Our podcast is live, this week we talk about the accessories you need (and don’t) for cloth nappies.
Vashti: I’m good, thanks, Andrew. How are you?
Andrew: Excellent, getting old hat at this now, aren’t we? How are you, Vicki?
Vicki: I’m really good. And yourself?
Vashti: It’s been a long week.
Andrew: It has, yes, it has been a long week. I can’t even remember the things that I’ve done since the last episode.
Vashti: It’s been lots.
Andrew: So [00:00:30] this week I wanted to bring up the subject of what you need to have on hand when you change a nappy. This of course would go for either a cloth nappy or a disposable nappy, just general things that you’d like to have close at hand when you’re changing a nappy. Now, obviously, the first thing would be a change table, but do you need to have a run of the mill real change table?
Vicki: Nope, no.
Andrew: Do you have to go and buy one of those change tables and have one of those?
Vicki: You mean the [inaudible 00:00:53] ones that are like Uber expensive but oh my God, they are so nice and they do, they look amazing in the nursery.
Andrew: [00:01:00] They do but if you’ve got a budget, is it required?
Vashti: No, you could change your baby on your bed, on your couch, on the floor.
Vicki: Follow them up the hallway trying to change their nappy, it’s all ahead of you.
Andrew: Nice, do you-
Vashti: I actually think the first thing you need if you want to change a nappy is a baby.
Andrew: A baby?
Vashti: A baby.
Andrew: Yeah, we want to keep a G rating so we can’t go into how you make one of those. So, okay, so you’ve got your baby, now you obviously want them on something soft, do you lay something [00:01:30] underneath him?
Vicki: Well only if you’re a nice Mum. Look I’ve changed kids in the boot of a car before.
Vicki: You know, roll something up to put under their head just to be, but that comes after three children. Probably if you’re a first time Mum and, or Dad and looking to change your baby you probably want something super soft and-
Vashti: Oh look, I know plenty of Mums, first time Mums and Dads who have changed on laps, on kitchen floors or kitchen benches. It [00:02:00] comes down to what you feel comfortable with, when you are raising your child.
Vicki: I guess so.
Andrew: I guess the more you practise, the more confident you are and the-
Vashti: Oh most definitely.
Vicki: Definitely, definitely.
Vashti: And once they become toddlers and they are moving, you know you just change them wherever you can.
Andrew: Yep, no worries. Okay, so you’ve got your baby, you’ve got your change table or you’ve got your blanket spread on your bed, for a number twos, what would you have on hand if you knew you were changing number twos, besides-
Vicki: A husband.
Andrew: A husband, [00:02:30] besides the partner, to palm it off onto the partner, oh this one, this one is yours!
Vashti: He who smelt it must change it.
Andrew: That’s right.
Vicki: We learnt that in the first episode.
Andrew: We should actually make that a rule. From now on, all the families listen to this, it’s the rule, whoever smelt it, changes it.
Vashti: And it’s he who smelt it, not she, he. No look I think there is a few things that you probably want to look at having and the first is a clean nappy, so have something to change them into.
Andrew: A clean [00:03:00] nappy already put together?
Vashti: It depends, if you’ve got an all in one, you don’t need to put it together and an all in two, you probably want to pop the inserts in it, ready to go. If you using flats or pre folds or fitteds, just have all of the bits of your nappy there ready to go so that they are easy to put on.
So the next thing that you’re really going to want is wipes or something to clean your baby’s bottom with. For those that use cloth nappies, a lot of them tend to use cloth wipes [00:03:30] as well and as we discussed a couple of weeks ago, your cloth wipes can be anything as simple as a face washer or a cut up old towel.
Andrew: That’s what we had, face washers.
Vashti: Yep, so they make really fantastic wipes. You can use wipe solutions or you know, you can make up nice fragranced waters with essential oils in them and all of that sort of stuff. I love plain old water.
Vashti: When they were little, I used to warm the water because I was a kind mother but once [00:04:00] they got a little bit older, I am a mean, cruel mother and they get plain cold water.
Andrew: So you’re saying that the best way to wipe them is just cold water, wet washer. I actually used to use some foamy wipes wash because I found with foamy wipes wash and washers, I could actually do Vegemite style number twos, I could clean up with-
Vashti: One washer.
Andrew: Two washers.
Andrew: One washer to get the bulk off and the other one to just finish it off.
Vashti: It depends on the [00:04:30] size of your washer and what fabric you are using in your washer. I’ve got some washers in my stash that are terry on one side and velour on the other so I clean the bulk up with the terry side and they you would fold it in on each other and just give it a smooth over with the velour side.
Vashti: Very nice.
Andrew: That’s brilliant.
Vicki: And a solution like that is actually really good when you’re out and about.
Vicki: When you don’t have access to water. You know, having it on your change table is also handy if you don’t have a little set up but [00:05:00] you know, even a little spray bottle with water-
Vashti: Yeah, so your $1 spray bottles from Bunnings or Coles, just fill them up with water.
Vicki: But just be careful, make sure that you do actually change that water because stagnant water will grow bacteria, so if you are doing that, just, you know, don’t leave it for longer than a couple of days.
Andrew: Yeah, fresh water is bad water in three days, yep.
Vashti: I am very lucky, my change table is actually in my dining room, kitchen area so I’m able to access my kitchen sink very easily just to wet my washers. [00:05:30] But I do say to a lot of my customers, if you don’t have a change table that is close to a tap, do the spray bottle, use your wipes solutions or grab yourself a little Tupperware container, pop enough wipes in there to get you through the day, top it up with some water and if you want some essential oils to make it fragranced and then make sure you change that, every single day, because it does go manky.
Vicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative), very quickly.
Vashti: Especially in the tropics so anywhere north of Brisbane [00:06:00] and Brisbane is included in the tropics. But if you choose to use disposable wipes, that’s fine too just make sure that you have a bin close to your change area so that your disposable wipes don’t end up in your washing machine and turning into spider webs.
Vicki: Just on the disposable wipes, be aware that disposable wipes are really good at getting ink of lounges and pen off walls and stuff like that so keeping that in mind [00:06:30] when you’ve bought this brand new baby home, just take care with I suppose, reading ingredient labels and things like that.
Vashti: I used one of the, I had some of the disposable wipes that I had bought for a camping trip and they were sitting in my car and I was cleaning the car and I thought, oh, I’ll just grab one of those to wipe all the dash board and everything like that down and it actually wiped the paint off my radio.
Vicki: Oh wow!
Andrew: [00:07:00] So you don’t know, which one is the volume and, which one is the tuner now?
Vashti: Well as I was wiping, it just smudged one word and I’m like, right, we’re not going near that … Now those wipes that I bought, were the natural ones as well.
Vicki: Oh really?
Vashti: They were marketed as a natural brand with no nasty chemicals or anything like that in it.
Andrew: Well it would certainly get the number twos off the baby then.
Vashti: Oh yeah.
Andrew: If it can take paint off a car.
Vashti: Yeah. So yeah wipes and you know, another thing that I love telling people is [00:07:30] if your bubby has got a little bit of a red bum or anything like that, brew up a pot of chamomile tea, a nice strong pot of chamomile tea and allow it to cool and then wash your baby’s bottom, use the cloth wipes with that brewed chamomile tea on the baby’s bum, because chamomile tea is really soothing so it will actually bring all that redness out of their bum and soothe any nasty rashes that you might be getting, so.
Andrew: So while we are on that rash thing, what if we get a really bad rash-
Vicki: Go see the doctor.
Andrew: We’ve made a mistake and we’ve [00:08:00] left the nappy on too long because we’ve lost track of time or we were playing a computer game and completely forgot.
Vashti: Depends on the severity of the rash. So if it’s a really persistent, red angry rash-
Vicki: Or broken.
Vashti: Or broken skin in any way, then we definitely recommend that you get a professional opinion, see your GP and get it looked at because it might be a bacterial infection.
Vicki: And it can turn into staph as well, especially because you’ve got to remember that [00:08:30] nappies have bacteria in them, or you know, deposited in them so you know, you don’t want to leave it too long, you don’t want to wait until that, you know, pink rash has turned into a bloody, angry rash.
Andrew: Okay, so-
Vashti: If it’s just a mild rash, like if it’s just a little bit of pinkness or a few little red spots or something and the last nappy change there was nothing there, clean them up, give them a little bit of bum free time or air time. [00:09:00] I call it bum free, it’s really nappy free but, you know. Give them some free time without their nappy and that could be just as little as sitting on the change table and just chatting to them while they don’t have a nappy on. Like you don’t need to go out of your way to do nappy free time, it can be very, very basic. Sing them a song, play with their feet, tickle them, talk to them, read them a book, just while they are on the change table. Don’t walk away from the change table but definitely, it doesn’t [00:09:30] need to be much. But keep an eye on it, any rash should be watched.
Andrew: Okay, so if you aren’t going to use any ointment, does the ointment that you use play a part in your cloth nappy? Can ointments also damage cloth nappies?
Vicki: We always recommend that if you’re using things that contain zinc or you know, the barrier creams, it’s best practise to use a micro fleece liner in your nappies, just to protect your nappies. If you’ve got a good wash routine, [00:10:00] your barrier creams should wash out but just in case, it’s, that liner is just that little bit of extra protection. So that’s like your Sudocrem, oh I can’t think of any other barrier-
Vashti: Anything zinc based.
Vashti: Is definitely, a liner is definitely recommended. The issue there is that the zinc based creams can actually transfer from your baby’s bum onto the nappies and cause [00:10:30] a bit of a build up which will reduce absorbency in your nappies.
Vicki: Yep, again that comes down to, yeah your washing practises and making sure that it does wash out.
Andrew: So you’re reading the ingredients, it’s like everything you put on your baby or feed to your baby, you’re watching the ingredients that you’re doing, okay.
Vashti: Now there are plenty of cloth nappy friendly creams on the market. You will find most of your cloth nappy, so there are plenty of cloth nappy, friendly creams on the market. Most of your cloth nappy suppliers will have them [00:11:00] available so if you are looking for something to use on your baby’s bottom, I would start with your cloth nappy suppliers.
There is plenty of natural products on the market as well.
Vicki: Even in your kitchen.
Vashti: Yeah, so olive oil.
Vicki: Coconut oil.
Vashti: Coconut oil. I resorted to pure beeswax for my daughter. She was allergic to anything on and off the market it was just phenomenal what she would react to. But yeah, natural beeswax [00:11:30] works well, you just-
Vicki: How did you get that soft? Like soft enough to put on her?
Vashti: Just rubbing it in the fingers and stuff like that.
Vicki: Oh wow.
Vashti: So yeah.
Andrew: Better question, where did you get the beeswax from?
Vashti: We were living in a country town and-
Vicki: A bee hive.
Andrew: Oh I see.
Vashti: Yeah, they had a, there was one of the locals at the market had an apiary so he actually sold beeswax cream and it was still quite thick and hard [00:12:00] and you had to sort of rub it, rub it, rub it and-
Vicki: Yeah because beeswax is pretty much your natural, well I mean zinc is natural, it’s your-
Vashti: It’s your base in a lot of your cloth nappy creams.
Vicki: Yeah absolutely, that’s your barrier, that’s actually what’s keeping the moisture in against the skin. Sorry, by moisture I mean you know, like your coconut oils and stuff like that, that’s actually what is keeping it up against the skin, so the skin can absorb it.
Vashti: The other thing that I always recommend to people [00:12:30] is that if you are using any of those barrier creams, make sure they are rubbed in really, really well and use some cornstarch or something like that. You can get tapioca powder as well. We generally recommend to steer clear or baby powder because it is such a fine dust that it can get into your lungs and into their nasal cavities and stuff. But if you dust your baby’s bum with something like your tapioca powder, or your corn starch, and you can get cornstarch [00:13:00] from the cooking aisle in the supermarket, that sort will actually adhere that barrier cream onto your baby’s bottom and stop it rubbing off onto your nappy.
Andrew: So the next thing I want to cover is, I remember when we had our first baby, we didn’t go out much, we stayed at home a lot because we didn’t want to be-
Andrew: Yeah we didn’t want to be social because, you know, babies make mess and we didn’t want to actually change the nappy out but once we got used to changing the nappy while we were out, we went out a lot more. What things [00:13:30] would you advise are in your nappy bag when you’re going out to make sure you can handle any little emergency that pops up.
Vashti: Nappies, wipes and a wet bag or something to store your dirty nappies in.
Andrew: Okay. I’ve seen some wet bags, I’ve seen some wet bags that you can put your clean nappies in one side and your dirty nappies in the other side.
Vashti: Yeah so you can get dual pocket, so both pockets can be wet or you can get a wet dry pocket. I had a great one when number three was little Kylen, he [00:14:00] used to come, I was back at work when he was seven weeks and so he was coming to work with me and I’d pop all of the clean nappies in the dry pocket and then I would transfer them over to the wet pocket as I was changing so absolutely fantastic, have them all in one spot.
Andrew: And a cloth to put under the baby just in case you’re not sure what the surface is?
Vashti: You can use change mats.
Vicki: Yeah a change mat and that’s great for the whole boot changing, that became actually quite a common place to change a nappy was the boot [00:14:30] because at least it was a flat surface. It’s much easier than the front seat.
Andrew: Yeah our car was the right height too of course, yeah.
Vashti: I’m not a fan of public change rooms. They smell, they really do smell I hate going into them.
Vicki: And having your own change mat, at least you’re popping it on top of the mat that’s in the room.
Vashti: I actually used a muslin cloth.
Vicki: That’s an idea.
Vashti: So a swaddle and that way I could use that as a cover over pram or over the carrier if he was having a sleep or if we were, [00:15:00] or if it was feed time and he was being a busy body and wouldn’t actually feed and was exposing me to the entirety of the supermarket, I’d throw the muslin cloth over that. But I’d also use it just to throw down and most of them are a decent size so there is plenty of room to have everything laid out and not have to worry about getting any mank from the public change tables.
Andrew: I, just as a Dad thing too, I would advise have everything ready before you take the nappy [00:15:30] off.
Vashti: Oh definitely.
Andrew: Yeah, because we had a child who, as soon as the nappy was off, needed to go again.
Vashti: Yep. It’s like this thing-
Vicki: Especially boys, it’s like, ooh! Out it comes. I don’t know, Abbey got you. I remember she projectile pooped on you and she hit the back wall and right up the wall. Yeah, we’re talking about poop again aren’t we?
Andrew: I heard it coming too, but I couldn’t [00:16:00] get out of the way fast enough, lucky.
Vashti: Brent got, he lifted up Brae’s feet to put the nappy underneath the bum and ended up with poop from his chin to his groyne.
Andrew: Now I want to bring up a couple of little helpful things that you might have around the home, when we change nappies, we had a cool little thing on the toilet called the Little Squirt. Have you guys used that as well?
Vashti: I love the Little Squirt. I honestly thought it was a toy. [00:16:30] Like years ago, when the eldest was a baby, we were at an expo and my partner saw one and he bugged and bugged and bugged as we were walking around the expo until I finally said, fine, but I was sitting there going, it’s just a toy, it’s a toy, it’s a man gadget.
Vashti: But I finally, I relented and I let him go and get it and it got hooked up to the toilet and it stayed on the toilet even after the big two were out of nappies, it was great for cleaning [00:17:00] up underneath the rim, it’s fantastic.
Andrew: So what do you actually use it for as far as a nappy goes?
Vashti: So pretty much it’s just a high pressure water hose. You hook it onto the water inlet valve of your toilet and you hold your nappy above your toilet and hose it out.
Vicki: Not above the toilet, never ever hold the nappy above the toilet and use the hose. There is actually an awesome blog called crappypictures.com that has demonstrated what happens in that. Make sure it is down nice and low in the toilet and don’t go full pressure.
Vashti: Yeah, gently ease [00:17:30] that handle on.
Vashti: The other thing I love about it, it’s actually got a child safety lock, so that your toddler can’t come in while you’re sitting on the toilet and drench you.
Vicki: You can also make them from Bunnings, make them from parts from Bunnings.
Vashti: Be really careful with those because here in Australia, we actually have plumbing laws. The branded, Little Squirt and there is another brand, I can’t remember the name of it off the top of my head, but the branded ones actually have a back flow valve in them, which stops water going [00:18:00] back into your pipes whereas the ones that you get from Bunnings or that you make up from bits and pieces, don’t have that back flow valve and you can get a back flow of water going from your toilet into the pipes.
Vicki: Oh that can’t be good.
Vicki: That, really, no, can’t be good.
Vashti: No so if you have set up one of those ones from bits and pieces from Bunnings, I definitely recommend that you get a plumber out to instal a backflow valve in your tap [00:18:30] so that you don’t get done because it’s highly illegal.
Andrew: Well with the cost of plumbers, it sounds like you should just get a made one for-
Vashti: It’s, honestly, look they are so simple and easy. They are really, it takes five minutes to set it up, you’ve just got to turn … Mind you this only works if you’ve got an exposed cistern. So if you have got an internal cistern on your toilet, you won’t be able to set this up but if you’ve got an exposed cistern, you just turn off that water tap [00:19:00] at the bottom of your toilet, empty out your cistern, I always pop a towel down because when you take the pipe from the tap up to your cistern out, there is always a little bit of water that’s still in the bottom. You pop in the pipe that comes with your Little Squirt and it’s got a little three way valve on it and turn the water back on, let the cistern fill up and you’re away. You can do it in under 10 minutes, just grab some plumbers tape or some thread tape from Bunnings before you do it because [00:19:30] it’s always good whenever you’re working with water taps and stuff like that to use thread tape so there is no leaking.
Andrew: Okay, is there any tips that you would have for anybody that is out and about with cloth nappies?
Vashti: One of my things was I always had a water bottle with me, I was a breast feeder so I always had my own water bottle with me and that was really good for wetting wipes so I didn’t have to carry wet wipes, I could carry dry wipes with me, which meant less weight in my nappy bag. Then once the kids got a little bit bigger and we weren’t [00:20:00] breast feeding as much and if I forgot my water bottle, they would have their water bottles with them and I could always steal the water from them, so.
Andrew: Okay. So we’ve got a few minutes left. I wanted to bring up the subject of washing nappies.
Vashti: So I’m a big believer that washing your nappies shouldn’t be hard. You’ve been washing your clothes for years, washing nappies isn’t all that different really. Yes they are a bit dirtier, they do have pee and poo in them but they shouldn’t take anything more. [00:20:30] For myself, I use large wet bags to store my dirty nappies in. I’m not a big believer of buckets in the tropics because once you put a lid on to keep any smells in, they become warm and moist and humid and mould goes berserk. So I love a large wet bag because it allows the airflow around your nappies.
And once you’ve got your solids out of your nappies and you can use your Little Squirt, you can use your liners, a friend of mine had what she called the poo spoon so she used to scrape her nappies into the toilet to get the poo off. Pop your nappy in the wet-
Andrew: Is [00:21:00] that just a fancy name for an ordinary spoon?
Vicki: Yes, pretty much just a slotted spoon.
Vashti: It was just a spoon out of the kitchen draw. It never went back into the kitchen draw, it stayed in the bathroom and yeah, she’d scrape her nappies.
Vicki: That’s dedication. I’m a pretty lazy housewife and yeah, I wouldn’t come at that.
Vashti: I’m a Little Squirt woman, so.
Andrew: I remember when I washed the nappies, all I did was basically, we had a bucket that had an insert in it.
Vicki: [00:21:30] It was a bin.
Andrew: Yeah, it was a bin and I just took the insert out and I poured the contents of the insert into the machine.
Andrew: And then just set it on prewash and away it went.
Vashti: Yeah well so, when we were doing the big kids, we were in Central Victoria so I had a bucket and it worked fine and I would just empty it into my top loader. Now with Kylen, I’ve got a front loader, I don’t want to touch the nappies so getting them out of a bucket into the washing machine means I’ve either got to get tongs or something like that.
Vicki: No, no, no, he didn’t [00:22:00] tell you, we had a front loader and he managed to get them out of the bin, oh if only this was a video, it was hilarious.
Andrew: It was so hard, it was like digging. I would get them all out.
Vicki: He would do anything to not touch the nappies.
Andrew: Doesn’t matter how many of them were in there, I could get them all out into the front loader washing machine.
Vicki: Without touching them.
Vashti: You should have had a big wet bag. So with a big wet bag, you just unzip it, put the lip on the machine and punch your nappies out. Turn the wet bag inside out and throw it in on top.
Vicki: [00:22:30] Do you want to know something really funny? I don’t know if it happens with front loaders but, sorry, I don’t know if it happens with top loaders but front loaders, if you have your zipper open on your wet bag, the machine flips it inside out.
Vicki: That’s a thing. I didn’t even know that until I asked someone, does your machine turn your wet bags inside out? It’s the bizarrest thing.
Vashti: But then, so for washing them, I believe that you should be using whatever laundry detergent that you’re already using. At Nest, [00:23:00] we have an environmental ethos so we do recommend environmentally friendly laundry detergent, but that’s our own personal belief. If you’re using Cold Power at home, continue using Cold Power at home. Use what you’ve got, there is no point in changing a routine-
Vicki: Until you have issues.
Andrew: Yeah I saw somebody on Facebook the other day was actually having red on the skin of the baby and somebody commented that it could be the washing powder.
Vashti: Most definitely.
Andrew: So if you’re getting that, then it’s the same as with your clothes, if your clothes are annoying you, then yeah, change your washing [00:23:30] powder.
Vicki: Keep it simple, if it’s working-
Vashti: Don’t change it.
Vicki: Don’t change it.
Andrew: Is there anything that you should not put in with cloth nappies?
Vashti: I tend to recommend steer clear of-
Vicki: Wool, Andrew.
Vicki: Don’t put your wool covers in.
Andrew: It was in the bucket.
Vashti: Well see for me, I do wash my wool covers with my nappies but I always make sure I’m home for that load and so I pull it out straight away and hang it or lay it flat to dry.
Vicki: You wash in cold water?
Vashti: I do wash in cold water.
Vicki: We’ve always washed in warmer water, either warm or-
Vashti: Yeah, no [00:24:00] I’m a cold girl.
Vashti: But no, your wash cycle for your nappies, just a pre wash to get rid of any floaties that are hanging around and then a full, like the longest wash cycle that you’ve got. So prewash or short cycle and then a nice long cycle. You can use warm or hot water if you want. We tend to recommend, don’t go over 60 degrees because it can have an adverse effect on the elastics and the PUL or TPU in your nappies. As I said, I wash in cold, it works for me and it’s been [00:24:30] working for me for nearly 12 years so I’m pretty happy with that.
Vicki: Half a scoop of detergent in your prewash too. That at least means that when it comes to the main cycle, and this is the important part of your prewash or your short cycle, is that you’re pretty much giving the nappies a really good rinse, so you’re actually washing in clean water.
Vicki: You don’t want to just put them straight through a wash without a prewash or a short cycle. So a little bit of detergent in the prewash isn’t going to go astray.
Vashti: And then full [00:25:00] recommended amount of laundry detergent in the main wash.
Vicki: For heavily soiled loads, and also keep in mind too, if you’ve got a big washing machine, you’re going to need to use more. I’m pretty sure most detergents are based on seven kilo washers so if you’ve got a 15 kilo washer, well you’re going to have to double it.
Vashti: Have you got a 15? Wow!
Vicki: We used to have a 15 kilo washer. It was amazing.
Vashti: You could do a weeks worth of nappies in that.
Vicki: Well actually, I’ve probably got some pictures of-
Andrew: More than a week.
Vicki: We won’t even go into how long [00:25:30] I used to leave my nappies.
Andrew: That nappy bucket held a lot of nappies.
Vicki: It did. Especially when you’re talking toilet training and you’ve only got one or two nappies a day.
Vashti: I’m there at the moment and yes, we are getting several days between washes, so.
Andrew: You’ve got to also remember too, like for a long time there, Vicki was developing nappies. So, a lot of the nappies that we were going through were actually test nappies and over the years, a lot of test nappies, a lot of test nappies went through, you know and-
Vicki: The stash just got bigger and bigger and bigger.
Andrew: Bigger and bigger and bigger and [00:26:00] even if it was a test nappy, it never came out of the cycle, it stayed in the cycle and just kept going through. Of course that’s how you make sure that all of your fabrics that you are using are lasting a long time of course too.
Vashti: So once they are washed, it’s drying.
Andrew: So say you’re in Queensland, how are you going to dry it if you are in Queensland?
Vashti: Look, definitely on the line. Line dry if you can, line dry. As I said before, I was in Central Victoria for my first two, [00:26:30] my daughter, my second was born in the middle of winter. Now you’re lucky to get half a dozen hours of sun a day and that sun isn’t real fierce. You pretty much get six to eight months of the year where you’re lucky to get double figures during the day, so drying was really, really hard. A lot of the time, my nappies did go though the clothes dryer, I just dropped the heat setting down a little bit.
Vicki: And I don’t tend to put the shells through.
Vashti: No I tried to keep the shells out.
Vicki: Tried to keep the shells out.
Andrew: Yeah, the shells almost come out [00:27:00] dry.
Vashti: They do, they are very close. You can hang them over a towel rail and they will be dry by the next change most of the time.
Vicki: And that goes back to last weeks’ episode where we were talking about the fabrics, the shell, you know none of those fabrics in the shell are actually absorbent, so they do.
Vashti: Unless you are using an all in one.
Vicki: Yes, okay. Of course there is always an exception isn’t there? But you know, your boosters and all of that sort of stuff, are all fine to go through the dryer to get them dry. [00:27:30] Andrew used to put everything through the dryer, our shells and everything and I do not recommend that for everybody but, do you know what? If I wasn’t washing the nappies and someone was washing the nappies for me, who am I to say, don’t put it though the dryer? You know, at least they came out and I didn’t have to do them.
Vashti: Yep. The other thing I recommend with drying is if you are line drying, try not to peg them up from the end because that moisture that is in them, will add a lot of weight to the fibres and if you are pegging them [00:28:00] up from either end, or the wings or anything like that, it can actually stretch all of the elastics in your nappy, which will shorten the life span or the life expectancy of your nappy, so-
Andrew: So hang them from the centre?
Vashti: Yeah, hang them along the line.
Vicki: Hot dog or hamburger is what we call that.
Vashti: Oh there you go. So I pretty much have clothes airers, three tier clothes airers that sit on my back deck and my nappies go over them so it’s length ways along the line and it’s pretty much in half over the top. [00:28:30] The beauty about clothes airers when you are drying your nappies is if you do get a sudden storm like Brisbane is prone to in summer, we get our sudden, out of the blue storms, you can quickly go and move your clothes airer, you don’t have to go stuffing around with bits and bobs from different nappies to get them off the big line.
It’s also really good when, if you’re in a tropical climate with fierce sun, try not to put your nappies out in the direct sun through the middle [00:29:00] of the day when the sun is at it’s hottest because that’s the same as exposing them to high temperatures and it will shorten the life expectancy of your elastics and your PULs.
Andrew: So dry them in the shade if you can?
Vashti: Or dappled sunlight or you know morning or afternoon sun but not through that centre, hot part of the day.
Andrew: Okay, cool. Because it’s really the air movement, isn’t it, that is drying the nappies? The sun doesn’t have to be on them.
Vashti: So, another thing you can do, if you’re in a cold environment or you’re getting a [00:29:30] run of wet weather or something like that is double space your nappies over your clothes airer or hang them over two lines so that there is lots of air flow around them and pop them underneath an overhead fan overnight so when you go to bed at night, just pop them underneath that or shove them in around wall heaters or over the top of heat vents or something. Living down in Victoria, we got very, very creative with getting our nappies [00:30:00] dry.
Vicki: Was it just your nappies? Was it towels, like is there something that people can-
Vashti: No it wasn’t just the nappies, it was everything.
Vashti: So there was days like when, smack bang in the middle of winter, you walked into my house and it looked like a Chinese laundry because I had clothes hung up.
Vicki: And you can say, a Chinese laundry actually exists, that’s what the houses looked like. No seriously, those pictures that you see, yeah like of all of the clothes hanging off the edge of all of the houses, [00:30:30] in particular, in Hong Kong.
Vashti: Oh very much, yeah. And because they are all apartment buildings, they have got to open up their window and they have got clothes lines straight outside of their windows, so.
Vicki: I remember commenting about that.
Andrew: Did you get any pictures of it?
Vashti: We did.
Vicki: I’m sure we did.
Vashti: I’ll go hunting and we will try and get one attached to this podcast for you.
Vicki: Yeah, yep. We’ll go looking for one and see if there is any cloth nappies on any.
Vashti: I’m not sure if I saw-
Vicki: They do a lot of EC stuff.
Vashti: Yep, there is lots and lots of EC [00:31:00] in your Asian cultures.
Vicki: Which is elimination communication, which is, you know those, I’m sure you would have seen them, the pants with holes around the groyne where, yeah.
Vashti: You are watching for your babies cues and you’re learning to learn what your baby’s facial expressions are when they need to go to the toilet. So-
Vicki: Yeah we saw a lot of genitals on kids. Quite, [00:31:30] just a cultural thing, that was quite confronting.
Vashti: But EC is becoming very, very popular in a lot of countries around the world now. I have lots of my customers who will come and ask me about EC tools and stuff to get them going or they will start cloth nappying for those early months when you are going through 10 to 12 changes a day but by the time bubby is six months, they want to start on that EC and start progressing away from nappies.
Other people [00:32:00] decide to let their child guide them and look at toilet training from 18 to 24 months, it’s up to you.
Andrew: Yeah I remember toilet training was really easy with the girls and with Gabriel.
Vicki: Except poops.
Andrew: Yeah except number twos, he just didn’t like sitting on the toilet for that.
Vicki: Well technically he was toilet trained because he would ask for a nappy to go do a number two in, you know, so he knew when he wanted to do it, he just refused to do it on the toilet. Apparently it’s a whole boy [00:32:30] loss of, yeah.
Vashti: Well it’s a whole, drop in, this thing into a pool of water and the water splashing back up on the groyne area. I’m keeping it G rated.
Andrew: Yeah, but yeah it was a breeze, toilet training, I must agree.
Vicki: Well that’s because we waited for the girls for when they were ready. It was about three days, actually for all of them, it was about three days. They were ready, they were well and truly showing signs. It’s a bit like when you’re [00:33:00] in labour, you think you are in labour and then when you are in labour, you know. It’s the same with toilet training, you think your kid is showing signs and then you know when they are.
Andrew: So any last tips that you can think of during the nappy change process?
Vashti: Have everything ready.
Vicki: Yep, including a partner.
Andrew: Within arms reach, everything within arms reach.
Vicki: Yeah well you don’t want to be leaving bub on the change table.
Andrew: No, never leave the room with the bub on the change table.
Vashti: No. And have extra wipes, just in case. [00:33:30] Whether you’re using, I always found that I went through more disposable wipes than cloth wipes. I got my cloth wipes very down pat whereas disposable wipes I always found that, you know, you go through half a dozen at least.
Vicki: And still it was kind of almost like smearing poop all over.
Vicki: Especially newborn poop, it kind of really smears whereas, you know, as I said we used face washers and it just kind of cleaned up really quickly, really easily.
Vashti: The terry grabs, it really does grab, so. And keep it simple for your washing, [00:34:00] honestly, keep it really simple, it’s not hard.
Andrew: Okay, I think that will do it for this episode. Thank you Vashti.
Vashti: Thanks Andrew, we will see you next week.
Andrew: Thank you Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks Andrew.
Andrew: Bye, bye.
Vicki Simpson is the current president of the Australian Nappy Association and has been making and selling cloth nappies for 13 years. You can contact Vicki through her website, www.bubblebubs.com.au or call 1300 792 232.
Vashti Wadell is the member secretary of the Australian Nappy [00:34:30] Association and is the owner of Australia’s first bricks and mortar nappy store, Nest Nappies in Brisbane Australia. She has been using cloth nappies for 12 years and currently has one child still in nappies. You can contact Vashti through her website, www.nestnappies.com.au or phone 07 3217 5200.
If you have any comments about the podcast, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have found this podcast helpful then the way to thank us is to leave feedback in iTunes store.
[00:35:00] I am your host, Andrew Simpson.