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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.

Podcast #40 Toilet Training On A Schedule

Our guest is Jenna, she has just gone through toilet training which she booked 12 days on the calender. Vashti and Vicki grill Jenna on how she toilet trained her son in just 12 days.

Transcript: Toilet Training On A Schedule

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

Vashti: Good thanks Andrew, how are you today?

Andrew: Excellent. Vicki, how are you doing?

Vicki: Yeah good, how are you Andrew?

Andrew: Not too bad. And we’ve got a guest. Anybody want to guess who the guest is?

Vashti: Shock horror, I wonder who it could be?

Andrew: It’s Bunnicas. We know who’s in the room, nobody else knows who’s in the room.

Vicki: People can make educated guesses.

Vashti: Hi Jenna.

Jenna: Hello.

Andrew: How are you doing Jenna?

Jenna: You missed an opportunity, you could have asked me how I was first and pissed both of them off.

Andrew: Yeah true, it’s an even episode so Vashti gets it. Vashti gets evens, Vicki gets odds.

Jenna: I like that you’ve had to develop a system. 

Andrew: That’s right, otherwise they fight. Disposable nappies win every time.

Jenna: Yes, we don’t want that. 

Vashti: That’s still a crappy joke [laughter].

Jenna: And that’s even worse. 

Andrew: It’s funny, having a dig at it gets more laughs than the actual joke.

Jenna: We used to have a term for that at our old office called Shane-ing, when the person telling the joke is more funny than the actual joke itself because they can’t get it out, or someone else makes it come back. It’s much funnier than the joke. It’s called Shane-ing. Guess who it was named after?

Andrew: I like that.

Vashti: Shane?

Jenna: He was not a funny guy. 

Vicki: We could call it Andrew-ing.

Jenna: Andrew-ing? We can call it Andrew-ing from now on, makes a bit more sense. 

Vicki: Because he aint a funny guy. 

Jenna: It’s a Dad joke, he’s meant to make horrible jokes, it’s his job.

Vicki: He is, and he’s very good at it. 

Jenna: See?

Andrew: That’s the only reason I’m here.

Jenna: You’re killing it. 

Vashti: No, you do the tech stuff as well. We’ll keep you around for that.

Jenna: And he’s got the really good podcast velvet voice when you listen to it.

Andrew: No, I’ve told you before, that’s an effect.

Jenna: Well can the rest of us have it?

Andrew: Very expensive software that does that for me. 

Vicki: Did I pay for it?

Jenna: Shh, she can hear, she can hear. 

Andrew: So what did you guys think of that live day we did a little while ago now? Remember that?

Vashti: Yeah, that was awesome.

Andrew: Did you like that?

Vicki: It was a lot of fun. I’m having flashbacks to…

Jenna: I was going to say, Vicki had a small emotional problem.

Vicki: Yeah, that was a very emotional day where I had…

Jenna: I got to be Vicki.

Vicki: I had to go to bat for my daughter.

Andrew: Good news is, she’ll be in her new school by then. 

Vicki: And the nose piercing will be out. The irony of all of it.

Jenna: I remember stealing a lot of newborns that day. 

Vashti: You did.

Jenna: I was finally getting a little less scared of the whole second kid thing and I was just like sniff this baby, sniff this baby. I was like here, I’ll hold it. I got vomited on by two or three kids, it was great. 

Andrew: Yeah, I asked you to send me some pictures of the day and every picture you sent me was you holding a baby.

Vicki: Yeah, and she wore the same jeans the next day. That had vomit on them, remember?

Jenna: No, no, no, that’s a bit, that did happen but it’s a video you’re thinking of. No, I didn’t wear them the next day. Andrew said aren’t you going to go, so we were recording a video and I got vomited on, and Andrew looked at me and said aren’t you going to go home and change? And I was like, no. Why would I? It didn’t even occur to me. What was the point in that? I’ve walked around with a lot more vomit on me before. Never had a job I got thrown up on before. 

Vashti: It’s a new experience. Wait until you get pooped on. 

Andrew: Maybe at this one, because we’re going to have another live on. Tuesday the 30th of July is our live podcast. So on to today’s subject.

Vicki: Hear that Mum? Please don’t book anything for Tuesday the 30th. No appointments. That would be nice.

Jenna: Oh also my Mum, if you could not do that so you can look after my child, that would be great. 

Andrew: And you know what? We know they listen too, because they’re the three listeners we’ve got. 

Vicki: That’s right.

Jenna: No joke, my Dad has listened to the podcast. I made him. You know when you said, I did Episode 6 or 8 or something or other, and there’s this real spike, and it’s because I forced everyone I know to listen to it. My Dad listened to an entire podcast about cloth nappies.

Andrew: Episode 6 is the third most listened to episode.

Jenna: Yeah, because I share it all the time, because whenever people ask about travelling with cloth, it’s an easy one to send them.

Andrew: Listen to what I say, that’s what you say isn’t it?

Jenna: Yeah, just do what I tell you to. 

Andrew: So today, the reason Jenna is here is because Jenna blocked out some time on her calendar to toilet train her son.

Jenna: And she’s been copping crap for it too.

Andrew: That’s right, copping, like Michael Hyde is one of my favourite authors and he says, “The most memorable things will not be something you check off a to do list.”

Jenna: That’s everything, I put everything on a to do list. What do you not… what you need to understand, dear listener, is that Andrew and Vicki are anarchists.

Vicki: No, we’re not, we’re yin and yang. Andrew is completely different to me. 

Jenna: He still makes fun of my love of organisation. 

Vicki: You two are the organised ones. I’m the completely just…

Vashti: No, no, that’s not true. 

Jenna: Does that sound believable, Andrew?

Andrew: Don’t worry, I can sound it so it sounds more believable later.

Jenna: Good, good, that filter is really good. 

Vicki: But see Andrew just follows my lead. I think that’s probably…

Jenna: That’s absolutely right, you talk about it all the time, surrounding yourself with complementary people. I haven’t got the constant push forward, that constant drive you have, all the coming up with the ideas and stuff. I’m not that person. But I can take the idea and do work with them. Do stuff with them. Shh Andrew.

Vicki: And see even I didn’t swear before. 

Andrew: I’m going to beep you out.

Jenna: You can bleep me. I’ll try and keep it…

Vashti: She did correct herself.

Jenna: I did immediately correct myself.

Andrew: I might put a duck sound in, just to be…

Jenna: That’s a lot more discouraging than a beep, because a beep is kind of cool. It’s very rap, whereas the duck sound is not great.

Vashti: Do a moo, a cow. 

Jenna: That’s discouraging. That’s discouraging. Don’t give him ideas.

Andrew: And so I don’t have to pay anybody for the moo sound, I’ll just say it myself. 

Jenna: Now you’ve just got to keep up with it and do it live. 

Andrew: So…

Vicki: And that would be funny, so now you have to do it again. [laughter]

Andrew: So onto the subject.

Jenna: What are we doing?

Andrew: How did you toilet train your son?

Jenna: Magic.

Andrew: How many days, you blocked out 12 days?

Jenna: I blocked out 12 days. I’d seen around all the Facebook groups and the Mummy groups and all those things. I’d seen the Oh Crap Potty Training book recommended a lot by Jamie, I do not know how to pronounce her last name. It starts with a G and it’s got a lot of letters in it. And so I read that book when we were away in the Philippines.

Vicki: We’ll put that in the show notes. Not. Does anything ever go in the show notes?

Jenna: It does. I do it all. 

Andrew: No, the show notes now are just…

Vicki: Hey Siri, send a text message to Jenna to remember to put stuff in the show notes.

Andrew: Oh no, you’re breaking a podcast rule, you’re not allowed to say…

Siri: OK.

Andrew: …the thing word. Because everybody’s device at home will now be trying to send Jenna a message [laughter].

Vicki: Sorry, not sorry. What if I asked Alexa? 

Vashti: Or Google. Hey Google, order…

Jenna: OK, so I read that book while we were away, much to the amusement of all the childless people who were on a kind of group holiday for someone’s wedding and everyone’s relaxing by the pool, and they kept looking over at my toilet training book and laughing at my life.

Vicki: You were secretly laughing too, weren’t you. Or were you sobbing?

Jenna: I was laughing. A little bit of both. Probably laughing, I embraced it. I am super cool. And we…

Andrew: So no guys came up to you while you were reading this book?

Jenna: No, no. Oddly enough, no. You don’t get hit on a lot when you’ve got a two year old on top of you. 

Andrew: Not even when you’re reading a book, he was reading it as well, was he?

Jenna: Most of the time. You can’t actually ditch them. They’re not as old as your kids. You can’t just leave them alone.

Andrew: We’ve done that from birth. 

Vicki: Shh, you’re not meant to tell people.

Andrew: It’s alright, they’re grown up now.

Vicki: And they’re not at all screwed up at all.

Jenna: I think we all screw our kids up. The idea is to try and do it in a really unique way that other people haven’t screwed up their kids. Try and find a really different, for instance accidentally teach your child that sharks eat penises. That’s a really good one to do. 

Andrew: Really?

Jenna: It did not say not to do that in any of the books I read. 

Andrew: So he won’t go in the ocean now?

Jenna: No, no, just little plastic sharks. I tried to get it to eat his toe once and he grabbed it. He’s like no Mummy, penis shark. And tried to eat his penis with the shark. I said oh, I’ve broken him already. And Vashti, spot the person who’s heard this story 600 times. Vicki’s just sitting there calmly.

Andrew: I want to see you go to Sea World. [inaudible, laughing 09:17]

Vicki: Penis shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo. Penis shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.

Jenna: Every mother out there now hates us because we’ve got that song in our head. What were we talking about? Toilet training?

Andrew: You blocked out 12 days.

Jenna: So we looked on our calendars and we blocked out, we decided to keep him, he goes to family day care two days a week, and we decided to keep him home for a week. So we started the day after he goes to day care, so Saturday all the way through to the next Wednesday. So 12 days we blocked out on the calendar to just focus on toilet training and just do that and life revolved around that a little bit. We were giving him the best support we could to give him the most success. So we did the first three days of toilet training completely nude. Which he was thrilled about. In winter, not great timing, we just ran the heater. 

Vicki: In Queensland.

Jenna: In Queensland, yep.

Vicki: Because it’s 20 degrees.

Jenna: Have you been in our house? It’s an icebox.

Vicki: Queensland houses are freezing. Absolutely freezing.

Jenna: I overdress all the time, I’m currently wearing a jumper and I’m way overdressed for where we are right now because my house is freezing and I forget that. So he was naked for three days, which he thought was brilliant. He’s never had so much access to his penis. That was interesting for all of us.

Vicki: Neither has his shark.

Jenna: Neither has his shark. Little boys are lot of fun when they’ve got access to their penis. I heard the words “Mummy, penis too big” a lot. And had to try and explain if you want it to go small again you’ve got to stop touching it.

Andrew: Words you’ll never hear again.

Jenna: His Dad did think it was a bit funny. He did really good. The morning of the first day he started, he was crouching down on the mat trying to do something and he started to do a poo. He jumped up on his own, before we could get to him, ran over to the potty and finished it on the potty. So we were pretty proud. Day one, he was ready. As Vicki says, he was ready. He knew what to do. We would have toilet trained him sooner if it wasn’t for the trip. I didn’t want to take a newly toilet trained kid overseas on the plane. That seemed like a horrible idea. So we did that for the first three days. Then the book recommends going commando, so they forget the muscle memory of having something on their butt and thinking that they can poop in it or pee in it. So he went, we did commando. We started and I put tights on him without really thinking about it. Every time we put them on for the first two days he pooped and I was like what the heck is happening? You were doing so good. But I don’t want to end up with you only naked toilet trained. And then I reread the section in the book and it made a real point to say baggy clothes. So I switched the tights out for some baggy track pants and it was much better. So I really do think that that muscle memory thing has a good point. In the book she says that she recommends, she used to say if you can, commando for a month is a good idea, but now she’s moved to thinking it’s really integral. Integral to do. So that’s what she recommends. We’re actually starting underwear this weekend. First time, first undies this weekend. So we’ll see if we take a backward step or how he goes from there.

Vicki: I think he’ll be fine. We did it in three days with all the kids.

Jenna: He’s doing so good. He did have an accident yesterday, but we’ve just built him a pretty spectacular sandpit and he did not want to get out of the sandpit.

Vicki: So the cats aren’t peeing in your sandpit, it’s your son. Right. See you left this out of the story.

Jenna: He didn’t pee in the sandpit, he had a little spot on the front of his pants. I was watching, and I’m like you need to pee, you need to pee. And he’s like no, no Mummy sandpit. I’m like you need to get out of the sandpit. So of course sandpit’s been installed for like an hour and I’m running through the house with this kid who clearly needs to pee.

Vicki: Covered in sand.

Jenna: Because I didn’t take any time to stop and get the sand off him. So you know.

Vicki: You didn’t teach him to wee on the tree up the back?

Jenna: No, I’m actually trying, I know it’s different opinions, but I’m actually trying to teach him just because he’s a boy he’s not allowed to pee on the world.

Vicki: I know, it’s just something that I’m just not, I’m sorry, the world is not your bathroom.

Jenna: The end actually credit to Vicki, we’re doing something that will be a gift to my future son or daughter-in-law. We’re teaching him to wipe his penis after he pees.

Vicki: Much to Andrew’s disgust.

Jenna: Because you know what? No, we’re not having little pee drips everywhere, and I have control over this. I can teach and build a new breed of wonderful men who wipe. So we’re teaching him and he’s doing a very good job. He does wipe, he wipes his front, we’re using our cloth wipes still actually. We tried toilet paper the first couple of days and I basically went bleep this bleeping bleep. See, I bleeped myself, it’s fine. 

Andrew: No I did that, it was me.

Jenna: Oh, it was Andrew. It sounds a lot like me.

Vicki: Moo.

Jenna: I went moo this moo-ing moo and went and got my cloth wipes because, trying to wipe a small toddler’s butt with toilet paper is really annoying. Cloth wipes are efficient and I’m used to them and they work well. So we have still been using moistened cloth wipes to use.

Vicki: Do teach him to shake though, because otherwise when they get to school you may have an issue where they have an absolute meltdown when there is no toilet paper because that’s the only way they know how to clean their penis.

Jenna: I feel like you’re speaking from experience here.

Vicki: Yeah, just a little bit of experience. 

Jenna: You have a really regimented son. 

Vicki: Yes. He’s so unlike me.

Andrew: They don’t put toilet rolls at the trough.

Vicki: No, they don’t.

Andrew: Have you girls seen a trough?

Both: Yes.

Andrew: OK. They don’t put toilet rolls in.

Vicki: Men don’t wipe.

Vashti: Do you know how hard it is to get a female toilet at a festival or a concert or any sort of large gathering? You don’t get female toilets unless you want to line up for three hours.

Jenna: Yeah, so you go to the mens. 

Andrew: The festival that I just went to…

Vicki: You can actually get even plastic things that you can actually standing up…

Jenna: She-wee.

Vicki: Thank you.

Jenna: We got free sample ones of those at my last job. 

Andrew: Really? Somebody came in and handed them all out.

Jenna: Oh no, they were to do a review on. It was a fishing magazine and we got one to test for when you’re out. And one of the girls tested it. She likes to fish, that’s not me.

Andrew: The festival I was just at they closed the male toilets and turned them into female toilets.

Vashti: Really?

Jenna: Good, good, because it’s not, it’s bathroom unfairness. Anyway we’re teaching him to wipe, cloth wipes, he’s doing really good, but for us it worked really well. We didn’t leave the house for the first three days. I made sure I did the groceries while my husband was still at home and could stay home with him. Credit to my husband, he was absolutely so much better at the first few days of toilet training than I was. So much more attentive and so much more on top of it. 

Andrew: It actually sounds like you love your husband.

Jenna: Yeah, he seems pretty good. He’s OK.

Vicki: You’ll keep him around?

Jenna: Yeah.

Vicki: Have another child with him?

Jenna: Working on it. Give it a go. Don’t think we can say what Andrew said to me. Can you cut this bit out?

Andrew: No, I’m keeping it in because he’ll want to hear it.

Jenna: [indistinct, speaking fast, 16:08] It was when I flew to Sydney, Andrew. Andrew goes, there’s a lot of sperm between here and Sydney.

Vicki: Yeah, I did hear that. 

Jenna: Yes, but we’re after a specific type. 

Andrew: But you met him at a bar. Couldn’t you have just gone to a bar?

Jenna: Nonsense, I met him at a friend’s apartment at St Paddies day. Then we hooked up later at a bar. At Gilhoolies, where all good things happen. Anyhoo, toilet training, husband. Actually I had him booked out. I have three friends who are having some trouble toilet training, who all said can we leave our friends with Casey for the week and we’ll go away for the weekend? I had three toddlers booked in. Casey was not keen on this idea. So yeah, Ryan did really well. We weren’t planning on night training. We were going to keep using nappies until actually I got pregnant and my sleep was already messed up, because I didn’t want to give away my last few good months of sleep.

Vicki: Are you, are you, oh my gosh, are you intending to have another baby?

Jenna: Yeah.

Vicki: And how does that affect your work?

Jenna: I think my boss is really excited about it.

Andrew: We promote it. 

Vicki: Isn’t that an inhouse model?

Andrew: We went and bought the sperm for you. 

Jenna: I’m pretty sure a trip to Sydney is cheaper. 

Andrew: Depends on where you get it from. 

Vashti: We could have gotten some George Clooney or you know…

Jenna: Pretty sure that’s more expensive than an $850 trip to Sydney. I think that’s a lot cheaper. But no, I think this is the only workplace I’ve been encouraged to have a child. Inhouse model. At your service. Working on it.

Andrew: That’s right, we’ll have pictures of him, him or her, in every…

Jenna: We’ll have him in the fricken hospital.

Andrew: Every single babe, every single month we’ll have pictures of him in a nappy.

Jenna: Have all the child. Have all the children. 

Vicki: You didn’t want to have another one?

Vashti: Hell, no.

Andrew: Well she can’t with Brent. 

Jenna: That’s OK, we can get a lot of sperm between here and Sydney. We could find some.

Vicki: Well I’m heading over to Germany, there’s even more. And I just found out I’m going to be in Germany in the middle of Oktoberfest. There’s a lot of sperm then I bet.

Andrew: Both of you are going to be in Germany at Oktoberfest. 

Vashti: Well that hasn’t been revealed yet.

Jenna: Are you going?

Vashti: I am going to Germany.

Jenna: Oh my goodness. 

Andrew: Do you want me to take that out?

Vashti: No, go for it. We’re breaking news. When does this actually air, Andrew? Will it be breaking news by then?

Andrew: I think they’ll be back by then. 

Vicki: And still drunk.

Jenna: Yes, we would like to update you that as listening to this podcast that Vicki and Vashti, Vishti, as I call them, are still drunk.

Vashti: And there is plans to possibly stop in at Amsterdam as well. 

Vicki: Yeah no, I can’t remember where we’re doing. Didn’t we decide Bruges?

Vashti: Bruges.

Vicki: Bruges isn’t Amsterdam. We got like five days free.

Vashti: So there’s some really nice cafes in Amsterdam, I’ve heard.

Jenna: What kind of cafes, Vashti?

Vashti: Oh just ones that serve coffee and brownies. I love brownies. Love chocolate.

Jenna: See I’ve been to Amsterdam but I was like 15 at the time. 

Vashti: I was five, the last time I was in Amsterdam.

Vicki: I have never been to Europe. 

Vashti: My father is Dutch. Or was Dutch, he’s no longer with us. 

Jenna: I wouldn’t, is that your last name? No. Is that English?

Vashti: Maybe, I don’t know, somewhere back there. 

Jenna: I dated a Dutch guy all the way through high school so I went and had Christmas with his family when I was 15 or 16 or something like that. Went to Amsterdam.

Andrew: So, back to cloth nappies.

Vicki: We were very busy, Andrew.

Jenna: Back to cloth nappies. Yeah.

Andrew: The interesting thing you said to me before the podcast was, you aren’t using cloth nappies anymore. And you’re washing as much.

Jenna: So we’re out of nappies. I actually feel like I need to make an announcement in the groups that I’ve toilet trained. I’m not quite sure why I need to do that, but I feel like I do. I think the big thing I’ve found, at expos we say to people that the amount of laundry you do with kids, adding cloth nappies in really doesn’t make it that much more. It actually makes it more convenient for dirty, stuff with food on it or wet stuff.

Andrew: Milk.

Jenna: Milk, kids who have poured milk all over themselves. Mums who have poured all over themselves. It makes it really convenient, I know friends who have had mouldy nursing tops and stuff. Because I do cloth nappies I wash so frequently I never had that problem. So we always say this at expos, but the truth is, I’ve done cloth nappies from two weeks, so I don’t have a lot of experience with washing kids laundry without cloth nappies. And I’ve been, I must admit towards the last couple of months, knowing we were about to toilet train, I was getting like I’m a bit done with laundry and cloth nappies and stuff like that. I want a break before we do this again, and I was looking forward to the laundry load getting lighter. Fun fact, it doesn’t get lighter, that is true, when we say it doesn’t make that much of a difference, and I’m finding this out in the bad end of things. I’m like oh, this is not that much better.

Vashti: I literally with three kids at home, Mr Nest is away at the moment and I still do a minimum of one load of laundry a day.

Jenna: See I’m not doing that much but I’m doing, I have, I’m still doing nearly as much laundry as I was doing before. I’m probably doing one less load a week. And what’s happening is things are getting damp. Like we said, we’re using cloth wipes so they’re wet. My son spilled milk down the front of his shirt the other day, that’s what Andrew is talking about. He gets, I’ve never been good with bibs, because I did cloth nappies, and was washing all the time, I just threw dirty clothes in with that. Threw them in the prewash and everything came out sparkly clean. So I’m now dealing with all these damp, dirty clothes that I’ve never dealt with before that aren’t getting washed. With toddler wee, we were washing nightly at the end. We were doing prewash every night. So I’m dealing with all the stuff I wasn’t dealing with before. My laundry system is out of whack. I’m doing nearly as much laundry as before and I’m annoyed that it’s true from a personal perspective. And thrilled because it’s another great expo spiel to use. From a professional perspective. A bit torn about that.

Vicki: So you didn’t use any toilet training pants at all?

Jenna: Nope. I’m a rule for law, and the book told me to do these things and said that Pullups are just another type of nappy. Just different style.

Vicki: That’s always been, because I get asked a lot, why don’t you do a toilet training pant? And honestly it’s my stand on it. I just think it keeps kids in nappies longer. 

Vashti: See for me, I was different. We used toilet training pants on all three of our kids, but…

Andrew: Toilet training pants, are they tight on the bum?

Vashti: They’re just like a pair of undies. But they’ve got a little bit…

Vicki: They’re pretty much another nappy.

Vashti: …well yeah, there’s not as much absorbency in them, but a little amount of absorbency through the wet zone. But they’re shaped like, they’re designed…

Jenna: They’re helpful in cars and stuff so you don’t end up in a position where you have to wash your car seat and remove the fire retardant stuff.

Vicki: But if they’re not as absorbent and a toddler weed, I actually, to be perfect honest, I cannot see the point.

Vashti: See for us, for me, toilet training pants, they’re designed to catch those small leaks. So if your child is not ready to toilet train, toilet training pants aren’t going to help because they’re going to let out the whole rush. But if your child is ready for toilet training…

Jenna: A bit like what Ryan did in the sandpit yesterday.

Vashti: Yeah, toilet training pants will give you that, if you’re at the shops or in the car or something like that…

Jenna: It will give you time to run back to the car, like I did when Ryan said I need to go potty in the middle of the grocery store the other day.

Andrew: Or you could get all the sand off him before running in the house with him.

Jenna: No, just run the sand everywhere. Actually, sorry to interrupt but while I remember, in the car what we’re doing is working well, because we aren’t using toilet training, in case we have any leaks, I’ve got a newborn prefold, folded in half, kind of folded in thirds I think, just put up against his penis, under the belt buckle. Where a cloth nappy would sit. No more bulky than a cloth nappy would be. And then I’ve got a mini wet bag on the other side of that, so if he does have an accident in the car and I can’t pull over quick enough, that will catch it and it’s got a waterproof lining there. So still using some of my cloth nappy stash there. Also actually side effect of training is I’ve actually got all my nappies clean and away now. I’m seeing how many they are. It’s not a small amount, no. Sorry, I interrupted you, do continue.

Vashti: I found that toilet training pants worked for us, because we were able to not be contained at home. For us, being stuck at home for…

Jenna: Twelve days,  yeah.

Vashti: …twelve days, it wasn’t viable for any of our kids, especially not number three, who…

Jenna: You’ve got school runs and all kinds of things.

Vashti: I was doing school runs for the older two. I was working in the shop, I own my own business, I was running around. And Mr Nest was away a fair bit as well. So he was travelling for work and stuff. So it was just me. So toilet training pants were my saviour, because it meant that even though Kylan knew when he needed to go to the toilet, he didn’t quite always catch it. He’d dribble a little bit. So having the toilet training pants meant that we weren’t changing clothes, we weren’t washing car seats, we weren’t having puddles in the middle of Coles and stuff like that.

Vicki: So curious, did that extend the process?

Vashti: For Braith, no. Braith was fully toilet trained by the time he was 18 months.

Vicki: No, no, no I mean time-wise, when you start to go was it still done in a couple of days?

Vashti: Yep. So Braith was very quick. Mikayla we had, I think we started her too early and because of issues she’d had from her allergies from disposables in those first few weeks, she was quite slow to toilet train. And Kylan, he was down pat, he knew what he had to do. But I didn’t really push him. So yeah. I don’t think it extended the process for us in any way, we still got through it fairly quickly but it was always good to have those toilet training pants afterwards just for that peace of mind, for me.

Jenna: On night training, still using nappies and I suppose this might be the same with toilet training pants, for washing, in case anyone out there is wondering how the heck you do your washing if you’ve got toilet training pants that have wee in them, if you’re still doing night nappies and you don’t have day nappies and stuff. Best advice there is do a really good hand rinse with some detergent and hot water, a couple of rinses, just by hand, and then just throw it in with your normal clothes. Make sure you give them, especially night nappies, because by that age if they’re toilet training, their night nappies are pretty full of wee. So giving that a good hand rinse in a lot of hot water and a little bit of, just a teaspoon of detergent and then throw that in with your normal laundry is the best way to go about that, in case anyone’s curious. We were doing that for a week or two I think. And then what happened is Ryan was waking dry a lot of mornings and we really didn’t want to night train. As I said, I was waiting until I was pregnant and my sleep was already interrupted and he started waking dry. And then at 4 am he started crying one morning. And I was like, what is his problem? Because he sleeps through the night now. I went in there and I was trying to work it out and I couldn’t quite work out what was up and I put him down, and I noticed his nappy the next morning was wet. I was like OK. And then the next morning, I wonder if that’s what it was. The next morning he woke at 4 and weed again. He’s my child, he’s very regimented. And I changed his nappy and realised he’d just weed in it. So I’m getting up, I was like OK. My husband was like, we need to listen to him. He’s screaming out to us that he’s ready to night train. So we took the side off the cot and put his potty out. And I think day two of that we woke up. I looked at him on the monitor and he’d taken his pants off and he was sitting on the potty doing a wee on his own. Like he woke up in the morning and sat down and did a wee all on his own before we woke up. I was like, he was so ready. Telling us, we’re not listening. We adjusted…

Vashti: In that as well…

Jenna: I changed plans. It hurt, and Casey had to tell me to do it, but I did it.

Vashti: But not all kids night train at the same time as they day train though.

Jenna: We really, we hadn’t, most of my friends that I know do it at a different time, and we were not intending on training at all. Ryan just was like no, we’re doing this Mum and Dad, can you please listen to me, I’m ready for this. So we had to.

Vicki: Now what’s really interesting is you toilet trained pretty much the same way we did, and our kids day and night trained at the same time. So I wonder whether, who knows? 

Jenna: It’s that whole, I very much, I was planning on sending my nappies down to my Mum to have an extended dry, to be honest, and I was going to say, we’re putting them in the car, let’s get rid of them. But Ryan seems pretty chill with the fact that they’re still in his room, we just don’t use them anymore. So we’ve just kind of left them there. 

Andrew: How many did you have?

Jenna: Oh Andrew. 

Vashti: That’s not a good question to ask somebody who works for a nappy company.

Jenna: I would like to very quickly clarify this by saying we’ve done a lot of product photos, a lot of videos, and I think altogether, of all in twos, I have about 60. I’m not done.

Vicki: That’s not even, you’re not even trying.

Jenna: The thing I was thinking about, I’ve easily given away about 30 nappies.

Vicki: You’re still not even trying. 

Jenna: Because I know, I had a couple of friends they’d come over, I love that print and I missed out. I never felt comfortable, even though we didn’t need them all, selling any of my nappies that I got for photo shoots or to do product imagery, that didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to do something nice with them. So if friends came over and said that, I’d be like here, have it, and hand them the nappy. Or I had a friend with a mould incident and I helped her get back into cloth by giving her 15 nappies, I think. So I gave a lot of nappies away. So that’s just my all in twos, by the way. Then I’ve got night nappies. I’ve got fitted, I’ve got about 10, 12, between bamboo delights, bigs, I was just going to say what are the big Bam Bams, and then I worked it out myself. 

Vashti: Ecoposh? You’ve got some Ecoposh in there?

Jenna: Yep, I’ve got four of the, yeah fitted nappies I’ve got Ecoposh, I’ve got our bamboo delights, I’ve got Bigs, I’ve got a few Seedlings and Gro-Vias in there. And then prefolds. I’m not up to prefolds yet. I’ve got may 15 prefolds, some flats that I had, if we talk about those muslin flats that I used for boosting for night nappies, I’ve got another 15 of those. I could cloth triplets.

Vicki: I think Andrew underestimates how many nappies I actually have.

Jenna: I could cloth triplets.

Andrew: So they’re still in Ryan’s room, you haven’t actually shifted them yet?

Jenna: Yeah, they’re still in the change table in Ryan’s room. That seemed an easy place to put them. I was planning on moving them, but he doesn’t seem at all fussed about the fact. He pointed to them the other day and went “Nappies over there” and I went yep, and we don’t wear them anymore do we? Because he’s a big boy. He doesn’t like being told he’s a big boy or grown up, he’s smart, he’s onto it, he knows it’s a trick. He goes, he’s like “No, Ryan not grown up. Ryan little”. And I’m like yeah, growing up is a trick, dude. But he really likes if you tell him he’s clever. If you tell him he’s clever he’s really chuffed with that. But he’s onto us about this whole grown up thing. He knows that it’s not good. He knows that it’s a trick.

Andrew: So when you store them, how are you going to store them?

Jenna: I’m not, I’m just going to leave them there.

Andrew: OK, you’re that confident you’re going to have another baby so quickly you’re not even going to put them away?

Jenna: Well where am I going to put them? 

Vicki: We had four years before our kids and they just hung around in a basket somewhere.

Jenna: Well the thing is, I have to find somewhere to store them if I do that. At the moment they’re all stored under the change table, neatly in boxes. I’ve tidied them all. I did go through and tidy them all because it was a bit of a, what’s another word for [indistinct, 31:49]. I was a bit of a cluster…

Vicki: I’m going to moo so much in this episode.

Andrew: I’ve never had to edit somebody so much. 

Vicki: When it’s not me. 

Jenna: And here am I, the prude that never swears on radio. A bit of a mess, there we go. It was a cluster under there, I just shoved nappies in left, right and centre. I have a few with some small holes that need repairing or ones that I couldn’t find the booster for or stuff like that.

Andrew: Yeah, so that’s my next question. What sort of condition are they in? Are you going to be able to go straight to the next baby?

Jenna: Absolutely. Most of them are, and keep in mind I’ve been “collecting” nappies as we go. So not all of mine have a full two years use on them. But they’re all really good. The only ones I have that…

Andrew: Well when you’ve got 60 nappies, none of them are going to be…

Jenna: Exactly, I’ve got a huge stash so the rotation on them is not bad. And the Bamboo Delights, two of them I bought a week before he night trained because we weren’t intending on night training, and that’s where the stop came in. I do have that have, the Candys and the… Vicki help me. Snaps. The snaps on the trifolds…

Vashti: Vicki’s a bit too tired actually. Are you getting a migraine? Because your circles are getting really dark.

Vicki: She travelled through China with me and she can see, she can actually just look at me and say you’re getting a migraine aren’t you?

Jenna: A little warning sign.

Vashti: Eight, nine days in China, I think I picked it up on day two. Like…

Vicki: You just see it coming.

Vashti: It really is obvious.

Vicki: So I go dark under the eyes everybody, it’s not lack of sleep, it’s actually stress.

Jenna: Why would you be stressed? Snaps is the word I was after. So the fabric around the snaps is disintegrating around two of mine. I’m using air quotes here, you can’t see that, it’s a good idea for a podcast. And I know which ones those are because I cut the label, I split the label so I could pick them out of the other ones. What they are is, I don’t know if you remember, she doesn’t care, Cleese Berryman. She bought some nappies second hand and it said they were in a good condition. She got them and they were atrocious. And she stripped them a couple of times and then she brought them to the expo and said Jenna, do you want to have another go, because they’re still coming up really crap. So I had another go with slightly stronger bleach soak and I managed to get them up to a good condition again. They didn’t smell, they were white again. They weren’t stinky as soon as they came off Ryan. They were nice and clean after that. But those two had the most wear and tear. It shows a lot about washing.

Vicki: Ammonia. Ammonia build up from…

Jenna: Yeah, that’s exactly what we talked about. It’s around the stress points.

Vashti: The stress point is the snaps, because they’re constantly pulling at the fabric. 

Jenna: Exactly, but those had really bad ammonia damage. I’ve been using them and had them in rotation just out of curiosity. And you know what? Except for around the snaps, they’re actually holding up pretty well. Not really any other problems other than that. But you can tell the ones that…

Vicki: And the PUL is OK in them? 

Jenna: No, she only bought me inserts. She had them. I had one nappy that’s a little sticky. It’s not delaminated but I think it might be heading that way. But I think it might have been, it’s one nappy, something’s happened to it. 

Vicki: Well actually Amy, Amy from Clean Cloth Nappy Hire actually posted something just in…

Vashti: One of our industry groups.

Vicki: …yeah the other day about a nappy that she had left in a wet bag in the car. 

Vashti: And it was eight days.

Vicki: Yeah, and there’s actually marks on the wet bag where the nappy was sitting, where there’s a little bit, it looks like it’s starting to delaminate in its spots. You can actually see almost like bleach spots. And so she’s going to do a little bit of research with that. Pretty much ammonia is hands down the most damaging thing for your nappy.

Vashti: She’s got a toddler though as well, so they are very strong wees. 

Vicki: Yes, she does.

Vashti: It’s quite funny though, I had a nappy, I remember I had a nappy, it was one of my favourite nappies when Mikayla was still quite young, because we were living in Victoria so she was less than six months old. And it got the poonami of all poonamis in it. Threw it in the wet bag and it fell underneath the front seat of the car. And it wasn’t until two or three loads later that I went where is that nappy? Went hunting and found it.

Andrew: Wait a minute, wait a minute. It was in a wet bag and it was in there for three days…

Vashti: Two or three loads. So about a week.

Vicki: It could be a week.

Vashti: About a week. 

Andrew: And you couldn’t smell it?

Vashti: Nope.

Andrew: So that wet bag was holding that smell in?

Vashti: Yes.

Andrew: Wow. That’s great.

Vashti: It was an exclusively breastfeed baby poo though, so it’s not as smelly as other poo.

Jenna: That’s just custard.

Vashti: But in a car in central Victoria in summer, parked in a garage that had no insulation or anything like that, so you open the car door and a wall of heat hits you. Pulls the wet bag out when I realised it was still in the car, opened it  up and near got knocked out by the smell. Considered, very, very strongly considered just throwing it in the bin, but decided I’d clean it up and it cleaned up OK and it was all fine. There was no issues with it. Because it was one of my favourite nappies. 

Andrew: You guys always say don’t leave wee on the nappies, but you’re ruining that by saying this.

Vashti: I know, well…

Vicki: What we’re saying is, and this is where, and it would be good to do a podcast actually on busting some of the cloth nappy myths of long ago. But what we’re saying is that whilst that nappy may not have been damaged that day, the treatment that it had means that in two years time, it’s not going to be in that same condition because of the treatment that it’s had along the way. The ammonia has damaged it and it will…

Vashti: Which is what Jenna found with those inserts, that had been…

Jenna: And also it’s consistent ammonia damage versus a one off bad time, which would actually be worse. And also you’re asking about condition. I did have some inserts from two different brands, both bamboo cotton blend that had some holes in it that did need to sew over and those where from when I tried a three day wash cycle to see if I could get away with it and the answer is no, I couldn’t. Because I started getting holes and what I did at the time is I sewed over all the holes so I could know if I was getting new ones or if it was the same ones. And when I switched to daily prewash, with my three day wash cycle, I didn’t get any more holes. So absolutely I saw very easily the effects.

Vicki: Very distinct.

Jenna: I saw very distinctively how ammonia was damaging my nappies very immediately by doing that. And like I said, sewed over them so I could see if there was more or less, and when I switched to a daily prewash that all resolved itself. 

Vicki: That all really makes sense. Those nappies towards the end of Gabriel’s toileting, when he was only using one or two nappies a day…

Vashti: And you were washing once a week.

Vicki: If that, if that. It’s no wonder, it’s absolutely no wonder that pretty much by the end of it, those nappies fell apart.

Jenna: And I have a friend who recently replaced a lot of her inserts from her old nappies because she, her oldest is five and she was using the old school wash routine and stuff. And she wasn’t, it was cold, eco detergent, not enough of it, that kind of stuff. And you could see the ammonia damage in all the nappies, just shredded. And she’s replaced them with Candies and she’s actually, through no prodding of me actually, it was one of those times when she was, I don’t think she wants to be pushed, I’ll just let her. And she actually…

Vicki: Oh this is your friend who pretty much was right into the whole eco detergents and she didn’t think her nappies were dirty? Is that the friend you’re talking about?

Jenna: No, no, I think I just didn’t have the conversation with her. She wasn’t in the best place at the time, I didn’t want to be like here’s something you’re doing wrong. I was trying to approach it with more kindness. And not pushing her. Her kid was near toilet training, it was neither here nor there. But she ended up messaging me, how do I do a strip and sanitise? What’s your recommended procedure? And she’s actually like I’ve switched to this, oh my God they’re all so much cleaner. Blah, blah, I didn’t realise. She actually…

Vicki: Because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Jenna: And the thing is, I think so many people don’t realise their nappies are dirty until, I’ve had a few, you know how I said I was giving nappies away at some point? I had three different friends, no sorry two different friends, three nappies, two different friends, message me and say I didn’t realise my nappies were dirty until I brought one of yours home. And she was like, they didn’t realise theirs were all grey and brown, off colour and stuff, until they had one of my well-worn but very clean inserts up against it, and they were like, can I have some watch advice? That actually led to a bunch of wash advice. I forgot about that.

Vicki: That is actually, I know this is going to sound completely off topic but I will bring it through, but this is like when you breastfeed a toddler. When you start breastfeeding, you breastfeed a brand new baby, and this baby grows, and every single day this kid is getting bigger, but you don’t see it because you’re just feeding them every day. And then all of a sudden you’ve got a three or three and a half year old, and don’t get me wrong, I see a three or three and a half year old breastfeeding, it even takes me back, but I did it. But it’s weird. And I think it’s the same thing with washing, because it’s a slow process you don’t know

Jenna: You don’t realise, it’s slow, you don’t notice it. And it’s funny you say that, I had a friend, she was breastfeeding her toddler and Ryan was very young and I was breastfeeding him, and I looked over and I went, that looks weird. 

Vicki: Yes, it does.

Jenna: The head is bigger than your boob and it looks very, very strange. And I said that, and I was like not judgemental, I was like it looks very strange. And then she was like OK, that’s interesting, flash forward a year and a half. Ryan was a toddler breastfeeding and she had her second, who was a newborn that she was breastfeeding and she looked over and went oh, oh, I know what you’re talking about now. I just had that weird… I was like uh huh. I’ll have another newborn because I get to do it again. But yeah, you’re so right because it happens so…

Vashti: Slowly.

Jenna: I remember being pregnant and arrogant as you are at the time…

Vicki: No!

Jenna: I know, right.

Vicki: Such a, is anybody not a sancta-mummy? 

Jenna: I tried very hard not to do, Andrew’s raising, Andrew is not a sancta-mummy. That is very true.

Andrew: Me, I’ve got my hand up. 

Jenna: Sancta-daddy. I tried very hard not to do the thing you do when you’re pregnant, when you’re like this and this and this. 

Vicki: My kid is not going to eat McDonalds. Yeah everyone laughed at me too.

Jenna: There are a lot of things that I didn’t do that with, but the one that I did was like I want to breastfeed, but anything past a year is just weird. I got to a year and I couldn’t imagine weaning Ryan at a year. It was just like wow, I didn’t know what the hell I was… anyway it was really funny around that time people were asking me, when do you think you’ll wean? And I remember saying I don’t know. Any idea, roughly? Do you want to go fully with them weaning, or do you want to just do… I kept saying I’ve had hubris about this before and I’m not going to do it again. I’m literally not putting a time or a date or an age on it or anything, because I thought I knew what I was talking about before and I didn’t. And at that point I very much was just following, not even following his lead, but following the ethos that as long as both of us are happy we’ll keep doing it. And we got to a point where I wasn’t, so I did initiate weaning. But it was very much something that I couldn’t have understood until I was there, because you don’t start, and Mum said this to me once. I’m like, I wouldn’t know what to do with a ten year old. Mum goes, you’ve got ten years to work that out. 

Vicki: Yeah, you do.

Jenna: And I was like, it was one of those really crystallising moments for me where I was like oh, you’re right. You don’t need to know how to deal with a newborn and a ten year old at the same time. You’re doing one of those at a time.

Vicki: Because I can tell you, if they actually gave you a ten year old, or worse a fourteen year old, you seriously, nobody would dump that on you because you would literally be flailing, because I’m flailing with a fourteen year old as it is. And I know this kid inside out. 

Jenna: Teenagers suck, people, they suck big time.

Vicki: There is a time you will go back, you will wish for the two year old tantrums. 

Jenna: I don’t know, I had a hysterical toddler at 10 pm I’d like to point out Casey and I had gone to bed an hour earlier. We’d gone to bed early. Hysterical last night, because he wanted his water bottle in the corner of his cot and it was not.

Vicki: It was in the middle of his cot? 

Jenna: But I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t work that out until he’s suddenly screaming after I’d gone in, Casey had gone in, this was my take two, half an hour of this hysteria, and he farted and then he said “water bottle corner”. And I put the water bottle in the corner and he calmed down. I’ve no idea if it was the far upsetting his stomach.

Vicki: See I just got the fart from my son and the giggles. That was our night. But parenting isn’t…

Jenna: I co-slept last night and remembered why I don’t do that. It’s horrible. Vashti and I have very different sleep opinions. I can see why it should be good, but I don’t think my kid has that setting. Four o’clock I gave up after I still don’t really know what his hysteria was about last night, but he got upset and we both tried. No idea what was up with him. He wasn’t even scared. Ended up bringing him into the bed and was like screw it, I’ll try, 4 am I was just like do you want to come and cuddle in Mummy and Daddy’s bed? He spent an hour and a half sitting up, sitting down, jumping on us, moving around. He did not sleep a wink. He did not try and sleep.

Vashti: That’s because he’s not used to it. It’s something new to him. Whereas…

Jenna: Yes, and it was just like he headbutted me and he kicked. And I was like oh yeah, you don’t do this, but from a newborn if we lay him in bed, that’s why I didn’t understand, I think I told you this, I didn’t understand co-sleeping wasn’t breast sleeping. Because if I lay him in bed with us he’d just scream. From a newborn and I was just like OK, that mustn’t be… so I started breastfeeding him lying down and he’d do that. But if he slept in the bed with us he’d do that all night. He wouldn’t, there was no, and if I tried to take him off and lie him next to us, he’d just start screaming again. OK, that’s not a setting you have. And he was, oh goodness, six, seven months old when I said that to a friend. She goes you know that’s not co-sleep. That doesn’t mean, co-sleeping doesn’t always mean breast sleeping, right? And I’m like, no? I literally didn’t understand there were two different things.

Vicki: All of our kids had different variations. Abbey wasn’t a co-sleeper. Gabriel is. Gabriel still. He would happily at seven, still be in our bed.

Vashti: Kylan still happily sleeps in our bed and he’s five next month. We’re actually redesigning the whole house at the moment and moving everyone around, so he will be in his own bed for the first time. He’s got the cot side carted to our bed, but especially with Brent away, he’s in our, we’ve got a king bed, it’s OK. And do you know what? I will start him over his side of the bed, right next to the cot. I’d love to put him in the cot but I know that that won’t last. So I’ll start him all the way over the other side. He will still leave to me in the middle of the night so I can’t move. 

Jenna: Even going on two and a half, Ryan last night didn’t want to sleep next to us, he wanted to sleep on top of Casey. Again, he doesn’t get that…

Vashti: Your child just doesn’t do co-sleeping. 

Jenna: He just doesn’t understand. But yeah, I said the words if you don’t lie down you have to go back to your bed, like 72 times this morning. It’s someone else’s problem today. I dropped him at Guy’s and went have fun, bye, he’s been up since four, he might need an early nap. I’m going now. And then I came here. What are we meant to be talking about, Andrew? 

Andrew: Andrew’s gone. Andrew’s not here.

Vicki: Please leave a message. After the beep.

Jenna: Toilet training. 

Vicki: Moo, moo.

Jenna: I have an unrelated but cloth nappy thing to say.

Andrew: I’m actually sitting here wondering when the best time to end this podcast is.

Jenna: Can I put a bonus fun fact at the end of it?

Andrew: I don’t know, you guys are just bringing all the cool stuff in. You guys got more to talk about, we’re already over 50 minutes now.

Jenna: Well I’ve got a bonus fun fact.

Andrew: Except for all the swearing I’ve got to take out.

Vicki: It’s mooing, just moo it.

Jenna: Moo.

Andrew: It’s going to take it back to 40.

Jenna: I am sorry. I am not. I hope my mother’s not listening now actually. 

Vashti: Should I just join in, just for the hell of it?

Jenna: Yeah, why are you not swearing? Quickly.

Vashti: I don’t know [laughter and clapping].

Andrew: You know, every time you say a swear word it takes me five minutes to fix it.

Vicki: You love it though Andrew. 

Andrew: I’m going to keep all the swear words and string them together on one… and play it to you. Think of that.

Jenna: I think it sounds like a good song. 

Vashti: Can it be my new ring tone? 

Jenna: Yes, love it. My bonus fun fact was about muconium [sic]. Yah, everyone’s…

Vicki: Muconium [sic]?

Jenna: Muconium, meconium?

Vicki: Meconium. 

Jenna: Meconium, it’s one of those one’s I’ve always read.

Vicki: It’s an E not a U. Me-conium.

Jenna: Meconium, OK, meconium. It’s not as hard to get out of nappies as you thought it was. Well I didn’t think it was, but…

Andrew: This is something that happens at birth.

Jenna: Did you not know I had a newborn?

Andrew: You don’t have a newborn.

Vicki: No, she’s sick of washing, she can’t wait to stop washing and then she offers to wash a friend’s nappies.

Jenna: My friend wanted to start cloth in hospital, what do you do for another cloth mum who wants to start in hospital? You offer to wash her nappies for her. So my friend had, congratulations Jess, you can be the creepy one, the one creeped out by being spoken to on the podcast now. My friend had a little baby boy last week. 

Vashti: I know, and she announced it and didn’t share photos, so I said…

Jenna: I know, she didn’t announce it she randomly commented somewhere and said she had a one day old.

Vashti: And I’m like, photos or it didn’t happen.

Jenna: He’s very, very cute.

Andrew: Keep on subject, this is not a Facebook rant. Podcast, not a Facebook rant. 

Jenna: You sure? I think it is. So she had a baby and I went and I offered to clean her nappies for her so she could start in cloth without any fuss at the hospital and not have to worry about it until she got home. So I got the nappies, and the thing is, the meconium by the time I picked them up had been on for, I want to say a day and a half, maybe two days by the time I rinsed them. So a little bit. I rinsed them off, I’ve got a sprayer, rinsed it off. By the way, first time I’ve ever seen meconium, because I never saw Ryan’s, because Ryan was four days old before I changed a nappy.

Vashti: Nice.

Andrew: Three days, it would have turned into amber by then wouldn’t it?

Jenna: I very clearly turned around to my husband and I was like, when you have stitches in your genitals, you can change a nappy. No, thank you.

Vicki: Get out of changing nappies.

Jenna: I need to eat lunch. Anyway. Blah, blah, blah. Anyway I rinsed it off with my sprayer and it was still really stained, like a maroon colour, think Queensland.

Vicki: The best state. Or not.

Jenna: And I was like, honestly what happened was I was a bit tired and I wanted to go to bed. So I was just like you know what, I’m going to put these on, when they’re stained in the morning I’ll grab out the ones that are still stained and I’ll soak them in some Napisan and get it out.

Vicki: You did not sun them? Let’s not go there.

Jenna: No, I wasn’t going to sun them to sanitise them. And I took them out the next morning and couldn’t find a stain anywhere. Two step wash cycle, I did spray stain remover on them, and I did delay the wash for half an hour so the stain remover sat on it for half an hour. And I did a 60 degree prewash and a 60 degree main wash, just to cover my bases, and yep, came out sparkly clean, absolutely no problem. So I know that’s something a lot of people stress about, if they want to use cloth from birth. And honestly, it came out so easily, it does look horrifying and sticky and I definitely didn’t chase my husband around the house saying hey, want to look at this? I’m a nice wife. 

Andrew: That’s your favourite game, isn’t it? 

Vicki: No, that’s his.

Jenna: Have a look at this. It’s a very different game. But yeah, it came out. I know that’s something people stress about using cloth from birth and it came out so easy, it wasn’t a problem at all. So that’s my completely unrelated fun fact.

Vashti: So just in case you wanted to know, this started about a toilet training episode and ended up in breastfeeding and co-sleeping and meconium. 

Vicki: And another fun fact, parenting doesn’t actually get any easier, it just changes. So don’t think, here I rant about teenagers because that’s what I’m going through. You’re ranting about two year olds having tantrums, you’re ranting about four year olds who just can’t sit still. It’s all relevant, it’s all relevant.

Jenna: I will say this, I don’t think, from my experience at least, any of it is as, I wasn’t to say intense is the word I’m going to use, as the newborn stage. That stage…

Vicki: Oh my gosh, I found that the easiest.

Vashti: Oh no, the newborn stage is so easy, they sleep and feed…

Andrew: [Quacks] [laughter]

Jenna: Vashti, stop bringing down the tone, OK? She’s gone red.

Vashti: I didn’t even mean to do that.

Andrew: You’ve just confused everyone, because what they heard was breastfeed, sleep, moo. 

Vashti: Oh sweetie, if your newborn is mooing, something is very wrong. 

Vicki: But that actually just goes to prove the point that everybody’s experience is different and it’s just each stage has its own challenges.

Jenna: Yeah, I think for me it’s the whole like, he can play on his own for half an hour. It’s the whole like you’re holding them, they’re needing you constantly.

Vicki: No, you know what it is? You’re so organised, you like structure, and newborns do not offer structure at all, even the most…

Jenna: And Jess says that, Jess will say this to me, like my friend, I find a lot of people who don’t have your hormones have a better memory of your life from different stages. And she said to me, she turned around, yeah…

Andrew: Quack, quack.

Jenna: Moo newborn. And as a toddler he is great at independent play, and he’s a really chilled kid. Whereas the newborn stage for me was such a struggle. So I found it got, it’s the around the clock-ness. I like that it’s not around the cloth anymore and it’s not…

Vicki: That’s because your kid sleeps through, like ours, Gabe didn’t sleep through until he was four.

Jenna: Even during the day, the fact that he can sit and play and not need to be held, not need to sleep on me. I don’t know, I just found that so, and even going over and seeing friends with newborns, I’m like I just think that’s so intense.

Vicki: It is, it is.

Jenna: They need you hugely. I can leave the house and someone else can feed him. And again, everyone’s experience is different, because if you had no luck breastfeeding or didn’t want to and you’re bottle feeding, you can leave the house. Or if your kid takes a bottle, my kid never took a bottle. Like you can have expressed milk. I think…

Vicki: See I think carrying a baby hooked up to your boob and being able to do stuff was actually probably the easiest part of…

Vashti: I was back at the shop when Kylan was seven weeks old and he was going with me. He was at the shop with me until he was 14 months. He was in the carrier. I was serving customers and breastfeeding him at the same time. So you know, it was just…

Jenna: Just scrub my face.

Vashti: …it’s weird, you’re sitting there going what the…

Jenna: It’s a confused look.

Vicki: It’s different for everybody and each and I don’t think any stage is good or bad, it’s just different. That’s the best way to explain it.

Jenna: I was listening to you talking about the teenage problems and they’re just so complicated. 

Vashti: But you’ve got another 11 years to work that out. 

Vicki: And then you still won’t have the answers.

Jenna: Ssh, I’ll know everything. 

Vicki: No, he will know everything, you won’t know anything. 

Vashti: Braith’s 14, and you know what, I’m just so over it. Braith’s 14 in October.

Jenna: So toilet training, that’s where we started here.

Andrew: So thank you Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks Jenna.

Jenna: I think you’re welcome. I’m not sure how much I derailed this.

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]

Jenna: Do we have an award for most off-topic…

#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.

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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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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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