Podcast Episode 007: Cloth nappy stashes

This month I wanted to talk about what you girls like to call stashes. Your stash of nappies. How do you slowly build up your stash of nappies to have what you need for where you are in Australia? Or where you are in the world? Depending on the weather conditions.

Cloth nappy stashes transcript.

Andrew: So, how are you, Vashti?

Vashti: I’m good thanks, Andrew. How are you today?

Andrew: Excellent. And how are you, Vicki?

Vicki: Yeah, really good. And yourself?

Andrew: Doing fine, doing fine. So, today I wanted to talk about what you girls like to call stashes. Your stash of nappies. How do you slowly build up your stash of nappies [00:00:30] to have what you need for where you are in Australia? Or where you are in the world? Depending on the weather conditions.
So, your baby’s on the way. What would you start with? What would you start looking at?

Vashti: I think it really depends on how in depth you’re going to go. I like to work on a three day stash of nappies, so that you can wash every second day and you’ve go that third day for drying time.
But it also depends on your location. If you’re in a colder and wetter environment, you might need more, because it might take longer to dry. Whereas, if you’re in a nice warm location, you generally get your nappies [00:01:00] dry in half a day, sometimes a little bit more.
There’s also the option of using dryers for the inserts of all your nappies and stuff like that, but I think a three day amount of nappies is a really good amount.

Andrew: So, in Queensland, how many nappies is a three day amount for a newborn baby?

Vashti: For a newborn baby, well they normally change the nappy about 10 – 12 a day in those first three to four months, so having about 30 – 36 nappies for those first few months [00:01:30] is a really good place to be at. It means that you can wash every second day, and you’ve got the third day for drying, or if we do get a run of cold wet weather, which happened recently in Queensland, then it takes a little bit longer, because there’s too much moisture in the air, you wash every day and you’ve got two days of drying tops.

Andrew: So, how many nappies would you need, say, if you were in Melbourne?

Vashti: Melbourne, you could get away with that 30 – 36, but you might need a few more. I know when I was living in central Victoria, we were close nappying two under two in the middle of winter, and it was taking [00:02:00] a long time. Our nappies were sitting on clothes airers, shoved in around wall heaters and stuff like that.
And I do have lots of customers in Melbourne who tell me they do exactly the same thing, but yeah, so you might need a few more, but you can definitely get away with that amount if you do pop them in against the wall heater or over the top or underneath your heating vents.
Maybe even overnight, pop over a heating vent and put the ceiling fan on over the top of them as well, just to get that airflow circulating [00:02:30] around them. Or even use your clothes dryer.

Andrew: So, that’s why baby nappies are always simple?

Vashti: Very much so, yeah.

Vicki: Yeah, and it depends also what you are actually using. Whether you’re using an all in one, or pre-fold, yeah, drying times obviously increases the quantity that you’re going to need.

Andrew: Does drying time depend on the type of nappy?

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: Yeah.

Andrew: What would be the quickest nappy to dry?

Vicki: [inaudible 00:02:51] were talking about the other week, flats and pre are going to be [inaudible 00:02:53] So, what I would do, for someone who doesn’t live in a cold climate and will never live [00:03:00] in a cold climate, which is what I would’ve done, is probably bulked my stash out.
So, not necessarily having, say, 30 – 36 nappies of all in ones. I would’ve had maybe a dozen fitted nappies and then maybe 12 – 20 pre-folds and flats to kind of [spog 00:03:22] that out.

Vashti: In the new born stages, yeah, you need more nappies, because they’re changing them more. But as your baby grows, they’re weeing less, and so you don’t [00:03:30] need quite as many nappies. By about six months, you’re down to about six, maybe eight changes a day at the most. And that’s if your babies decided that they wanted to poo heaps, because you’ve introduced solids.
But, you see, you can definitely drop your nappies down. So, if you are looking at getting a new born stash and then your one size fits most, or your sized nappies for those older days, then you can look at dropping the amount down when you jump up to that [00:04:00] next size.
By about 12 months, you’re probably down to about three or four changes a day at the most.

Andrew: And by this stage, are you using the same nappy? Or you’ve switched to another nappy?

Vashti: So, by that six months, you can probably switch to a one size fits most. And that’d be six months at the latest for most babies. We generally recommend those new born nappies for those first four to six months. And by around that three to four month, is a really good time to be moving into the one size fits most.

Vicki: Unless you have a horse of a baby.

Vashti: Yeah, well, [00:04:30] my first.

Vicki: Five kilo baby pops out. You’re going to fit easily into one size from birth.

Vashti: Well, Braith was a 4850 baby, so that’s 10 pound 11 and while we did use, well, with him, we were using disposables and flats, so it worked well.
Whereas, Michaela, when she came along, she was only 3580, which is 7 pound 14.

Vicki: How can you remember this when you’ve got three kids? I can remember my first, that’s it.

Vashti: [00:05:00] I remember, because I use it on a daily basis. Braith came along 4850, which is 10 pound 11. He crept to 8 kilos at five and a half months. Michaela was more than a kilo lighter than him at 3580, so 7 pound 14.
She didn’t crack 8 kilos, until 12 months. Whereas Kylan was born 3815, so more than a kilo lighter than Braith and less than 300 grammes heavier than Michaela. He cracked 8 kilos at four months. He just stacked [00:05:30] on the weight. He was a little Buddha.
So, while weren’t using new born nappies for Braith, because I didn’t know about modern cloth nappies and stuff, we did when we found them, we went straight into a one size fits most. And we were using a fitted system back then, we are talking nearly 12 years ago. He turned 12 recently.

Andrew: He’s not wearing nappies now?

Vashti: No, no, but we’ve still got the flats we used on him. And he does pull them out to clean up spills around the house and stuff, so, flat’s awesome, honestly. [00:06:00] Lasts for ages.
When Michaela came along, those one size fits most, didn’t work on her. She was such a teeny tiny baby and she grew so slowly that we had to find a nappy that was suitable for her. Now, when Kylan came along, we still did have some nappies that got hidden in a bag of stuff in the back of a cupboard.
So, when we were going through stuff and pulling it out to find bits and pieces for him, we were able to use some of those nappies that I’d used on Michaela. And some of them were small nappies or newborn [00:06:30] nappies and they worked well, but we had to buy most of our nappies again.
He was in newborn nappies and most of those nappies we did use for about four to six months. I think the longest we got out of one of our newborn nappies was about five and a half months.

Vicki: Which is actually a long time for a newborn. That’s very long.

Vashti: It is. [crosstalk 00:06:47]

Vicki: First newborn nappies, especially if you’re talking all in ones and things like that, they’re designed for eight weeks.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: They’re just like your disposable new born nappy, so there are different types of nappies that do go to the four [00:07:00] to six month mark, but that’s more the exception, than the rule.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: So, it’s just getting them till they fit into a one size nappy.

Andrew: So, we’re calling that, basically that’s just a heavy wetting stage?

Vashti: That’s just when they’re wetting really frequently.

Vicki: Often.

Vashti: So, it’s not that they’re wetting heavily, most babies-

Vicki: They’ve got their bladders the size of a pea when they’re born.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Or is that their stomach?

Vashti: The stomach.

Vicki: The stomach.

Vashti: But their bladder isn’t that much different in size than their stomach. But it’s not that [00:07:30] they’re wetting heavy, it’s that they’re wetting very frequently. Or-

Vicki: Because their digestive is so small, it’s in and out, in and out, in and out.

Vashti: So, yeah, there’s just that whole, you do need to change really frequently on a new born. You are changing every two to three hours around the clock. There’s not much you can do about it, so-

Andrew: Yeah, there’s somebody in front, or down by the clock.

Vashti: Whereas once they get to that six month mark, they’re starting to hold [00:08:00] on. They’re getting periods between their wee. They’re not holding on for long periods, but you can get longer. So, you are getting three, four, five hours out of a nappy, depending on the style that you’re using.

Vicki: And how long they sleep.

Vashti: Yeah, that’s another one. So, if you can, don’t change while they’re asleep. I’m a big fan of trying to get into a dedicated night nappy as early as possible, so once your baby stops pooing at night, start looking for a dedicated night nappy.

Vicki: Or make [00:08:30] your own.

Vashti: Make your own. Bastardise your own. I fit it with some-

Vicki: Boosting on the outside.

Vashti: Boosting on the outside and a good cover over the top can generally get you eight to ten hours easily. I know that we were getting 12 – 14 hours out of some of our night nappies, which was fantastic.
Because all the kids were still waking overnight and I was still feeding them.
Because they weren’t pooping, I didn’t need to change. And if you don’t need to change, that means that [00:09:00] you’re not stimulating your baby, because you’re not turning lights on and stuff like that, which means they go back to sleep a lot quicker. And that means you get more sleep as parents. [crosstalk 00:09:10]

Andrew: So, you’re saying it’s impossible to change a baby’s nappy when they’re asleep?

Vicki: No, no, no.

Vashti: No, it’s not impossible.

Vicki: And do you know what, there have been times, you know, you go through the whole don’t wake a sleeping baby. And I remember walking in on Abby once, and I could smell it. And you have this conundrum, she’s got a poopie nappy on and she’s asleep. [00:09:30] What do you do?
You know what, there’s no right or wrong answer, because everybody will have a different opinion on that. It’s like oh my God, the baby’s asleep, but they’ve got to poo.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: And whatever you choose, if you choose not to change that poopie nappy, Murphy says that you will end up with rash, because if you do change that nappy, the baby won’t go back to sleep. So, you can’t win. It’s a no win situation that one, but you do what you’ve got to do.

Andrew: Okay, moving on to the next stage of nappy. How many would you say you [00:10:00] need in Queensland?

Vashti: In Queensland, by about six months, you’re probably down to about 15 – 18 nappies.

Vicki: Fifteen.
Depends. See, once you get that stage, it becomes more about fashion and-

Vashti: What’s the latest prints? What colour matches with their outfit? Especially here in Queensland, we really only get two weeks of winter.

Vicki: Yes.

Vashti: So-

Vicki: Well, that’s if you can stand the cold. For people like me who hate the cold, it’s more like eight weeks of winter.

Vashti: Yeah, but still. [00:10:30] Whereas, in Melbourne-

Vicki: It’s still winter.

Vashti: But just recently, they’re having a heatwave-

Vicki: The week after I move? Yeah, that’s-

Andrew: Well, it’s 20 degrees down there.

Vashti: In Melbourne, that’s a heatwave. In Melbourne, you do, you get eight to nine months of the year where you’re having to cover up and wear more clothes. And especially on a little baby that can’t regular [00:11:00] their body temperature and stuff, you are looking for things that cover them up and keep them warm.
Leg warmers or thigh high socks are absolutely phenomenal if you want to show off your cloth nappies.

Andrew: We use to use 1% of gripe [crosstalk 00:11:12] because you could change the nappy without having to take their pants off.

Vashti: Exactly. [crosstalk 00:11:16] And do you know what, they’re really awesome for toilet training as well.

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: Because you can let them run around with a bare bum but you keep their legs warm.

Andrew: And if they’re dancing, they look like they’re out of an old 80’s [00:11:30] movie.

Vashti: Yes. No, I think it really does come down to trying to find something that you’re comfortable with. And if you’re looking at the new prints and you’re loving the new prints, then grab a new print.

Andrew: I’m still going to pin you down, how many do you think you need in Melbourne?

Vashti: 15. Need, need 15.

Andrew: How many would you be comfortable with?

Vashti: Oh, 50 – 60. No.

Andrew: No, not how many we had.

Vashti: No, I think, as I said for Braith, I think I had [00:12:00] probably about 30 one size fits mosts.

Vicki: Well, 30 nappies.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Because you can have extra inserts. Like as we were talking about before, with your all in twos, you can replace your inserts. You don’t necessarily need 30 shelves. You could have like 15 shelves and 30 inserts, and then you’ve got 30 nappies.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Or, if you were using pre-folds on your new born, you can then put them into a bigger shell, like a one size shell, and all of a sudden you’ve got nappies.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: [00:12:30] So, yeah.

Andrew: So, you can fall back on your-

Vicki: New born stash.

Andrew: New born stash, if it’s rainy and you haven’t had time to wash.

Vashti: Most definitely.

Vicki: If you’ve got pre-folds.

Vashti: If you’ve got pre-folds or flats, if you’ve been using pre-folds or flats in those early days, they’re going to see you all the way through until toilet training.

Vicki: Yeah. They’re really, really useful. And I truly believe every stash needs at least half a dozen. Just half a dozen and even if you don’t use them in your regular routine, there’s always those spares there. All I’ve got pre-folds.

Vashti: And they’re great for boosting fitted nappies overnight, as well.

Vicki: [00:13:00] Yeah.

Vashti: So, they’re a versatile nappy. Flats are fantastic for using as spare rags and change table covers and stuff like that. So, as I said before-

Vicki: Cleaning up dog poo.

Vashti: Well, I’ve still got 90% of the flats that we used with Braith over 12 years ago and they still get used on a daily basis. There’s always a pile in the wash. Like every time we pull the washing off the line, there’s always a good pile of them that have to be folded and put back away, [00:13:30] and we’ve got our nappy stackers hanging in one of the cupboards with them all.
Lots of white ones, but then there’s lots of coloured ones as well, and they look gorgeous on the changing table, because we’ve got a beautiful wooden change table with a cream change table cover mat on it.
But if there’s a little spill, or something like that, or if you’re not looking and a little bit of poo comes off the nappy, who wants to change the entire change table cover?
If you can just rip a flat off and put a new one down, and it jazzes it up. You can have [inaudible 00:13:56] with your nursery, or well, for us, our dining room kitchen.

Vicki: And [00:14:00] well, with the toilet training overnight, you wouldn’t be the first parent pop down a flat or a towel, instead of changing the sheets in the middle of the night.

Vashti: Yep.

Vicki: There’s a little hack for you. Everybody does it.

Andrew: So, you’re not a bad mum?

Vicki: No, not at all.

Vashti: No. Or dad.

Vicki: Yeah.

Andrew: So, you’ve got your newborn nappies and you’ve got your one size fits most. Can you turn that into a night nappy?

Vashti: Definitely, yeah. So, I’m not a big fan of using dedicated day nappies as overnight [00:14:30] nappies.

Vicki: No.

Vashti: Purely because they don’t have enough absorbency in them. They’re only designed for three, four, five hours.

Vicki: And you start to compromise at like [crosstalk 00:14:38]

Vashti: So, and if you boost on the inside of the nappy, that’s when it pushes it away from the body and you do start to get some gaping around the legs. And if you’ve got any gaping around the legs, you’re going to end up with leaks.
But a good fitted nappy, where you can boost on the outside and then pop the cover over that, it’s an awesome way of getting a really great night nappy without actually [00:15:00] buying a dedicated-

Vicki: Yeah, because dedicated night nappies are expensive and I would suggest if you’re on a tight budget, I would invest in a wool cover over a dedicated night nappy, before I invest. Do you know what I mean? That’s where I would spend my money, is on a really good wool cover and make sure that your husband doesn’t felt it. Multiple times.

Andrew: Through the washing machine?

Vicki: Yeah, on a hot wash. Yes.

Vashti: Don’t wash your wool on hot.

Vicki: Don’t wash your wool on hot.

Andrew: Alright. The warnings on. [00:15:30] If it’s in the nappy bucket, it goes in.

Vicki: So yeah, that’s where I would just invest my money. And then kind of use what you’ve got in your stash to-

Vashti: You can get some dedicated night nappies for around the same cost as a day nappy. So, for example a Baby Behinds night nappy, they’re sized, so they do a medium and a large. And they’re $35, which is about the same cost as your average day nappy.
The cost comes in in the wool covers. Wool covers are expensive. [00:16:00] They do set you back.

Andrew: How much are wool covers?

Vashti: Anywhere from about $40 through to about $75, depending on the type of wool.

Andrew: Why are they so expensive?

Vashti: Because you use natural fibres. So, you can’t use any acrylics or any mixes in your wool. It has to be 100% natural wool.

Andrew: So, it’s actually really all wool?

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Yeah. So, you could knit them yourself.

Vashti: Yeah, no.

Vicki: They’re still not the cheapest thing. Wool itself, like 100% wool, is quite expensive to buy, [00:16:30] but it’s certainly cheaper than buying one pre-made. And you just knit them on round needles. Yeah, so, all you really need to do is know how to knit and purl. I’m pretty sure.

Andrew: So, just get grandma, instead of knitting jumpers to knit nappy covers.

Vicki: Yes.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: But a lot of mums do it, like when they’re pregnant and stuff like that.

Vashti: There’s lots of YouTube tutorials on how to knit them. There’s lots and lots of millions of free patterns on the internet.

Vicki: Ravelry.com

Vashti: Yeah. You don’t need round needles. You can actually [00:17:00] knit a flat cover.

Vicki: Yeah, but then you have to stitch it up. That’s hard.

Vashti: Well, no, there’s some out there that are a flat cover and they’ve got ties on it. So, you bring it up and tie it closed. So, it just works like a normal PUL cover, but yeah, as we’ve said, you can stitch it up if you want.
In saying that, when I was pregnant with Kylan, mum said that she wanted to knit some stuff for me, so we went out and we chose some beautiful coloured walls. And because we didn’t know [00:17:30] what sex, we was getting multicoloured things. And I asked her, and I found all the patterns. And I said “Can you knit these for us?” And we had a really hot autumn coming into winter that year, and mum can’t knit in the hot. She just can’t.
So, that wool, three and a half years later, is still sitting there not being used.

Vicki: Over three and a half years, I am sure that I’ve spoken to my mum about some fabric that she has still got that she was going to make me a dress when she was pregnant with me.

Vashti: There you go.

Vicki: [00:18:00] And I’m not going to give up, how? Looking like this? Yes. About 20 years ago.

Andrew: So, you probably just carried that fabric in when you helped her move the other day.

Vicki: Yeah, probably.

Vashti: Getting awesome fabric. I should talk to her about making me some dresses for the shop.

Vicki: Yeah, maybe. Have you seen my fabric stash?

Vashti: Oh, I’ve got a pretty good fabric stash. I got really creative when the big kids were little. And I’ve got rolls upon rolls of fabric that’s sort of spewing out of my [crosstalk 00:18:28]

Vicki: I’ve got beautiful [00:18:30] industrial machines and everything all set up down there.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: There’s no time.

Vashti: No.

Vicki: I miss sewing.

Vashti: Well, at the moment, my sewing table’s in my lounge room. And so we’re just in the process of redesigning where all the kids bedrooms are and stuff. And Michaela’s decided she wants to share a room with Kylan, so we’re going to move the sewing table into the spare room and I’m going to actually have a, so I could actually go in there and sew in peace, close the door. [inaudible 00:18:55]

Vicki: Actually, I tell you what, learning to sew for anyone who might be [00:19:00] pregnant and having a crappy pregnancy like I did and have to give up work early, learning to sew nappies is a pretty good way to teach yourself how to sew. They’re pretty easy. I mean, they’re pretty easy, but there’s a few tricks.
If you get yourself a pattern and follow it to the letter, yeah, you can-

Vashti: How about doing, we could probably do an entire episode on how to make a nappy and what sort of materials to use and stuff like that.

Vicki: Yeah.

Andrew: So, if you’re pregnant sitting at home now and your baby’s on your way, you should be knitting yourself [00:19:30] nappy covers?

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Yeah, yeah.

Vashti: Definitely.

Vicki: Yeah, do that and-

Andrew: And if you can make enough of them, you can probably sell some and offset the cost of your nappy stash.

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: Lots of people love homemade nappy covers.

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: Honestly, they get snapped up so quickly.

Vicki: Yeah, just sell them on Etsy.
To be perfectly honest, once the baby’s here, once you get past that eight weeks, you won’t have any time to be doing that sort of stuff. All that stuff that you’re putting, because you’re feeling all uncomfortable and pregnant, well you’ve kind of got to do it [00:20:00] now.

Vashti: And in those first eight weeks, you’re not going to have time either, because you’re trying to establish yourself as a parent and you’re feeding every couple of hours.

Vicki: Oh, really? See, those first eight weeks for me, they were the easiest.

Vashti: Yeah?

Vicki: Oh, I mean, apart from the sleep deprivation, because the baby fed and slept, fed and slept, and there was all this time. And I was bit surprised. And then all of a sudden, the baby wakes up. Like, it starts having feed, sleep, play, and the sleeps get shorter and you’re like “Oh, oh, but hang on a minute. I don’t [00:20:30] have.”
Abby was a good three hours between feeds.

Vashti: Wow.

Vicki: So, she’d wake up and they don’t tell you that it takes an hour to feed your baby.

Vashti: No.

Vicki: But I would feed her for an hour and literally she’d be straight back asleep for three hours, and I’d have all of this time. Yeah, you can sleep when the baby’s sleeping, but nobody ever does. But yeah, then all of a sudden, she started to drop those sleeps back to two hours, and it was a lot more awake [00:21:00] time and having a play with the baby or entertain her.

Andrew: I remember when she was going to drop back to sleep, it was like, “No, don’t drop to sleep.”[crosstalk 00:21:06]

Vicki: Then when you get to one, it’s like, “No, no, no, you can’t go to one sleep. You’ve got to do two sleeps. I need my afternoons.”

Andrew: That’s right.

Vashti: Kylan’s recently been trying to drop his one sleep and I’m like, “No. You need that sleep.” So, mind you, just recently, we’ve been getting up to two and a half, three hours through the middle of the day. It’s been awesome.

Vicki: It’s amazing what you can do in that time when you know that you’re on the clock.

Vashti: [00:21:30] Yep.

Vicki: When the kids were all little, I was still making nappies myself. I was making them from home and I’ve got many pictures of Abby sitting on my knee. I’m trying to get these nappies finished, because of many customers.

Vashti: I still remember my first Bubblebubs products and I actually went round to Vicki’s house. I collected them from there. She had just finished sewing the tabs on, two minutes before I turned up. I think one of them she even had to run back inside to do the last [00:22:00] top stitch on or something.
That was when Michaela was a baby. So, I loved it. And I’ve still got these, and they are still in perfect condition.

Vicki: Oh, really?

Vashti: The elastics have gone. They are ten years old.

Vicki: That’s kind of the achilles heels of all modern cloth, is the elastic.

Andrew: We know someone who can fix that.

Vashti: I know.

Andrew: They’re a lot more local than they were [crosstalk 00:22:23]

Vashti: Yeah. Actually, I should bring them over, send them out to your mum, so we can do a giveaway [00:22:30] on second hand nappies.

Andrew: Let’s actually just remind everybody. If you’ve got a nappy that needs fixing, what’s the website to go to?

Vicki: Nappies on a mission [inaudible 00:22:40]

Vashti: I think it might be .org

Vicki: No, no. It’ll be .com
I should really know that. There is a post on my blog, where I really need to update her address anyway.

Andrew: Okay. So, it’s Bubblebubs.com/blog

Vicki: Blog. Yep. One of the first posts.

Vashti: Nappiesonamission.com

Vicki: Yep. Oh, there you go. See, you actually know more than I do about my own mother.

Andrew: She looked it up on [00:23:00] her phone.

Vicki: Oh. She’s not. She’s playing Candy Crush.

Andrew: So, back to the night nappy.

Vashti: Try and work on, for a night nappy, a new one layer for every hour of sleep. I think that’s a really good place to be in.

Andrew: What sort of layer is that? Is that like a terry flat layer?

Vashti: Well, most of your night nappies are probably a little bit thicker than your normal cotton flats. So, [00:23:30] yeah, but I think it depends on your baby as well. If you’ve got a really heavy weighted baby and you’re still feeding two or three times a night, you might need some more absorbency, but as a general rule, I generally recommend one layer for every hour of sleep.

Vicki: As somewhere to start.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: A lot of people are really nervous about, especially if they’re using disposables and going cloth overnight, it’s actually not that hard. You just start really big.

Vashti: It’s the last frontier. It is the last frontier in nappying, is that [00:24:00] everyone starts off at home with their course nappying, and it’s working well, so they start venturing out and stuff like that. And then that works really well, and they’re still using that disposable overnight and they’re like, “It’s only one disposable.” But you’ve still got to go and buy that packet of disposables.
So, if you can make that jump into the night nappying, honestly, it’s amazing.

Vicki: And just over boost, because you can always take stuff out, because we’re all big believers in sleep. We all like sleep. So, over boost that nappy and [00:24:30] then the next night, you can take a booster out.
And it doesn’t matter. No, they’re not going to be uncomfortable with, they can’t walk, because they have all of these layers between their legs.

Vashti: They have got a big booty in a night nappy.

Vicki: Yes, they do. And you know, when we were kids, we used to have a double night nappy and then we used to have a double flat, which is huge and modern cloth nappies are nowhere near that big. So, we’re perfectly fine. I think we worry. I see that a lot, even in a nice [00:25:00] trimmed fitted nappy where people say “Oh, but it’s pushing their back up.” And really, it’s not.
The baby will tell you if they’re uncomfortable.

Vashti: You’ll definitely know. If your baby’s not comfortable, you’ll know.

Andrew: They’ve got that covered, haven’t they?

Vashti: Yep.

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: But I do, I find-

Vicki: Got my air code.

Vashti: I do find a lot of my customers are really pleasantly surprised at how much more sleep they get when they move into a night nappy, like a night cloth nappy, and make that switch from [00:25:30] disposables and they get less legs, and even though it’s much bigger on baby’s bum, and yeah, okay, on the small babies, their legs are in the air, but babies find a way to be comfortable. Honestly. They were squished up in your stomach with their head between their knees and arm behind them and stuff like that. They will be comfortable. Honestly.
And if you start early, they’re not going to know any different anyway.

Vicki: Yeah, that is huge. If you start cloth from birth, your baby is going. That’s all they [00:26:00] know. You don’t know what you don’t know, so you know, they’re not used to having all of the moisture stripped away, so they’re used to the feel of cloth and all that sort of stuff, if you start from birth.

Vashti: I couldn’t imagine putting a disposable on Kylan. It’s sort of like, you know-

Vicki: I had to with Gabriel. He had a staff infection and we just could not budget. And it was awful. I was like “Oh!” Because of all of the three kids, I’ve not used disposables apart from the odd one that [00:26:30] Andrew kept buying for Abby.
But, since then, our Ella was full time cloth. And yeah, so when I had to buy that pack for Gabriel just to shift that staff infection, so we could get all of the nappies and treated, and that’s where disposables do have their place.

Vashti: Oh, they definitely do.

Vicki: Even in a cloth nappy. So, yeah, they do have their place, especially for [inaudible 00:26:54] He had a staff infection.

Andrew: Yeah.

Vicki: Yeah. See, no it was terrible. He was [00:27:00] having to wear them. I was towards the end of his nappying days too. I bought the Aldi nappies.

Andrew: Okay.

Vicki: And I started throwing out, because I couldn’t get rid of the poo and yeah, I saw the whole other side. The convenience side. I got it. They stunk. Oh my word, did they stink. They were horrible, but I could understand a bit more of the mindset of the convenience of just throwing them away.

Andrew: That reminds me of that Simpsons episode where the garbage collection wasn’t being done and they had this pile of nappies out at the front [00:27:30] of their house.

Vashti: Oh Gosh. Could you imagine if the garbage men went on strike though, when you were using disposables. Like, I mean-

Vicki: Yeah.

Andrew: We [inaudible 00:27:40] want to leave the house before the sun hit that nappy stack.

Vashti: Yeah, no, it’d be pretty, yeah, wow.

Vicki: Yeah, because well they do. They stink. They’ve got this whole chemical smell. And do you know what, people who use disposables full time wouldn’t notice it.

Vashti: No.

Vicki: I noticed it, because cloth nappies don’t have a smell. And then, all of a sudden using [00:28:00] them it’s like, “Oh.”

Vashti: It’s like there’s a chemical reaction between the urine and the fillers in a disposable.

Vicki: Yeah, you get this whole ammonia kind of smell.

Vashti: I still remember opening a packet of disposables when we had them for Braith and also for those first few weeks with Michaela, and there’s a smell when you open the packet.

Vicki: There is a small.

Vashti: And you sort of sit there. Whereas, I pull my cloth nappies out of the box when I get a delivery at the shop and there’s no smell. [00:28:30] It’s great. Open up a brand new box that’s all been packed and beautiful. And some of these boxes come direct from China, like when I get my big deliveries in that haven’t been opened by the supplier. It’s just a full box.

Vicki: Are you saying that I’m lazy?

Vashti: No.

Vicki: Can you please don’t just take a whole car? Don’t order here. Can you order 123 please? Because that’s what’s in a carton.

Vashti: Well, it’s like with my beads and the bam bams that I have with my labels on. [00:29:00] They come in a carton direct from China, and so, they’ve been sitting packed up in a carton as they get sea shipped here and stuff.
And I still open them up, and it’s just a fresh smell. It really is. There’s no chemical smell.

Vicki: Which is surprising, because China stunk.

Vashti: I know.

Vicki: Remember when we hopped off the train at Qingdao? And it smelt like a sewer.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: And I’m like, “Oh my God.”

Andrew: How long were you guys out there again?

Vicki: A week.

Vashti: Yeah, eight days.

Vicki: Nine days.

Andrew: So, obviously [00:29:30] not enough time to get used to the smell?

Vashti: No.

Vicki: Well, no, once you hopped off the train, it hit you in the face. See, Qingdao is a coastal city, so I don’t think it was necessarily sewer. I think it was probably the whole fission.

Vashti: Well, yeah, they were very big into, the majority of their diet was seafood. So, there was seafood at so many-

Vicki: Which was great for me.

Vashti: I hate seafood.

Vicki: I loved it. It was awesome. Mind you, you came across a couple of meals over there that you did actually like. [crosstalk 00:29:57]

Vashti: There was the abalone one?

Vicki: Yeah, that was all in [00:30:00] Tai’an.

Vashti: No, that was in Qingdao. We had the abalone soup?

Vicki: No, no. No, that was in Pudong.

Vashti: Oh, was it?

Vicki: Yes.

Vashti: Oh, okay.

Vicki: Remember, that was the really nice restaurant that we got taken out to that night?

Vashti: That’s right, yeah.

Vicki: And you ordered white wine.

Vashti: Oh.

Vicki: And their eyes lit up like, “Oh my God.” Because it was all on the bosses dime. And white wine in China is not white wine.

Vashti: No, it’s like 60%.

Vicki: Yeah. Baijiu. Baijiu, they call it.

Vashti: It’s like a [00:30:30] liquor.

Vicki: Rocket fuel.

Vashti: Yeah, it’s oh my gosh.

Andrew: Did it taste like mouth wash?

Vicki: Yeah, pretty much. But he bought a really expensive bottle that wasn’t the stuff that you got at the supermarket.

Andrew: Oh, you didn’t pay for this?

Vashti: No.

Vicki: No, no, no, no. And then they said “Oh, do you want to take the” Like our contact there was offering it to us.

Vashti: And we said “No, you have it.”

Vicki: No, no, you take it. And his eyes just went “Woohoo!”

Vashti: He was so [inaudible 00:30:56] He’s sitting there going “Oh, we’re going to have a dinner party at home now and my wife [00:31:00] will be so happy.”

Vicki: I think this was like an $80 bottle of-

Vashti: Well, I looked at it in one of the supermarkets and I was really quite shocked at the price. It actually converted to nearly $100 for this-

Vicki: Yep. Whereas the other stuff, like that other cheap baijiu we saw, was like $12.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Or was 12 yuan?

Vashti: Oh, I can’t remember. No, it was about $12.

Vicki: $12.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: Mind you, we did look at something, there was a vodka we looked at in a supermarket.

Vicki: Yeah.

Vashti: And it worked out like, the 375ml [00:31:30] bottled out worked out to be like $2.50 or something.

Vicki: Yeah, it was so cheap.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: And beer’s really cheap in China too, apparently.

Vashti: Yeah. It was awesome. Their beer was nice, I have to admit.

Vicki: I couldn’t tell you what the coffee was like. [crosstalk 00:31:42] You hated tea and milk, and remember when we were in Tai’an and we went past a store, and we found this Starbucks?

Vashti: Yep.

Vicki: Coffee cans, and we were like [inaudible 00:31:52] and I thought their coffee was bad. And Starbucks in the can was even worse.

Andrew: [00:32:00] So, let’s bring it back to nappies. A mother whose got a newborn who’s using newborn nappies and she’s got a one-year-old. What sort of challenges is she going to have? She’s going to be using newborn nappies-

Vicki: Sleep. That’s going to be her biggest challenge, is sleep. She’s never sleeping again.

Andrew: Is there any tips? Because she’s going to be using two types of nappies, isn’t she?

Vashti: Not necessarily. If you’re using your flats or your pre-folds, you can use the same one on both, or if you have a big baby, you could be using a [00:32:30] one size fits most on. I think the biggest challenge will come in the fact that it doesn’t matter how big your baby is, your newborn is, their legs are scrawny. So, it’s trying to get that good fit around their legs and making sure that you do get that.

Vicki: Essentially, yeah, you could share a stash. And it’s the same if you had twins. You don’t need to double your stash. It’s about one and a half to nappy twins. So, it’d be the same if you wanted to use one size fits most from birth.
And do you know what, as I’ve actually said, the newborns do tend [00:33:00] to have harder legs to fit, because they’re generally out of proportion. They’re either really, really tiny, or quite chunky. It’s just being aware that if you want to go down the one size route, because you do have your one-year-old, just be aware that you might get [inaudible 00:33:15] or you might not get a great fit and that’s fine.

Vashti: It’s all about being prepared and being aware of some of the challenges that you might face.

Andrew: Well, all of those one sized most do have the two [00:33:30] lines of snaps.

Vicki: Well, that’s what I look for in a one size.

Andrew: So, you’re snap for the waist and you’ve got a snap for the legs, and you don’t have to put them underneath each other. They can be-

Vashti: Offset.

Vicki: Offset. Well, that’s the advantage of a side snapping nappy, so if you’re going to use one sized with both the newborn and a one-year-old, I’d probably lean towards that, because you’re going to get perhaps a better fit on both children.
But then, by sharing the stash, you’d be able to drop it back to [00:34:00] around 36 nappies, maybe 40 nappies for both the kids.

Andrew: There’s a one size fits most?

Vicki: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. And that’s a little note too. For those of you who wonder why you don’t get a manual to go with the baby, it’s because no two babies are the same.

Vicki: No, they’re all different.

Andrew: All different. And what worked on the first one, won’t work on the second one.

Vashti: And that’s what I had with Braith and Michaela, is that we’d found an awesome nappy that works perfectly with Braith. And Michaela came along and I just had leaks, I couldn’t get a snug fit, it was [00:34:30] huge on her, and I just wasn’t comfortable using that one size fits most nappy on her.

Vicki: And what fits this week, might not fit next week.

Vashti: No. As they change shape and proportion, you do need, and that’s the reason I’m a big fan of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Having a few different brands or a few different styles in your stash, so that you can play with it and you can work out what’s working. And you’ll have your favourites. You’ll definitely have your favourites, as Jenna said recently.

Vicki: [00:35:00] It becomes very obvious.

Vashti: You have your favourites. You know which ones that you love, but what’s your favourite this week, could be something completely different next week.

Vicki: Yeah, because someone might come out with a really awesome print that you absolutely have to have. Doesn’t matter whether you love the nappy, [inaudible 00:35:13] love the print.

Andrew: Ah, seasons. It’s amazing how seasons are now influencing cloth nappies. I still love the old one too. Though, candy was always my favourite. It’s always my preference.

Vicki: But it was different for Abby, because I was making a different nappy. You just-

Andrew: You hadn’t invented candy, so that’s right.

Vicki: Yeah, that’s it, but [00:35:30] you liked one style, which tends to be quite common with most people. They like the one style, so if you start out and get just a couple of different brands and one or two different ones, see what you like, see what works for you, and then build your stash out from that.
But yeah, that’s pretty common, that people just want the same thing.

Andrew: Okay guys, I think that’ll do for today. Thank you, Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you, Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Bye bye.
[00:36:00] Vicki Simpson is the current president of the Australian Nappy Association and has been making and selling cloth nappies for 13 years. You can contact Vicki through her website, bubblebubs.com [inaudible 00:36:11] 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, in Brisbane, Australia.
She has been using cloth nappies for 12 years and currently has one child still in nappies. [00:36:30] You can contact Vashti through her website nestnappies.com [inaudible 00:36:33] or phone 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 thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store.
I am your host, Andrew Simpson.