#42 Another 8 Reasons People Give Up Cloth Nappies

We do another 8 reasons people give up cloth nappies. We talk about nappy rash and how it happens, kids not sleeping through the night, my husband demanding to use disposables. Jenna also joined us and you all know what happens, we record for 90 minute and I can only use 50 minutes of it.

Transcript: Another 8 Reasons People Give Up Cloth Nappies

Andrew: How are you doing, Vashti?

Vashti: Good thanks Andrew, how are you?

Andrew: Excellent. How are you doing Vicki?

Vicki: I’m good.

Andrew: You’re good?

Vicki: I’m good.

Andrew: You want to elaborate on that?

Vicki: No, I’ll do that in a minute [laughter] because I’m about to throw something at you.

Andrew: That’s the content of the show. And we even got Jenna to come in. Hey Jenna.

Jenna: Hi [whispered]. Hi Andrew, how are you?

Vicki: I think Jenna and Andrew are really quite scared because I’ve kind of half warned them that I’m about to throw a bomb at them.

Jenna: Andrew and I always get a little scared. People comment…

Vicki: I’ve got an idea, guys.

Jenna: People will comment in our Bubblebubs group about how they love the banter Vicki and I do, and I was like oh it’s so cute, we act like I’m mad at Vicki for sharing things. And I’m like yes, that’s an act, that’s all pretend for entertainment, and not at all how my life is. Andrew and I just wait for Vicki. Vicki’s the ideas woman. She has great ideas and she is absolutely the master of this ship, and then she just throws stuff at us and Andrew and I run around like crazy and try and get stuff. And I’m just wondering, you’re just going to have to get whatever she’s smiling about.

Andrew: This one’s OK, because we’ve got her recorded so we can play it back later and find out, and remember what she said.

Jenna: And when she says it’s not what she said, we’ve got evidence.

Vicki: I so never do that. Oh my gosh.

Jenna: Vicki two years ago, Jenna, I don’t like memes, don’t show memes on the Facebook. Jenna, why aren’t we sharing any memes?

Vashti: Because I talked to Vicki about memes. 

Andrew: So, what’s a meme?

Vashti: Oh my gosh.

Jenna: Don’t worry.

Andrew: Don’t have the time.

Jenna: Quick question, is he joking?

Vicki: No, he is actually not. 

Jenna: Oh goodness.

Vashti: Let’s have your idea Vicki.

Vicki: I had an idea, and I threw it at Vashti last night, and she was like that’s a really good idea. So my thought was, why don’t we reward our listeners who review and share our podcast. Because it’s all about, this whole podcast is about bums in cloth, and…

Vashti: Education.

Vicki: …education, and…

Vashti: And making sure that families have the best possible start, or your best possible cloth nappy journey. They are set up for success, that’s what we want. 

Vicki: And this podcast has been non-branded and absolutely intend to keep it non-branded, but what we thought we’d do is we’d reach out to some of our friends in the industry, and some of our not-so-friends, or strangers are just friends that you haven’t met yet, and get them to, and by sponsorship I mean actually offer a prize pack for our lovely listeners to take the time to share and review our podcast. So with that in mind, because there has been zero preparation put into this because this is my life.

Vashti: At 10 o’clock.

Vicki: Bubblebubs is actually going to put together a prize pack for some lucky winner.

Jenna: And you know exactly what it’s going to be.

Vicki: Look, I could pull it, I tell you what, it will actually be in the text of the Facebook post that this belongs to on the Nappy Leaks Facebook page.

Vashti: Oh, we’re having a Nappy Leaks Facebook page? [inaudible, over talking 03:31]

Jenna: Andrew and I are learning so much right now.

Vashti: After two years, is it? Have we been doing this for two years now?

Andrew: Actually this episode will publish two years.

Jenna: Wow.

Vashti: Yeah, so after two years, Nappy Leaks will have a social media profile.

Vicki: So I’ll put together a little pack of a couple of nappies and a wet bag and that sort of thing. 

Andrew: So obviously the question is, why did we not have a Facebook page before?

Vicki: Jenna?

Jenna: You haven’t told me to do one. I’m not an ideas woman, I’ve got the follow through, but I don’t have the ideas.

Vashti: There are so many groups and pages and so much information on Facebook that it does get a little bit overwhelming at times. And there is a lot to follow.

Vicki: We never thought we’d have content, Jenna.

Andrew: Of course…

Jenna: No, no, I’ve got my hand up, can I answer the question?

Vicki: Have you got you phone next to the microphone, Jenna? That buzzing is her.

Jenna: I just threw my phone across the room. It’s fine now.

Vashti: It’s come up with a cancel typing?

Andrew: Phone’s not on.

Vicki: It wasn’t really her phone that was buzzing either. 

Jenna: This one will go down the toilet too. I can answer the question why we didn’t have a Nappy Leaks Facebook page. Because Vicki didn’t have any faith in the podcast when it started.

Vicki: No.

Vashti: No, she didn’t actually. 

Vicki: Dragged in kicking and screaming.

Vashti: You know what? I think Andrew and I were a little bit scared about how far we could go. I don’t think any of us realised just…

Vicki: I thought we’d run out of content actually. That was my big…

Jenna: As long as there’s poo, there’s content. 

Vashti: Well, that poo emoji.

Jenna: Fun fact. I learned that social media posts that use the poo emoji, apparently have better engagement rates.

Vicki: Have you been listening to the same, did I actually tell you to listen to that podcast?

Jenna: I told you, I told you.

Vicki: No, no, seriously it was on a podcast.

Jenna: You haven’t even told me what podcast you listened to.

Vashti: Jenna told me this about three, four months ago.

Vicki: Oh really OK? Well I just listened to that like yesterday.

Jenna: Remember that Instagram thing I did? Just nod. She’s nodding, she doesn’t know what I’m talking about. Anyway in the course I was listening to, the guy said this and he said, now don’t just put it in randomly, not many of you are going to be able to use this.

Vicki: I think I do remember now that you mention it.

Jenna: And I was like, unless you sell cloth nappies. 

Vashti: Where’s that phone I threw on the floor? Anyway we are going to have sponsorship and we are going to have prize packs.

Vicki: So the sponsorship isn’t for us, it’s for you guys.

Vashti: So we don’t get anything out of it. 

Vicki: No, we just want to basically, yeah we’ll just give away some nappies and share the love. The details will be in the post, but pretty much really simple, just sharing…

Andrew: And the prize pack is going to be to the value of?

Vicki: Probably about 200 bucks. I reckon that’s, 200, 250 bucks?

Andrew: So if you want to sponsor, you’ve got to front up $200 normal retail price of stuff to give away to our listeners.

Vicki: Minimum, I think. I think that’s fair. Yeah, we’re just making this up as we go. So is that the whole podcast now.

Jenna: Yeah, we’re done now. 

Andrew: Literally making this up as we go. 

Vicki: And Andrew hates this, I do this all the time. He doesn’t even, actually do you know I have been looking for another kitten?

Andrew: Yes, you showed me pictures of it this morning. 

Vashti: A chocolate one this time.

Vicki: No, no, a rag doll.

Jenna: [inaudible, overtalking 06:47] …still stresses me out. Your anarchy, I applaud you Andrew, I applaud you. You never murdered her. Congratulations.

Vicki: I actually got a really cute little rag doll kitten, and I took it back to be desexed and Andrew thought I was going to come home with a second one. Because I just…

Jenna: I could understand why he’d think that.

Vicki: …do these things. Only because I can’t get another dog, because we have two dogs.

Andrew: Does anybody remember last podcast? A couple of podcasts ago, Vicki said randomly in the middle of a podcast, I want a dog. She came home with a cat a week later. 

Vicki: Oh, did I? Is that when I… and his name is Snowball I. 

Vashti: And Keryn, sorry to freak you out, Keryn asked me if that was a Simpsons reference.

Vicki: No, of course it is. 

Vashti: I was like, do you watch The Simpsons? If it’s Snowball I. She’s like no, I’ve only ever really seen a few episodes and I asked what she was doing with her life. 

Jenna: Hi Keryn. Can I just say as someone who this happens to a lot, it’s really freaky when a podcast starts talking directly to you.

Andrew: Hi Keryn, thanks for listening. 

Vashti: You’re the bomb, Keryn

Jenna: And if you’re not listening, we now know and you’re in big trouble. Is that a sackable offence?

Vicki: I think so, I think so.

Jenna: Can she sack herself because she’s never listened to it?

Vicki: I have listened to it, I just haven’t listened to it in the last 12 months. 

Jenna: I’d say the last 20 months.

Andrew: You’ve listened to every single episode.

Vicki: Once. 

Andrew: Yeah, once. When you record it. That’s right.

Vicki: I know the content, I don’t need to know this.

Andrew: So today’s subject. Shall we do some education now?

Vicki: Yes.

Andrew: OK. Now a little while ago we did the top eight reasons why people give up cloth nappies and we didn’t get through all those questions. So we’re going to do another eight reasons people give up cloth nappies.

Vashti: And the reason Andrew is saying number is because we don’t actually know how many we’ll get through.

Jenna: It won’t be number when it goes through, he’ll insert his own voice fixing it. See, Vashti’s just crazy. What is she talking about Andrew? You said the exact number…

Vicki: You know what you do? You go four, five, at least it’s in the right tone.

Jenna: It’s seamless. You would know this if you listen to it. It’s seamless when he’s done it before. 

Andrew: Seamless. 

Jenna: Because I’ve listened for it to try and find if it sounds funny.

Andrew: Software does it. Audio, eight.

Vashti: We’re just going to do reasons why people give up cloth nappies.

Andrew: Yes, another eight reasons people give up cloth nappies. My gosh, so much editing there. [laughter]

Vicki: You bring this on yourself.

Andrew: So it’s start, shall we? Now all of these questions have come from the web. Some of them are really stupid questions, and you’re going to look at me and go…

Vicki: Yep, that’s an Andrew question.

Vashti: They’re going to listen to you, they’re not going to look at you.

Vicki: We’re going to look at him.

Jenna: Are your judgement eyes ready?

Vashti: Sure.

Jenna: Sancti-mummy is coming out.

Andrew: Yeah, this is what people have actually said online, why they’ve quit cloth nappies. The first one is it was bad for baby’s skin.

Vicki: So is chemical burns.

Andrew: So what would you say to someone who said it was bad for baby’s skin?

Vashti: I’d say how are you washing your nappies? How long are you leaving your nappy on?

Jenna: I had someone at an expo, she’s pregnant and she worked in childcare and she had a really bad experience with cloth nappies because a kid used to come in and she was like, he always had burns. I was like, those are not nappies that are washed correctly. Those are nappies that have ammonia in them, and the poor bubby is getting ammonia burn. And if you wash your nappies properly, then that absolutely won’t happen. Natural fibres are great against kids skin. If you do have a bub like me, who really doesn’t like being wet, microfleece liners are the shizz.

Vashti: Or suede cloth.

Jenna: Suede cloth. I have repeatedly had to tell my dad to check the bottom of the trifold not the top of the trifold to feel if it’s wet, because he always feel the top of the trifold and goes it’s not wet. It’s a stay-dry layer, Dad. I have a bub who’s a little rashy and I use Bepanthen on him. He’s absolutely fine, good wash routine.

Vicki: I’m actually impressed you can actually pronounce that, because that was always one of my, that’s con-con…

Vashti: Canonical. 

Jenna: Meconium? 

Vicki: Like meconium. 

Vashti: You should have heard the other C word that people were using. Yeah, and it wasn’t a four letter word, believe me. [laughter]

Jenna: Wow, that took me a really long time.

Andrew: Say the word again, I’ll take it out later.

Vashti: Quack, quack.

Vicki: Canonical.

Vashti: Andrew can’t even say it. 

Vicki: That’s alright, he’s getting all tongue tied, which is not such a bad thing. 

Vashti: And he’s quite bright red again.

Jenna: It’s good exercise. 

Vicki: I think he’s worked it out, I don’t think he actually knew what that meant.

Vashti: I don’t want to say it the first seven times. Where were we? I was saying something actually on point. I’ve lost it. Oh baby’s skin, and the fact is disposables are very, very dry on their skin and that can be really good. But it’s also not necessary. Babies are not designed for…

Vicki: It can also be really bad too, and actually take all of the oils out of the skin. And what I have found is that some bubs actually react to the whole disposables and cloth. So they’re in a disposable that’s stripped the natural oils from the skin. Pop them in a cloth nappy and they’ve got no protection against the skin. And so then they’ll redden up. I actually found that with my bubs, when they were newborns and I finally got them out of NICU. And had them back and they’d been wearing disposables for a couple of days, so the first thing I did was put a cloth on. And they reddened up, because there was no barrier.

Vashti: No natural oils.

Vicki: Yeah, so the natural oils, if you think of oil and water, that’s actually the natural barrier against the urine against the skin.

Vashti: So if you’re moving between disposables and cloth…

Vicki: And getting red.

Vashti: …quite regularly and you’re finding that every time you go into cloth you’re getting red, there’s probably a good reason for it.

Jenna: It could be the disposable actually causing it.

Vashti: But if you’re in cloth full time…

Vicki: Use cream or something.

Vashti: …you’ll probably find that your baby’s skin has really nice barrier to it and so you won’t need creams and lotions and stuff like that on their skin.

Jenna: See, I’ve always needed Bepanthen.  Sorry to get detailed here, but we’re talking about cloth nappies, for Ryan, but it’s never been the cheeks. It’s up in the crack. That’s to shield against the poo. Whereas it’s never been the nappies.

Vicki: Yeah, you’ve said it’s always been his poo has been really quite acidic, not his wee.

Jenna: Not the nappies, exactly. The actual, the nappies are not a problem. And he does have sensitive skin. And I think every kid reacts differently and the thing is, feeling the wetness especially as they get a bit older is actually great for toilet training…

Vashti: It’s awesome.

Jenna: …to give them actual acknowledgement of what’s happening and you know what? Because you can’t quite fit as much in a cloth nappy sometimes, you can’t leave it on for six hours usually, I’ve done it a couple of times. Not a night nappy, a day nappy when I was being bad. 

Vashti: Yeah, but I don’t think that’s been a bad mum Jenna, that’s being a realistic mum.

Jenna: It happens.

Vashti: That’s being you know what? It will happen. 

Jenna: Shout out to Gro-Via hybrids when we were on holiday and we realised we hadn’t changed his nappy in six hours, and it held everything.

Vashti: But that’s the beauty about cloth. Especially for an older kid, like toddlers, they’ll hold on for a lot longer, and then they’ll let go in a rush as well. And especially if they’re distracted and they’re doing lots of things and things like that. They may not realise. And when they’re close to toilet training, you can have a nappy on for six, seven hours and it’s fine.

Jenna: Oh yeah, my son has a definite hold and big pee. And I know when he was younger, one of my husbands’ favourite things about cloth nappies was that he can change them as much as he wants and it doesn’t cost him money. He really hated being torn between the fact that disposables cost us every time we changed, verse he’s done a wee, I’d like to change him. Even if it’s those newborn days when they do lots and lots of tiny little wees and you’re changing nappies. And he loved the fact that he could change his nappies as much as he wanted, keep his skin lovely and fresh and clean, and not be stressed about money in that way. That money didn’t come in to affect your parenting.

Vashti: Well Mikayla was allergic to disposables. So like…

Jenna: Well Ryan is definitely allergic to disposable wipes. I picked him up from day care once, I swear I’m a good mother between these stories. I forgot his cloth wipes, and so she had to use disposables on him. And he was bleeding. By the time I picked him up, she changed him and she went, oh my goodness, since the last change, he was a little red, and now she wiped and it went, the rash went away. And I was like, that’s weird. And then the rash came back and I looked, and I realised the skin was actually broken, he was bleeding from the disposable.

Vashti: We used a disposable wipe on Kylan once, on his face. I was at a play centre and we’d pretty much, he’d had one of those mornings, and we’d gone through all the cloth nappies and some big poos. So all the cloth wipes as well. And he had babycino all over his face. So I just grabbed a disposable wipe off a friend of mine and cleaned his face up. His face, within five minutes, was bright red everywhere that the disposable wipe had touched.

Jenna: Ow. I do wonder if I had used disposable wipes on Ryan earlier, like more, is that something he would have gotten used to? Is it because he hasn’t been exposed to it also? But he doesn’t need to be. We’ve always just used water.

Vicki: Yeah, one of the reasons that I actually ended up making the Foaming Wipes Wash was because I had to get, Abbi had written in nikko on a lounge and one of my friends had said oh yeah, you use baby wipes. I’m like hang on a minute, it was like this epiphany. I’m like hang on a minute, I’m using a wipe to get some nikko off I’m also using it on my then, my newborn baby as well. And I’m like hang on a minute, this doesn’t sit right.

Jenna: I actually feel like I’ve missed a key parenting experience. Because all my friends are like, here’s a baby wipe for you. I was like, I don’t have them.

Vashti: I had baby wipes for myself once when we went away and we didn’t have access to showers. We were away for a few days, and so I’d bought a packet of the “natural” baby wipes. And half the packet was left when I got back, and so I was wiping down the dashboard of my car. The baby wipe actually wiped the paint off the radio markings on my dashboard.

Andrew: Oh, so you don’t know what radio station you’re listening to?

Vashti: No, well it was the power, volume. It didn’t wipe it completely off, it’s just like smudged it.

Vicki: So did it just leave it as, could you still see max power? 

Andrew: I was going to ask if it wiped the 11 off. 

Vashti: And this, ladies and gentlemen is why they’re married. 

Jenna: I’m not a fan of disposable wipes. 

Vicki: But I think, you don’t necessarily think of these things until you’re in the situation.

Vashti: Until you have your epiphany moment.

Vicki: That’s right, weird.

Vashti: And you know what, that’s not to say that you can’t use disposable wipes, anyone can use whatever they choose…

Vicki: Yeah, it’s not a shaming thing whatsoever.

Vashti: There’s millions of parents around the world who use disposable wipes on a daily basis.

Jenna: Yep, just our kids clearly don’t react very well to it.

Vicki: See mine were fine. It wasn’t that sort of a reason that I did it, it was just like hey I’m getting nikko off a lounge. A permanent marker off a lounge and Bella was like days old. Maybe a week, because she was in NICU.

Jenna: That’s the big thing about cloth wipes when we switched and he loved them, it’s just because he couldn’t pull the disposable ones out the packet. 

Vicki: No, it’s a conspiracy. It’s a conspiracy that more than one comes out at a time. I swear.

Jenna: Yeah, I also think it’s just how they’re folded, but they are a pain in the butt, and I…

Andrew: They’re supposed to fix your butt. [laughter]

Jenna: We’ve just set off Siri…

Vicki: That’s not nice, she said it’s a conspiracy. Good on you Siri.

Jenna: I was really anti cloth wipes actually when I was pregnant. I was researching cloth nappies and I was like super keen on cloth nappies, and I was like cloth wipes seems like a step too far, not keen on that. And I had a friend, give them a go please. Just buy one packet and give them a go.

Vicki: And a cloth wipe is nothing fancy.

Jenna: It’s a face washer.

Vicki: We sell fancy-schmancy really expensive bamboo velour wipes. A $2 K-Mart packet of washers is the same same. With water is fine.

Vashti: Or, go to your local thrift shop at the end of winter, pick up some brand new sets of flannelette sheets that have been gifted to somebody that they didn’t want, cut them up, blanket stitch the edges, and that’s your wipe. They’re so simple. You would get 50 wipes out of a flannelette sheet set. 

Jenna: I don’t know why I was so reticent to them but I really was, and then my friend Hayley convinced me to give them a go, and I went fine, I’ll get some. And the first time I used them I was like oh. This is so much better, what am I thinking? What am I doing with my life? And now I’m a bit evangelical about cloth wipes, I must admit.

Vashti: They’re pretty awesome.

Vicki: It’s so easy, just goes hand in hand with cloth nappies.

Vashti: And it means you don’t accidentally get a disposable wipe in your nappy load that ends up in a spiderweb and fluff, and stuff like that. 

Jenna: Yes, my friend’s newborn nappy I washed recently, which by the time this is out, this bub is like three months old. There was a couple of disposable wipes in that and I was like OK, I’ve got you. Take you out. I was trying to make sure I didn’t accidentally wash those.

Vashti: It also means that you don’t have to have a bin in your nursery or where your change table is to put the disposable wipes in, and then have to take that out every day because it’s got poop on it.

Jenna: We’re on holiday with my friend, a couple of friends, and my friend had a three month old. So my other friend and I went and set up her bedroom for her, brought her laundry in. And I was like let’s set her up a change station, trying to make her life easier. We’re doing all the things and I’m like OK good, done. She’s like what about a bin? Wouldn’t you want a bin? I was like, that didn’t occur to me. She’s using disposables, has a three month old and is travelling. Zero judgement, but I forgot. I forgot that a bin would be a good thing to put in a change station.

Andrew: OK.

Vicki: One, that is going to be the answer to your question Andrew.

Andrew: Good answer guys. So the next question I’ve got is, they do not sleep through the night.

Jenna: Babies don’t do that.

Vicki: That’s got nothing to do with nappies and everything to do with the baby.

Vashti: Every baby is different. Some babies will sleep through the night from very, very early on.

Jenna: Five weeks, I had a friend whose baby slept through the night.

Vashti: I’ve got customers who come into the shop and their two weeks olds are sleeping eight hours straight, and I…

Jenna: Ryan did that until four months.

Vashti: Seriously, I really don’t like you, but I love your baby. 

Vicki: And you know what? When people talk about sleeping through the night, there is sleeping through the night and then there is sleeping through the night. Is that six hours or is that fourteen hours? That’s a big difference. 

Vashti: Understanding what sleeping through the night means for each kid is what’s more important.

Vicki: Or for each parent. Is the baby sleeping when you’re sleeping? So if your baby sleeps from 12 until 6, if my baby slept from 12 until 6, to me that would be sleeping through the night, because I’m a night owl. But for you, if your baby was sleeping from 12 until 6…

Jenna: That’s me she’s talking to.

Vicki: Yeah, sorry Jenna. Jenna goes to bed at some, in the middle of the day. And gets up in the middle of the night.

Jenna: Vicki and I exist on different and slightly different time zones, about five minutes away from each other.

Vicki: It will be good once I go to Germany. Yes, it still will be go to Germany, actually be on the same time…

Jenna: Yeah, we’ll be on the same time zone.

Vicki: …fifteen hours behind. It will be close to the…

Vashti: It will be awesome. And if you do have a bub who doesn’t like wetness or reacts badly to wetness, and that’s what you’re concerned about, micro-suede or microfleece, they’re fabulous. 

Vicki: There are options. Lots of options for night.

Vashti: There’s lots of stay dry stuff that don’t, and people do get concerned about the bulkiness of the night time nappy. Two points on that. That’s actually really a health position, if kids have clicky hips, doctors will recommend bulky nappies or a double nappy. That’s very standard. So it’s actually quite a hip-healthy position. And number two, they’re not walking around at that point. You put it on for them to go to bed. Yes, it’s a bit uncomfortable for them to walk around because they’ve got legs wide, but they’re not running around in a night nappy. You put it on right before they go to bed or they will poo in it anyway. And then they sleep in it. They get up and you take them out of it. It’s not like they’re running around climbing gyms or anything in a night nappy.

That one was quicker Andrew, do we get a star? Do we get a star for staying on topic? 

Andrew: You didn’t stay on topic.

Vashti: Oh, bugger.

Jenna: What do you mean? We were on night nappies, still vaguely. Better than last episode.

Vicki: We just started talking about quack.

Andrew: Quack quack, quack quack. 

Vashti: And Andrew’s gone bright red again.

Jenna: Now we’ve got an R rating on the podcast.

Andrew: So next question, having to wash in very hot water.

Vashti: No. 

Jenna: Huh? Oh, people don’t want to use hot water. 

Andrew: People don’t want to use hot water, that’s right.

Jenna: Guess what? You’re going to be covered in all sorts of other bodily fluids.

Vashti: But very hot water, like I mean that comes down to what do you consider is very hot water? 

Jenna: 40 degrees is what you need to…

Vashti: 40 degrees is fine.

Jenna: 40 degrees is absolutely fine as long as you’re using a good detergent and using…

Vashti: A long wash cycle.

Jenna: And using a long wash cycle. 

Vashti: And you’re washing regularly. If you’re washing once a week, then 40 degrees isn’t going to work. But if you’re washing every second day, then 40 degrees is fine.

Jenna: One of the great things about cloth nappies is because you wash so frequently, you’re not washing once a week generally with cloth nappies. So unlike my friend who uses disposables, who used to get mouldy nursing tops because of the breast milk in them, I never had that issue because I was washing regularly. So you don’t need to murder something at 90 degrees or something stupid like that.

Vashti: And we actually recommend don’t wash your nappies over 60 degrees anyway because the elastics and the P.U.L.s in them, or T.P.U.s don’t like those high heats. So nothing over 60 degrees. Which most houses they’ve got their hot water set.

Vicki: OK, let’s say there are some, in particular rural areas that have issue with water and temperature. There are ways to also wash with cold water.

Vashti: Oh yeah, I’m a cold water washer. Always was, all three of my kids. I’ve tried hot water, didn’t have my top loader hooked.

Vicki: Your detergent has to be pretty spot on, and your routine has to be pretty…

Vashti: Your routine, you have to wash regularly. 

Andrew: Are you cold or hot water, Jenna?

Jenna: Hot water all the way.

Andrew: Do we wash in cold?

Vicki: It’s all well and good to…

Jenna: I used 40 degrees until Ryan got older though. I used 60 as he was getting over two.

Vicki: …not forgetting we live in a capital city. We can’t judge, that’s not really the word.

Vashti: We can’t compare.

Vicki: We can’t compare someone who is in the middle of the country…

Vashti: Rural on bore water.

Vicki: …on bore water, yeah exactly.

Jenna: Good point, and actually if you are in a situation like that where water is an issue, power is an issue, that kind of stuff, grab flats. Grab a nappy that washes easily. Don’t grab an all in two or an all in one that’s got super thick inserts or anything like that. Grab a prefold that’s cotton that will stand up to a good beating. Grab a muslin flat or a terry flat that is a single layer so it’s easier to clean if you’re worried about hot water, a really good option is a durable or a thinner nappy that fold down so you can actually get an easier wash there. I’ve made a good comment, I’m going home now.

Vashti: You’ve got work to do, you’re not going anywhere.

Andrew: Mic drop. Jenna just did a mic drop.

Jenna: I’m working from home today, can’t you see? 

Andrew: Using so many chemicals on them.

Vashti: What chemicals are you using?

Vicki: What chemicals?

Vashti: Guess what, guess what, guess what? Water is a chemical. 

Jenna: Yes, my husband the other day was talking about dihydrogen monoxide clogging up our waterways. He thinks he’s funny. 

Andrew: He is funny.

Jenna: Yes, he likes a good dad joke, Andrew. I actually have a really good answer to this, because I have people say between the electricity and the water used to wash cloth nappies, I’m trying to do this for the environment, blah, blah, blah. And my harsh but honest answer is, don’t have children.

Vashti: Definitely, the worst thing we can do is have children.

Jenna: Exactly. Having children is the worst thing we can do for our environment. Everything after that step is mitigation. And using cloth nappies is mitigation, compared to disposables. Using elimination communication is even better. So if you’re super concerned, go with elimination communication and use a lot less cloth nappies. But the truth of the matter is, having a child is the worst thing you can do for our environment. Everything after that is mitigation, so if you’re concerned about chemicals, and I assume by that you’re using them incorrectly.

Vashti: Talking about bleaches.

Vicki: And you’re talking about using mainstream detergents and stuff like that. And I think there’s actually a lack of education around that, and understanding what is actually nasty and what’s not.

Jenna: And what is ecofriendly. If we’re washing our nappies really badly, then they’ll only get through one kid, they’re to be destroyed and you’re going to need to buy a whole new set of nappies. Is that good for the environment? No, there’s so many factors here.

Vashti: But we also need to understand how, detergent companies yes they’re out there to make money, but they’re not out there to completely and utterly pillage the environment as well. So a lot of the mainstream detergent companies have designed their detergents to break down correctly and not pollute our waterways.

Jenna: Very, very clean rinsing and I mean it comes down to, I’ve had this conversation, a lot of people ask me what’s the most ecofriendly option. it depends. To get a good clean with an eco detergent, you have to use a lot more. So is the transport, manufacture and packaging of a more mainstream…

Vashti: And the cost.

Jenna: …and the cost of a more mainstream detergent where you’re using less of it, is that better for the environment? And these are things I don’t know the answer to, and these are really complicated things that someone much smarter than me will have to work out.

Vashti: But also they’re things that people have to make that decision for themselves.

Jenna: Yeah, I just like to bring it up to people and go there are a lot of ways to look at this.

Andrew: And also just be happy you don’t live in a country where you’re only allowed to have one child.

Jenna: Yeah.

Vashti: There’s also the fact that there are countries at the end of this year who are banning disposables. So you’re going to have no choice but to use cloth. 

Andrew: So next question, my husband demanding to use disposables. 

Vicki: Don’t buy them. 

Jenna: Oh, I had a better answer. Get a new husband. 

Vashti: Well yeah, that’s…

Vicki: Just don’t buy them.

Vashti: That’s complicated.

Andrew: That’s your answer to everything husbands do.

Jenna: It is.

Vashti: If your partner, your significant other, whether it be male or female, whichever way…

Jenna: Co-parent.

Vashti: Yeah your co-parent has different views to you on how you’re going to nappy your child, there’s probably bigger issues at play there as well.

Jenna: If you can’t come together and work, that’s a small problem.

Vashti: If you’re co-parenting, you need to come to an agreement on how you’re going to parent that child. And whether that’s the other parent sits there, the one that wants disposables sits there and says I’m only going to use disposables, and the one that wants cloth says I’m only going to use cloth. So use a mix.

Jenna: Using a mix is a great idea. You don’t have to do all or nothing. What’s the stat we throw out? If you use one cloth nappy a day…

Vicki: It’s 900.

Jenna: You save 900 nappies going into landfill. So if you do that and your husband, partner, co-parent wants to use disposables, then that’s fine. Or you can sit down, come to an agreement. Sometimes it’s a matter of, I went and showed my friend’s husband, who was on board with cloth, but I went and showed him, I talked him through the wash routine because she was a bit overwhelmed and tired. And I was like Matt, you’re in charge of washing the nappies. Come here and I’ll show you how to do it. And I showed him and he looked at me and went, oh is that all? That was his answer. Is that all? I can do that.

Vicki: So much is lack of education, and especially when you’re pregnant or your partner is pregnant.

Jenna: So overwhelming.

Vicki: Everything is new everything is overwhelming.

Jenna: I would not want to be married to me while I’m pregnant. 

Vicki: No, neither would I. 

Vashti: There is that whole concept out there, as long as modern cloth nappies have been around, they’re still not very well known in the broader community. So people when they hear cloth nappies think the old school terry squares. And some people are scared about the origami involved in that.

Jenna: I had so many, my co-workers were very, very unsupportive and one of them was like why would you do that? Blah, blah, blah. The best part was, my nappy sample pack turned up with a couple of different brands for me to try out, and I was opening it at the office, all very excited. And she looks and she goes, what are those? And I was like, the cloth nappies I’ve been talking about. She goes, is that what they look like? I had no idea. I’m like, so you were judging, but you actually didn’t have any clue what I was talking about. But it just is education.

Vicki: And it was probably a really good education. An introduction to motherhood, where everybody judges your every moment, your every choice.

Andrew: Even ones that don’t have babies.

Jenna: Yes, it’s much easier to judge when you’re not actually parenting the child. It’s a lot easier.

Andrew: Here’s a good one. Using something again that has had baby poo on it is gross.

Jenna: Welcome to parenting.

Vashti: So what are you going to do when your baby poops on you? are you going to throw those clothes out? 

Jenna: From experience I can say you’re going to keep holding on for that for 31 years and still throw it in her face. That’s what I’m going to say. Because my Dad complained about me pooping on him yesterday. I pooped on him 30 years ago. He complained yesterday.

Vashti: There you go.

Andrew: Oh, I thought you did it yesterday.

Jenna: No, no, I did it on a plane, so we were stuck in it as landing. Apparently he wasn’t a fan of this, but point is, kids are going to poop. You’re going to have to deal with poop. What do you say at expos all the time? 

Vicki: What if you had diarrhea in your favourite jeans. Are you just going to throw them in the bin? I actually do get the odd person that says yes. And I’m like, you know what? I don’t think cloth is for you. And that’s perfectly fine, but you know, when you actually think about it, our washing machines have got stainless steel drums. They’re antibacterial, stainless steel, no bacteria doesn’t breed in there. It’s washing.

Jenna: And honestly a lot of, or most cloth mums I know, they do wash their machines, are conscious of giving their machines a wash once a month and stuff like that. My machine will be cleaner than most of my friends, because you know what?

Vicki: Mine’s not, and I don’t have a kid in nappies. Mine’s like mouldy.

Jenna: The thing is, I’m really good at laundry because of cloth nappies. You get good at laundry, and you know what? Kids poo in beds, the whole poo-splosion all through the bed.

Vicki: The vomit. Vomit is way worse than poo way worse.

Vashti: You know what? As a parent, you’re going to be knee deep in bodily fluids for at least four years.

Jenna: So just embrace it.

Vicki: It doesn’t stop after four years.

Vashti: No, it doesn’t. But you’re not knee deep, you’re only ankle deep after that.

Jenna: You’ve got a 14 years old. The bodily fluids start coming back again, start drinking.

Vicki: Yeah, completely different. In other ways as well.

Vashti: Teenage boys, teenage boys.

Jenna: Teenage boys are gross. Let’s just be honest, being a parent is disgusting. And you get very used to poo very quickly. It seems all foreign and scary at first, but Mother Nature is super smart. Mother Nature eases you into poo very well. Breastfed poo or I’m not sure about formula poo…

Vashti: Formula poo is still, for a newborn, it’s still reasonably…

Vicki: Pleasant.

Vashti: Somewhat pleasant. 

Jenna: It’s not as bad as toddler poo, but it’s not quite as good as breastfed poo? So I know breastfed poo from my experience is…

Vicki: Pleasant. It smells sweet.

Jenna: And I’d like to point out, this isn’t just my kid, because I’m a person who offers to wash my friends’ kids poop.

Vicki: It’s actually nice.

Jenna: I had a conversation with my mother about how delightful my friend’s son’s poo was, compared to my son because it’s newborn versus toddler.

Vicki: It’s got that, no it does, it has that newborn smell.

Vashti: Yeah, it’s just sweet and custardy.

Vicki: It’s like it permeates from it and it’s actually really, I think it must be a hormonal thing. Because Andrew is getting completely grossed out here.

Jenna: No, I think it is, because I’ve changed a friend’s kid’s nappy when both Ryan and Laura were still exclusively breastfed, and the poo smelled so much grosser from my friend’s kid than my kid.

Vicki: Absolutely, absolutely.

Jenna: I always wondered, is it your own breastmilk poo is different? I’m a scientist, not a…

Vicki: Well I found especially solid poo, changing, I was actually looking after a girlfriend’s and this is when Abbi was a baby, I was looking after a girlfriend’s baby and she pooped, on solids, and I was absolutely gagging. And I’m like, my kid, I can change her poopy nappy. But my kids…

Jenna: Want to come over to my house?

Vicki: No, I’ve seen, I’ve actually seen images of your kid’s poo.

Jenna: Excuse me, I showed them to your daughter to help with contraception. I thought that was a really good thing I did.

Andrew: Don’t be eating while you listen to this podcast.

Vicki: This is not an eating podcast, no, no, no.

Andrew: I’m going to copy and paste, put it at the front. 

Jenna: OK, next question. I think we’ve covered poop.

Andrew: Have we, really? OK.

Jenna: So much.

Andrew: It’s too cold where I live to dry them.

Jenna: I think this is a Vashti question. 

Vicki: It is too cold to get out of bed at the moment.

Vashti: I did cloth nappies… yeah, well there is that. I cloth nappied two under two I fulltime cloth in central Victoria in the middle of winter.

Andrew: And how did you do it?

Vashti: I had clothes airers.

Vicki: We have a whole episode on this.

Vashti: We do, we do.

Andrew: We do, but it doesn’t matter covering it.

Jenna: I don’t know, but I’ll link to it in the show notes. I’ll do that.

Vicki: Jenna, can you please link to the episode about the episode? In the show notes. 

Jenna: Does Vicki actually know what she’s talking about?

Vicki: Because I’m sure, apparently we’ve covered it.

Andrew: You know, when you say that, I never take them out. I just leave them in the podcast.

Vicki: Really? 

Jenna: She doesn’t know because she doesn’t listen. Do you listen? No. I do because I’m not normally here and I have to write the show notes. Jenna, can you do this? Can I give myself notes? Let Vashti talk, for God’s sake.

Vashti: No, the way I got around it, in Victoria in winter, you’re lucky to hit double figures. And if you hit double figures, you’re outside, but…

Vicki: Naked, because it’s warm.

Vashti: …but you generally are stuck inside from March until October because it’s too cold to go outside. It will freeze the tits off you.

Vicki: So why do people live there?

Vashti: I have no idea. We went there for work. We were there for two years.

Vicki: I’ve always wondered why people live in the Northern Hemisphere where it’s like winter. We get, what, three weeks of winter?

Vashti: Well I was talking to the kids yesterday about this, and we were talking about the sun and the earth rotating and the moon and night and all that sort of stuff. And they said, well you know, if the sun goes out, the people on the other side of the earth will know because there’ll be no reflection on the moon. And I’m like, well there you go.

Vicki: What? 

Vashti: Yeah I know, just completely random there. That was Mikayla who told me that.

Vicki: When our kids are smarter than us.

Andrew: Going to be a scientist, that one.

Vashti: But one of the other things we talked about in the car was the fact that there are places in the world that through winter, they get maybe an hour or two of sunlight a day. 

Vicki: Yeah, like Rovaniemi, where we were going to go. They actually, that’s 24 hour darkness and 24 hour sunlight. Of course there’s people that don’t like living in tropical climates either.

Vashti: No, and if you’ve been born to that environment, then you’re used to it.

Vicki: You don’t know.

Vashti: I was born in Brisbane, so moving to Victoria, it was supposed to be a 12 month gig. It turned into two years, and then I said no, that’s it. And we quit that job.

Vicki: I have a Swedish friend who actually said there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. There you go.

Vashti: But anyway, talking about how you dry nappies in cold weather, I had clothes airers so I had three tier clothes airers. You can pick them up from K-Mart, Bunnings, your homewares stores like Howards and stuff like that, wherever you get them from.

Andrew: You can’t get them from Masters though.

Vashti: No, Masters has gone. And Mitre 10 too, I think. Are they gone too?

Vicki: No Mitre 10 are still around.

Andrew: We don’t see many of them in Queensland, but they’re still big down south. 

Vashti: OK, well those little octopus peg hangers are really good as well for your boosters and stuff.

Vicki: Ikea. 

Vashti: But I used to double space my inserts, and like hang them over two lines, and then I would shove my clothes airers in around my wall heaters or put them over your heating ducts, or under your heating ducts. And then even at night before we went to bed, put them in the middle of the room with the ceiling fan going over the top of them, just to rotate the air around them.

Vicki: Did you have a bigger stash?

Vashti: We had lots of all in twos. 

Vicki: And a drier? Did you use a drier?

Vashti: Very rarely. I didn’t like using the drier.

Vicki: See, here’s the thing right. Living in sunny Queensland, we use the drier all the time. And so many people, I hear that, in Tassie and really cold climates in Australia don’t have driers. And I’m like…

Vashti: I don’t love what it does to my clothes, but I love that I have it there as an emergency. Currently we’re having our backyard done up and I’ve been using the drier for two weeks straight, rather than fighting with the airer on the clothes back, because we’ve got a small airer.

Vicki: I just love the fact that my clothes get dried. Andrew does the washing and he refuses to hang them on the line and you know what? When somebody is doing your washing, I have learned you just don’t way a word. You don’t complain.

Vashti: Well see this is the thing. This year with Brent being away, I chose the fact that you know, actually don’t have the time to hang clothes out. So at Easter we bought a brand new drier.

Vicki: Did you get a heat pump in it?

Vashti: We did get a heat pump drier.

Vicki: They’re awesome, aren’t they?

Vashti: It’s a little bit more expensive, but I tell you want, I am so happy with it. We’ve got solar power so I generally…

Vicki: No humidity, no dust through the laundry.

Jenna: No humidity sounds good.

Vicki: It works like an air conditioner. 

Vashti: Well with the old drier we used to actually, I’d have the drier on and like the laundry is just off the kitchen and the entire kitchen dining room area was just really humid, and all the windows were covered in moisture. 

Jenna: Yep, we had that in our apartment. 

Vashti: So the heat pump, it doesn’t do that. It’s absolutely fantastic. I get more humidity on my windows from sleeping overnight than I do from the drier.

Jenna: Yeah, so you can use a drier. It’s not great to put your shells and your covers in the drier, but they dry so quickly, even in the cold inside. But your inserts are absolutely fine in the drier. They’re lovely and soft in the drier too. And if not, you can hang them over an airer like Vashti said. There are options definitely. And flats and prefolds are a great option in this situation.

Vicki: And a bigger stash.

Jenna: Yeah, a slightly bigger stash. Just a little bit less fresher.

Vashti: Well have, you know, two or three insert sets for each shell. Just buy inserts, you don’t need to, or use your all in two shells with a prefold. You don’t need to spend…

Jenna: Newborn prefolds for the first few months and then those double up as extra inserts for your all in twos later.

Vicki: Yeah, absolutely.

Jenna: And flats are a great option because they fold out and dry quickly and wash easily. We’re pretty much staying on topic. 

Vashti: Or synthetic nappies. So things, your synthetic nappies will dry a lot quicker than your natural fibres as well. So if you are using…

Jenna: Yep, if you have a light wetter, you can get away with a microfibre. So that will dry great.

Vashti: Most of your China Cheapies, Charcoal Bamboo, Rumparoos does a microfibre insert, Peekapoo does a microfibre nappy.

Jenna: Bum Genius.

Vashti: Bum Genius. Gro-Via. So it’s not just your low cost nappies. Some of your higher quality nappies will also do synthetic inserts. 

Vicki: Not Bubblebubs. And I can say that because I’m sponsoring this show. 

Vashti: There you go.

Vicki: Just something to be aware, and this is just coming from all the experience that I’ve had over the years, and the reason that we only use natural fibres is we have a better customer experience, because we don’t have any of the downfalls of microfibre. So if you are utilising microfibre, just be aware that you may need to…

Vashti: Team that with a natural fibre.

Vicki: Thank you. Team up with a natural fibre to stop the…

Jenna: …the tea towels people use from Ikea, wrap it around a microfibre, you’ve got a thin, quick drying natural fibre there, and your microfibre to boost it. That’s a really great option in the cold.

Vicki: And that’s super fast drying as well.

Jenna: That’s a great option for the cold.

Vashti: There’s nothing wrong with using microfibre, just be aware, have that knowledge…

Jenna: Some people can get away with it. They’ve got a light wetter, and absolutely.  

Vashti: And Charcoal Bamboo is not a natural fibre, it is a microfibre. 

Vicki: Yeah, absolutely. So just having that, as you said, tea towel some face washers, something to stop the sponge…

Vashti: The pressure leaks.

Vicki: That’s it.

Vashti: Because microfibre will absorb really, really quickly. But it will also, it’s like your microfibre cleaning cloths. As soon as you put any pressure on it, all that moisture comes straight back out. 

Vicki: Which is great for drying.

Vashti: Well the nappy being held on the baby, and them sitting down or lying down, or being in a carrier or a pram or something like that, that’s putting pressure on that insert. 

Andrew: If you want to know more about what cloth nappies are made out of, our second podcast delves into that subject very deeply.

Jenna: I bet Jenna will link to it right here on the show notes.

Vicki: I’ve listened to that one. I did.

Jenna: Shall we give her a sticker? 

Vashti: So we’re going to have a couple of links in this episode. We’re going to have the link to drying in cold weather, and the link to what nappies are made of.

Vicki: And the link to how to enter the prize draw.

Vashti: There you go.

Jenna: Jenna will handle all that, she’s very good at that.

Vashti: It’s a very link-packed episode.

Andrew: And probably a link to washing instructions that Jenna did in her own home.

Jenna: Yes, I can do that. 

Vashti: Her own own?

Andrew: Her own home.

Jenna: Own own?

Andrew: Own home.

Jenna: And I look really professional and good doing it, not nearly as awkward as I was…

Vashti: With blue playdough.

Jenna: Andrew did really good editing. I looked so much smoother than I was. And the blue playdough was hilarious. 

Andrew: Especially when you didn’t actually record it in order.

Jenna: Yes.

Andrew: Oh, this bit goes before this bit. 

Jenna: Yeah, yeah. All the credit goes to Andrew for those ones.

Vicki: And you think I’m hard to work with? 

Jenna: See, she’s a delight, I’m terrible.

Vicki: That’s right, one take, one take videos. All of my videos…

Jenna: I’m sure I did a second one.

Vicki: Well one take podcasts. Normally.

Andrew: Normally.

Vicki: Except we have to beep out…

Andrew: Quack, quack. All sectioned out. Last question, the baby is in day care and they do not want to use cloth nappies.

Vicki: Continuity of care. That’s my favourite term.

Vashti: Sustainability practices. Both of those things, continuity of care and sustainability practices are part of your childcare centre’s accreditation. They can actually lose their license to provide childcare if they cannot show that they are showing sustainability practices and continuity of care. And the Australian Nappy Association has an amazing pack on cloth in childcare as well.

Jenna: And actually, this is the Bubblebub sponsored episode, yes? 

Vashti: Yes.

Jenna: Brilliant, so I can say this. I made a really, if I do say so myself, fantastic day care guide. It’s a little card, you can print it out, download it from us and print it out online. 

Vicki: Is it anywhere like on our Facebook page?

Jenna: It will be.

Vicki: It’s in our V.I.P. Group.

Jenna: It’s in our V.I.P. Group.

Vashti: We might link to it on our Nappy Leaks Facebook page.

Jenna: Yeah, I think I might even put a Drop Box link or something on it. I want to make it more accessible. I want a downloads page on the website. This is a conversation we can have another time. And you can print that out, put it on your kid’s backpack, whatever you send to day care. It’s got diagrams for what snaps to do, any extra instructions, and it’s got a little fit guide on it. And I send my son to family day care with that. His carer has never used cloth nappies before, and when I showed her how to do it, she was like oh that’s easy. They don’t have to rinse it, they don’t have to do anything. They just take them off, shove them in a wet bag and I take it home and I deal with it when I get home. And it’s easy. She loves that her, because family day care, it’s a bit different, but she loves that her bin isn’t getting filled with more nappies. It’s really great, I’ve had zero problems with Ryan and day care for two years, using, how old is he?

Vicki: He’s just gone two, hasn’t he?

Jenna: A year and a half, using cloth nappies.

Vicki: And also if you’re finding, because a lot of day cares are wanting to double bag for hygienic purposes. So what we’re finding is some people are getting their plastic bags, and then their nappies in wet bags. You can actually get mini wet bags, so they can pop their nappy in a mini wet bag and then into a bigger wet bag, a day wet bag. So basically any objections that they come up with, they’re really quite easy to overcome. And confidence, we’ll go to bat for you.

Vashti: Oh definitely. 

Vicki: And I’m talking, sorry, from an A.N.A. perspective. 

Jenna: Australian Nappy Association.

Vashti: Or from a Nappy Leaks perspective as well.

Vicki: Absolutely.

Vashti: So if you’ve got any queries or any issues with the day care centre and you would like some back up, just get in contact with us. 

Vicki: We’ll call them. 

Vashti: Or we’ll provide you with the confidence to be able to speak to them. One of the biggest objections I’ve found with day care centres is that they don’t actually have an understanding of what cloth nappies are. So when you first mention cloth nappies…

Jenna: They think they’re folding terry flats.

Vashti: …terry flats where they’ve got to origami and stuff. So the easiest way to overcome that objection is to take your nappy in and show them. And as soon as you show them the nappy you’re using…

Jenna: Yes, I didn’t do that kind of on purpose, but I had very little resistance with day cares I spoke to, and I had them with me and actually one of them actually said, oh that’s the ones that that kid’s wearing. Mentioned the other kid’s name.

Vicki: I even had that years ago, Gabe was the only one we actually sent to a centre and he stopped talking, but we won’t actually go there. I literally took the nappies in and they were perfectly fine with it, as soon as they saw it.

Andrew: OK guys, good answers. Thank you, Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks, Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks, Jenna.

Jenna: Oh thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Bye everybody.

[Music]

Andrew: Vicki Simpson is a wife and mother to three children, President of the Australian Nappy Association and owner and founder of Bubblebubs. Vicki has been making and selling cloth nappies through her website for 15 years. Bubblebubs is now one of the most recognised and awarded cloth nappy brands in Australia, and is currently expanding to other countries. You can find out more and contact her through her website, bubblebubs.com.au. Vashti Wadwell is mother to three children and has been using cloth nappies for 13 years. She is the owner of Australia’s first cloth nappy store, Nest Nappies, located in Brisbane, Australia. She can be contacted through her website, nestnappies.com.au. If you would like to give us feedback, go to nappyleaks.com.au. If you are finding this podcast helpful, the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store or wherever you listen to podcasts. I am your host, Andrew Simpson. 

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