ve even made some awesome friends from customers and stuff like that. It’s definitely the place to be.

Andrew: Much better than the electronics store.

Vashti: Yeah, it’s a completely different person that you meet in an electronics store.

Andrew: That’s probably why Vicki covers her stands with mothers as well.

Vicki: It is.

Andrew: Yeah, whenever you see Bubblebubs at an expo, it’s covered with mothers, so go talk to the mothers.

Vicki: [00:13:30] Oh I do the same at Nest, so it’s all … when I was working for the other nappy brand that I used to work for, that was what we did. We got mums and dads who use the nappies to come in and work on the stands.

Jenna: I mean it makes sense. You need the mums and dads, especially when you’re still pregnant. You’re all scared and unsure. You need people who have just been there to kind of hold your hand and tell you what works and what doesn’t. You can’t sell if you don’t know what the person really is about to go through.

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: [00:14:00] I find, especially at the expos, there’s so much education that gets done. Even if you don’t have product knowledge, that’s fine. It’s the cloth nappy experience that people coming to an expo … that’s what they’re looking for. They need that reassurance.

Jenna: I think if you’re going to an expo, it’s probably because you’ve seen stuff online and you’re a little unsure and you want to go talk to someone. That’s exactly what I’d guess. I got some dizziness in my early pregnancy [00:14:30] and every time I stood up, I was going to fall down, so I was in bed for three days. That’s how I fell down the rabbit hole of cloth nappies, ’cause I was like, “Well what are these things?”
I spent three solid days researching. My husband would come home and I’d tell him everything I’d found that day and which brands we’re going to buy, and he’s just like, “Oh god.” He’s very well educated. Maybe not as educated as you, Andrew.

Vashti: Oh no, no. Probably more.

Andrew: Women have to say 10,000 words a day, so I can imagine you copped almost 10,000 words as soon as he came home.

Jenna: If my dad was here, he’d say I hit 20. [00:15:00] He says that frequently.

Andrew: So, back to your backpack. I was going to ask you if you were afraid of going out. You’re obviously not afraid of going out at all, ’cause you went overseas with them.

Jenna: It was definitely a debate, and I was afraid of going out at first. When we started, we just did if he was in a good mood, and then we got a bit better and we used cloth for all our changes, and then suddenly I realised I didn’t know when I’d last used a disposable. Then I got out of the house a bit more and I started doing disposables, and then I was like, “Well, I’ll give cloth a go,” and then I realised it’s very easy [00:15:30] to do out of the house.
You gotta be organised. Have a wet bag with you. I find it easier to make myself a little change station whenever I change him. It’s no harder than changing a disposable in public, ’cause you’ve still gotta find a bag to put it in. Then you’ve gotta find a bin if you’ve got disposables, whereas cloth, you just shove them in your nappy bag again.
It was definitely a decision to do it going overseas, and in the end it was just doing what we were comfortable with and what we were comfortable with cloth. I’ve got to admit, a little bit of me just was enjoying the challenge. There was a couple of hiccups. My one piece of advice is always call [00:16:00] the hotel and find out exactly what the cleaning set up, the laundry set up is. If you have access to it, if they’re sending it out. If they say they’re going to send it out, and then don’t for three days, ’cause that happened to us. That was fun. That’s why I bought disposables.
Casey ended up in a laundromat for a couple of hours. He took his Kindle. He had a break. I played with Ryan and we came back with clean nappies.

Andrew: So what else is in the backpack? You said before you’ve got clean nappies in the backpack. What else is in the backpack?

Jenna: Clean nappies, a wet bag. We took dry wipes, because changing in a plane, [00:16:30] one of the really nice things is you’ve got a tap right there.

Vashti: Oh really?

Jenna: Yeah.

Vicki: Myself, never been in a toilet on a plane.

Vashti: Really?

Vicki: Even long haul flights. I refuse.

Vashti: They even have nice warm tap water. So, nice for Ryan?

Jenna: I tried and tried to get Vicki to go to the toilet when we flew to [crosstalk 00:16:47] earlier this year and she would not.

Vashti: Oh, they’re better than public toilets.

Andrew: How long was the plane flight?

Vicki: Nine hours?

Vashti: That’s not healthy!

Andrew: Abby, when she went to school, she didn’t go to the toilet when she went to school, so she’d come [00:17:00] home to go to the toilet.

Vicki: No, remember when she actually ended up in PICU because she had pneumonia and she was on CPAP and she wasn’t … So they tried to put a nappy on her. She refused to go in a nappy. She had a drip going in and … oh gosh, how many hours did she … She went a good 36 hours or something like that without … Eventually it got to the point where she had to go, and she flooded the nappy and all that. She was five or six at the time, but eventually [00:17:30] we convinced them to put her on a …

Jenna: Catheter?

Vicki: No, no, no. They were going to do that, that’s what made her go. But no, one of those portable oxygen tanks, which of course the one that they gave her didn’t actually have any oxygen in it and her sats were ridiculously low by the time she got back from the toilet, the poor thing. Bad, yeah. So she gets it from me.

Jenna: Wow.

Andrew: I always think she refused the nappy because it was a disposable.

Vicki: Oh, yes! Good point. Yes.

Vashti: She’s a good kid. She’s a good kid.

Jenna: She’s a keeper.

Andrew: [00:18:00] So anything else in the backpack you’ve missed?

Jenna: Nappy cream. Ryan’s a little sensitive, so we use nappy cream with every change.

Vicki: Do you use a special nappy cream? Or …

Jenna: We use bepanthen and we’ve never had any issues washing it out. Mainstream detergent, warm [inaudible 00:18:15] and you get it out. And hand sanitizer for us for when we’re done. That’s about all.

Andrew: Yeah, actually, somehow I remember before when we used to … Arabella, when she went to daycare-

Vicki: Gloves.

Andrew: Yeah, we used to buy a packet of disposable [00:18:30] gloves.

Vicki: Disposable gloves.

Andrew: So she’s changing a reusable nappy, but she was using disposable gloves.

Vicki: Do they not use gloves with disposable nappies?

Vashti: Actually, I think she did.

Andrew: Oh did she?

Vashti: Yeah, look it was such a long time ago, I can’t remember.

Vicki: You [inaudible 00:18:44] to get poo on your hands trying to get a cloth and a-

Vashti: No, no. Yeah, because I always felt kind of weird because I’m not a germaphobe, so-

Vicki: But then again, changing someone else’s kid’s nappy, I can also understand.

Andrew: Outside the families. Yeah, outside the families.

Jenna: You see, I’ve never had [00:19:00] that. Three nannies and they’re fine, they just wash their hands afterwards. Daycare, they didn’t use disposable gloves. They just washed their hands afterwards.

Andrew: So the wipes you use, you just a washer and a bit of water?

Jenna: Yeah, I use cloth wipes, water. We don’t add any soap or any oils or anything to it, which is really simple. On our change table at home, we’ve got the little IKEA caddies that you can hang on the side of your change tables. One of them’s got water in. Dunk, squeeze, use it to wipe.

Vashti: Have you ever used the disposable ones?

Jenna: [00:19:30] The first couple of weeks. My husband and I are very bad at them. Every time we pull them out, like six or seven would come out, and actually we had this discussion. Even if we switched to disposable nappies, we’re both like, “I’d never use disposable wipes.” We suck at them. We’re just not very good at them.

Vicki: I think it must be a plot. You pull one and you get half a dozen so that you go through them quicker.

Vashti: There’s one, that it’d slime everywhere. Especially with newborn kind of poo, it’d smear it and you’d end up [00:20:00] with using four or five wipes anyway.

Jenna: Yeah I’d go through half a dozen wipes to wipe a poo, and the newborn poo? I could do it with one cloth wipe.

Vashti: Yeah, yeah. One face washer, even. Whatever. Straight off.

Vicki: Probably ’cause the grit. I mean, disposable wipes don’t …

Jenna: Yeah, and even my parents did cloth nappies on me, and then wwhen I mentioned cloth wips, my mom was a bit dubious, but they change him all the time and they love them now.

Vashti: Well what changed me from disposable wipes to cloth was I had to Abby … [00:20:30] her drawing with a nikko on the wall, and someone said, “Ues your wipes to get them off, and I was horrified.” I’m like, “But we use them on her skin!”

Jenna: Yeah, yeah. I’ve actually seen that a lot. People using them in cleaning, and I’m just like-

Vashti: But you don’t think. You don’t think when I’m using these as cleaning cloths, and I’m using them on sensitive baby skin.

Vicki: It removed the paint off my dashboard in my car. So the radio … you know the little things around your radio? I used a natural branded disposable wipe and [00:21:00] it actually removed the markings around the radio. It was like, “Yeah, there’s a reason why I use cloth wipes.”

Vashti: And that just said, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Water and a washer.

Jenna: I think people like to overcomplicate cloth wipes sometimes. You don’t need to sit there and formulate your own potion to make it. Water is …

Andrew: And how’s your husband go changing nappies? Does he have a favourite?

Jenna: Yes, and we have different favourites. His [inaudible 00:21:27] slightly more engineered. He likes the ones that are very practical. [00:21:30] Of course, he’s an engineer. But no, he’s good. I’ve got to admit, when we were in Europe, I have never changed less nappies since he was born. I changed maybe one or two a day. Casey handled all of them. He was happy to go do all that. But yeah, he’s good. He’s very supportive of doing cloth and doesn’t have any problems with it. He built me a nappy sprayer and everything.
I do admit, that’s what I missed while travelling with cloth, was my nappy sprayer at home. Makes poo removal so easy.

Vashti: Do you want to explain what it is?

Jenna: Oh, yes. [00:22:00] Mine actually is a DIY one that my husband made. It’s actually using a garden trigger sprayer and it’s in our laundry sink … I spray it downwards. I don’t really have …

Vashti: Do you still have to close your mouth? That’s what I just warn everybody with cloth spray, is just close your mouth. Until you get the gist of it, you really need to.

Jenna: Yeah, yeah. You need to spray down. Spray down. When we were travelling, we used a hairbrush, which worked [00:22:30] well, but you know. When I came home, I was like, “Oh, god. This is so easy. I forgot how easy it was.” That’s probably the one thing I missed while travelling. He enjoyed setting up. He’s very proud of him. Very proud of his DIY nappy sprayer that didn’t cost $80 for a brand new one kind of thing.

Andrew: So it’s just a hose? He just connects with that himself?

Jenna: Yeah, it’s got one of those little curly sort of shower cord things.

Vashti: Kind of like the springy ones?

Jenna: Yes, yes. Those ones. Yeah, it’s got a garden trigger spray. I worked out a long time ago, I’m better off [00:23:00] telling him my problem than telling him the solution, and he just worked it out. It’s just-

Vashti: They’ve got a recipe of how to make some DIY ones somewhere, haven’t they?

Jenna: Yes, Casey made one, actually. Casey made a PDF that’s even got live links so you can go buy all the parts he did from wherever he bought it from.

Vashti: Oh wow. Can we steal it from you?

Jenna: Yeah, totally. He was very proud. He got me to share it in cloth nappy groups so that people could-

Vashti: Oh okay, I knew I’d seen something somewhere.

Jenna: He was very proud of that

Vashti: Well he [00:23:30] can … we’ll publish that.

Andrew: Any other nappy problems that he’s solved for you? Doesn’t have to be related to cloth nappies.

Jenna: Yes, actually, for my dry pail, ’cause I had a wire one. It was sitting on the thing you wash your clothes with … washing machine. I haven’t slept in eight months.

Vashti: Do you know what, it never, ever comes back.

Vicki: Mum brain is real.

Andrew: For those of you at home, she’s just been breastfeeding. That’s why she’s got mummy brain.

Jenna: Yes, that’s exactly why it is.

Vashti: Sucks your brains out your boobs.

Jenna: Yes, sucking all mommy’s brains [00:24:00] out. So, it was leaving some rust marks, sitting straight on the thing, and he has the 3D printer, and he printed me feet to go around it so it’s got air flow underneath it and it doesn’t touch the washing machine anymore.

Andrew: Oh we so need a replicator in this house.

Jenna: There’s good and bad parts to being married to an engineer. That’s one of the good ones.

Vashti: Well it’s a way of getting your husband involved. If they’re not hugely supportive…

Jenna: Find other little things for them to work with.

Vashti: That’s the whole woman thing, isn’t it? You [00:24:30] don’t nag them into it, encourage them to make it their own.

Jenna: I’m pretty lucky, he’s a good one. He gets up with Ryan while I’m still sleeping in the morning and they have an hour together and by the time I get up, the coffee’s made and the [inaudible 00:24:44] nappy is soaking in the thing … in the basin. I don’t need words to do a podcast, do I?

Andrew: We’ll go to sign language.

Jenna: [00:25:00] Sign language podcast. It’ll be a new thing.

Vicki: Ryan is having such an awesome time here with your necklace.

Andrew: He’s not making enough baby goo-ing and ah-ing sounds, though.

Vashti: He’s bang, bang, bang!

Vicki: He is a boy.

Jenna: He used them all before we started the podcast.

Andrew: Yeah he did, didn’t he? I should’ve recorded those bits.

Jenna: Hey look, it beats a dog barking.

Andrew: I don’t think we’ve got a single dog bark on this entire podcast.

Vicki: No, and it has to be the first one.

Andrew: I think so, yeah.

Vashti: We have a cavoodle that usually comes and joins us and yeah. Yappy dog.

Andrew: I must [00:25:30] admit, some of the podcasts were a bit quiet, so I inserted a dog barking into it.

Jenna: That’s what it was.

Vicki: Well now you have Ryan’s gorgeous playing to be able to use.

Andrew: That’s right. Otherwise, if you ever wondered why the dog barking sounded the same every time, now you know. Well, I think that’s it. Is there anything else you’d like to say? Any other tips you’ve got for new mothers?

Jenna: I think my biggest tip would be research and that’s part of my personality. I think a lot of people can get turned off cloth by starting trying it, [00:26:00] not being prepared, and things go wrong straight away, and then they’re like, “Oh, it’s too hard.”
Research, prepare, know what settings you’re going to use on the washing machine before you have the child. By the time your child comes and you’re starting to change nappies, you’re a brain dead idiot who hasn’t slept in days. Have your plan before the baby comes, if you’re still pregnant, so that you’re not trying to work out all the difficult things with the baby, because that starts to be hard. And if you’re starting later, then that’s fine too, [00:26:30] but I found that really easy to be super prepared. I think-

Vashti: You actually have a laminated instruction. So I’ve been to Jenna’s place. She’s actually got laminated instructions on what cycle to use on her washing machine.

Jenna: Yes, and on the back there’s troubleshooting for smells.

Andrew: Well, you kind of do that too Vicki, right? There’s a favourite setting on our washing machine.

Vicki: Well yeah, I just programmed it into the machine. It’s about keeping it simple. [00:27:00] Andrew does our washing here, and he uses the dryer and it drives me nuts and all that sort of stuff, so I just bought a heat pump dryer. Okay, I can’t stop him using the dryer, but dear god, I’m not going to whinge about someone doing my washing, so you just make it simple so he just presses “Favourites,” and now he has a heat pump dryer and he doesn’t get in trouble.

Jenna: That’s awesome.

Andrew: Of course all of the clothes washing in the house all get run on that same setting.

Jenna: Oh yeah, they must be very clean.

Andrew: Everything in the house gets a prewash.

Jenna: Well you know what, [00:27:30] I let him have breakfast in the morning in his onesie still, ’cause I’ve decided it’s easier to clean the onesie than clean the baby, ’cause the onesie doesn’t cry while you’re trying to clean it. So what I do is I chuck whatever onesies are covered in food, they go in with the nappies and they come out clean every time, because they go through the prewash then they go through a heavy main wash, and they come out nice and clean.

Andrew: So any last tips?

Jenna: Yes, I think the biggest thing is just dive in. Don’t put too much pressure [00:28:00] on yourself, don’t think that as soon as you start one cloth nappy, you have to do it full-time. Just take the pressure off, wait till the baby’s in a good mood. Wait till you’ve got hubby there and you’ve got two of you to work it out and just try one, because it can be a bit daunting, but it’s so easy once you get into. I think the best thing is just to take the pressure off and give [inaudible 00:28:19]

Andrew: Been five minutes since you’ve been breastfeeding, so your mommy brain should be slowly coming back.

Jenna: It should be coming back now. Oh, this wasn’t what it was, but it’s a good piece of advice. The other piece of advice I have is try a bunch [00:28:30] of different brands. Don’t double down and buy a huge pack before you’ve tried a single nappy. Buy a bunch of different brands that you might be interested in, try them on the baby, and you might be surprised which are your favourites, and you might be surprised by ones you thought you would like but didn’t end up liking once they’re on the baby.
You really can’t make a decision about which ones you really want to buy bulk in until you’ve got them on the baby, you’re trying them a few times, and you know what’s working for you, what your favourites are, what works for them.

Andrew: Even though this isn’t unbranded, that’s one of the reasons why [crosstalk 00:28:59], you can get the pack, try the nappy, don’t like it.

Jenna: Don’t like it.

Andrew: Send it back.

Jenna: Send it back, yeah. [00:29:00] For that very reason and it works. Except pre-folds. Pre-folds seem to fit every single baby.

Vashti: Pre-folds can fit every baby?

Jenna: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:29:18] Pre-folds are so underrated, especially for newborn nappies. What we did we bought some pre-folds. We did end up trying [inaudible 00:29:26] straight away and the great thing with pre-folds [00:29:30] is they fit them as a pre-fold nappy when they’re small and now they’re our extra inserts in our [inaudible 00:29:35].

Vicki: You boost them?

Jenna: The night nappy … Yeah, his night nappy is a bigger pre-fold with booster and it never failed us, never had a leak. I was talking to someone at the pub the other day and she was like “I’m so sick of changing laundry in the middle of the night from leaky nappies” blah blah blah. I was like never have, don’t know what you’re talking about. She was like “How?” They’re looking at me like I’m crazy. I got to admit, Ryan is a bit [00:30:00] of a [hot 00:30:01] baby, he doesn’t wear pants generally and I’m a bit outspoken so I’ll sit there and any time I get the chance I’ll point it out to people, do my best, I think just making people realise that cloth isn’t what they think it is, that it’s different now.

Vicki: Yeah it’s breaking down those perceptions.

Jenna: Yeah because [inaudible 00:30:19] things to say and I ordered my trial pack.

Vicki: That’s a way to put it.

Jenna: Exactly, that’s a nice way to put it. [crosstalk 00:30:28] And [00:30:30] I ordered my trial pack to the office and when it arrived and I opened it, I was like [inaudible 00:30:37]. She thought I meant [crosstalk 00:30:39] which I know that some die hard [inaudible 00:30:40] moms love them but they’re not for me. And yet when she saw the other one too she’s like “Is that what cloth looks like now?”
I think for me you’re not going to get every [bumming 00:30:54] cloth in Australia but I would really like, we all go into parenting with different decisions. Am I going to put his cot in my room [00:31:00] or not? Am I going to do a dummy or am I not? Do I sleep train, do I … We all go in with these questions we’re asking when you’re a parent and I wish everyone asked cloth that were disposable. [crosstalk 00:31:12] Not everyone has to do it, it’s not for everyone but I just wish everyone asked the question.

Vicki: They don’t even have to be all or nothing?

Jenna: Yes, you can do part time.

Vicki: Yeah, you can just do one a day.

Jenna: [crosstalk 00:31:23]

Andrew: Grab the laptop, grab the laptop, daddy wants a new [00:31:30] one. Well if you can’t thnk of any more tips I think we’ll finish.

Jenna: I think that’s all.

Andrew: Excellent. Thanks Jenna for coming.

Jenna: Thanks, it was fun. I like talking.

Andrew: [crosstalk 00:31:45]

Vicki: You’re a nice distraction.

Vashti: He’s gorgeous. [crosstalk 00:31:50]

Andrew: Thank you Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks Andrew, come over here. [crosstalk 00:31:57] [00:32:00] I’m the one you married. [crosstalk 00:32:08] sleep in the bed as her every night as well. [crosstalk 00:32:14]

Andrew: [inaudible 00:32:18] Thank you Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks again Ryan.
Vicki Simpson is the current president of the Australian Nappy Association and has been making and selling [inaudible 00:32:29] for 13 [00:32:30] years. You can contact Vikki through her website, bubblebubs.com.au or call 1300-792-232. Vashti Wadwell is the member secretary of the Australian Nappy Association and is the owner of Australia’s first bricks and mortar nappy store, [Nest-Nappies 00:32:47] in Brisbane, Australia. She has been using cloth nappies for 12 years and currently has one child still in nappies. You can contact Vashti through her website, nestnappies.com.au or phone [00:33:00] 0732175200. If you have any comments about the podcast you can email us at feedback@nappyleaks.com.
If you found this podcast helpful then the way to thanks us is to leave feedback in the iTune store. I’m your host, Andrew Simpson.

Vicki: Jenna [crosstalk 00:33:25]

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