Nest Nappies is Brisbane's only, real life, cloth nappy store.

Category Archives: Podcast: Nappy Leaks

Nappy Leaks is a podcast by two cloth nappy experts. Each show they pick an exciting topic to help you with your cloth nappy journey.

Nappy Leaks is non branded and designed to give you all the information you need to make sure your cloth nappy journey is successful in every way.

#53 Nappy Leaks Live January 2020

Following on from the success of our previous Live Podcast, we decided to do another one! Our special guest this week is Sonia; a Nest Nappies employee and mum of two boys, Nolan and Hyler. Sonia, Vicki and Vashti all brainstorm ideas to deal with Hyler’s huge output of urine using both reusable and disposable options. Andrew has a question for Sonia and asks what her oldest cloth nappy is which sparks an interesting conversation about longevity.
This Nappy Leaks episode is recorded in front of a live studio audience… and by “live studio audience” we mean in the Bubblebubs warehouse with an audience that was 50% babies! But we all had a great time and it was good to be able to pick Vashti and Vicki’s brains in person.
Vicki Simpson is the outgoing President of the Australian Nappy Association and has been advocating for and selling cloth nappies in Australia for over 15 years. She is the owner, creator and Chief Nappy Nerd here at Bubblebubs. Vashti Wadwell is the outgoing Member Secretary of the Australian Nappy Association and is the owner of Australia’s first bricks and mortar nappy store, Nest Nappies, in Brisbane, Australia. Both Vicki and Vashti have used cloth nappies for more than a decade each over three children and turned their passion into a business.

 

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#51 Nappy Leaks Live December 2019

Following on from the success of our previous Live Podcast, we decided to do another one! Our special guest this week is Megan. Megan is a paediatric nurse, mother to Brielle and Theodore and a Bubblebubs brand rep! She has been using Bubblebubs since her eldest (Brielle) was born and now those Bambams are getting their second run on little Theodore.

Megan had some cleaning related questions so we arranged a special guest, Amy! Amy is a nappy washing expert and owner of Clean Cloth Nappy Hire. Megan asks if prewashes are necessary, how detergents differ and how long your wash cycles will be. There’s a few tangents in this one but you’ll be a cleaning expert by the end!

This Nappy Leaks episode is recorded in front of a live studio audience… and by “live studio audience” we mean in the Bubblebubs warehouse with an audience that was 50% babies! But we all had a great time and it was good to be able to pick Vashti and Vicki’s brains in person.

 

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#50 What to give to new parents at Christmas

This episode is sponsored by Baby Mumma! They are giving away a mixed brand starter pack including four nappies and a wet bag, worth RRP$170! All you have to do is leave a review on the Nappy Leaks Facebook or in the podcast app, screen shot your review and send it to nappyleaks@bubblebubs.com.au. Winner will be drawn at random on January 11, 2020. Competition is open worldwide to people over 18. One entry per review. International winners must cover postage.

This week the ladies discuss eco-conscious gift ideas. They have some great ideas including cloth doll nappies, newborn nappies for Christmas babies, re-usable cutlery sets, breastpads for mum and hand-made thoughtful teachers gifts. Swim nappies are also a great idea especially in Australia and New Zealand while we enjoy this heat. Reusable swim nappies are a great “gateway drug” into cloth nappies and useful for so many different ages. They also have some ideas for eco-conscious wrapping including using wetbags and muslin wraps which we have a blog about right here – https://www.bubblebubs.com.au/blog/2018/12/10/giftwrappingwithmuslinflats/

Buying local from small businesses, buying or making hand-made gifts or using reusable wrapping options are just a few ways to get started with a more conscious Christmas. There are so many great ways to think about our community and environment this year so don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

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#49 Nappy Leaks Live Nov2019

Following on from the success of our previous Live Podcast, we decided to do another one! Genevieve is our special guest for this month’s Q+A. Genevieve is mum to Felicity, she is a gorgeous 10-month-old. She asks Vashti and Vicki about the rising popularity of hemp cloth nappies, their pros and cons and also how to keep velcro fresh and “sticky”.

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Nappy Leaks Podcast #48 Vashti and Vicki go to Germany

This episode is sponsored by Seedling Baby! They are giving away a 7 pack of their one size fits most pocket nappies to try! All you have to do is leave a review on the Nappy Leaks Facebook or in your podcast app, screen shot your review and send it to nappyleaks@bubblebubs.com.au. Winner will be drawn at random on December 13, 2020. Competition is open worldwide to people over 18. One entry per review. International winners must cover postage.

We’ve got something a bit special this week! It’s a little bit travel show and a little bit cloth nappy show. Vicki and Vashti are back from their trip to Germany! They went to Kind + Jugend, the biggest trade show for baby products in the world. Vicki went to find new retailers and Vashti went to find new products. They discuss innovative new products that are caring for our babies and the future of their planet as well as the culture and uptake of cloth nappies in Australia vs around the world.

Transcript: Vashti and Vicki go to Germany

Andrew: Welcome Vashti.

Vashti: Hi, Andrew. How are you?

Andrew: Good, how are you?

Vashti: Good thanks.

Andrew: Welcome Vicki.

Vicki: Hi, Andrew.

Andrew: [laughs] Vicki’s not feeling 100%, but we’ll see how we go.

Vashti: Didn’t bring chocolate this time.

Vicki: No, that’s going to make me feel worse.

Andrew: No, it’s not actually, it’s actually eating which has made her feel bad.

Vicki: I ate too much.

Andrew: Or was it what you ate.

Vicki: Yeah, McDonalds, I never, ever eat McDonalds, and now every time I eat McDonalds, this is why I don’t eat McDonalds.

Andrew: We’ll take that bit out so people don’t know you hate McDonalds.

Vicki: I hate McDonalds.

Vashti: And we’ll throw that in later on.

Vicki: Even a ham and cheese toastie, I thought oh no, this is safe. No.

Andrew: But it’s made in a different section. 

Vicki: It’s still made with plastic cheese and plastic ham. The bread actually looks normal, but that’s about it.

Vashti: I don’t think it’s normal bread.

Andrew: It’s amazing how they can make bread look normal.

Vicki: I did not, the kids love McDonalds when I actually let them have it, but I just, just Joe eats McDonalds a lot.

Vashti: It turns my stomach.

Vicki: It’s just the smell when you walk into a McDonalds, the smell just really turns me off, yuck.

Vashti: Well you offered to me and I’m like, no thanks. 

Andrew: So we have a sponsor.

Vashti: We do, today…

Andrew: Our sponsor is Seedling Baby.

Vashti: Seedling Baby. So Seedling Baby has donated one of their seven packs of their pocket nappies. The seven pack has their three gorgeous icon prints and four of their beautiful plains. They’re pocket nappies, one size fits most. And the idea behind the seven pack is that you try one nappy a day for a week and see how you like it. I always say to people, just start with that first nappy of the morning, and use the cloth nappy for that one. And if there’s a poo in it, get rid of the solids and wash the nappy, for wees, and once you’ve gotten the poo out, just wash the nappy with your normal clothes and see how you go. It’s a great way to start with cloth.

Andrew: Nice.

Vashti: I love my Seedling Baby pockets, they’re beautiful. 

Andrew: You know probably a lot of our listeners are already cloth users.

Vashti: I know, but we do have a lot who are just starting out as well and learning all the basics.

Andrew: That’s true, that’s true.

Vashti: So this is a great one for all those beginners.

Andrew: Well the way our listeners are growing, we’re definitely picking that up. Thank you Seedling Baby. And just remember, the hosts don’t get any kick back from giving these prizes away, I’m the only one that benefits.

Vashti: Just with love.

Vicki: Eggplant taco, water emoji.

Andrew: I just don’t know what to do with all these nappies now that I don’t have any babies. 

Vicki: Eggplant taco, water emoji. 

Vashti: OK.

Andrew: And to enter and win, all you do is just go to the Apple Podcasts, because it’s not called Apple Podcasts anymore, it’s not called iTunes anymore.

Vashti: Oh, isn’t it? 

Andrew: No, because they’re all separate apps now. But you’d know that if you updated your system, so you haven’t updated your system yet, have you?

Vashti: No, I haven’t. Brent was actually talking to me about the update last night and he was like, have you done it yet, because they’ve moved something, I need to find it. I’m like no, I haven’t done it yet.

Andrew: He was probably looking for podcasts. It’s a separate app now. So all you have to do is just give us a rating on Apple Podcasts or your podcaster of choice. Or like or poke or swipe right, on the Nappy Leaks Facebook page. Is that what you do, swipe right?

Vicki: Mm.

Vashti: Or leave us a review.

Andrew: Leave us a review.

Vicki: You’re acting like I know what is actually going on here. 

Vashti: Jenna knows. 

Andrew: Jenna knows, what’s going on, Jenna?

Jenna: Were you about to say the important next bit, which is screenshot that, and email it to nappyleaks@bubblebubs.com.au.  

Andrew: See, it’s written down.

Jenna: I don’t trust you. I have no faith. Continue.

Vashti: We have faith in you though, Jenna.

Andrew: Thanks, Jenna. Yes, everybody get that email address? nappyleaks@bubblebubs.com.au. It’s not at the Nappy Leaks website. And sorry we can’t announce the winners on the show, because well we record them sporadically and we give the awards away on time, but we don’t record the episodes on time, so we can’t announce them on the show.

Vashti: That’s OK, if you like the Nappy Leaks Facebook page, you’ll find out who the winner is.

Andrew: Yes, I did not know that, excellent.

Vicki: I’m sure there was a recent winner because I’ve just sent something out.

Andrew: Yeah, you did, yeah. 

Vashti: I think you’ll find it on the Nappy Leaks Facebook page. I don’t know. Maybe. We might do something like that.

Andrew: Do you want me to bring the mic over there Jenna, so you can just comment from your seat?

Vicki: No, she’ll just keep coughing into it.

Andrew: Thank you everybody who’s entered by the way, and wow, we get some fantastic reviews, and I’ve got a couple here that Vashti is going to read out. 

Vashti: So Courts S said “So much great info. This podcast is a must for anyone looking to use cloth nappies, or for anyone who is already using them. Cloth nappies can be very daunting at the start, so having a podcast I could listen to, helped wrap my head around them was great. My baby’s needs, when it came to nappies, are always changing as well, so I never stop needing questions answered or advice. I find there are so many stages to cloth nappies. Newborns, sickness, starting solids, growing into one size fits most. When your toddler learns to take off the nappy themselves, storage, and this podcast helps me through all of them. Keep up the great work, team.” Thanks Court. 

Vicki: Wow, that was actually really in depth. My reviews are like Yeah, mate, this is cool. Good fridge. Or yeah, nice quiet washing machine. So thank you.

Vashti: That was lovely. We’ve got another five star here from Fifi Tink, it’s titled “So much to learn. I was already using cloth, but started getting leaks and was considering other options, so needed to do some research. So very informative and entertaining. It feels like Vicki and Vashti are like my mums’ group and always encouraging me. Thank you ladies. I have already recommended it to a few mums that have been interested in cloth.” Aw, thanks Fifi.

Vicki: That’s nice. 

Vashti: I like being part of a mums’ group. 

Vicki: A nice mums’ group. 

Vashti: And yes. 

Vicki: I don’t know, I left my mums’ group pretty early on. But then way back then I was considered like a crunchy mum because the whole breastfeeding and cloth nappies and 15 years ago, was very much…

Vashti: I had a really great mums’ group with Braith. Mind you, we were living in a small country town. But the core group of us were just fantastic, and we’re still friends now. Like Braith is 14 tomorrow. Well, when this airs, it will be 14 a month ago. But you know, we’re still in contact, and I can say this on air because it will air after and there’s no chance of Braith hearing it, but he is actually getting tickets to The Cursed Child for his birthday. We’re taking down to Melbourne for the weekend, and hoping to catch up with two of the other kids from that mums’ group because they both live in Melbourne. 

Andrew: What’s Cursed Child?

Vicki: Yeah, no, I don’t know either.

Vashti: It’s a Harry Potter stage show.

Andrew: Oh right, I thought it was a band. I was going to say band.

Vashti: No, it’s a stage production of, it’s a Harry Potter themed stage production.

Vicki: See this goes to show where I fail at parenting. My kids aren’t into Harry Potter and I think I’d rather stab myself in the eye than go and watch a play about Harry Otter. I remember…

Vashti: Harry Otter!

Vicki: Whatever, Harry Potter. 

Andrew: Prime placement there, Honey.

Vicki: Do you remember when it as just as bad when I watched Lord of the Rings with you on a date. Do you remember what I said at the end of the movie? 

Andrew: That wasn’t a date.

Vicki: It was, it was one…

Andrew: No, no.

Vicki: Yeah.

Andrew: We went with friends. I didn’t want to go.

Vicki: I didn’t want to go.

Andrew: I didn’t want to go. 

Vicki: We got to the end of a three hour movie and I clearly remember saying, “Are you kidding me? After three hours it still hasn’t finished.”

Andrew: I slept for an hour during that movie. I actually slept. I went with John Cook. John Cook is the writer and director of the cartoon we did together. If you’re interested…

Vicki: No, don’t, don’t, don’t.

Andrew: It’s on YouTube.

Vicki: For the love of God, don’t.

Andrew: Go watch it, it’s called Sev Trek. S-E-V-T-R-E-K.

Vicki: Don’t, seriously, you will never get that time. You know, any time I wanted to, I couldn’t sleep, I would actually put that movie on, and I would go to sleep every single time. 

Andrew: Actually I was at a barbecue the other week with my brother, and Sev Trek came up, and he said, I showed that to the kids the other day. They loved it. My brother’s kids love it. It’s still bringing joy to people.

Vicki: He had to say that.

Andrew: I had to say that. I did it 15 years ago now, quite a while ago.

Vicki: Sixteen. It was before we were married.

Andrew: Sixteen.

Vicki: It was almost a deal-breaker.

Vashti: Well if a three hour Lord of the Rings is going to put you to sleep, you’ll be pleased to know that Cursed Child is actually two productions. There’s two shows, and each of them are about two and a half hours. 

Vicki: Yeah, nah, I don’t have that big an attention span.

Vashti: No.

Andrew: On the same day?

Vicki: I’m definitely the creative.

Vashti: So you can pick your days. So they generally have a matinee and an evening production on the weekends, or you can choose two evening productions that follow each other, or something like that. We have one last review to read, and it’s entitled, “Fun, informative and baby-brain friendly” and it’s five stars, from Chaotic Jingles. I love that name. Says, “What a fantastic podcast, answering common questions we all have about cloth nappies. Better yet, Vashti and Vicki are both mums as well, so they know first hand about all the fun that kids bring, including those lovely staining banana poops. I loved that it was short and sweet. Time-poor mum here with a short attention span”. Oh, she’s so us.

Vicki: She’s so on-trend for me.

Vashti: “Down to earth, informative and fun. I especially like the bloopers at the end. Now I’m going to…”

Vicki: The bloopers?

Vashti: Yeah, well that’s the first I’ve heard of that.

Andrew: [laughs]

Vashti: Oh, and here’s a little bit of product placement. Chaotic Jingles is now going to look up a Strucket as she feels like maybe she needs one of those in her life. 

Vicki: They’re actually pretty cool. 

Vashti: They are very awesome.

Vicki: I really need to actually, now my laundry is in…

Andrew: That’s that bucket thing you showed me, isn’t it?

Vashti: No.

Vicki: Strainer, meet bucket. It’s a strucket. 

Andrew: Right, OK.

Vicki: How many times did we hear Kelly say that? 

Vashti: Kelly has actually, she appeared on Innovation Australia, which is an ABC show over the weekend. Or a few weeks ago. She’s a finalist. The strucket has won so many awards. It is such an amazing product. We love it at Nest, absolutely love it. Actually, I’m nearly out of stock, I need to order some more, Kelly. 

Vicki: I think the only disadvantage is I suppose with any kind of container-y sort of thing is shipping. That is the only disadvantage.

Andrew: It’s big.

Vicki: No, it’s not that it’s big, it’s, you know, it’s bulky.

Vashti: It’s a large size, it’s bulky. It’s very, very light though. 

Vicki: But it’s like trying to, packing boxes fold down. A plastic bucket is not going to fold down.

Vashti: Or strucket. 

Vicki: Strucket, yes, is not going to fold down.

Andrew: Maybe she’d like to sponsor the show one day, because we’ve given her enough plugs.

Vashti: I think we might have to talk to Kelly about that. 

Andrew: The podcast is doing very well. We peaked at number 36 in kids and family. Which is pretty good. In New Zealand we peaked at 90. And two new countries. We’re now appearing in the top 100 in Singapore, we’re 90 in Singapore, and South Africa, we’re 60 in South Africa.

Vashti: Wow.

Vicki: Wow.

Andrew: So yeah, it’s slowly getting around the world, yes.

Vashti: It’s pretty awesome. Nice. 

Andrew: So today’s episode. It’s kind of, Vicki and Vashti are just back from Germany, for real this time, not like last time when we pretended they were back. And as you can see, they’re still friends.

Vashti: Just.

Andrew: Which is a good thing, after spending two weeks with each other. 

Vicki: It wasn’t that, it’s the plane flights. Like, it’s a long way. You don’t realise how long, and you just literally, you just want to go home. Just get me off this plane.

Vashti: The way over was 28 hours door to door, but the way back we were travelling for three days, pretty much.

Vicki: Because we thought we’d split it up.

Vashti: So we did like Croatia to Germany on the Thursday. And then on the Friday we went…

Vicki: The Friday afternoon, so we had all of this time, oh my gosh, just wanted to go home. I was like so close to tears so many times. I just want to go home, I just want to go home. 

Vashti: Even your phone, it had a little hissy fit, your phone, and it said that it was the power had gone, but then when you plugged it in, you had almost a full battery. And so I just remember looking at you going it’s OK, it’s OK, it will be OK.

Vicki: I just wanted to go home.

Vashti: Let’s get back to the hotel so you can plug it in.

Vicki: I think that’s just what happens the end of a holiday when you know that it’s coming, and then it was seven hours from Dusseldorf to Dubai, and like we stopped and had a shower and that sort of thing, but then that 14 hour trip home…

Andrew: The last leg.

Vicki: It’s awful. Even when you’re sleeping, you sleep for an hour and you wake up, are we not there yet? Are we not there yet? And then you arrive and it’s just awful.

Andrew: Next time I’m on a plane I’m going to push the little button to get the lady to come and I’m going to say, are we there yet? 

Vicki: I actually just really felt like Marge, you know Marge Simpson on that plane, get me off, get me off, get me off. That’s what it honestly felt like. So yeah.

Vashti: Well you did have the blue hair.

Vicki: I did, I did have the blue hair.

Andrew: That’s right. Is that why you had the blue hair, because you’ve got the last name of Simpson now?

Vicki: Maybe. My hairdresser didn’t want to do it because it goes green, as we can see. We did pink, purple and blue, and I think the purple lasted like two days. The pink is still there, but the blue is just hanging around like a bad smell.

Vashti: Looks pretty cool though. She got some really good looks in Germany. Everyone told her that she’d fit in. My goodness, yeah, no. No.

Vicki: No, no, no. 

Vashti: And I think anyone that we did see that had hair of a similar sort of colouring…

Vicki: Was pink. 

Vashti: But I don’t think they were locals, I think they were tourists as well.

Vicki: Yeah, yeah. I don’t know what we were kind of expecting. You expect, not that German people are progressive or anything like that. But they were a lot more conservative than I expected, that’s for sure. So yeah, did I stick out like dogs’ balls, like I did in China? Yeah, yeah, pretty much.

Andrew: That’s what you were going for, wasn’t it? 

Vashti: Sticking out like dogs’ balls?

Vicki: Well you know, my Mum saw my hair and she said, Honey, you don’t look like a C.E.O. You look like a teenager. Did you think before, and I didn’t, I just did it because it was Spring, and put some colour in my hair because you know, it’s Spring time. 

Vashti: And it’s fun, it is.

Vicki: But of course we went over to Autumn, so here I am with all my Spring clothes and all of that, and it’s like oh. It’s been cold here.

Vashti: Mind you, we were walking around in skirts and sandals. Well, you wore sandals.

Vicki: I wore sandals, until they broke. 

Vashti: But we were walking around in clothes that sort of…

Vicki: Weren’t appropriate for the weather. 

Vashti: Well they kind of worked, not really. But when you were inside you didn’t notice because everywhere is heated over there.

Vicki: The whole layering, that’s what we don’t do, OK, I’m not going to talk for people in Melbourne. In Brisbane, you do not layer. You’re pretty much just hot or cold, one or the other, and that’s the one thing I noticed in Germany is nobody’s ever cold. So they’d be all rugged up, whereas I’d be wearing short sleeves in 16 degrees, knowing that I was going inside in a few minutes, so I’d be warm. Whereas they tend to be dressed for the 16 degrees, and then have a coat on, and then take the coat off, and yeah, it’s just living in a different climate. I think we just put up with the extremes of temperatures, whereas they don’t see to. That seemed to be something they didn’t do in Germany.

Vashti: And there was cloak rooms everywhere, because everyone wore jackets. 

Vicki: Yeah, and everyone wore boots. I swear to God, on one day I was the only person in the whole of Germany wearing sandals. Because that was the day that I bought the hiking boots, I think.

Vashti: Yeah, that was our first day there.

Andrew: Because you wanted to fit in?

Vicki: No, because I was cold.

Vashti: But they were pink hiking boots that she’s been looking for.

Vicki: Do you remember how I went hunting for pink suede hiking boots, and I ended up with these retro blue kind of patchwork, really, really cool boots. I found my pink hiking boots while I was in Germany. 

Andrew: Cool, OK well before we turn into a travel show. So you both had goals going over there. Vicki, you went over there to find new retailers, and Vashti, you went over there to find new gadgets to bring back to your brand new store. 

Vashti: We did.

Andrew: Your brand new store is open. I forgot to mention, your brand new store is open.

Vashti: Yeah, my brand new store has been open for a while now.

Andrew: Yeah, it was open before you went. I haven’t been to it yet.

Vashti: Oh, you have to come. It’s gorgeous.

Andrew: Last time I saw it, it was a…

Vashti: Real estate.

Andrew: Real estate agent, yeah.

Vashti: Property management, property management.

Andrew: Did you get rid of them?

Vashti: I did, they’ve moved into our old store. We did a business swap.

Andrew: I can imagine. Honey, shall we buy this brand new house? I don’t know, Honey, we just came in here for nappies. 

Vashti: [laughs] That’s such a Dad joke. I’m only laughing because it’s so bad.

Andrew: You’re not actually laughing, you’re just sitting there, I’m actually putting a laughing track in.

Vashti: There you go. 

Vicki: Do you know who tells worse jokes than Andrew? Arabella. 

Vashti: Really?

Vicki: She takes after her father. Gosh, the jokes she comes out with, I swear she looks for the worst jokes on the internet. I’m sure that’s her Google search. 

Andrew: So what did you find?

Vashti: I found lots and lots of things. 

Andrew: Anything you’re allowed to mention yet?

Vashti: We’ve got one that’s in, we’ve got a few things. We brought back a few little bits and bobs that have gone out for testers. There’s one product I would love to mention, and I saw this…

Vicki: Maybe you should find out when the podcast is going to be released.

Andrew: November, this is November.

Vashti: Look, if this product goes ahead, it won’t be in store by the time this releases. This is probably, if it does come off, it won’t be until next year that we start stocking it.

Andrew: So watch the Nest Nappies Facebook page.

Vashti: Yeah, so this is…

Vicki: Is that the one, were they the guys that I dropped the C bomb to?

Vashti: Yeah. 

Vicki: Honestly, I’ll tell you the story. I won’t swear, don’t panic, I won’t swear. Anyway this guy, he was telling a story and he kept censoring himself. Now just remember, I can’t remember who was in the group, but it was all Aussies and Kiwis in this group.

Vashti: A couple of Americans.

Vicki: A couple of Americans and so these two guys were the head of an American company, and he kept censoring himself, saying F-ing this and stuff like that. And I turned around and I said, “Mate, you do realise that you’re talking to Aussies and Kiwis here? You can say, and I dropped the C bomb, and we won’t even care”. And I’ve never seen grown men so embarrassed. I think I actually crossed a line. I definitely crossed a line.

Vashti: The looks. This guy…

Vicki: And we were all drunk, by the way, just for the record, we were drinking a lot.

Andrew: So this wasn’t during the show?

Vicki: No, no, no.

Vashti: No, this was an cocktail event. So an after event. But this guy, he went bright red. Bright red. 

Vicki: It was hilarious.

Vashti: Then there was a woman there, who…

Vicki: I think she was a Kiwi though.

Vashti: But she was completely and utterly shocked. She’s like “Oh you can’t say that, oh my God, oh.” 

Vicki: The looks on the faces, and then everybody else was just like laughing.

Vashti: Kelly, and Jon and Liz and me, we were all just cracking up. We thought it was hilarious, especially their reactions.

Vicki: And then this other guy and I ended up chatting for like two hours.

Vashti: Something like that. 

Andrew: He probably felt comfortable with you.

Vicki: And he did not, he did not censor himself after that, funnily enough.

Vashti: But it was so funny, we rocked into that event, and we were with a couple of my suppliers that I knew. And I didn’t realise, you were a few people behind me, and you ended up on one edge of the group, and I was on the other. Then I suddenly turned around and realised that you were so far away and didn’t really know anyone. Oh crap, Vicki, I’ve left her with people she doesn’t know. But you were having a ball of a time. 

Vicki: Yeah, I’ll talk to anyone. Especially with a few wines in me. Actually I think it was a few vodkas. There was an awful lot of vodka consumed in the trip.

Vashti: Mind you, it was an all inclusive party. 

Vicki: They did some awesome food.

Vashti: Talk about the food later. But anyway the product, the product…

Andrew: You’re turning into a travel show. Stop turning this into a travel show.

Vashti: So the product that these guys stock is a nappy bag. The beautiful thing about this bag though, is it’s made from recycled ocean plastic. So all the material in it…

Vicki: That’s what I was talking about for two hours by the way, that really, really just hit my eco-heart.

Andrew: So what’s the situation, this is the plastic that comes up when they catch fish, is that what you’re saying? 

Vicki: Pretty much, yeah.

Vashti: Pretty much, they scoop it out of the ocean and recycle it into a fabric.

Vicki: Into a fibre. 

Vashti: So these bags are amazing. At the moment the hardware on the bag is brand new metals, but they’re working with their supplier to either use recycled metals or look at a way that they can recycle the ocean plastic into plastic hardware. So the idea is by, I think it’s 2021, that the bag will be from 100% recycled materials. The concept behind the business though started when Artie actually took his…

Vicki: You just gave out a name.

Vashti: I did, but that’s OK, the name doesn’t matter.

Andrew: I can beep it.

Vashti: No, it’s fine, but he took his daughter, they were out for dinner, and he took his daughter to change her nappy, and in America there’s no change tables in the men’s change rooms. In the men’s toilets. So he’s asked the restaurant manager, you know, where can I change my daughter? And the restaurant manager is just basically like, well there’s no change tables in there, the only change tables are in the women’s toilets and you can’t go there. So Artie ripped off his shirt, laid it down on the table in the restaurant and changed his daughter there, and then left the restaurant. But from that, it spawned this idea of this nappy bag with a built in change mat in it, and I am so impressed with the bag because the change mat can actually be removed, so that you can use the bag post baby.

Vicki: It’s actually not just like a pull out change mat that you get in just a random bag, which is just a flat kind of padded piece of thing. It is actually like…

Vashti: It’s attached to the…

Vicki: It’s almost like the table.

Vashti: And it folds out, and it’s got little flaps on the sides so your baby can’t roll over and everything… 

Vicki: It’s really cool.

Vashti: …like that, and it opens up so that you can get to everything in the bag. I was really, really impressed.

Vicki: It’s well designed. It’s really, really well designed.

Andrew: So it’s not just made of recycled stuff, but you actually liked the functionality of the bag.

Vashti: The functionality is great, absolutely great.

Andrew: Because sometimes you get things that are recycled, and the actual product is just a piece of crap.

Vashti: No, no.

Vicki: This was really well designed.

Vashti: Yep, well thought out. And they’ve put a lot of effort into it. And they’re constantly working on improving on it. I had a couple of really good long chats with them about it. And in the end, they gave me a bag to test. 

Andrew: Freebies.

Vashti: I did get a freebie, but it’s not for me. I will admit, I did use it as a cabin bag when we moved to Croatia, so I could test it out.

Vicki: That’s alright, I used Abbie’s bag that I bought her as a gift, as a cabin bag myself.

Andrew: Sh, don’t give that away. She might listen. 

Vicki: I don’t listen, you think our 15 year old is going to be listening?

Vashti: So I did test it out myself and I was really quite impressed with the usability and the functionality of it. It’s going out, well it will have gone out to one of our customers, so that they can actually test it as a nappy bag. So that will give us some feedback and once I know that it’s got the ability to, longevity, I suppose you could say, and that it does work really well, we’re going to look at bringing it in.

Andrew: Nice.

Vashti: Yes, so really, really impressed with them. But in line with that, one of the other brands that I saw, and I saw this quite regularly through a lot of the brands that I was looking at, is that there is this whole push to use recycled plastics and recycled materials. There’s a gift line and feeding line that I was looking at, it’s by a Danish company, and they use a lot of recycled plastic bottles and stuff like that. And they reduce their packaging, there’s very little packaging on their products. And it actually does say on the small amount of packaging, it says how many bottles went into making that product. So for a teething toy, which I know it sounds really weird, using recycled plastics for a teething toy, but it’s all sanitised and cleaned and everything.

Andrew: Does it taste like coke?

Vashti: No. But for a teething toy they would use 15, 600 ml water bottles or something like that, so it gives you an idea. But they make fabrics, and hard plastic and soft plastic feeding ware, and toys and stuff like that. And yeah, I’m looking into those as well, and we’ll give them a shot. And I just think, it’s just amazing that as a society we are looking at ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment, or utilise the things that are already being produced, rather than constantly producing new materials.

Vicki: Well plastic can only be recycled, it never, ever breaks down. And I was actually, I caught up with a manufacturer while I was there to discuss specifically recycled polyesters. And you know, the feasibility of actually doing that. I can’t give much away with that at all, because it may not come to fruition, because I know Top Spots do it.

Vashti: They do.

Vicki: It’s nowhere near as easy as it sounds. Actually making recycled fabrics and the products that Artie is making, it sounds so much easier than it really is.

Vashti: It’s a very difficult process.

Vicki: And that’s why it’s expensive. It’s why it’s incredibly expensive. It’s so much easier to create something from new. But certainly…

Vashti: But it’s exciting that there are companies out there that are spending the time on the research and the development and putting in that extra money to be able to produce a recycled product, rather than brand new materials. 

Vicki: Fixing a problem that is, and ocean waste is horrendous. Ocean plastic is horrendous, it’s a massive issue.

Vashti: And I think that’s what I loved about this bag, was that it was from recycled ocean plastic, not just plastic. Recycled ocean plastic. So they’re deliberately taking that waste out of the oceans.

Vicki: And they’re making it in an area that is notorious for it too. So it’s actually cleaning up an environment that has a massive problem there. And they’re taking basically rubbish and fixing it. Which is exciting. 

Vashti: And the fact that the bag, it can be used from birth all the way through.

Vicki: Well you used it as a cabin bag. You don’t have kids. Didn’t you just take the change mat out?

Vashti: I left the change mat in, but the change mat can be removed, I just left it in.

Vicki: And still be a perfectly functional bag. I didn’t get one. If you’re listening to this, Artie, I didn’t get one. 

Vashti: I’m going to send this to Artie and Luke. 

Andrew: Yeah, that just might be the bloopers at the back though. 

Vashti: But yeah, no, really, really impressed and really excited. Apparently there is…

Vicki: And the exciting part is actually talking to these people who are actually on the same page, that have the same ethics, that are not just in business to make money. Because certainly I find a lot of people that I talk to, it’s all about the money. Especially some of the contacts that I had. It was just all about the bottom line and the money but yeah, there’s so much more to the world and to life. You can run a business, you can make a profit, you can earn an income and still…

Vashti: Not compromise your ethics.

Vicki: Absolutely. You don’t have to be making millions of dollars. I think you can be happy. You know.

Vashti: That’s one of the things I liked about this company as well, is that Artie’s job prior to doing this was actually quite a high profile position, and he was earning some really, really good money.

Vicki: Good bucks.

Andrew: Was he a lawyer, was he?

Vashti: No, no.

Vicki: You can’t give away too much.

Vashti: I can’t tell too much. I’m being very careful about what I say. I’m sure people will start Googling and work it out, but…

Vicki: That’s why I didn’t mention a country, where they’re making it.

Vashti: But no, Artie had a very well paying job that he’s stepped back from to run this business.

Vicki: Because there’s more to life than money. There really is. 

Vashti: I’m pretty sure he’s taken a pay cut to do this, because this is something he’s passionate about.

Vicki: As a business owner, I can tell you know, he has absolutely taken a pay cut to follow a dream.

Vashti: His dream. And it’s a family business too, it’s him and one of his buddies, and their entire families are involved in it. And they’ve been really, really particular about the factories they’ve chosen, so it’s really ethically produced as well.

Vicki: Family run, smaller factories. And I think that’s why I really resonated so much with them, is because as I said, they’re on the same page. It’s actually about supporting the people that are making your products and actually caring about the production chain and stuff like that. But I still didn’t get a free bag. I would have given them a free nappy, if they have asked.

Vashti: We did have a play with the bag.

Vicki: We did.

Vashti: We got 14 candies in it. Was it 14?

Vicki: I don’t remember. I didn’t bring that many back, that’s for sure.

Vashti: No, well we decimated the rainbow plane with it, and then fixed the rainbow up again. But yeah…

Vicki: We got a fair whack in it.

Vashti: We got a huge amount of candies in there, and there was still room for bits and pieces in the side, and stuff like that. It’s pretty impressive.

Vicki: Which is unusual for nappy bags, they’re usually made for specifically disposable nappies. Because obviously cloth nappies take up a lot more room.

Vashti: And cloth nappies weren’t something that these guys thought about when they were making the bag. So it wasn’t even on their agenda.

Andrew: That’s disappointing, they were making recycled bag to carry plastic.

Vicki: Yeah, but you don’t know what you don’t know. You’ve got to remember that. Cloth is really only just started to explode now.

Vashti: And this is one of the other things, I was talking to one of my American suppliers over there, and he was saying how impressed he is with the percentage of people in Australia who use cloth nappies. And I’m like, what do you mean? And he said, well their per capita for cloth nappy use is only about 5% in America. Whereas here in Australia, what the latest survey had, up to 60% using them…

Vicki: Tried, tried.

Vashti: …tried them. Yeah. But on average, we had about 15 to 20% using them on a regular basis.

Andrew: But 5% of Americans is more than there are Australians. 

Vashti: Most definitely, yes.

Vicki: But they’ve still got the same amount of babies. 

Vashti: When you work it out on a percentage base…

Vicki: Five percent of babies are wearing cloth. 

Andrew: OK, cool.

Vashti: So it’s not like…

Vicki: Australia is a piss in the ocean. We’re a tiny, tiny country. We’ve got 23 million people.

Vashti: I think we’re 26, aren’t we?

Vicki: No. 

Andrew: No, I think we’re up to 24 actually.

Vashti: Twenty four. See, I need to go back to school.

Vicki: No, it keeps growing. Because everybody is still having one for the country. Which of course no international listener will understand that. We had a Prime Minister, was it John Howard?

Vashti: Yes.

Vicki: Yes, it was John Howard. Because the birth rate had dropped. So it was have one for mum, have one for dad, and have one for the country. So we have a lot of three child families now. Do you remember when it used to be literally two child families, and now three child families are more common?

Vashti: It’s the norm.

Vicki: Which I don’t know why, you’ve only got two hands, and two parents.

Vashti: Two parents.

Vicki: Don’t do it.

Vashti: No, don’t do it. Number three tips you over the edge.

Andrew: Don’t let the children outnumber the parents. 

Vicki: I don’t think our kids have actually realised that they do literally outnumber us and they could, what do they call it? The prisoners overtaking the prison or something. Mutiny, mutiny. It kind of feels like that some days.

Andrew: So I didn’t actually ask, what was the name of the show you went to again?

Vicki: Kind + Jurgen. 

Andrew: Excellent, I’m sure that will be excellent for the transcriber.

Vashti: It means child and baby or, it is the biggest baby show in the world. 

Andrew: Are you going back?

Vicki: Uh huh, yep.

Vashti: I want to go back.

Andrew: Excellent, OK, so we’ll get some more gadgets. Any more gadgets you want to talk about? Or that you’re allowed to talk about?

Vashti: A few that I saw. Lots of nappy brands from overseas that we don’t see here in Australia, and I brought a few of them back to send out with testers. We’ve got a couple out already with testers. 

Vicki: And I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t go and visit the other stands. I was really hesitant from the fact that I’m, I didn’t want people to think that I was spying on what they were doing. And this is where we found a lot of cultural differences. You know, it’s a typical Aussie thing to kind of just be friendly and kind of say hi because somebody is in the same industry, but I was really, really concerned with that being essentially a competitor.

Andrew: Well here in Australia, all you guys know each other.

Vashti: Most of us, yeah.

Vicki: We work together. But I just, I hadn’t done the ground work to make sure that they knew that that is why I would be coming up to say hi.

Andrew: Well you did also have some people who, like we’ve got the A.N.A. in Australia, some people say they want to start that in their country as well.

Vicki: In Germany, yeah. In Germany there’s a couple of consultants/advocates over there that are looking to create a similar sort of…

Vashti: Association.

Vicki: …association, and we kind of gave them a lot of pointers on how to start. I mean, it took forever to get the A.N.A.

Vashti: It took about three years.

Vicki: And it’s still hard now. Actually the A.G.M. would have been and gone by the time this has come up. But actually even getting people on board to do stuff. It’s like any volunteer organisation. Everyone has all the idea and want to do, we could do this, we could do that. But when it comes down to physically doing it, it’s really hard to find the people that are prepared to do the grunt work, because it is volunteer. I’ve been the president for three years, and I’m, hate to say it, but I’m hoping that someone will take it over because I’m so busy. And unfortunately that’s what everybody says. I’m so busy, I’m so busy. It’s like well I’m busy too, but it’s important that we do continue to advocate and educate the community, because that’s the only way that cloth nappy growth will continue to grow.

Andrew: And you get people asking you all the time, emailing you saying, how come this hasn’t been done? How come that hasn’t been done?

Vicki: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: Basically we haven’t got a volunteer yet, do you want to help here?

Vicki: That is always my comeback. We don’t have anybody that has put their hand up, would you like to do it? Crickets. Every single time it’s crickets. But I’m one person, Vashti is one person. Within any volunteer organisation, once your kids get to school, the P&C is exactly the same. It is a core group of people that put their hand up to do the same things over and over. I remember running the jam stall at our fete three years in a row, making 700 odd jars of jam. And then having to say no. And I felt so bad that I said no, because nobody ended up doing it that year at all. But there comes a point where it’s like you know what? I have actually done my time. I’ve given everything that I can, and it’s somebody else’s turn.

Andrew: I’ve done my sentence. It’s time to get somebody else.

Vicki: That’s exactly right, so I’m hoping someone will take over the president’s role. It’s actually not a difficult role. It’s a lot of delegating, but a lot of follow up, and a lot of, you know…

Andrew: Work.

Vicki: Yeah, it is. It’s not a lot of physical work, it’s a lot of follow up and a lot of constantly being on the ball.

Vashti: Contactable.

Vicki: And being the one that cops, you literally have to put your hand up and say yeah, no, that was my decision. I had the final say on that. Good and bad things.

Vashti: The buck stops with the president. 

Vicki: Absolutely. Always the bad things, so you have to be prepared to put your hand up and say well, you know what? I know this is an unpopular choice that I’ve made, but it had to be made for these reasons, and I’ll put my hand up and say yeah, I made that choice.

Vashti: But you don’t make those choices on your own, you make them with the support and guidance of the people who’ve been working on that project and the rest of the board members. And you take, under advisement, everything that those people have said, and then you make the final decision. 

Vicki: Like cancelling the cloth nappy award. That was a classic example of it wasn’t my decision. It was…

Vashti: It was pretty much unanimous.

Vicki: …I was pushing not to make this decision. Please don’t do this, please don’t. But with all of the information that was gathered, we had no choice. 

Vashti: But that was a pretty unanimous decision amongst the board members…

Vicki: It was.

Vashti: …that there wasn’t another way that we could have gone forward with that.

Vicki: And also when we put the information to the members as well. You know what? At the end of the day, it was pretty much, it was obvious what the decision had to be, but I was the one that had to say uh huh, I’ve put my hand up for this. And it’s hard. 

Andrew: Can I ask why the cloth nappy awards were cancelled this year?

Vicki: There was just data integrity issues. More than anything, we could not, we put it out to multiple third party I.T. people…

Vashti: Organisations.

Vicki: …yeah, organisations, to actually try and verify the data. We tried to recoup what we could, and there was just no way that, because at the end of the day, I had to put my, well the board had to put their stamp of approval and go yep, these are the results, this is what the public has voted. And at the end of the day, we couldn’t. Not one person that we outsourced that to was prepared to say yeah, that’s legit. So we just had some integrity issues. But what we’ve done is we’ve learned from that. We’ve learned that we’ll use a different format, rather than just…

Vashti: On our website.

Vicki: Yeah, yeah we’ll actually host it like on Google forms or something similar to that. 

Vashti: That will give us a lot more…

Vicki: See everything has to be, because it’s a volunteer organisation, each and every one of us…

Vashti: Has a vested interest.

Vicki: …have a vested interest. So underlying it all, it was making me feel sick, because I was even talking to our solicitor about it. I had a conflict. And I kept putting it back to her. I can’t answer this because I have a conflict. I have a vested interest in this, so I can’t answer these questions. I can’t be the one to make this decision, because it doesn’t just affect me, it affects everybody. So we have definitely learned from this process, and we’ll probably bring the awards closer to the beginning of the year rather than the middle of the year. But I feel sorry for the likes of Leanne from Baby Beehinds, who puts hour and hours and hours into the running of the award. Like for months, this goes on for months.

Vashti: The organisation, the planning, the sponsorship. All the graphics and all the designs and the emails that go out. There’s so much work.

Vicki: The awards…

Vashti: Leanne normally starts on the awards, which are run in July, around about…

Vicki: About March or April.

Vashti: Yeah, March, she first started putting stuff together. 

Vicki: So it’s a hugely disappointing outcome for everybody. Especially Leanne, I really felt really bad for her. But you know, it is what it is, and you learn from your mistakes, I guess. 

Andrew: So before the podcast started, we were talking about advocates over there. You came across a lot of advocates for cloth nappies.

Vicki: That was a German, it was very much a German kind of, that was the way they did it in Germany. 

Vashti: And Netherlands. 

Vicki: Oh, was it?

Vashti: Yeah, there was quite a few Netherland advocates as well. So Holland. Because that’s reasonably close there as well. So quite a few of them that we spoke to were from there. But very German based.

Andrew: And what do they do?

Vicki: They pretty much, it’s like one on one consults. Usually in somebody’s home.

Andrew: So they come around, show you cloth nappies.

Vicki: The one thing I didn’t get to really ask, I suppose I didn’t think to ask, is how they get those contacts. Where the start is. I actually don’t know how they get to being in the house. I didn’t ask that. I was just fascinated with the process. Because different countries do things differently, obviously. It was just oh wow, oh wow, they just do like a lot of one on one consults. They just bring all of the nappies over and discuss different options. But I never, ever asked that question. So I’ll have to ask Sarah. I can’t actually fill the whole story in, and I’ve only just thought about it then. I don’t know that happens, whether it’s a Google ad, or how they get to there. But there’s generally consultants in different towns.

Andrew: They probably just something like they’re in their version of the Yellow Pages or something.

Vicki: Maybe, yeah.

Vashti: Or the internet.

Vicki: Or Facebook groups.

Andrew: They have the internet too?

Vashti: Yeah. 

Vicki: Remember what I said about Australia being a piss in the ocean? 

Vashti: Remember what you said about bad jokes? 

Vicki: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: I’m curious, because it actually came up in, when I read the reviews, because I read them all. Somebody actually said in a review, that she’s so glad for the podcast because her mother was absolutely no help, because modern cloth nappies didn’t exist when her mother was doing cloth nappies. She was just doing, she can help obviously with the flats and everything like that, but couldn’t help with modern cloth nappies.

Vashti: We get that a lot at Nest, where new parents come in, and they’ve got their parents with them, or their mum with them, so the grandma’s sitting there going well no, I used flats, so I can teach you how to fold a flat. And they’ll actually pull a flat out and fold it there on the counter and they haven’t folded one for 30 years.

Andrew: That’s because they’ve done 10,000.

Vashti: But…

Vicki: It’s actually six, but anyway.

Vashti: I had a grandma in yesterday. Mum’s on the Sunshine Coast and grandma was in Brisbane for something else, and actually dropped in, walked out with half a dozen brand new nappies for her daughter and grandchild, and she’s just like, I’m just so overwhelmed because I’m used to flats. And I don’t understand this. So quite a few times she rang her daughter and passed the phone over to me, and we were chatting on the phone. But we came up with a good little stash for her to try. A few different things. But yeah, it is very overwhelming for grandparents, because it’s not something they’re used to. It’s slowly changing, I’m slowly starting to get a couple of younger grandparents through that are aware of what’s going on, because modern cloth was starting to emerge, just as they were nearing the end of their cloth nappy journey. But yeah, it’s definitely not something that…

Vicki: It’s like anything. My Dad died 25, 26 years ago, something like that, and sometimes I often think, what has actually changed in the last 25, 26 years? And when you think about it, I remember we had a microwave, so I think microwave technology was fairly new about 25 odd years ago. But you look at just, we had an old Commodore computer. You look at the technology that’s come through, like iPads and iPhones, all of that sort of stuff. And older generations do struggle with that as well, because it’s not, it’s all new.

Vashti: You think, when we were at high school there was no, I know when I went to high school we actually had a typing class, where we used old school typewriters that you had to actually sit there and press the keys really hard and back space…

Vicki: Gosh no, we had electronic ones. 

Vashti: We had the old one.

Vicki: How old are you?

Andrew: I didn’t do that course because I thought that I’ll never need to use a keyboard.

Vicki: We had a computer lab in our school.

Vashti: We had a computer lab, but you had to be doing specific classes to be able to get into that computer lab, and it wasn’t just for anyone to go. Now I look at my kids going through and they’ve all got their own devices for each class, and there’s also computers in the library, and they have their computer labs as well. And if they’ve got a free period, then they can go down to the computer lab and type up their assignments. Or if they’re working in the library after school, they can just go in and use the computers. My five year old can use an iPad better than me, some days. So the kids have grown up with this technology. My kids would have no idea what a cassette is. 

Vicki: That’s right yeah.

Andrew: Yes, they would. They’re coming back. I read an article the other day, just like records, cassette tapes are coming back too.

Vashti: Really? Do you remember when you actually had to break the little tab off, because you didn’t want anyone to record over your cassette, or you’d be sitting there listening to the radio and waiting to press record, and you’d always miss the first two seconds of the song that you wanted. Or you’d get the disc jockey talking over the beginning of the song. And it’s like dammit, now I need to go back and find the song again. 

Andrew: You know that’s illegal, don’t you?

Vashti: Whoops. Don’t tell anyone. I’m sure the Statute of Limitations has expired. 

Andrew: That’s right, mine’s definitely expired on cassette tapes. 

Vicki: I’m pretty sure that’s an American thing. 

Andrew: That’s right, Copyright Law I Australia is forever.

Vicki: OK, even as far as pausing live T.V. that is something that, we used to have to run to the T.V. Everything is on demand. I think of all the little things that we really take for granted, power steering in cars, air conditioning, standard in cars and stuff like that.

Vashti: There’s no winding windows down. Press a button now.

Vicki: No, press a button. All of these things over the last 25 years, I wonder what my Dad would think if he was still around today.

Vashti: I think he’d be pretty impressed with what you’ve done with cloth nappies.

Vicki: Probably. Probably. My brother, here’s a story…

Andrew: No, run out of time.

Vicki: No, no. I’ve worked through this, I’m not angry at him any more. I bought a new Mac, and I’d spent, how much was it? two and a half grand.

Andrew: It was four grand.

Vicki: It was not, I do not spend that much on a computer, it was two grand.

Andrew: Sorry, that was mine.

Vicki: Whatever. And my brother, it was a MacBook, which I still have, and I’m still  using a couple of years later, thank you very much. And my brother actually replied to my post on Facebook and said, why would you need a computer like that? All you do is a bit of bookkeeping. And I was horrified. I was absolutely horrified that he thought my business was a little bit of bookkeeping, and it took my quite some time to work out what, underlying issues and all of that, because I didn’t have my Dad to say I’m proud of what you’ve built. But trust me, every time he comes anywhere near the place, I rub his face in it. Oh, can you see my little bit of bookkeeping down here, Steve? Can you see these staff that are doing a little bit of bookkeeping, Steve?

Andrew: I bring him to the warehouse. This is where we keep all our paperwork. How big is this warehouse?

Vicki: I don’t know.

Andrew: We need a 500 square foot warehouse now to store all the bookkeeping you do.

Vicki: That’s right, all the bookkeeping. 

Andrew: And you see these people down here in the warehouse? They’re just running around putting…

Vicki: Paperwork away.

Andrew: Bookkeeping in a bag for people. So we’ve called you out, Steven.

Vicki: Siblings, siblings, don’t you just love it?

Andrew: So any other things you’d like to say? Because we’ve almost been going an hour now.

Vicki: Probably.

Vashti: I will say…

Vicki: German food.

Vashti: Oh yeah. 

Vicki: But can I tell you, I have to say…

Andrew: Stop turning it into a travel show.

Vicki: No, no, I’m going to put it out there. The food in Germany was amazing. Croatia. Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed. I was a lot disappointed. 

Vashti: Actually, yes.

Vicki: In particular the wine.

Vashti: Except for the truffle fries.

Vicki: No, the truffle fries were awesome. Can I tell you, the truffle mayo that I brought back is not as good as I remembered there?

Andrew: I almost threw up when I tasted it.

Vashti: Oh really?

Andrew: It’s disgusting.

Vicki: No, it’s not as nice as what we had.

Vashti: I put it through my potato salad the other night. It’s actually really nice through a potato salad.

Vicki: Oh nice. But the wine, I was really surprised. Croatia known for grapes, figs and olives. I did try an olive and I hate olives…

Vashti: And lavender.

Vicki: …and I spat it out, I could not eat it, I tried it. But the wine, I was really disappointed in the wine that I tasted.

Andrew: Is it made out of olives?

Vicki: Maybe.

Vashti: See, I didn’t mind it, there was a couple that I wasn’t overly impressed with, but we drank more cocktails in Croatia than wine.

Vicki: I think we spend the whole entire three days…

Vashti: There was actually little stalls on the promenade where you could get cocktails to go. Cocktails to go.

Vicki: You know, the most…

Andrew: You’re allowed to walk around with alcohol?

Vicki: Yes.

Vashti: Yes, there was people walking around. In Germany there was people, you walk to the 4 Square, like the convenience store across the road, just a tiny little convenience store, hole in the wall, and we bought…

Vicki: They had half the shop was alcohol.

Vashti: Yeah, we bought wine, and what did you buy? You bought a vodka or something, didn’t you? 

Vicki: No, I think it was cider.

Vashti: Cider, I don’t know. And then we went and sat up on the terrace and had a couple of drinks and watched the stars.

Vicki: No, no, I think it was vodka and…

Vashti: A vodka tinny.

Andrew: Watched the stars…

Vicki: So then I went back down and got another one.

Andrew: Watched the stars, what’s that metaphor for, watching stars? The real stars, or the stars you get from the alcohol? 

Vashti: No. But what I will say is going to that trade show did put in perspective just how small we are here in Australia.

Vicki: We’re tiny.

Vashti: Like our baby expos that we do here, our consumer expos, I’m not even talking about, this was purely a business to business expo, it was not a retail expo. Our retail expos here in Australia would be about a quarter of the size of one of those floors. The hall we were in had three floors, and there were three separate halls, with two or three floors each. It was just…

Andrew: Just business to business.

Vashti: It is just business to business. It is worldwide, it was absolutely incredible. And the other thing that really threw us was the OH&S. Or lack thereof.

Vicki: We walked in there, I kid you not, to set up, and no safety jackets, OK I understand…

Vashti: Open toe shoes.

Vicki: …Australia is very much kind of like a nanny country. There were babies and kids running around, and the forklift drivers [quack quack] they barely even beeped. 

Vashti: They were flying down the aisles and squealing to a stop and racing around the corner, almost skidding around the corner.

Vicki: With no safety jackets, and kids on the floor. 

Vashti: And cigarettes hanging out of their mouth as well.

Vicki: Do you know what, the one thing I really struggled with the smoking.

Vashti: We went to a pub one night, and you’re like let’s sit outside. No, no, they’re smoking out there.

Vicki: But everyone, it’s just, you don’t realise how much it’s just stopped in Australia, the external smoking.

Vashti: But we sat inside and there was a window right above, a window open right above where they were smoking, so smoke was coming inside the restaurant area anyway.

Vicki: It’s like you couldn’t escape it. Like just walking down the street, literally. And as a reformed smoker, I noticed it way more than a non-smoker would. I just felt like I couldn’t escape it. It was really, yeah. Really hard to…

Andrew: OK, I think we’ll end it on a…

Vicki: On a smoking note. 

Vashti: Pretty amazing.

Vicki: Just don’t smoke, isn’t that you, or Brenno? Just don’t smoke. 

Vashti: Pretty awesome. Definitely looking forward to going back.

Vicki: And both beautiful countries. 

Andrew: Thank you Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you Vashti.

Vashti: 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. 

[Music]

Vashti: I need to pee.

Andrew: That’s going in the out…

#47 Nappy Leaks Live October 2019

Following on from the success of our previous Live Podcast, we decided to do another one! Caitlyn is our special guest for this month’s Q+A. Caitlyn is mum to Hugo, he is a gorgeous energetic 14-month-old who has starred in several Bubblebubs videos. She asks Vashti and Vicki about encouraging other parents to try cloth, the expected lifespan of cloth nappies and whether using different brands as baby grows and changes shape is normal?

This Nappy Leaks episode is recorded in front of a live studio audience… and by “live studio audience” we mean in the Bubblebubs warehouse with an audience that was 50% babies! But we all had a great time and it was good to be able to pick Vashti and Vicki’s brains in person.

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#46 How to switch to cloth nappies late and is it worth it.

Vashti and Vicki discuss the adjustments that need to be made to switching later. A lot of parents who switch later and pregnant with another child and want to start with the toddler to dip their toes, this is a great way to approach it so it’s second nature before you’re in the newborn haze. The other advantage is once your child is 12 or 18 months old usually parents have started to find their feet and are less overwhelmed so it’s a good time to try something new. You can change as much or as little as you want, trying cloth wipes is a great first step. Listen to the full podcast to learn more about transitioning to using cloth nappies with an older baby or toddler.

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#45 Nappy Leaks Live Sep 2019

Nappy Leaks is recorded in front of a live studio audience. I always wanted to say that, but I do have a few corrections. We were not in a studio we were in the office of Bubblebubs and the studio audience was 18 and 50% of those were babies. But it was fun doing this series of live show were the audience asked Vicki and Vashti all the questions.

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#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.

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Nappy Leaks Podcast: Questions and Answers Live July

Nappy Leaks is recorded in front of a live studio audience. I always wanted to say that, but I do have a few corrections. We were not in a studio we were in the office of Bubblebubs and the studio audience was 12 and 50% of those were babies. But it was fun doing this series of live show were the audience asked Vicki and Vashti all the questions.

Continue reading…

#43 Nappy Leaks Live August 2019

Nappy Leaks is recorded in front of a live studio audience. I always wanted to say that, but I do have a few corrections. We were not in a studio we were in the office of Bubblebubs and the studio audience was 18 and 50% of those were babies. But it was fun doing this series of live show were the audience asked Vicki and Vashti all the questions.

Continue reading…

#39 Questions and Answers Live

Nappy Leaks is recorded in front of a live studio audience. I always wanted to say that, but I do have a few corrections. We were not in a studio we were in the office of Bubblebubs and the studio audience was 12 and 50% of those were babies. But it was fun doing this series of live show were the audience asked Vicki and Vashti all the questions.

Continue reading…
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Nappy Leaks Podcast: Live May 2019

Nappy Leaks is recorded in front of a live studio audience. I always wanted to say that, but I do have a few corrections. We were not in a studio we were in the office of Bubblebubs and the studio audience was 12 and 50% of those were babies. But it was fun doing this series of live show were the audience asked Vicki and Vashti all the questions.

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Tags: , , , , , , ,

Podcast 36 How to spot quality cloth nappies.

Transcript: How to spot quality cloth nappies.

Andrew: How are you doing, Vashti?

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

Andrew: Excellent, how you doing Vicki?

Vicki: Yeah, pretty good.

Andrew: Excellent. So a couple of things I want to talk about before we start is our listeners. Our listeners jumped another 30%.

Vashti: Wow.

Andrew: So that’s 30 extra people. No, just kidding [laughter]. That started listening in March, which is fantastic actually, because we put a lot of effort into it, and we just spent a lot of money on new microphones and new software. So I’m hoping you’re hearing the extra quality of the recordings. And if you’re listening on the right type of podcast listening device, you can actually also see the pictures change as we go through the chapters of the episode, and if there’s something that you’re interested in, you can actually click on the picture and it will actually take you to the website.

Vashti: Wow.

Vicki: So he’s trying to see, are you trying to sell this to all of the listeners, but underneath that you’re trying to say, Vicki, I just spent an awful lot of money on software and hardware, and the listeners really appreciate it.

Vashti: Yeah.

Andrew: They do, they do. You just haven’t seen the bill on the software yet.

Vicki: No, I have not. This I know, this I know.

Vashti: Actually I’m pretty interested. I might actually go and listen. What are the right apps that we need to listen through to do this changing pictures thing?

Andrew: Well, I’m not actually 100% sure on an android device, but on my…

Vicki: Because we have a Genius Bar at home, in case anybody doesn’t actually know, we are Apple fan people, through and through.

Vashti: Same here.

Andrew: Overcast is the app I use.

Vashti: Overcast?

Vicki: You probably just lost that 30% of listeners. Bye.

Andrew: That’s right.

Vashti: Overcast, OK, I might actually listen to an episode. I don’t listen to the episodes…

Vicki: Don’t worry, neither do I.

Vashti: …if you haven’t worked that out.

Andrew: Actually secretly…

Vicki: I don’t think I’ll actually learn anything, that’s why I don’t listen.

Vashti: It’s funny, because Andrew used to send the episodes to Vicki and me to check before he posted them. He’s worked out not to do that because we don’t listen.

Andrew: I never got any feedback, so I stopped uploading them. But funny thing though, I do upload them, like they’re up on Vicki’s website like a week and actually they’re up on your website like a week before the actual publish date.

Vashti: Oh, there you go.

Andrew: And it’s interesting checking the stats on that thing, because it’s listened to five times. So all the Bubblebubs company people who have access to the site go and listen to the episode as soon as I put it up, before it becomes public.

Vashti: Might be Jenna listening five times.

Andrew: It could be. It’s usually like, she notices pretty quickly actually. Are you listening to us now, Jenna?

Vashti: Maybe. She might be in the Philippines.

Andrew: I also wanted to give a shout out to all the cloth nappy stores in Australia. There’s quite a few now, isn’t there?

Vashti: Yeah, you’ve got, well there’s me, obviously…

Andrew: Nest Nappies, yes.

Vashti: You’ve got Darlings Downunder in Ringwood in Victoria.

Andrew: Excellent.

Vashti: You’ve got the Cloth Nappy Lady in Tecoma in Victoria.

Andrew: Excellent.

Vashti: You’ve got Little Green Footprints in Caulfield South in Victoria.

Vicki: Baby Shop in Newcastle.

Vashti: Baby Shop in Newcastle.

Vicki: Adamstown.

Andrew: Excellent.

Vashti: You’ve got Little Aussie Monster up in Cairns. Nappy Bucket has just changed hands, and they have a pop-up shop at their local supermarket or their local shopping centre in Mackay. They’re doing that, so they’ve got a showroom.

Vicki: There’s a lot of retailers that have showrooms in their homes, like Fluffy Bums do in South Australia, and Booty Crawl in W.A., in Perth.

Vashti: And Boutique Bums in W.A. There’s also, who was it?

Vicki: Little Rompers in Northern Territory have got, well I know they stock our stock, I’m assuming they sell some other cloth nappy brands as well.

Vashti: Nappy Bucket has a showroom as well as their pop-up shop that they’re doing. Little Piglet in Springfield, here in Brisbane. She has a showroom. Critters Creations in South Australia. Cloth Nappies Downunder does appointments. I don’t think she’s got a full on show room, but she does do appointments in her home. Most online retailers you can organise an appointment to go and see them and have a chat to them.

Vicki: I guess people could come here. Well they do, they come and pick up, you know actually probably when this podcast goes, depending on when this podcast goes, we’ll actually be working five days a week. I’m still not working Tuesdays though. I’m still going to spend Tuesdays with my Mum. But I’ve actually got someone that will be coming in to open up on a Tuesday.

Vashti: Nice.

Andrew: Excellent.

Vashti: I’m still open six days a week.

Vicki: I work 24/7, so you know. Are we going to have to pull down our pants in a minute?

Vashti: Mine is bigger than yours. For those of you who watched that live recording of the Nest Release a couple of weeks, well when we released the Nest print, my laptop does fit in the double pocket wet bags.

Vicki: Yeah, that was a bit of an in-joke.

Vashti: Yeah, just thought I’d better explain it for those that hadn’t seen it.

Andrew: And of course the next place you can go if you can’t see it at a local retailer, and hello to all the local retailers, and if I missed you and if you’re a retailer, send us an email and we will give you a shout out on the next podcast. Another place you can go of course, is baby shows. You love going to baby shows, don’t you, Vicki?

Vicki: I just love it so much.

Vashti: I’m actually missing it. I’m missing it, I’ve only done one show so far this year, and it was my home town. And so…

Vicki: Well I must admit, I’ve just come back from Adelaide and shout out to all the Adelaide people, and the wonderful people that are on the stand, and if I start actually listing them, I might…

Vashti: Miss someone accidentally.

Vicki: …miss someone. But I know Katelyn and Hannah and Olivia and oh my gosh I can see all of the faces and can’t remember one single name.

Andrew: Hayley?

Vashti: And Nicole.

Vicki: Oh yeah, Hayley and Nicole. They were over there…

Andrew: Molly.

Vicki: Oh Molly, yes.

Andrew: Olivia.

Vashti: You said Olivia.

Vicki: Have you got a list? Can we re-record this? No actually, it’s my first trip to Adelaide and the one thing that I found about Adelaide is it’s like a big country town but so friendly. I thought Brisbane was friendly, but Adelaide is kind of even…

Andrew: Did you say Nicole?

Vicki: Yes, I did say Nicole.

Andrew: Because she’s a retailer.

Vicki: She is, Critters Creations.

Andrew: Critters Creations.

Vicki: Thanks for not making me say that again. Crazy Critters. I just had, when I was doing that live video, I had in my head Crazy Critters, so I could not get Critters Creations out, because Crazy Critters is just near us, is one of those play centres. And that’s what was going through my head. And it’s a bit like that Bridget Jones’s Diary, she said don’t say, when she had to introduce Tits, don’t say Tits Furbottom, or whatever his name was. Actually say his real name. That’s what was going through my head. I’m like, I can’t actually pronounce her business name. But anyway. But Adelaide…

Vashti: Adelaide’s gorgeous.

Vicki: It really is. And the weather wasn’t too bad. And the people down there, really just next level friendly. And I think it’s because it has got that whole country town vibe.

Andrew: Is it also because Qantas gave you alcohol on the plane on the way home?

Vicki: That’s the way home. I didn’t actually take them up on it on the way down.

Andrew: Oh, didn’t you?

Vicki: No.

Vashti: No, because she had to drive from the airport.

Vicki: No, I didn’t.

Vashti: Oh, didn’t you?

Vicki: No, no, Hayley was my chauffer. It’s amazing.

Andrew: Didn’t you just walk? It’s a country town, it’s just across the road, isn’t it?

Vicki: No, it’s a 20 minute drive. No, it was a little bit too far.

Andrew: That’s not a country town.

Vashti: I actually think Adelaide’s a little bit like Brisbane was 10 or 15 years ago.

Andrew: So give a shout out to a couple of the companies who are doing baby shows. What was the baby show you just did?

Vicki: We just did the Pregnancy Babies and Children’s Expo.

Andrew: Excellent.

Vicki: So there was Peapods and Real Nappies and…

Vashti: Gro-Via.

Vicki: Grow-Via and Bam Booty and Bubblebubs.

Vashti: Hippybottomus.

Vicki: Hippybottomus, yes. Love the girls from Hippy’s, they’re so friendly. Yeah, there were seven of us. And Leanne from Baby Behinds came in to visit me to say hi. Which is really nice. It’s such a nice industry that we can be essentially fierce competitors if you like, and work together as a whole to grow cloth nappy use.

Vashti: That’s the whole premise behind this Australian Nappy Association.

Vicki: And behind the podcast as well. Grow cloth nappy use.

Vashti: So it’s all about…

Vicki: Working together.

Vashti: …working together. I know Renee from Cloth Nappies Downunder contacted me recently. I’ve done it to her as well, if I’ve accidentally oversold something, I’ll give Renee a quick call and ask her if she’s got that product and she’ll get it to me for my customer. And she’s done it for me, so we quite regularly piggyback off each other. I know I’ve actually shared orders from the U.S. with some of my competitors as well, to cut down on costs, because shipping is really big from the U.S.

Andrew: Shipping seems to be the most expensive part of anything.

Vashti: I worked our recently on a recent order, and the shipping cost was just over 20% of the order. And so…

Vicki: Yep, I would say if you’re air freighting in particular, I really hate air freighting out of China. But with the recent kind of blow out, lead time blow outs, we’ve been air freighting again. And I’m talking 16 and 18 parcels where it’s costing $1,500 to $2,000, U.S. to air freight stuff.

Vashti: You could actually fly there for cheaper.

Vicki: Well I did actually, but OK, note to self, if you’re ever going to try and use your kids…

Vashti: Baggage allowance.

Vicki: …luggage allowance to bring stock back, take into consideration that seven years olds, whilst they might have a 30 kilo luggage allowance, they physically cannot drag that, and we all had a big bag, the carryon luggage and a backpack, and yeah, just didn’t go quite how I had predicted.

Andrew: Some of us had two big bags.

Vicki: Well, ended up with two big bags, because we had little kids that couldn’t manage the bags.

Andrew: And then to make it harder, the wheel broke off one.

Vashti: Oh no.

Vicki: Yeah, Star Wars.

Andrew: My Star Wars bag broke.

Vicki: Damn.

Vashti: [gasps]

Andrew: Going through this shoddy parking lot outside the train station. What town was that?

Vicki: That was in Shanghai.

Andrew: Shanghai. So today’s topic is, how to spot a China cheapy.

Vicki: OK.

Andrew: In other words, how to make sure you get your money’s worth, and you’re not, because we know that there’s some out there now that are actually got the price of a good nappy but they’re actually China cheapies.

Vicki: This is actually not a ragging on China cheapies kind of episode, because I actually feel that they do have a place in the market.

Vashti: Oh, they’ve got a very important place. But I think it’s also about the fact that it is getting harder to spot a China cheapy. It used to be the fact that you could tell a China cheapy easily by the type of inserts. They were normally microfibre or charcoal bamboo or something like that. These days you’re getting rebranded China cheapies that actually have bamboo inserts. So it is harder to spot a China cheapy, so if you’re looking for an ethical brand…

Vicki: And look, I’m not even against rebranded China cheapies. It’s about pretending to be something that you’re not. That’s actually where my, that’s the crossover. I don’t, whilst I have my own opinions on ethical production and stuff like that, they’re my opinions, and unless I’m the one physically buying your nappies and earning the money, I don’t have a say in what somebody purchases. I just do my own.

Andrew: So what is a China cheapy?

Vicki: Do you want to go with that, because I actually couldn’t spot a China cheapy to save my life. Because to me, a China cheapy, all I really know about, if I was looking at one, is that they’ve got rye snaps down the front, and they will do up with snaps across. You know, like they’re front snapping.

Vashti: The best way to describe a China cheapy is pretty much somebody has gone to a manufacturer in China and they’ve picked certain features off a card, going to a restaurant and picking certain vegetables to put into your salad. You sit there and go yes, I want two rows of waist snaps, and I want a hip snap, and I want three rows of rye snaps, and I want squared off tabs or rounded tabs, and I want a pocket opening at the front, or a pocket opening at the back, or I want clip in inserts and stuff like that. So I want a suede cloth versus a micro suede as the lining. I want a double leg gusset versus a single leg gusset.

Vicki: But they’re pretty much, they’re the same shape, size and pattern design. They’re not designed from the ground up. That’s the big difference.

Vashti: Yeah, so a China cheapy is basically…

Vicki: A generic…

Vashti: …it’s a generic brand. So there’s just slight differences here and there because the factory that produces them says this is our pattern, but we can make these alterations to it. So yeah.

Andrew: So the difference isn’t the price anymore, is it?

Vicki: Used to be easy to spot because they were cheap, but now we’re getting the situation where a lot of China cheapies or rebranded China cheapies are kind of priced mid range, so around the $20 mark.

Vashti: Even up to $25 sometimes. I’ve seen some around the $28, $29 mark.

Vicki: So it just makes it that little bit harder to know what you’re getting.

Andrew: But if you’re buying in bulk, you can get most of the name brands almost down to that price, can’t you?

Vashti: Oh, definitely.

Andrew: If you buy your whole stash at a time, say you bought 24 nappies, you’re paying almost that anyway.

Vicki: Yeah, generally most 24 packs would be somewhere between 20 to 30% off the R.R.P. of a single nappy. Definitely.

Andrew: So if you can buy them in bulk, you can get a good nappy for almost the same price.

Vicki: Yeah, the Catch 22 with that, and this is where multi brand retailers really come in handy, is dropping a lot of coin on 24 of a single nappy…

Andrew: Twenty four of exactly the same nappy.

Vicki: …of exactly the same nappy, it is…

Vashti: And especially if your baby hasn’t been born yet.

Vicki: Yeah, it’s a risk, it’s a risk, and we see that all the time at expos. There’s very much, there’s a couple of different people. There’s a couple of different types of customers that come to expos. So there’s those that research, there’s those that just want to give a trial pack a go, of a couple of different brands, see what works for them and then go back and get more. And then there’s the others that say please just tell me what you’ve got, how it works and here’s my money. Just tell me. And one thing which is stupid from a business perspective, but this is where the ethics kind of cross over, you get somebody who comes into the expo and doesn’t really know anything about cloth. There have been times when they haven’t even considered cloth, and then within, after spending an hour with someone they’re dropping $1,000 on a birth to toddler pack. And as I’m a single brand retailer, I’ve just got my products. That, I actually, I kind of get a little bit nervous because I think wow, that’s a lot of trust you’ve just put in me. So I’m a little bit proud at the same time. Wow, you trust me enough to do that. But it’s also a lot of coin. I don’t just walk around, actually I do, I do with a coffee machine. I did just drop two and a half grand. But I knew Breville as a brand.

Andrew: But on the other hand, all of the big retailers, including you, do offer money back guarantees.

Vashti: No, they don’t.

Vicki: No, they don’t.

Vashti: We offer a money back guarantee, it’s actually just us.

Andrew: It’s just us?

Vashti: No other brand actually offers that.

Andrew: So someone who drops $1,000 with you for nappies, you know that if one of those nappies doesn’t work, and they want their money back on the rest, then you do that?

Vicki: Yeah, yeah. They can try one. Because look, I have confidence in my product and I know what my product is, and I really don’t want to get too much into this, because I want to keep this unbranded. But I have that confidence, so we have a money back guarantee, and I’d actually like to see other brands pick up on that too. Back your product, because you know, in that particular instance, a customer has the opportunity to save a lot of money, to get a good quality brand, save a lot of money by basically investing from the get go, and how we work it is you can try one. So one of your nappies, wash it, wear it, all of that sort of stuff. And if it doesn’t work for you, you can return the one used and anything else that hasn’t been used for a full refund. I’d love to see that industry wide, because it takes the fear out. Huggies can handle a sample. You can’t get that with cloth nappies. So we brought it in, just to back ourselves more than anything.

Andrew: I’ll ask one more question before I move on. How many do you get back?

Vicki: Next to none. Next to none.

Andrew: So is that a good way to look for a good nappy brand? Other brands offer that as well. Look for a brand that backs themselves, and if you’re not happy with the nappy, you can send it back.

Vashti: I think that’s a really hard one to answer because…

Vicki: That’s a business thing.

Vashti: …yeah, that’s a business decision that Vicki’s made. I don’t think it’s that other brands don’t back themselves. I know that every nappy that I stock, I back. It’s a nappy that I would be prepared to use on my own kids, or I’ve already used on my kids. We’re very particular about the brands that we stock. If I don’t get the chance to use it for myself, I actually send it out with tried and tested customers. I’ve got a range of customers that I’ve had as customers for several years.

Vicki: Hi, Hayley.

Vashti: And Sonia.

Andrew: Do you call them your crash test dummies?

Vashti: No. Even Vanessa. Vanessa hasn’t been a customer of mine for long. Her little boy Xavier is only a few months old. But I got to know Vanessa quite well through her pregnancy. She was regularly coming in, regularly talking to me, she got all the information. And when I wanted to try a certain brand of nappy, I knew that that particular one would suit her, because of what she’d been looking for. So I knew she’d be able to give me a really good review on it.

Vicki: So you mean if you actually had somebody come to you with a night nappy that had 35 million layers, you would hand that on to Sonia, and say Sonia, can you try this one please?

Vashti: Yes, well I’ve actually got a couple of, I’m actually in the process of trialling a brand at the moment. We got a couple of nappies in from this particular brand, and there’s certain qualities in that nappy that I think would have suited Sonia very well, because her little boy is a massive wetter. She’s actually going through medical diagnosis with him at the moment, and she does have a medically diagnosed reason for him being such a large wetter. But he would wet through, I watched her change him in the store, and within half an hour she had to change him again, because his pants were dripping. And when she took off the nappy, I’m like, you’re sure it wasn’t ill fitted or anything? How could he have wet. She goes, no, feel it. And she handed me the nappy and the wet bag, and it was drenched. So yeah, I sent this particular nappy to her to try because of the certain features in it, and the materials that were used. And she’s actually gone and bought another one from that brand, she liked it that much. But that’s the thing, we are particular about the brands, so we do put them through a lot of testing. So whereas I think with a typical China cheapy, it’s very much from the card, most of your ethical brands have been designed by the brand owner, or if the brand has changed hands, they’ve been designed by a mum on their kitchen table, and that mum has sewn those nappies herself and build that business herself.

Vicki: And made tweaks on the nappy. I know I can talk from personal experience. You make tweaks on the nappy based on customer feedback. And over and over, even now, I still tweak nappies now.

Vashti: Well you just made upgrades to the Bam-bam, what, 18 months ago, if that? You increased the size of the booster in the Bam-bam.

Vicki: It was only about 20%. It wasn’t the Pebbles, they’re a fairly new thing. A couple of runs ago, we increased the capacity, increased the…

Vashti: The absorbency.

Vicki: The absorbency. We dropped the booster width down, because we were having some issues where it would just, you know, it was only just the overlocking width that we dropped the booster down, but we increased the, from a 340 G.S.M. to a 420 G.S.M. in shell, so we still had the same absorbency within the whole nappy. And that’s the difference with a nappy that is created from the ground up, I can tell you all of the reasons that we have done that. Why we have legs rolling in, why we do this, why we do that, why we’ve got snaps, why we’ve got Velcro. Whereas when you’re reading off a card, you don’t have that underlying sewing knowledge, I guess, or design knowledge.

Vashti: It’s also, and this is probably where one of the hard things comes in. It’s not to say that the people, the brands who do the rebranded China cheapies and things like that, don’t have the knowledge of their product, they do have the knowledge of their product, but they don’t have the knowledge on how their product is made, and they can’t make massive changes to it. They’ve pretty much got to stick with that basic pattern, and they can’t just make those small tweaks. Cut the size of the booster down by just the overlocking width and stuff like that. They can make tweaks to it by changing the inserts and by changing the absorbency and stuff like that.

Vicki: But what you tend to find is with China cheapies in particular, the generic pattern has, well not already been, but it has been tweaked to already cut corners. That’s the other thing with the China cheapy is they cut corners. It’s all about making them fast, making them cheap, and basically the process is super speedy. And it is about cutting corners. That’s the big difference between a China cheapy and a better quality brand, is all of those things that we, as I said, the layer of bamboo that we put inside the Pebble, the reason we do that is just in case anything, because it’s a newborn nappy, if anything misses the booster, it’s going to go straight onto the shell. Now I know newborn poo is liquid, and that can potentially seep through the P.U.L. So we put a layer of bamboo in there. So it’s those sorts of things that get cut out of China cheapies, to make them cheap.

Vashti: Yeah.

Vicki: Pretty much.

Vashti: Very much.

Vicki: Not that I don’t know a hell of a lot about China cheapies, I just know…

Vashti: And they’re cheaper because the research and development hasn’t gone into them.

Vicki: And there’s no licencing print. It costs an absolute fortune for us to licence our designs, and we don’t even use exclusive licences. Because if we were to use exclusive licences, it would put the…

Vashti: …nappies over $50 each.

Vicki: Well maybe not quite, but certainly because we don’t do, OK, so let’s say Disney does a run of fabric or a run of products, they’re doing like tens of thousands or millions of products even. So the licence fee per unit is quite inexpensive. But when we’re only doing 1,000 units per design, and you’re spending $1,000 on your artist fees, well that’s a dollar a unit. But they’re not paying that, so you can be pretty much guaranteed if it’s a licenced design, like Ariel or, what’s another, Buzz Lightyear or something like that, and you’re seeing it in a nappy, you can be pretty sure that the licence fees haven’t been paid.

Andrew: So let’s move on. Rebranded, versus China cheapies.

Vashti: So China cheapies is things like your Alvas and your Happy Flutes. They’re the ones that you buy off Ali Express, you’re getting them direct from China. And they’re costing you $5 or $7 a shell, plus your inserts and stuff like that.

Vicki: Interestingly, with China cheapies, there’s quite a few different brands. I was talking to my manufacturer when we were over there about the history of it, and how it, it was actually a really cool conversation.

Andrew: Oh yeah, I was listening to that. I was in the back seat. I was listening to that, and he said, who was it that came over?

Vicki: It was Happy Flute and Alva that they were together, they were good friends, and they actually kind of started cloth nappies in China, if you like for lack of a better description, they started producing this, I can’t remember what the original nappy knock off was, was it a Thirsty or something? Or was it a Rumperoos.

Vashti: Thirsties is a very well known and a good brand in the U.S.

Vicki: No, I’m just talking about the generic China cheapy design is based on a well known brand.

Vashti: Bum Genius.

Vicki: Bum Genius, yep. So they were the first to produce it, and then they had a parting of the ways, and Alva is down in southern China in Guangzhou, and Happy Flute are more up northern China. So for starters, that’s why Happy Flute is more expensive than Alva, because you can read between the lines, I don’t have any proof, I can only go on conversations that I’ve had, and Andrew was witness to those conversations as well…

Vashti: Well we had the same conversations when we were there two years ago.

Vicki: Exactly. In Guangzhou, that is where a lot of your Chinese fashion comes from, and it is still quite rampant to have kids in the factory, and slave, pretty much slave wages, things like that.

Vashti: Fast fashion.

Vicki: It is fast fashion, down in Guangzhou. So if you’re purchasing from, but I can’t tell you without a shadow of a doubt. We tried.

Vashti: We tried to look at ways of getting in there, and we were pretty much told forget it, you’re not going to get in there.

Vicki: Yeah, it’s not going to happen.

Vashti: And if you do manage to get in there, they actually have showroom factories.

Vicki: They do, they do.

Vashti: So they bring you through a showroom factory that is all above board. This is what we’ve been told, and it looks nice, and it looks like it meets all of the criteria that you want, but the real factory is actually…

Vicki: Somewhere else.

Vashti: It’s the slum factory type thing.

Vicki: And you know what, this is all hearsay, 100% hearsay based on what we have been told over the years from getting in with, me personally, I build relationships with my manufacturers, and so a lot of the times, I ask a question and then I’ll ask it again a couple of weeks later in a different way. So I kind of get the answer. How many times did I ask pretty much those same sort of questions? It was almost every time I was in the car, but I asked them in a different way. Because it’s like asking a child something. The story will change if it’s a lie, but if it’s the truth, you start adding in more facts. But anyway, back to the story. So Happy Flute and Alva split ways. So Alva is down south, and Happy Flute is up top, and there’s also An An Baby. They’re also up in northern China. We went past their factory actually.

Vashti: Oh really?

Vicki: It surprised me too. And there was one more as well.

Vashti: Is it Happy Baby?

Vicki: Might be, not 100% sure. But what I do know is Alva’s the one that’s down in southern China and they seem to do most of the rebranded China cheapies. So you know what, as I said, that is all 100% hearsay, and you can take from that what you like. Would I stake my life on it? No. Because I haven’t seen it with my own eyes. I can only repeat the conversations that I’ve had.

Andrew: That’s actually not the conversation I was thinking, talking about.

Vicki: Oh, which conversation were you thinking about? The one before or after the accident?

Andrew: Oh yes, we’ve experienced a car accident in China. You know those little bikes that go around? Yeah, sometimes they don’t squeeze between cars.

Vicki: And buses.

Andrew: And buses, yes. It wasn’t even his car.

Vicki: So this is going way, way, way back to kind of 2005-ish. We would, the industry was very, very young then and we would co-op fabric.

Vashti: That was the time when the industry was mums working at their kitchen table and having six month wait lists.

Vicki: Yes, literally.

Vashti: And if you managed, if one of those businesses, like Vicki from Bubblebubs, Sue from Itty Bitty, Davina from Baby Behinds, if they managed to get a bulk lot of nappies done, they would have it go up on their website and be sold out within five minutes. It was hyena days.

Vicki: It was hyena days, we used to call them the hyena days.

Vashti: What about you, I think we’ve mentioned it before, you had a customer…

Vicki: I had someone pinging my site, waiting for me to do a stock in.

Andrew: Every minute.

Vashti: Her husband had created an app to ping your site.

Andrew: No idea how much that used to cost us in memory though, in space.

Vicki: Exactly, and sites would crash and all sorts of stuff. So this was back before pretty much anyone was manufacturing offshore. So what would happen is we’d be able to get the fabric, so the only way, actually no, sorry, Gab from, can’t think, her business isn’t around anymore, but she was the first to bring in hemp fabric. So we’re talking hemp, this is way before bamboo even. And so what would happen is I’d go and buy a roll, because Gab was just up the road from me, and we’d co-op it. So we’d all go in to buy the roll of fabric, and I’d just cut it up and ship it out to everyone. And what happened with Sue was she was a bit too stingy, and actually cut her nappies a bit too short, too small. And that’s how Itty Bitty became a super trim nappy. It was from an accident. But I wouldn’t say I taught her how to sew nappies, but certainly we had spent a lot of time together discussing different ways to make nappies and stuff. But Davina from Baby Behinds was the first to go offshore and have the nappies produced. And she had them made in a hat factory actually.

Vashti: Oh really? I didn’t know that.

Vicki: Yeah, it wasn’t a traditional textile factory, it was a hat factory.

Vashti: I did know, Davina was actually a RAAF wife, her husband was in the RAAF up in Townsville, and he left the RAAF because Baby Behinds started doing so well. So he actually came to work for Davina. So that was way before Andrew came to work for you.

Vicki: It was. Completely. And she did, she really took off. And Sue went over not long after that.

Andrew: You know in the early days I used to cut the nappies.

Vashti: Yeah, I know, but you weren’t getting paid for it.

Vicki: Not in money.

Andrew: That’s true, that’s true.

Vicki: Now I’d give him 90 bucks a week. So I don’t have to pull it out.

Vashti: Is that all he’s worth?

Andrew: You’ve got to stop putting it next to the bed though. It gives the wrong sort of…

Vicki: Yeah, so then Sue went over to teach. The one thing Sue and I had very much in common is we’re both absolute perfectionists, and we’ve both been sewing, well I think so, Sue had been sewing as long, I’d been sewing since I was eight. And my mum’s a dressmaker.

Vashti: I used to work for Sue. Sue I was her expo manager.

Vicki: I know she was a perfectionist.

Vashti: She is still a perfectionist.

Vicki: See, the difference with cloth nappies in Australia versus the States, is America still has, they still have a big manufacturing sector, and same with Canada and Mexico and what have you. And look that is honestly due to their terrible labour minimum wage. Whereas in Australia, we’re a lot tighter on that. That’s just the reality of it, that’s why we can’t manufacture in Australia.

Vashti: It’s interesting, because a lot of my U.S. brands, they are very proud of the fact that their products are manufactured in the U.S. They’re manufactured onshore, so they are supporting, it’s an American brand, made by Americans, sold in America. And so yeah. Although I am looking at a Canadian brand at the moment. Are they Canadian? They might not be Canadian, they might be U.S., I don’t know.

Andrew: Do you want to mention the brand, or you’re not ready yet?

Vashti: Well, I don’t know, [beep] listening?

Vicki: Maybe one of your competitors is listening, and now they’re going to go, oh my God, who is this?

Vashti: Actually no, you better cut that out, I’m not ready to release that information yet. Cut that out.

Andrew: OK, let’s go back a little bit and I’ll ask you the question again. Rebranded versus China cheapies.

Vashti: We’ve pretty much covered what a China cheapy is. So a rebranded China cheapy is pretty much exactly the same thing, but somebody gets their own label put on it and they might get their own prints done. So they’ll either pick the stock standard prints and colours that the factory offers, or they’ll bring in their own…

Vicki: Digital printing has really helped with that, because you can get minimum orders, I think 50, 100 metres now, which is like six nappies, 6 by 300 nappies, 300 odd nappies per print.

Vashti: That’s a really good way of doing it.

Vicki: That’s making it harder to be able to spot, because they’re no longer just a generic…

Vashti: And they can employ, they can get their own prints, they can get their own artists to design prints for them. They can pick prints off Spoonflower. And have them sent over in a digital format.

Vicki: No different to what we do. I go, here’s a fun fact everyone probably knows. I go on Instagram. I find most of my artists on Instagram. I’m looking for an artist. I’m looking for someone who is on brand with what I’m actually doing. So that has really opened up the market with China cheapies. They can do exactly the same thing.

Vashti: And a rebranded China cheapy may also, well I have noticed that some of the stock standard China cheapies are now giving you the option to upgrade your inserts. Traditionally a China cheapy insert was a microfibre or a charcoal bamboo…

Vicki: …charcoal bamboo.

Vashti: …now just to make it clear, charcoal bamboo doesn’t actually have bamboo in it. It’s a layer of fleece with microfibre inside. But that was, that’s your stock standard insert with a China cheapy. Some China cheapies are now offering you a bamboo upgrade, like a three layer bamboo.

Vicki: Even Alva do that now, I’m sure they do a five layer bamboo.

Vashti: Yeah, they do a five layer bamboo.

Vicki: Because they’ve learned. They’ve learned that that’s what the customer wants.

Vashti: But your rebranded are actually starting to do their own inserts. So they’re starting to custom make or to request specific products in their inserts and a specific way of having their inserts made.

Vicki: OK, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. So with that in mind, then does it matter that this nappy is now $28 if it’s got upgraded inserts? Is it more the whole ethical manufacture that, like I said, do people have issues with…

Vashti: You know what, it actually doesn’t matter what nappy you use, because literally they’re designed to catch poo and wee. I think it comes down to more…

Vicki: Knowing what you’re buying?

Vashti: …knowing what you’re buying. Knowing that if you’re spending $28 on a rebranded China cheapy, jump up to $30, $35 and you’re supporting a mum or dad who have designed the nappy from the ground up.

Vicki: And are paying licencing fees and are paying the workers well. Yeah, you’re right, it’s the whole chain.

Vashti: It is, it’s not just about the end product. Yes, the end product, the $35 nappy works the same as the $5 nappy. They catch poo and week.

Vicki: Longevity wise?

Vashti: The $5 you might need to change a little bit more frequently and it’s probably not going to see you all the way through because the elastics aren’t quite as good, the P.U.L.’s not as thick. That sort of thing. The $35 nappy you’d be wanting it to last…

Vicki: Birth to toddler. A birth to toddler nappy should…

Vashti: And if not into a second child, if you’ve got a decent sized stash. If you’ve got a stash of 20 nappies and you’re using, washing every single day, the chances of them seeing you a second child aren’t going to happen.

Vicki: Having said that, well I know the expectations that I have with my nappies is that they will see a second and third and fourth child, with minor repairs, like elastic. I would not expect elastic to last four children. I’m not saying it won’t, because I’ve seen some of my nappies that are nine years old. However, I expect them to be in a reasonable to condition to be able to reach that…

Vashti: I’ve got some of your all in ones that are eleven years old. Yes, they need elastics repaired, but the nappy itself is in immaculate condition.

Vicki: That’s right, as soon as you repair the elastics you have a brand new nappy. That’s my expectation of a quality nappy versus, it’s that whole throw away society, isn’t it? It’s the difference between buying a Smeg and I can’t think of a really cheap, an L.G. as an example.

Vashti: But then I just bought an L.G. vacuum cleaner and it’s pretty damn good.

Vicki: It wasn’t the right, I can’t actually think of, I probably picked the wrong type of appliance. OK, so a Kogan versus a Smeg. So you would expect the Kogan one, you pay $100 for, OK, let’s go air fryers, so you pay $100 for a Kogan air fryer, and you pay $400 for a Philips air fryer. You would expect the Philips air fryer to be lasting you a heck of a lot longer than the $100 one, because it’s designed as a throw away product. That’s pretty much what a China cheapy is. It’s designed as a throw away product. I can’t talk for other brands, I know I can talk for my brand, that our products aren’t designed as a throw away product. They’re designed to be repaired and passed on.

Andrew: Every time I hear somebody talk about Smeg, I think that the guys who created that company must be really, really big…

Vicki: Red Dwarf fans. I know. I knew he was going to go down a Red Dwarf path. I should have gone Bosch.

Andrew: If you don’t know what a Red Dwarf is, as your husband.

Vashti: We just bought a Smeg dishwasher on the weekend…

Vicki: And that’s why I picked it, by the way, we were just talking.

Vashti: …ours has died. You know, a slow death, but it’s died, and so we decided it was time to upgrade. And my other half chose the Smeg over the Bosch because it was a Smeg. That was it. He was like, I’ve got to have it because it’s Smeg.

Vicki: Seriously, don’t even, if you don’t know what that is, just wipe it from your brain. There is no need to know. Oh no…

Andrew: So any other subjects you want to cover?

Vashti: I think as long as you know what you’re buying. So don’t buy an Alva or a Happy Flute or any one of a myriad of rebranded China cheapies that are on the market, and expect it to have the same quality as a Baby Behinds and Itty Bitty, a Bubblebubs, a Thirsties or a Rumperoos. There are so many other amazing brands on the market. And really, once you do all the upgrades and pay for your postage and stuff like that, the price difference isn’t that much. Especially if you’re looking at buying 24 Alvas versus 24 Econaps, you can get, yes it’s still going to be more expensive to get the Econaps, but you can get the price of the Econaps down quite nicely, or any of your major brands…

Andrew: By buying in bulk.

Vicki: By buying in bulk.

Vashti: By buying in bulk. And there’s lots of ways to buy in bulk as well. There’s all of the buy now pay later schemes that are available.

Vicki: Also this is where I didn’t go with the multi-brand retailer, is they can do up packs of 24 different nappies. That’s a huge thing. That’s a huge bonus that a multi-brand retailers has over a single brand. I can only sell you 24 of a single product.

Andrew: An actual shop is actually going to have the nappy so you can touch it and feel it, and you’ll be able to tell pretty much straight away which is the quality nappy and which isn’t.

Vicki: And unfortunately, going back to the baby expos, unfortunately it generally tends to be brands that are at expos because they’re so expensive, they’re more a marketing exercise than a sales funnel, or anything like that. So to get a multi-brand retailer to actually have a stand at the expo is unrealistic, which is why I actively encourage my multi-brand retailers to run, either run the stalls or be on the stalls so they can answer those questions. If someone wants a pocket nappy, I don’t make a pocket nappy. I can’t help you. But I can say, well on the weekend, Hayley or Nicole sell pocket nappies. Let me go grab one of them and they can answer your questions for you. There’s a lot to be said about, instead of going direct to the brand, go to a retailer.

Vashti: The retailers, we deal with a myriad of brands. And we don’t just deal with the brands that we sell. We also deal with brands that we’ve sold in the past. We deal with brands that our customer have brought into us and said can you give me a hand with the fitting of this? Look, I bought this online, I bought it second hand, and I’m just not getting a great fit. And we can look at it and go that’s because your elastics have gone. Do you mind if I have a quick look at that nappy? I haven’t seen that brand before, I’d really be interested in seeing it. So we deal with a wide range of nappies, so we have a greater understanding of what is available on the market.

Andrew: And you tend to not stock anything that you’re not happy with.

Vashti: No, definitely. As I said before, I’m very particular about the brands I stock. It’s got to be something that I’ve used on my own kids. It’s got to be something that I would be prepared to put on my own child.

Andrew: It’s all prepared to put on your own child now, because all your kids are out of nappies.

Vashti: Yeah, all my kids are out of nappies.

Andrew: Unless you’re looking to have another one?

Vashti: No. No, this…

Andrew: You don’t want to make that announcement?

Vashti: …this shop is closed.

Andrew: We’re not going to break any new news or anything like that?

Vicki: Let’s have another baby, Andrew.

Andrew: Sure, you just have to go and find somebody else.

Vicki: I just got a pass. Ryan Reynolds.

Vashti: No, Brent’s had the snip, there is definitely no more babies.

Andrew: Well I didn’t want to make this public as well, but me too.

Vicki: You never got tested.

Andrew: No, I never got tested.

Vashti: Well, I didn’t think Brent did, but apparently he did.

Vicki: Yeah, but see I pay him now. I don’t have to worry. We were talking about wages before. I pay you now. I used to have to pay you in other ways. I don’t have to anymore.

Andrew: Oh, that’s right, yes.

Vashti: But you still don’t leave it by the bed.

Vicki: No.

Andrew: I’m so much more comfortable now you’re putting it into my bank account. I feel like a real paid person. Any other things you want to touch on, ladies?

Vashti: Just make sure you know what you’re buying. And if you…

Vicki: Ask. Ask.

Vashti: And if you are buying a China cheapy, that’s fine, it’s great because you’re putting a cloth nappy on your baby’s bottom, and that is fantastic.

Vicki: But don’t actually, there is a little bit of a stigma that comes with China cheapies, but you know what?

Vashti: Who cares.

Vicki: You have to just be confidence in your own decisions, and this is why we focus so much on education. It’s not about bagging out a particular brand or a particular style or anything like that. It’s about giving you, empowering you with the knowledge to make the right choice for your family. And as I said earlier, if you’re, whoever is doing the nappy changes and the washing is…

Vashti: And paying the bills.

Vicki: …and paying bills, they’re the ones that make the choice, not anybody else, and be damned with anybody else’s judgement.

Vashti: It’s no-one else’s business, absolutely none. But if you are buying a China cheapy, have realistic expectations on it. That’s the main thing. Is just have those realistic expectations on what your nappy is capable of doing, and if you aren’t sure, ask someone. I’m always happy to answer questions. Send me a message on Facebook or Instagram. Send a message through to Nappy Leaks and Andrew will forward it to me or Vicki. It’s not an issue, and we’ll give you a rounded and honest answer, and it will be a non-judgemental answer. I don’t care, as long as you’re using a cloth nappy. And even then…

Vicki: Depends on the question. If you want to know a style or particular brands, send it to Vashti. If you want to know composition and stuff like that, that’s my forte. The actual making and what works and what doesn’t work, versus different brands and styles, which is your forte.

Vashti: And whenever I get a question about how a nappy is made, I always say, I’ll get back to you, and I ask Vicki. Or I ask one of my other manufacturers, because they’re the ones that are doing it for a living. I’m in the front, selling for a living.

Vicki: So if you need a salesperson, get Vashti on your team.

Andrew: OK girls, I think we’ll finish it up then. Love your work. Thank you Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you, Vashti. Thank you, Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Bye.

[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.

[Music]

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#35 Questions and Answers Live April 2019

Nappy Leaks is recorded in front of a live studio audience. I always wanted to say that, but I do have a few corrections. We were not in a studio we were in the office of Bubblebubs and the studio audience was 12 and 50% of those were babies. But it was fun doing this series of live show were the audience asked Vicki and Vashti all the questions.

Transcript: Questions and answers live April 2019

Andrew: Welcome to Nappy Leaks with Vicki Simpson and Vashti Wadwell. How are you doing, Vicki?

Vicki: I’m good, Andrew, how are you?

Andrew: I’m excellent. How are you doing, Vashti?

Vashti: Wonderful, thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Excellent, and we have another guest. We have Catherine. Hi Catherine.

Catherine: Hi. 

Andrew: How are you?

Catherine: Yeah, well thank you. Thanks for having me along.

Andrew: You’re a teacher.

Catherine: I am a teacher. Yes indeed.

Andrew: Tell us about being a teacher. [background laughter]

Catherine: Vicki will be glad to know that I’m not a high school teacher. I teach Prep actually.

Vashti: We’ve got two teachers in the room today. 

Catherine: [inaudible word, 00:44] Teacher represent!

Vashti: Oh three, sorry.

Catherine: That’s all right, we understand bureaucracy too. 

Andrew: So you’re still learning about the cloth nappy world?

Catherine: Yeah, we’re only eight weeks into our journey, so still feeling like we’re finding our feet, but it’s been really great, and Vashti gets visits from me, I think even before Theodore was born she was getting multiple visits from me going so, what do we do about this? and what about this? It’s been really good to be able to navigate alongside someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Andrew: Nice. Well, I’ll let you ask your first question.

Catherine: Alright, so my questions are very kind of nappy and fit specific. Obviously it’s what we’re experiencing in the early days. I’ve got a very chunky boy here…

Jenna: No!

Catherine: Yeah, no.

Jenna: He’s gorgeous, the rolls are beautiful.

Catherine: Eight weeks, seven kilos. So chunking up. So what are some good tricks with getting a fit for the snapped one size fits all? Or Candies, let’s be honest, that’s what we’re talking about, when his legs seem to be kind of between snap sizes.

Vicki: Do you do more fit… do you want to take it, or do you want me to take it?

Vashti: Well it’s about Candies, so you take it.

Vicki: OK, what I find is, and I did a video on Ryan. I really need to redo that video, and Jenna will just write it down now, because that’s what she does. I did a fit video on Ryan. What I find actually is running your fingers along the elastic to actually move, it kind of moves the bunchiness of the elastic into kind of right around, to get it more into the groin. That’s what I find is by far, the easiest. And as long as the marks aren’t super nasty red, a lot of, what we actually find is a lot of people get an underwear type mark and go oh my God, I’m getting really bad red marks. And you look at it and the nappy is on super loose, and marks are normal. Red marks are normal. Deep red welts are not normal. If you liken it to your own underwear, or wearing a pair of tights…

Vashti: A pair of tights or jeans. A red mark isn’t going to hurt. It’s like when we wear bras, because let’s face it, most of us listening to this podcast are mums.

Vicki: I’ve got a bra on today.

Vashti: Woo hoo.

Jenna: Vicki’s checked. 

Vicki: But if you’ve got a red mark from your own clothing, if you get red marks from your nappies, it’s a similar sort of mark. If the mark from your nappies is welted, if the skin is broken, or if that mark doesn’t disappear by the next nappy change, then we’ve got a problem. Or if their toes turn blue. If their toes turn blue, the nappy is on too tight.

Catherine: Yeah, I think early on that was daunting, and even my husband was like, it’s too tight, I can’t put it on him any tighter. And I’m like no, you’ve got to really get in there. And I think that was a big thing, building confidence and seeing that…

Vicki: They’re not breakable.

Catherine: That Teddy’s response was, he was quite comfortable with it, and wasn’t complaining and that kind of helped me to be reassured that I wasn’t harming him in any way.

Vicki: He certainly will let you know if he is not happy. There is no, it’s a bit like being in labour. Not that I’ve even been in labour, because too posh to push three times, apparently. But you know, when you’re in labour and I think I’m in labour, and then oh yeah. OK, yeah, this is labour, yeah. And it’s the same thing. Bub will certainly let you know if it’s too tight. But I do find running your, and any nappy, front snap, side snap, front Velcro. Running your finger along that elastic line, it just moves the elastic out a little bit. Another hint is with any of your nappies, to actually stretch the rise. So put your palm on, at the top of the nappy and actually stretch it. And that kind of evens the elastic out. So that can help a lot. 

Catherine: That’s good. Now, I have found videos about replacing Candies elastic, and I can be really bold with some of my second hand ones that I picked up and doing that. Can you do the same thing with Bam Bams? I haven’t opened one up to have a look, but also, they’re overlocked, so I was curious what that would look like.

Vicki: You will need some way of resealing. So you’ll either need to zigzag or re-overlock. Because you’ll either, look, the lazy way to do it is to cut it off. Cut the overlocking off. That is hands down the quickest way to do it, because you just cut it on one side. Actually, I cut it on both sides, and then you can just get in, take the elastic off, put the new elastic on. Or you can actually unpick the overlocking, which obviously takes a lot longer. But personal preference as to… it’s not going to affect the actual fit. Being a fitted nappy, even if you end up moving the elastic in, like a little bit, to make sure that the…

Vashti: The frill.

Vicki: …the frill is still nice and thick, it’s not going to impact on the function of the nappy, enough for it to be a concern. 

Catherine: And my last question is just, what are the best ways to boost absorbency with the least bulk? At the moment we’re finding that with Teddy just being super chunky but not terribly big, putting the bulk in with the booster means that it’s quite gapey around the leg. And this is hilarious Vashti that I’m looking at you, because we totally were at Nest navigating this only a couple of weeks ago.

Vashti: So it’s really about trying to manoeuvre that absorbency, trying to get the thinnest absorbency you can, and manage it into that position. So trying to get that bulk into the centre and bring the shell out and around it. So there’s no reason why the elastic from the shell of the nappy can’t actually be sitting sort of over the top of the absorbency, almost once it’s on, if that makes sense. It’s really, really weird to try and describe it. But you get the elastic of the shell in on the undie line, and then the shell sort of comes out and around the boosting. Obviously it is really, really hard to boost an all in two, or an all in one nappy, because the more absorbency you put inside the nappy, the further it pushes the shell away from the body, which is one of the reasons why I love fitteds and flats and prefolds, because you can boost those until the cows come home, and a shell goes over the top, and as long as you’ve got the nice fit on the shell, then you’re set, it doesn’t matter. But boosting an all in two or an all in one is a lot harder. Things like microfibre work really good for quick absorption, and they’re generally reasonably trim, a little microfibre booster. But for holding in your absorbency, your cottons and your hemps and your bamboos are a lot better, so all your natural fibres.

Jenna: I’m really loving them…Hello, I’m Vicki now.

Vashti: Sorry, Vicki’s just had to step out.

Jenna: Vicki had to step away and now Vicki is Jenna. I’m really loving at the moment for trim boosting, muslin or birds eye flats.

Vashti: Yeah, they’re great.

Jenna: They pad fold down to the size of your palm, and especially because I’ve got a little boy, you just chuck it in the front and I find that works really, really well for extra absorbency, while being quite trim. And the other thing is of course double gussets. Anything with a double gusset will handle that boosting better. It gives you that different shape to get it around and really handle that boosting. Again for a boy, I assume it would be a little harder for a girl, because you’ve got to get it between the legs, whereas a boy you just chuck it all at the front. You’ve got experience, you’ve had both.

Vashti: Yeah, well yes and no. Girls do pee, we do say try and put your boosting for a girl in the middle, and your boosting for a boy at the front. But that also comes down to, if you’ve got a younger bubby, they’re spending a lot of time on their back, so you do need to get more of your boosting towards the back of the nappy, because when they’re lying on their back, that’s where all the moisture runs.

Jenna: Yep, whichever way gravity goes. 

Vashti: Yeah, once they’re up and moving and stuff like that, yes you do need to get more of your boosting down the bottom of the nappy because they’re up.

Jenna: The great thing with the muslin flats I’m finding is, and this would be quite flexible for a girl and a boy, is I can fold it to the exact width that I’ve got at the front, so you could make it longer and thinner for a girl to get through that crotch without making it too uncomfortable for them.  But I’m just finding them, they’re my favourite at the moment for boosting, because they’re really trim and super absorbent. You can get them bamboo, cotton, whatever you’ve got, all those good options. But I just find they’re really good for trim boosting at the moment. It’s my favourite flavour of the month.

Vashti: And you know what? Something as simple as a face washer folded in half is also a fantastic booster. It’s generally enough to just give you that little bit of extra absorbency that you need, without bulking the nappy too much. So you don’t have to go out and spend masses of money on buying these super dooper fantastic boosters. Use what you’ve got at home. You’ve got old flannelette sheets that have seen better days, chop them up, overlock the edges or…

Jenna: Tea towels that you don’t like anymore that are really absorbent.

Vashti: There you go, cotton tea towels, anything.

Jenna: Big fans of reuse.

Vashti: Anything you’ve got around the house.

Jenna: Big fans of reuse around here, there’s no need to go out and buy a whole bunch. And that was kind of, I had some flats that someone had given me to try out, and I’m not a big flats fan. But I found that for a night nappy, a fitted nappy and then folding that muslin at the front, and that’s all, my son is two, and that’s all he wears at night for 12 hours. Theoretically, except for last night, where he slept three hours. He normally sleeps 12 hours. Putting that at the front, that gets him through the night. So it really is a lot of boosting. So I suppose if you want a day boosting you could even cut those in halves or thirds and get a few uses out of them, they’re flexible in that way.

Vashti: Definitely. 

Jenna: Does that help?

Catherine: Yeah, yeah, that’s helpful. I just disappear, you guys can chat, over it, that’s cool. I actually find using the boosters from the Bam Bams that they’re that little bit thinner, that I’ve actually found they’re useful now we’re in one size fits most nappies, because they work like having a face washer folded in half, so you’re using the collection, what I’ve already got in my stash. 

Jenna: I’ve got a friend who’s just starting and I’ve told her to take all the, most all in twos have a long, a big insert and a small insert, and I’ve told her to take the small inserts out of all the nappies, and if bubba is sleeping longer at night to put them in the front of her fitted nappies for when baby is small. You won’t need those in the nappies until later. Use those for your boosting in your newborn fitted nappies, if bubba is nice enough to sleep for you. 

Andrew: Thank you, Catherine. Now, what advice would you have for new mums?

Catherine: I think the biggest advice, it’s all fairly fresh in my brain, when I was pregnant I’d done so much research, and trying to learn my washing routines and, thank you Amy for helping out with lots of those things. But I think the biggest thing is just try one. Just get one cloth nappy on bub and see how it goes, and the more that you do it, the easier it becomes. I’m not sure that rinsing poo out at the end of each night is getting any easier, but it’s not that unglamorous, and I just found that I was so nervous about it, I just needed to get in there and do it. And my husband was the same. He was so uncertain and the more nappies he changes, the more confident he gets. And we’re in cloth full time now.

Andrew: Cool. As far as washing poo out, just imagine it’s playdough, because that doesn’t smell. 

Vashti: Just say for instance there’s a video where someone washes blue playdough off a nappy. 

Catherine: I could deal with that if it was blue. My problems is, I really like the sweet potato dip, and often when he’s going down for a lunchtime nap, I just grab what I can for lunch to then sit down with him to feed. And sweet potato dip and I just can’t see eye to eye anymore. You get the last bit out of the container with your finger and then you go, I don’t know what that is now. That could be dip…

Jenna: It’s ruined now.

Catherine: …or not. So it’s ruined.

Andrew: That’s one of those foods that comes out the same way it went in.

Catherine: That’s it. 

Andrew: Thank you, Catherine.

Catherine: Thank you very much.

Andrew: Thank you, Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you…

Jenna: Vicki-Jenna.

Vashti: Hey, thanks Catherine, it was great to see you.

Catherine: That’s alright, thank you.

[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. 

[Music]

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Podcast 30: Pre fold cloth nappies

the versatile pre-fold is pretty much a rectangle of material and it’s got extra absorbency through the centre. It’s broken down into three panels normally. And the centre panel is thicker than the two outside panels.

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Podcast 28: Washing your cloth nappies

Washing your cloth nappies is easy. You have been washing for years with your current washing machine. Washing cloth nappies just needs a few tweaks to your current washing routine. There is a few different angles on the subject and Vicki, Vashti and Jenna go down every rabbit hole.

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Podcast 26: How to survive christmas and the holidays away from home with your baby using cloth nappies.

Lots of people travel home for the holidays. This time when you travel home you are taking a new addition to the family that everyone will want to see, hold, cuddle. But how do you cloth nappy when you’re at someone else’s house? Vashti and Vicki give you some insight to living at someone else’s house with a baby or toddler for an extended period.

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Podcast 24: The top eight reasons people give up cloth nappies.

Some of you after saying that your using cloth nappies get a “Why I gave up on cloth nappies story” I came across a lot of articles on people who gave up using cloth nappies. Most of which were just click-bait, but I did find a lot of reasons people just could not use cloth nappies any more. So I picked a few and threw them at the girls and this is what they had to say.

So next time someone wants to give you one of those stories you can point them at this podcast and maybe help them over the line.

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Podcast Episode 017: Questions and Answers

Every month after the main podcast is recorded I sometimes manage to keep the girls in front of the microphone just a little longer to answer some listener questions. If you have a question just email them to feedback@nappyleaks.com.au

Questions we cover this week are.

Everyone is telling me different reasons why nappies are leaking. What are the causes and how do you fix them?

Which are better? All in two or all in one?

I’m really clean to knit some woollen nappy covers, but I’m not sure which type of wool to use. All of the super soft options at the wool shop were super. Can I use these? Do you have any favourite wool brand?

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Podcast Episode 013: Questions and Answers for May

As we are not getting time to answer questions during the episodes, we will be publishing an episode at the end of the month devoted to questions and answers. If you have a problem, you would like Vicki and Vashti to answer go to the contact page at Nappy Leaks

This week’s questions are.

What is the difference between microfleece and microfiber?
Do I need to use liners?
You had a long hose on your squirt, didn’t you?

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Podcast Episode 010: Night Cloth Nappies

Kind of the same and kind of different to day cloth nappies. Night cloth nappies have a whole new range of possibilities and challenges.

Some of the subjects we cover are…

What is the difference between a night nappy and a day cloth nappy?

How many are we going to need?

Do they take longer to dry?

Why do we have a dedicated night cloth nappy?

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Podcast Episode 008: Cost expectations

This time the girls talk about expectations of the cost of modern cloth nappies over disposable nappies. The girls even take into consideration the cost of washing, cost of detergent and also the water use over the cost of disposable nappies. They answer the question are modern cloth nappies cheaper than disposable nappies.

You can find all the numbers at Vashti’s website.

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Podcast Episode 005: Questions and Answers

Episode 005
More questions, this week Vashti and Vicki answer some more questions put forward by long-term cloth nappy users. The questions are things they were concerned about before they became full-time cloth nappy users.

Questions include.

 How you wash them?
Do you need to wash every day?
I don’t wanna spend a lot of time in the laundry.
What is the different between POL and minky?
Will the thicker profile fit under clothes and be comfortable to wear?
What are the pros and cons of all in one and all in twos?
Will I need to change the cover every time I change a bam-bam nappy? Do I need to add something, like a booster, for nighttime?
Is cloth less breathable than disposables?
Can I use the dryer?
Her next question is can she use nappy sand or similar products?
How do you get rid of mould?
How do you store nappies between baby?

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Podcast: Episode 003 Questions and Answers

nappy leaks podcast

This week on Nappy Leaks, Vashti and Vicki answer some questions put forward by long term cloth nappy users. The questions they ask are things they were concerned about before they became full time cloth nappy users.

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Podcast: Episode 002 What reusable nappies are made of.

nappy leaks podcast

In this weeks podcast, Vashti and Vicki dive deep into the fabrics that are used to make modern cloth nappies. Explaining the long term environmental impact of all the fabrics and giving you the knowledge to know which fabric to have in your cloth nappies.

In this week’s show.
How many fabrics are used in Australian Modern Cloth Nappies?
Which ones are best to look for.
If you’re having trouble with your nappies, reach out. It’s not you, it’s the nappy, and you just need a little bit of help.

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