#44 Troubleshooting Cloth Nappy Leaks

This week the ladies started by discussing heavy wetters but the discussion veers into leaks. Leaks can be caused by a variety of things and the ladies go into a few of those ways and how to fix them. Most children go through stages of heavy wetting at various times through their development but some children definitely do produce more urine generally than other children. For children like this fitteds, flats and pre-folds are a great option for extra boosting.

Transcript: Cloth Nappy Leaks

Andrew: Welcome Vashti.

Vashti: Hi Andrew, how are you today?

Andrew: Good, I love how you switch to your podcast voice so quickly.

Vashti: Isn’t it awesome?

Andrew: How are you doing Vicki?

Vicki: I’m good, Andrew. [laughter]

Vashti: That’s a pretty cool podcast voice. I dare you to keep that up for the whole podcast.

Andrew: No, no, I’m going to use the software and change it to your real voice. 

Vicki: Then everybody will be like, why are they laughing?

Andrew: That’s true, yeah. Might have to leave it in for the joke. First thing I wanted to talk about is reviews. Thank you everybody so much for all the reviews. 

Vashti: There’s been some awesome ones there.

Andrew: Yeah, we have over fifty reviews. I’ve actually got a couple here I wanted to read. This is a five star review. “Love these nappy gurus”. Anybody been called a guru before?

Vicki: I call myself the Chief Nappy Nerd.

Andrew: That’s true, yeah it’s on your business card.

Vicki: Yeah, it is. It’s all about making fun titles. How boring is Boss, Bitch? Can I say that? Because that’s what my car spot is actually going to say. 

Vashti: I notice that you’ve got signs up for your car spots now.

Vicki: Yes, so did I. This is not something that…

Andrew: So we can get to use them.

Vashti: Well I dropped in yesterday. You guys weren’t here, I dropped in to pick up an order and the amount of people that were parking in your car spots was just ridiculous. Like I couldn’t get a car park here. Because other people.

Vicki: It’s frustrating. I want to have a sign on mine, so can I say it?

Andrew: Yeah, sure.

Vicki: OK, mine going to say Boss Bitch, and yours is going to say Boss Bitch’s Lay. [laughter]

Vashti: That’s cook.

Vicki: Because it’s about injecting a little bit of humour into something. I’m sure it will offend someone, but whatever. 

Andrew: Don’t park in the wrong spot there then. 

Vicki: Oh no, well my lover can come along.

Vashti: I’ll just make sure I park in front of the roller door from now on.

Vicki: You know what, to be perfectly honest, it would stop people from parking there because they don’t want to, yeah. 

Vashti: Well we have shared a bed in the past, Vicki.

Vicki: True. 

Andrew: And you probably will again when you’re in Germany. 

Vashti: No, we’ve got twins. 

Vicki: Yeah, I’m pretty sure we got twin beds. Because you know what, it’s one thing going to an expo and sharing a king bed for a night.

Vashti: One or two nights. When you’re there for ten days…

Vicki: Not two weeks. You really do want your own space. What we tend to do, especially by Saturday night at an expo, literally we’ll be sitting beside each other texting, because we don’t want to talk. That’s why we get on so well. It’s this whole don’t talk to me. It’s like, yeah, can just read.

Andrew: So she goes on to say, “This is such a great nappy resource, not to mention the good laughs. I learned so much from these three and feel completely confident making choices to try new options. Thank you.” So thank you for that. 

Vashti: Thanks.

Andrew: I’ve got three here, do you want to read the next one?

Vashti: Sure. So this is another five star review, and it’s titled “Great for starting M.C.N.s” by Circuit84. So she’s been listening in since she was a few months pregnant with number one. A great resource that helped her to understand modern cloth nappies and all the lingo that goes with them. Highly recommend to new mums who are overwhelmed with all the info out there and want a down to earth, fun way to hear about M.C.N.s that’s relatable and understandable. Thank you, I’m so glad that you like that.

Vicki: That’s nice.

Andrew: Do you want to read the next one?

Vashti: Does Vicki want to read the next one?

Andrew: Do you want to read the next one Vicki?

Vicki: OK, “Knowing better, doing better.” That’s a really cool name actually. 

Andrew: Might have to steal that.

Vicki: Yeah we do, we say that all the time. When you know better you do better. Started off listening to the first episodes for the basics but continued for the last extra information and those little extra hints to make cloth nappies even easier. Recommend to anyone starting their journey. Thank you. That’s kind of the whole focus of the podcast, is to well have a bit of fun, and also just educate and actually break through that overwhelm. So I’m glad that people are finding it helpful.

Andrew: It’s good, yeah. And today’s sponsor is Nest Nappies.

Vashti: I am. 

Andrew: So what’s Nest Nappies got?

Vashti: So we’re going to do a big starter pack. So there will be five bigs in it, some Snappies, a Nest Nappy cover in your choice of size, and breaking news, because we always like to break things here on Nappy Leaks, we’re getting some Nest Nappies in our gorgeous exclusive print in Candy Pods. So there will be a Candy Pod to go with it all. 

Andrew: Sometime during 2019. 

Vashti: It will be here soon.

Vicki: I make zero commitments, and you know what? I get asked, I’m not going to lie, I do, I get asked maybe two to three times a day. When’s the next range coming? When’s the next range coming? When’s Bamboo Delight coming? And I tell you what, by the end of the day my blood pressure is like through the roof. Can you stop asking? It’s not like we’re being, we’re not hiding information. I refuse to commit. I know where production is up to. I refuse to commit because you know what happens every single time I commit to a date? It always blows out. Even if I add, if I said the end of September, I knew it was coming the end of September and added two weeks onto that and said the middle of October, it would still blow out. 

Andrew: It would be the middle of November.

Vicki: It would be November, yeah absolutely. Whilst we’re hoping, we’re hoping for September, and that’s what the labels say, I’m absolutely not going to…

Andrew: So we actually don’t kind of release it until it’s in the warehouse.

Vicki: Until production, until it’s pretty much in Q.A. Once it’s in quality control that usually takes a day. But see what can actually happen with a production, so let’s say Bamboo Delights are a classic example. So anyone who doesn’t know what they look like, they’re a fitted nappy and they’ve got snaps and overlocking. We posted a video the other day where they sew, because they’re multilayer, they actually stitch the layers together first before they overlock them. So what happens is they get stitched by somebody and then they go over to the snapping department and they’ll get snapped, and then they’ll come back to the overlocking department. So actually and before that the printing and the cutting and all of that sort of stuff. And then they go to quality control. And what can actually happen is in the case of the Delights, they should have been here by now. But the overlocking department was running two weeks behind, so it completely pushed everything behind. But then by the time they get over to Q.A. they’re not actually, they were booked in. They’re actually very, very, they’re really good with their timings. So they were booked into the Q.A. department two weeks before they were ready. So then by the time they actually get over to Q.A. there’s no space for them, you know what I mean? It becomes this whole bit snowball and the exciting part is, this is a world-wide issue. That’s why lead times for every single brand are blowing out. It’s why all brands have got out of stocks at the moment. It just seems no matter how much you order it’s not enough. They’re selling out I think, was it Jordan, Bear and Boho, has completely sold out of her next release which hasn’t even hit yet.

Vashti: I think it hits this week.

Vicki: Actually last week, but by the time, no this publishes this week. So you know that’s an example of… this week… next week…

Andrew: Next week.

Vicki: Whatever. Anyway, Jordan’s sold out, congratulations Jordan. And that’s exciting for the cloth world, but it’s really frustrating from a manufacturing perspective. 

Vashti: It’s really frustrating from a retail perspective as well, trying…

Vicki: To keep stock.

Vashti: …as a multi brand retailer, trying to have enough stock there for people without over ordering, but knowing that if I don’t order huge amounts then I’m not going to have stock to get me through until the next release.

Vicki: And then you’ve got to pay for it. It’s not like you can, it’s not like it’s a digital product where you create a product and then you just go and sell it. There’s so much to actually having a physical product in your store or in your warehouse.

Vashti: And having the space to store it as well. Because…

Vicki: Yeah, I’m looking at getting [beep] Candy trifolds and I’m looking at it going I actually don’t know that we can fit that plus all of the other stock, but I don’t want to order less than that, because Chinese New Year is coming up and it’s like [goans].

Andrew: Less than a year and we’ve already outgrown this warehouse.

Vicki: I know, only been here a year and it’s like oh yeah. Remember when I was signing the lease, a five year lease and Andrew was like, it’s such an expensive, it’s such expensive rent and all this. And I’m like…

Andrew: No, I wasn’t saying that, I was saying that’s a long…

Vicki: It’s double the rent of the last place.

Andrew: I was actually saying that’s a long commitment, five years. 

Vicki: We wanted to buy this place. We thought let’s actually have self-managed super and actually buy the place and all of that. And in twelve months we’ve almost outgrown it. Or we need to probably, the space is here. 

Andrew: And as far as spare money goes, there is no spare money.

Vicki: There’s never any spare money.

Andrew: It’s all going back to…

Vicki: Stock.

Andrew: …order more stock. That’s amazing.

Vashti: Nest is moving this weekend. Or last weekend when this publishes, because we have outgrown our shop. 

Andrew: And how many times bigger is the store?

Vashti: Three times the size.

Andrew: I’ve actually been through a walkthrough and it’s actually on the street now.

Vashti: It is on the street.

Andrew: It’s not around the corner, so if you’re looking for it, don’t look around the corner, look at the front of the street.

Vashti: And on top of the three times the space of the actual shop’s floor, we have a separate store room and a separate kitchenette and everything like that.

Andrew: And you’re going to have some lounge chairs there so you can sleep during the day. Just in case Vicki visits.

Vicki: No, I’ve got an iron infusion. I don’t need a nap. Who knew? Who knew all it was going to take was an iron infusion? I haven’t had a Nanna Nap in four days.

Vashti: Wow. 

Vicki: I know, I almost had one yesterday. I was like a little bit sleepy, because I’ve only just had it and I was a little bit sleepy. I’m tired but not like really tired. So yeah, who knew, if you have low iron…

Andrew: So to win your sponsorship, what do you have to do to win? Give us a review in the iTunes store?

Vashti: Yeah, why not?

Andrew: And or like us on Facebook.

Vashti: Yeah, like us on Facebook and give us a review on Facebook. 

Andrew: On the Nappy Leaks page.

Vicki: Are Reviews turned on, Jenna?

Andrew: Quickly check that, Jenna. Well yeah the timeline for this episode to published is so short she might not have time to listen to it. 

Vicki: That’s alright, Vashti’s on her phone, fixing it, sorted.

Andrew: It’s probably going to go up hours before it’s due. And look on the Facebook page for the winner of last month, the Bubblebubs…

Vicki: No, the Nappy Leaks…

Vashti: The Nappy Leaks page.

Vicki: And it will be on the Bubblebubs page too. 

Andrew: Look on the Nappy Leaks page for the winner of the Bubblebubs pack.

Vashti: I don’t think reviews are turned on for the Nappy Leaks page, but we’ll sort that. I don’t think I can do it from my phone. I don’t know.

Andrew: Push a button. 

Vashti: I’ll sort it out.

Andrew: And don’t forget, like us or poke us or say hello to us, whatever you do on Facebook.

Vashti: Yeah, join the Nappy Leaks page because it’s a little bit quiet. So if you come along and join us we’ll start getting a little bit more active in there. 

Andrew: Because everybody spends the time on the Bubblebubs and the Nest Nappies pages.

Vashti: Of course they do.

Andrew: They’re probably thinking I don’t have time for another page, I’m already on the Bubblebubs and the Nest Nappies ones, plus all the other nappy ones that are out there.

Vashti: Well there’s such an awesome photo of me and Vicki on the cover. So…

Andrew: That’s right we had to Photoshop…

Vicki: We should do another photo now because I’ve just had Botox. 

Vashti: I need to get my hair done again though.

Andrew: We had to Photoshop Vicki’s tongue poking out, she had her tongue poking out. 

Vicki: Did I?

Andrew: No. In one of the photos you did though.

Vicki: Oh, did I?

Andrew: That’s right.

Vashti: I think I managed to avoid that photo.

Andrew: If anybody’s wondering what that photo is from, that’s from our first live show that we did. We’ve since done another one of those, and oh my gosh, did we get a lot of those done.

Vashti: I love the live shows, it’s so much fun.

Andrew: The good news is, we don’t have to do it again until next year. Like February.

Vicki: That’s actually kind of the best part of that job is being able to give those kids back. They don’t have to take them home. We just get the good parts.

Andrew: Jenna was saying she used it to get used to having babies around all the time because she’s going to have one soon.

Vicki: Is she?

Andrew: She’s trying. She’s putting the efforts in.

Vashti: I asked my Mum today if I was ever going to be an aunt, and she’s like yeah, don’t count on it because your brother doesn’t want kids and your sister can’t have them. And I’m like oh. And she’s like, do you really want to be an aunt? I’m like, of course I do. I get all the fun of the baby but then hand it back with no responsibility. 

Andrew: Isn’t that why you own a baby store?

Vashti: Yeah, well there is that too. 

Andrew: So on to today’s subject.

Vicki: Because we’re like 30 minutes in.

Andrew: Fifteen, yeah.

Vashti: But see this is why people come here…

Vicki: God forbid we stay on topic, ever.

Vashti: …for all the extra stuff. All the fun and laughs. 

Vicki: I don’t even know what the topic is, let along staying on it.

Andrew: And I thought we wouldn’t have enough content to fill the show, but we’ve already filled 15 minutes, that’s OK. So today’s subject is heavy wetters. So let’s talk about expectations first. How often should you change a nappy?

Vicki: Well when they’re newborns, every two to three hours. Pretty much at the beginning of a feed and the end of a feed. And then once they’re kind of a little bit older it’s kind of every wee. They’ll generally start to hold their wees. So it kind of pitters out. And that could be anywhere from three to five hours. Just depends on the age of the kid.

Andrew: OK, so there’s no actual age that usually happens at? Like for heavy wetters, it’s not when they’re one year old or something like that? 

Vashti: It really depends. Every child is different. It’s like us as adults. Some people go to the toilet every half hour to an hour.

Vicki: And some of us can hold it for a whole plane flight to China.

Vashti: Yes exactly, because Vicki refused to use the toilet thing.

Vicki: I didn’t even need to know. I’ve actually got an iron clad bladder, except if I sneeze. 

Andrew: Vicki has never seen what a toilet looks like on an aeroplane.

Vicki: Yes I did, on the way back. On the way back from China.

Vashti: The second time.

Vicki: I actually went to the toilet, because I couldn’t hold. I’m like, we’re about two hours out of Brisbane, I don’t think I can hold this for another two hours, because it was an awful lot of wine.

Andrew: And they kept bringing you drinks.

Vicki: They did. They did. So yeah no, that one. And you know what? To be honest, the flights are huge over to Germany so I suspect I’m going to have to use the toilets.

Vashti: You will, but it’s OK, because we’re in nice toilets.

Vicki: No, the toilets don’t change.

Vashti: Don’t they?

Andrew: No, they don’t.

Vicki: No, they don’t, you actually just have to go to the back of the plane for the toilets. 

Andrew: Yeah, the seats don’t, the toilets don’t…

Vicki: It’s just the seats that are a bit bigger.

Andrew: You can’t lie the toilet down and lie in there. 

Vashti: See now you’ve just…

Vicki: First class…

Vashti: …you’re bursting my bubble here. 

Vicki: First class actually have, I’m hoping to get an upgrade to first class. They give you silk pyjamas and you get to have a shower. But yeah, what are the chances of getting upgraded to first class? 

Andrew: And what are the chances of it raining and you being able to have a shower? 

Vicki: Huh?

Andrew: They get you to walk out on the wing, don’t they? [laughter]

Vicki: Sure.

Andrew: Hold the handrails. 

Vashti: Fly through a cloud. But no, it’s really dependent on the baby. Obviously there are certain stages where your child will start to wet heavier, and we normally find that’s at, the three biggest ones are six weeks, three months and six months, because there’s massive growth spurts on those three occasions and with each of those growth spurts there is an increased urine output. So you will find that your child may, and it can be a week or two either side of that age group as well. But we do tend to find that as they go through those growth spurts, they have that increased urine output. So you may find that your little one is weeing more at that age.

Andrew: So not to be confused with wicking. What is wicking?

Vicki: Wicking is like, think of a towel sitting in a bucket of water. It sucks up the water. So that’s wicking. So if you say have a singlet tucked into, a cotton singlet tucked into a nappy…

Vashti: Or a onesie, onesies are really…

Vicki: Or a onesie, yeah, it will really just suck the moisture out of the nappy. 

Andrew: So it might not have been…

Vicki: So that’s wicking. So wicking is yeah like a candle wick.

Andrew: So it might not have been a nappy leakage, it may have actually just been wicking. 

Vicki: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Just wanted, because when I was researching this, I came across that.

Vicki: You didn’t know the difference between wicking and leaking. 

Andrew: No…

Vicki: Leaking will generally be, there’ll be a gap, so it will actually, so urine is, any wetness is looking for the fastest path out. So what will actually happen is the wee will go to the elastic and then essentially get pushed back into the nappy. If there are any gaps around the legs or around the waist with that elastic, it will find its path out, and that is a leak. Whereas wicking is usually something has…

Andrew: Been tucked in.

Vicki: …been tucked in. The onesies actually compressing on, because PUL is waterproof, but it is breathable, which means it’s not like plastic. So it’s not 100% waterproof. So if you push on it enough, moisture will actually compress out, and that’s what happens with a onesie, if you’ve got a tight onesie.

Vashti: We normally find it’s around the edges, because that’s where, because PUL has millions and millions of miniscule holes in it that allow the air flow but are normally too small for the water molecules to push through. But around the stitch lines on the legs and the waist and stuff like that, that’s a larger hole. So if it is going to leak, it would generally be around that stitch hole.

Vicki: Yeah, it will find the weakest points. But the weakest points will always be stitching.

Vashti: Yeah, we also do find that that’s normally when the absorbency is at capacity. So yeah.

Vicki: Or if they’re flooding, which is, that’s a whole other subject.

Andrew: OK, so the absorbency of a nappy. Can the absorbency of a nappy change over time?

Vicki: Well natural fibres will actually increase in absorbency. So a brand new nappy off the shelf is not going to be as absorbent as a nappy that has gone through its six to eight washes. And also over the life of a nappy you’d expect over time if you’re using the drier and things like that, the nappy will eventually…

Vashti: It will start to break down a little bit. It will eventually lose fibres out of the absorbency.

Vicki: Same with a t-shirt that gets worn 200 times, it just starts to thin. So you’d expect the absorbency to lessen a little. I mean, probably most people wouldn’t notice, over the course of one child. And it’s almost like having that favourite t-shirt that has got really thin and you don’t actually realise it’s really thin until you get a new one and you go oh, OK, that’s a lot thinner than I expected. 

Andrew: I wear them until they get holes…

Vicki: Yeah, you do.

Andrew: …and then I buy a new t-shirt. And sometimes I’ll keep wearing it when it’s got holes because I really like it. Like that one with the buttons on the top, I like that one.

Vicki: Yeah, nobody could see me roll my eyes.

Andrew: They can hear it.

Vicki: They felt the earth rotation change.

Vashti: When I do the washing, when I find a piece of clothing that is starting to look really, really tattered and get holes and stitching go, it goes in the bin. It will probably get washed, it’s when I hang it out or fold it that I find it. And so I’ll through our perfectly clean washing, purely because that’s past it’s wearing.

Andrew: So if you’ve got a brand new nappy and you’re finding it’s not very absorbent, it could be the fact that it’s brand new.

Vashti: Could be, yep. Could also be your fibres. So depending on what your absorbency is, if you’re using microfibre compared to hemp. So microfibre is really, really quick to absorb, whereas it won’t hold on to the moisture for as long. It’s sort of like your microfibre cleaning cloth. They’ll soak up lots of moisture, but as soon as you put any pressure on them, and they’ve got pressure on them because they’re up snug against your baby’s bottom.

Andrew: Especially if he is sitting down.

Vashti: Yeah, whereas your hemps and your cottons and your bamboos, your natural fibres, they will absorb. Sometimes they don’t absorb as quickly as a synthetic, but they will hold onto it a lot better. Hemp is a really, really absorbent fabric. It’s one of the most absorbent fabrics on the market. So yeah.

Andrew: Detergents and softeners. Can detergents and softeners affect the ab… oh how do I say that?

Vicki: Absorbency. 

Andrew: Absorbency of the nappy?

Vicki: Yeah, soap has actually got fat in it which will actually make it repel. Same with fabric softeners as well. 

Andrew: So if you’re finding your absorbency of your nappies going down it could be…

Vashti: Yeah, if you’re using soap flakes, like your Lux soap flakes or your Sard soap flakes, that sort of stuff.

Vicki: Even you know a lot of home detergents and stuff like that, you know, I understand that a lot of people want to be chemical free or lower…

Vashti: Low tox.

Vicki: Yeah, low tox, but making your own detergent isn’t necessarily the greatest thing, because most of them have got soap flakes in them, or grated soap, which isn’t ideal for your nappies or your towels actually, or anything that you’re wanting to absorb. 

Vashti: And your fabric softeners as well, like the way your fabric softeners work is by leaving a coating on top of the fabric to make it feel softer.

Vicki: And make the fibres floppy.

Vashti: But that coating can actually affect absorbency. So you should never use fabric softener on your towels.

Andrew: But it makes them so soft.

Vashti: It does, but…

Vicki: It does, but you can’t dry yourself with them. That’s like have you ever dried yourself…

Andrew: Yeah, but I don’t want to use a scratchy towel.

Vashti: It’s only scratchy for one or two uses. Or throw it through the clothes drier.

Vicki: Actually just on, because this comes up a lot, especially now that we’re coming into summer, people will be like now my nappies are really stiff, they’re drying really stiff. Just remember that body heat softens fibres really, really quickly. So within a minute of that nappy being on bub it’s already warming to the body temperature and it softens up anyway.

Andrew: Especially if they piss in it quickly.

Vicki: Well then we change it, but yes, yes.

Vashti: One of the things you can do there, if you really want to, if you want to soften the nappies, is throw all the nappies down on the coach and lie on it while you watch your favourite show.

Vicki: I like that one, because I thought you were going to say rub them together. And spend time doing that, and I’m like…

Andrew: So you’re actually bringing in lying on the couch watching television as part of your cleaning routine. 

Vicki: Yes, yes.

Vashti: Of course. 

Vicki: I like that.

Andrew: Now what about creams, if you’re using creams on nappy rash and stuff like that getting on the nappy?

Vashti: So a good wash routine should wash most creams out, especially if you’re using a 40 to 60 degree wash. Some of your zinc paste creams can leave a little bit of a build up on there, but if your wash routine is…

Vicki: They tend to stain more than anything. If you’re worried, just use a liner.

Vashti: Yep, rub it in really well, throw a bit of cornflour over the top and put a liner in.

Andrew: Is there anything else that can destroy the absorbency of a nappy?

Vicki: Not washing them often enough…

Vashti: Yeah, a poor wash routine.

Vicki: Like leaving them in a nappy bucket for, ammonia build up, it will break the fibres down, which will of course cause holes and all sorts of…

Vashti: And thinning and threadbare patches, which mean that you don’t have the absorbency in there because that fibre is broken apart.

Vicki: Because ammonia is really alkaline. So its PH is really high, isn’t it? Acid is low, alkaline is high, is that how it works?

Vashti: No, I think it’s the other way around, is it?

Vicki: Eh, whichever way it is. Whichever way it is…

Andrew: Somebody post it on the Nappy Leaks Facebook page. 

Vashti: Yes.

Vicki: Amy. Amy’s the cloth guru, the wash guru. No, I think alkaline is high. Anyway I could potentially google it but I’m not going to. Either way it is higher or lower than neutral, PH neutral. So actually having something sitting, or having something sitting in pure bleach as well is going to destroy the fibres. So yes, there are plenty of things that will break it down.

Andrew: OK, so the next thing I thought we’d cover would be putting the nappy on. Have they actually put the nappy on correctly. What you should watch for when you’re putting a nappy on to make sure you’re not going to get any leaks out of the nappy.

Vicki: You need a good seal around the legs and around the waist. And that doesn’t matter whether you’re using a cloth nappy or a single use nappy. The difference generally between a cloth nappy and a single use one is with disposables you have got a couple of rows of shirring elastic which is pretty much stretch string. So that’s all that’s containing. Whereas with cloth, you’ve got a six mm barrier, if you like. But in either of those, if you don’t have the nappy on firm, and pushed up into the undie line, you will potentially get leaks.

Andrew: Cool, if you’re wondering about pushed up into the undie line, just check out a couple of videos on the website.

Vicki: Yeah, yeah, we’ve got heaps of videos on that. But it does need to be up into the underwear line for a good seal. And to stop any irritations on the legs. 

Andrew: Here’s one for you Vashti, because you carry nappies that have got front snaps. If you’re getting leaks is it a sign that you need to adjust the front straps?

Vashti: The rise snaps?

Andrew: The rise snaps, yeah.

Vashti: It definitely can have something to do with the rise snaps. It all comes down to you making sure you’ve got the correct fit. Making sure your nappy fully covers your butt crack and it’s nice and high on the waist. Making sure that the elastics are in the right spot. If your rise snaps are too low it could bring the front of the nappy down and cause some gaping around the stomach and stuff like that. So some of your nappies will have elastic through the front of the waist, and you want that to be nice and snug on the waist. If your nappy doesn’t have elastic you can have it so that you can fit a couple of fingers in there when they’re lying down, but when they sit up it will be nice and snug on their waist. So it really is about just tweaking that fit sometimes.

Andrew: So if you’re using a sized nappy and you can see the butt crack, is that time to get the next size up?

Vashti: Yeah, time to go up size. And even a one size nappy with rise snaps through the front, if you can see the butt crack it’s time to go up a rise. Because honestly you do not want to see any butt crack.

Vicki: Floods. It can actually come out like a waterfall [waterfall noises].

Vashti: I have seen that happen before.

Vicki: We need to get Elizabeth on the podcast.

Vashti: We actually do.

Vicki: And she can tell the story because she tells it so well, she’s such a storyteller.

Vashti: It was awesome, where we actually ripped open a packet of flats in the shop because a child was waterfalling out the back of their nappy. It just kept on coming.

Vicki: I think that was probably one of the biggest sales. Don’t be like me.

Andrew: Lucky you’re moving shops because you don’t want to be in that shop. 

Vashti: That was many years ago. I will preface that, the child was wearing a disposable.

Andrew: Wearing a disposable and they came into a cloth shop?

Vicki: They were a cloth family, they just happened to be wearing a disposable out.

Vashti: We get that all the time. I regularly have families in who are transitioning into cloth or…

Vicki: Part time.

Vashti: …they’re part time cloth users. So yeah, lots of the time we have families in the shop with disposables. 

Andrew: Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Vashti: No, and you know what, it’s about finding your happy medium. Finding what works for you as a family. Cloth doesn’t have to be all the time. It can be some of the time, it can be one nappy a day. 

Vicki: And you know what? There are times, I’ve seen it posted, where mums just can’t do it…

Vashti: They just need to take a break.

Vicki: ….or they’ve got multiple children under, in nappies and it’s just too much. Take the pressure off. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be anything. You just do, done a mental health…

Vashti: If you’re struggling with your cloth nappies, put your cloth nappies aside for a little while and use cloth wipes instead. And that’s still cutting down on your waste. Disposable wipes are a huge amount of waste for a young child. So moving to cloth wipes is a way to cut your waste.

Andrew: I just thought of something. What are we eating?

Vashti: Chocolate.

Vicki: What did you get for Father’s Day that I had a massive whinge about? And we’re talking about waste.

Andrew: I got some tile lights that go on the wall that do pretty colours and every single one of the tiles was wrapped in a huge amount of plastic. And Vicki was sitting next to me unwrapping it…

Vicki: Horrified.

Andrew: …horrified and angry at my Father’s Day present because it had so much plastic on it.

Vashti: That’s OK, I got a replacement, one of my keep cups, the lid broke on it and so I contacted the company and I said you know, I’ve only just opened this cup, it’s been sent to us in the mail and the lid is cracked and missing a piece, and stuff like that. They finally sent me a replacement last week. This tiny little lid came in like a 3 kilo box and the amount of, thankfully it was all paper packaging inside of it, but yeah, it was this massive box for this little coffee lid, and it was in the middle of all this paper. It was like really? They did not want it to break.

Vicki: There has been an absolutely huge move towards minimal packaging. On one hand you have got your unboxing experiences versus your almost zero waste packaging and it seems to be, there’s nothing really in the middle. Either someone wants one or the other. And I remember talking to my manufacturer the other day, because his wife has got an Ali Express store and I quite often translate their descriptions or just make them grammatically correct, because he’s got great English skills, but it’s that whole Engrish thing where sometimes something gets lots in translation. But anyway, he came to me the other day and some of our suede cloth boosters had been cut a centimetre too narrow and he’s like I don’t know what to do with these. And I suggested selling them as liners and I was going to make some enquiries and see if we could sell them here. He said no, it’s alright, my wife will sell them, and we’re going to package them. And I’m no, no, don’t get single use plastic. People aren’t after single use plastic. So I sent him some photos of what we do, which is just a piece of string and a card on them. And he’s ended up just using some cardboard packaging. Like he just had some cardboard packaging made. And I kind of made my little eco-heart sing. And I’m like if we can get the manufacturers to start to understand that we don’t want the single use plastic, it just starts with small steps. But everything out of China, by default, has multiple layers of packaging.

Vashti: Yeah, I got some new clothes from, I didn’t realise they were from a store in China. It was all Australian and I thought it was an Australian store, but no it came from China.

Vicki: It may have just been from Drop Shipper. 

Vashti: It might have been. But yeah, each piece was individually wrapped in plastic. 

Andrew: When we first started making Candies, the first shipment of Candies, every single Candy was in its own plastic…

Vicki: Gosh, I actually had microfleece liners packaged in plastic once. There was like 1,000 packs of liners in these tiny little plastic bags. It actually makes me feel sick.

Vashti: Remember your old, remember the brightly coloured wipes that you used to get, a five pack of wipes? They were…

Vicki: Oh yeah, yeah.

Vashti: So we used to get those at Nest and there would be a five pack in a plastic bag, and then we’d reuse the plastic bags to package up the breast pads. We’d take the wipes out of the plastic bags and then it was…

Vicki: That’s right, before I got the bags made for them.

Vashti: And then it was like hang on, we’ve got breast pads here, we need to sell them by the three pack. So we would package them into the plastic bags from the wipes and put a little label on them. Think about repurposing.

Vicki: And it’s really hard from a retail perspective as well to actually make that, to have retail packing, because you need that in, especially in a bricks and mortar store, you actually need to, and we find it at the expos too, you actually need to be able to display and have price stickers and stuff like that. But to minimise the actual packaging is really hard, but still have packaging. It’s a huge battle.

Andrew: So let’s move on to some things…

Vicki: Yeah, because that’s got a lot to do with heavy wetting, of course. 

Vashti: We’re completely off topic today.

Vicki: …cardboard.

Andrew: Let’s move back into things that you may be doing wrong. 

Vashti: I don’t think you’re ever doing anything wrong, I just think you could be doing it differently.

Andrew: Better. Because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Vashti: Exactly.

Andrew: Boosting a nappy. If you’re boosting a nappy that maybe not made to be boosted. Like if you tried to boost say a Candy, can’t really boost a Candy can you?

Vicki: Depends on how it’s fitting the baby. There’s a finite amount of space in a nappy, so the key with boosting is still you need to get a good leg fit. So yeah, if you can’t actually get a good seal with the amount of boosting in the nappy then…

Vashti: You’re boosting it too much. You need to look at a different nappy.

Vicki: Yeah, I mean I know some people do use Candies overnight and it always just makes me kind of shudder a little bit because I feel they’re the minority, and we’re talking about heavy wetters too. They’re the minority not the majority. S when I see people recommending just a day nappy to use overnight, I just think that poor mum is going to be up washing sheets and stuff like that. But yeah, there’s only a finite amount of space in say an all in two before it does reach capacity.

Andrew: So you’d use a nappy that’s made to be boosted, like…

Vicki: A fitted nappy is a better option.

Andrew: A fitted nappy, or flats. You can use flats.

Vicki: Yeah, that’s why we always kind of recommend a two part system for night time instead of a one part system, because you can boost on the outside of the nappy and there’s more room there to add extra absorbency for the heavy wetters.

Andrew: Because if you boost say a nappy that’s not made to be boosted, then you don’t get the good leg fit anymore. It’s just going to…

Vicki: Exactly and like we were saying before, where the urine is looking for its fastest way out, any gaps in the legs will have you changing sheets in the middle of the night. Or putting towels down on top of the sheets.

Vashti: I may have done that this week. 

Vicki: I was going to say, you wouldn’t be the first parent, you wouldn’t be the last.

Vashti: When it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and your five year old decides to wet the bed and it’s like oh my God. No, towels.

Vicki: And if it’s really wet, two towels.

Vashti: It was two towels. And the wet mat over the top of it. And I was like, I’m not dealing with this at 3 o’clock in the morning. 

Vicki: Just go back to bed. 

Vashti: It’s just no way. I don’t know what it is, Kylan has wet the bed a few times recently.

Vicki: It’s probably too cold to get up.

Andrew: Oh yeah, our dogs have got the habit of pissing on Gabriel’s bed at the moment. So is it wrong for me…

Vicki: And the cat. The dog is peeing on Gabriel’s bed and the cat is peeing on his bag. I don’t know, like they’re having this competition. It’s like the kitten and the puppy. Oh, who can pee more. I’m like, are you kidding me? So every time his door is open for 30 seconds, one of them will get in there.

Vashti: You know what? Because they’ve now done it, the smell is there, so they’re going to keep going back.

Vicki: Well the smells, no, we keep washing.

Vashti: No, but there’s still the pheromones that even if you wash it…

Andrew: No, we found Chester’s favourite pee spot today. 

Vashti: Really?

Vicki: Because we were ripping up the floors and thought we had a leak in the, a plumbing leak.

Andrew: It was so bad I actually thought it was a plumbing leak.

Vicki: It was so wet. And it’s like oh-oh. Oh-oh. 

Andrew: You get your nose within a metre of it, it’s definitely a dog.

Vashti: One of the cats…

Vicki: So if anybody has any hints how to stop a dog marking inside, we’re all ears. It’s such a battle, it’s such a battle. Like he’ll go for weeks and weeks and weeks, and be perfectly fine. We thought that he started peeing on Gabe’s bed because we were renovating downstairs and putting the tiles, and he was being locked up in one of the bedrooms all day and it was his way of fighting back. And so we were making sure we took him for a walk everyday. 

Andrew: No, he took me for a walk.

Vicki: Well yeah. He takes Andrew for a walk. He’s a little Cavoodle.

Andrew: Because he drags me around.

Vicki: But it’s so frustrating. So I understand those mums who have got heavy wetters and it’s really frustrating, because I’ve got a dog that pees and marks.

Andrew: So our washing machine hasn’t washed so much pee since Gabriel was out of nappies. 

Vicki: No, exactly, exactly. We have to be really on top of our washing because at any given time we could be washing entire bedding. And thankfully it’s coming into summer so it won’t be quilts anymore. But it is certainly sheets, quilt cover, quilt, and the underlay. The water protector one.

Vashti: One of our cats, well she’s no longer with us, but she had a spot in the dining room. And there’s actually, because we’ve got hardwood floors, or polished wood floors, she wet there so much that the wood is actually stained. It got through the varnishing and it’s stained. And you can see it from underneath the house as well.

Andrew: Is that why you don’t have that cat anymore?

Vashti: No…

Vicki: She passed away. 

Vashti: No, that was the one that disappeared.

Vicki: Oh, was it?

Vashti: Yeah, that was Winksie. She was very old and I think she went off somewhere and found a nice comfy spot and fell asleep.

Andrew: I used to be a carpet cleaning. And I’ve been in many, many houses whose floors and walls have been destroyed by little dogs peeing on them. And their owners go, can you fix it? If I was a carpenter, yeah. As a carpet cleaner, no. 

Vicki: Yeah, it’s frustrating. So [sighs].

Vashti: Just when you think you’re out of…

Vicki: Out of nappies, you get a puppy.

Andrew: And two cats, you also bought two cats.

Vicki: Two kittens.

Andrew: Two kittens.

Vicki: No, but the kittens had to grow up together. We’ve had this conversation and they play very well together, because the puppy wouldn’t play with the kitten, so I had to get another kitten to play with the kitten. 

Vashti: Any excuse

Vicki: I know.

Andrew: And they do everything together, including pee. 

Vicki: No, Snowball is OK. It’s Kittney. She’s Kittney Snears by the way. And the other one is called Snowball One. And only geeks, I guess will get that one. Kittney is the one if that if the kitty litter is not 100% clean and has even the hint of the smell of any other animal…

Vashti: See Winks was like that.

Vicki: Yeah, it’s like no, no, I’m too posh to be able to pee where you have peed. 

Vashti: No, Winks, Mister would always as soon as we put fresh kitty litter in there, Mister would be straight in there. Even if he’d just been outside. And then Winks would refuse to use it, just she’d pee next to the kitty litter.

Andrew: I like Arabella’s name for…

Vicki: Tiny McWhiny. Gosh she’s a princess. She is the tiniest thing but gosh, she is the biggest whinger.

Andrew: She’s got the loudest meow. OK, I think that’s enough.

Vashti: That’s totally off topic, isn’t it?

Andrew: Actually just bring it back to…

Vicki: Did anybody learn anything about heavy wetting? Or did they just learn about dogs and cats peeing everywhere.

Andrew: Give us a review. Actually the last one I’ve got is make sure all the nappy is inside the outer shell, but I think we already covered that anyway. I’m out of questions girls, anything else you want to add?

Vashti: No, no.

Andrew: You’ve got to say no, you can’t just shake your head.

Vashti: No, just make sure you go and review us. Like us on Facebook and go in the draw to win the Nest Nappies bigs pack.

Andrew: Excellent. Thank you Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Bye. 

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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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