Sometimes when you say you are going to do something like “I am going to use cloth nappies because …” you get naysayers. So in this episode, we are going to cover what they may say and if it is true or not.
Transcript for overcoming cloth nappy objections.
Andrew: How are you Vashti?
Vashti: I’m good. Thanks, Andrew. How are you today?
Andrew: Fantastic. And how are you, Vicki?
vicki: I’m trying to think of something really smart and witty.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:00:22] Well usually you just complain about the fact that Vashti goes first.
Vicki: I do. Or that it’s cold.
Andrew: Or that it’s cold.
Vicki: I’m not cold today. I’m wearing wool today. [00:00:30] Wool for the win. It’s even see through. My husband would enjoy that.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:00:35]
vashti: Well, that’s what happens when you wear black bras.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:00:38] That’s because I was really looking.
vashti: For those that can’t see, Vicki just flashed her boobs.
vicki: We’re going to play chess tonight.
Andrew: Oh, okay. Well, back to the podcast first.
Vicki: [crosstalk 00:00:52] [inaudible 00:00:52] know that you’ve been looking at my boobs. It’s the only way I can beat him.
Andrew: Luckily this is a podcast [00:01:00] about babies, so we can get away with saying boobs.
Andrew: Actually first, I got to say congratulations girls. You’re one week.
vicki: Oh, no, no, no. No, no.
Andrew: You’re one year old today.
vashti: Oh, are we?
Andrew: It’s been twelve months since we’ve started recording this podcast.
Vashti: Holy patootie. Wow. That’s, like, flown.
vicki: It has, yeah.
Andrew: It has, yeah. When this episode publishes the same month as our first episode publishes.
Vicki: Do you know 12 months ago we used to put the kids in afterschool care? And now they just run in and out of the house? Can you hear it? Bang, [00:01:30] bang, bang. Keeping it real.
Vashti: Yeah, that’s what I was about to say. It’s real. You know, this is what it’s like being a small business owner with family.
vicki: [crosstalk 00:01:42]
Andrew: Actually, that reminds me too I wanted to congratulate you on your baby lessons that you do. What do you call those?
vashti: [inaudible 00:01:52] workshops.
Andrew: [inaudible 00:01:54] workshops. Yeah. Well I [inaudible 00:01:55] at a baby show on the weekend, and I got some comments from people saying how wonderful they were. Yeah. So well done on that.
[00:02:00] And those of you that aren’t in Brisbane, she will Skype you, if you’re not in Brisbane.
vashti: We will.
Andrew: So onto today’s subject. Today’s subject is, how to overcome objections when using cloth nappies. And we don’t mean the complaints that your grandmother is going to give you. Just tell her to relax. She won’t have to change any.
So, the first one I want to throw at you is, “Cloth nappies stink.”
Vicki: No. Actually, that’s a bit of an opposite. Cloth nappies tend to contain smells a hell of a lot better than disposables.
Vashti: [00:02:30] You have to go hunting to see whether or not there is actually anything in there. I always found that in the early days when I used the disposable one [inaudible 00:02:40] I could really smell when he dropped one. It was almost like a chemical smell as well- [crosstalk 00:02:46]
vicki: Even when they’re wee-ing them, they have very much a chemical sort of a-
Vashti: Yeah, it’s sort of like a combination of the wee or the poo, mixing with the absorbency. You can … it really does let off a stench. It’s not nice.
Andrew: I’ll give you some background to why I’m asking these questions. [00:03:00] I spent a couple hours reading online today, and I searched for, “Why I gave up on cloth nappies.” And after I got passed all the clickbait, because oh my gosh was there some click bait, I got to some of the articles. And that’s- [crosstalk 00:03:10]
vicki: Do you mean there are people that actually try to make money off nappies?
Andrew: No, they try to make money off people wanting to [inaudible 00:03:18] about cloth nappies.
vicki: Oh, okay.
vashti: Fair enough.
Andrew: So, hence the word click bait.
Vicki: That didn’t actually come … That sarcasm didn’t really come through.
vashti: No, I didn’t think so.
vicki: No, it didn’t.
Andrew: It’s an audio podcast, remember.
vicki: Well, you know, I was kind of trying to get at the point [00:03:30] that, you know, we keep this [inaudible 00:03:31] so it’s more informational [inaudible 00:03:34]
Andrew: I must admit that all the articles that popped up were obviously American articles. I couldn’t find much in there from Australian writers on the subject. It was mostly American ones.
vicki: [crosstalk 00:03:45]
Andrew: We could get Jenna to write some.
vicki: Publish it on our blog.
Andrew: We’re not looking for click bait.
So, the next one is, “Cloth nappies give my baby rashes”. That was a direct quote from another article I found. She said that for some reason, [00:04:00] cloth nappies gave her rashes. But she didn’t actually say whether the disposables gave them rashes or not too.
Vashti: So, I have a little bit of a conspiracy theory here. And-
vicki: This is Elizabeth’s conspiracy theory I bet.
Vashti: Is it? I don’t know. I don’t know what Elizabeth- [crosstalk 00:04:14]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:04:14]
Vashti: No, no. It’s not nappy scent. The expansion or the use of bum creams, like nappy rash creams, didn’t actually really occur until disposables were [inaudible 00:04:26] So, I have a strong suspicion that nappy [00:04:30] rash creams were brought out because babies were getting rashes with disposable nappy.
You go back to our parents, and you ask about when we were in cloth nappies, and they were the old school terry [inaudible 00:04:41] squares, that didn’t have any stay dry layers on them or anything like that. And there was the minimal case of rash on baby’s bum. So-
Vicki: [crosstalk 00:04:49] It is very much a minority of babies will be allergic to disposables, and a minority will be allergic to cloth nappies. So, take that out [00:05:00] of the equation. You know, probably the 5% of babies that will react. What causes a nappy rash is bacteria-
Vicki: -and a nappy being left on too long. So, it’s irrelevant, whether it’s cloth nappy or a disposable nappy. You leave the nappy on too long or-
vashti: You get a fungal infection [crosstalk 00:05:16]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:05:16] fungal infection, that’s what’s going to cause a nappy rash.
Andrew: She did admit later in the article that she found that her daughter did have sensitive skin.
Andrew: And she actually found her … she then remembered that her little boy had sensitive skin and used to get rashes in [00:05:30] disposable nappies, so.
Vashti: Oh, there you go. It’s- [crosstalk 00:05:33]
vicki: And having a good wash routine helps as well.
Vashti: Oh, definitely. Yeah.
Vicki: You know, you’re making sure that [crosstalk 00:05:37] are your detergents washed out, and making sure that the ammonia is washed out. And you’ve got clean nappies that, you know-
Vashti: Well, it’s quite impressive, because [Michaela 00:05:48] was allergic to disposables, I think we’ve mentioned before. So, she got nasty rashes in disposables but never had any issues with cloth. [Braith 00:05:54] was fine either way. [Kylin 00:05:56] on the other hand, he’s only been in cloth his whole life. But I did notice, [00:06:00] whenever he was teething; I couldn’t use the stay dry fibre against his skin because he’s way reacted with the stay dry fibre and caused rashes. So we always had to use a natural fibre, which was good- [crosstalk 00:06:11]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:06:11] But only when he was teething.
Vashti: Only when he was teething. Whenever a new tooth was coming through, and we’d start to notice he’d start to get a little bit of a pink bum. And we’d go, “Oh, teething.” Sure enough within a couple of days, a tooth would erupt so-
Vicki: Didn’t they say that … I saw I don’t know whether I saw comments or a study or something about the gut flora changes-
vashti: It [00:06:30] does.
vicki: -during teething.
Vashti: Yeah, there is a massive change. And you’ll notice that when your baby’s teething, they start to poop more. Their urine starts to have a stench. So, yeah. There is a whole chemical change in your babies body when they’re teething.
Andrew: You mean the poo stinks more.
vashti: [crosstalk 00:06:49]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:06:50]
Vashti: It’s not just the poop. It’s not just the poo; it’s the wee as well. So, their urine actually changes smells. So it becomes- [crosstalk 00:06:58]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:06:58] It’s really … [00:07:00] it’s a really pungent smell.
Vashti: It is. And look, I know that there’s been times where my kids have been teething where, like, I’ve gone to take a nappy off, and your eyes are almost burning from the wee. So, yeah. Completely normal.
vicki: Higher concentration of ammonia or something- [crosstalk 00:07:14]
vashti: It is.
Vicki: I don’t know. It’s, yeah.
Vashti: And it’s the chemical reaction when that urine … There’s not an issue while the urine’s in the body. It’s a chemical reaction with the oxygen when the oxygen hits the urine. That’s what causes it.
Andrew: Do you have to change their nappy more often?
vicki: No. [00:07:30] You’re more aware.
Vicki: More to the point, you know. Just because a disposable can last all day, doesn’t mean it should. You know, I think that’s more of a problem. You know, babies should be changed. Newborn babies should be changed every two to three hours.
Vashti: Well, I know there were times where I’d forgot the nappy bag when Kylin was coming to the shop with me in the early days. And so I’d have to take a nappy off the shelf, prepped, ready to go, throw it on his bum. And, you know, if it was a busy day, he might not get his bum checked for the rest of the day.
vashti: So, that’s, you know, five hours on [00:08:00] a brand new nappy.
Andrew: Oh, you used to take a nappy off the shelf? That’s why we had such a big stash.
Here’s a funny one. “They’re big on their butt.”
vicki: But that’s the best part.
Vashti: It is. It’s cute. And, do you know what? It’s even better when they’re learning to walk because when they fall, they’ve got a nice soft, padded tush to land on.
Vicki: And you know what else? You’ve also got a lot of padding when you’re trying to pat your baby to sleep.
vicki: And you’re frustrated.
Andrew: The article that I read, she did admit that. They’re much softer when he was trying to learn to walk.
Vashti: And it’s cute. Like, I mean, who doesn’t like a big butt?
vicki: [00:08:30] Yeah. [crosstalk 00:08:32] yeah, I actually think that’s a positive, not a negative.
Andrew: “Cloth nappies leak.”
Vashti: Never leaked out of one of my cloth nappies. Poo-explosion out of a disposable, galore. So, the last time I used a disposable was when I walked in on Braith, and he had poo in his hair and poo on his toes. And I said, “That’s it. I’m done.”
Andrew: Any poo in his teeth?
Vicki: Yeah, that was Abby. That was Abby.
Andrew: Yeah, Abby’s done that.
Vashti: You know, Braith and Michaela were never smearers? They never, you know, tried to get the poo out. Kylin, on the other hand, liked to [00:09:00] smear it all over his brother and sister’s beds.
Vicki: Nappies, I have seen leaks in nappies. And it’s generally fit.
Vicki: So, you know, the thing is, a liquid is looking for the fastest way out. You know? You see it, you know, anywhere, like in a bathroom. You know, they put the [inaudible 00:09:17], so it goes toward the drain.
Andrew: Except in our bathroom.
Vicki: Except in our bathroom. Let’s not go there.
But yeah. So liquid is actually looking for the fastest way out. So if there are any gaps around the legs or the waist well, you know, [00:09:30] that’s where it’s going to come out. But if you think of cloth nappies, generally they’ve got a six-millimetre elastic container. Disposables have a couple of rows of shirring elastic, which is, like, stretch string. So, what’s going to contain more? Six-millimetre barrier, or a couple of strips of shirring elastic?
Andrew: It does come a little bit [crosstalk 00:09:50]
vashti: It does.
Vashti: I mean, if you’ve got the elastic down on the thigh, once bubby starts moving, that’s going to move it around. You really need to make sure it’s up in the leg groyne, like the leg crease. And then [00:10:00] it’s nice and snug. You want to be able to fit a finger in there and feel that elastic pull back against your finger. But when you lift your baby’s leg, you don’t want to see any gaps or any openings of the nappy. And the same around the waist as well. You want to be able to slide your finger in there, but you don’t want to see any significant gaps around- [crosstalk 00:10:19]
Vicki: And you learn fast. I remember Bella, remember the first time you held her? We’d just got her. Arabella had gone to NICU, and a different hospital, and yadda-yadda-yadda. Anyway, she came [00:10:30] back about four days later, and Andrew hadn’t had … No, it must have been five or six days, because I held her when she was three days. And anyway, it was … She was going to be back in our care, and we were going to do the overnight thing.
Anyway, her first cloth nappy I put on. You know, so this was the second child and very experienced with cloth nappies. And yeah, it leaked all over him. Like within, what, two or three minutes?
Andrew: As soon as I picked her up.
Vicki: Yeah. And it was his first cuddle. He ended up with poop down his arm.
Andrew: And those of you at home, if you’re wondering why the [inaudible 00:11:00] have side [00:11:00] snaps, because of what happened with Abby. That’s why they’ve got side snaps.
Andrew: because I had a lot of people saying to me at the [inaudible 00:11:05]. Oh, not velcro? No, snaps.
Vashti: Yeah. No, velcro is too easy for them to get adventurous and-
vashti: -open up.
vicki: Really damaged us I think.
Andrew: Yes it did. I remember Abby, like, you know, grabbing the nappy and just peeling it like [crosstalk 00:11:20]
Vicki: Oh, constantly. Yeah.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:11:21] Just so we’d chase her.
Andrew: because we knew, if she got that off, it was a big clean up. I don’t think we had a dog back then.
vicki: We did.
Andrew: [00:11:30] Must of trained it correctly then.
vashti: Dogs love baby poo.
Andrew: I came across a big article. Somebody … This is apparently in America, they moved from a capital city to an outlying town, and they had problems with water quality. And she said that the water wasn’t able to get her nappies clean. Is that really something?
vicki: The detergent wouldn’t have been able to get her nappy’s clean.
Vashti: Look, some people who are on [bore 00:11:54] water do have some trouble because bore water can be quite hard. Generally-
vicki: [crosstalk 00:11:59] needing more water softness-
Vashti: Yeah, you need a [00:12:00] water softener in there. If it’s really bad bore water, it might be quite discoloured as well. Like there might be … So, it can be difficult if you’re on bore water, to get your nappies pristine and white again. So they will discolour.
vicki: But then if you were- [crosstalk 00:12:17]
vashti: [crosstalk 00:12:17] But you’ll be- [crosstalk 00:12:17]
Vicki: Yeah, exactly. If you were in the middle of … What is it? How do you pronounce it? [Pilbara 00:12:23] you know?
vashti: The Pilbara Region.
Vicki: Yeah. Like, with all of that red dirt, would you really have white nappy’s?
vashti: No, we don’t.
vicki: No. [00:12:30] No, you wouldn’t have a stash of white nappy’s.
vicki: You would go black, or red, or-
Vashti: And look, I’ve got a lot of customers who are up in the Kimberley’s, and the Pilbara, and stuff like that. And so we post out to them regularly. And they’re not worried about having pristine white nappy’s for their inserts. They’re worried about absorbency. And yeah, okay. Our parents and our grandparents may have been bleaching and soaking nappy’s to have them pristine and white, hanging out on the clothesline. But these days, you know, it’s more about the outside of the nappy that’s the colour [00:13:00] and stuff like that, not the inside. As long as the interior is absorbent- [crosstalk 00:13:04]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:13:04] and clean.
vashti: -who cares what colour it is?
Vicki: And clean. Yeah.
vashti: Tie-dye your nappies, if you’re worried about the colour of them.
Andrew: Has anybody brought out a tie-dyed one yet?
Vashti: No. But I have a couple of customers who tie-dye their pre-folds and their flaps, and they’ve sent me photos. I really should share them actually, so-
Andrew: Tie-dyed pre-fold. That’d look cool.
Vashti: Yeah. It’s pretty cool. So-
Andrew: Are they happy?
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:13:24] Just in case they listen to this, nothing wrong with hippies.
I came across another article that said, “Newborn nappy’s are a waste [00:13:30] of time because [crosstalk 00:13:31]”
vicki: Well yeah, because newborns don’t use nappy’s.
vashti: Apparently not.
Look, you are changing ten to twelve times a day on a newborn. It’s a lot of nappy’s. Some infant nappies can be quite small. But that’s to get that trim, snug fit on them. And when you’re using them for, you know, three, four, five, six months on some occasions, you’re going to get your use out of them, especially if you have more babies.
vicki: [crosstalk 00:13:55] There’s a big market for secondhand nappies too.
Vashti: Yeah. But the thing that I always [00:14:00] find is if you’re interested in using cloth from birth, having a newborn stash means that you’re going to get a much snugger, trimmer fit. And it’s going … You’re less likely to have gaps or incorrect fitting, which means that you’re going to have a better success rate with using cloth.
If you’ve got any sort of gaping, you’re going to be washing clothes, and bedding, and car seats. And you’re going to get disheartened and just end up giving up on your cloth nappies because it’s going to be too much washing. So, the better fit you can get. And if that means buying [00:14:30] newborn nappies, so you get a better fit, then the better success rate you have.
Vicki: Actually, just before we started the podcast I was on the phone to a customer, and she said she’s having a small baby, and she was looking at using [inaudible 00:14:41]. She said, [inaudible 00:14:42] realistically will they fit? And I just said, no. You know, straight out. I mean, you may be lucky but the number of people that we see that have what you would consider an average size baby, between three and four kilos, still struggling to get a good fit with a one size nappy. Now, that’s not to say that one size doesn’t fit newborns, [00:15:00] but you need to be aware that it’s trickier to fit them on newborns, and they’re bulky-
Vashti: Well Kylin was born 3.850 which is 8 pound 11. So he was, you know, on the upper side of average. He was nine weeks old before I felt comfortable having him in a one size. So … And, like, that was my third baby. I’d been working in the industry for, how many years at that stage? And I’d used a wide range of different nappy. But he was better suited to a newborn nappy.
vashti: And he cracked 8 kilos at four months. [00:15:30] He stacked on the weight really quickly, so-
Vicki: I think it’s always worthwhile, if the budget stretches. Still say that, if the budget stretches, you’re going to have better success with newborn nappies. If it doesn’t, just adjust your expectations that you may struggle. And I think if you have realistic expectations, you’re going to have success. Rather than saying, “Okay, I’m gonna use one size from birth and, you know, I’m never gonna … You know, it’s gonna fit perfectly.” And then you get leaks. You know, that’s when you give up.
Andrew: Isn’t there [00:16:00] a big cross gap between one size fits most and newborn nappies as well? Is that- [crosstalk 00:16:06]
Vashti: A newborn [crosstalk 00:16:06] unless you’re going with … I mean, you can do it on the cheap, you know, with flats or pre-folds. But generally, if you’re starting to look at your fitted’s, and your all in ones, and that sort of stuff, you won’t get a return on investment until your second child. So, the amount you would spend on newborn disposables versus newborn cloth is about on par. Pre-folds are the exception. [00:16:30] Pre-folds and flats are the exceptions.
Andrew: Actually, that brings up the next question I had. I found a comment from one person who said, when she went to use her cloth nappies on her second baby after a two-year gap, they all deteriorated and were no good, and she had to buy more. What’s a good way to store- [crosstalk 00:16:43]
Vashti: I would probably say, that’s because they weren’t cleaned properly. And so something got in and ate the fibres, because there was bacteria in there that fed something. Or, they were stored in a hot area in direct sun or [inaudible 00:16:57] and the elastic sort of- [crosstalk 00:16:59]
vicki: Or they were cheap [00:17:00] and nasty to start with.
vashti: Yeah, that’s another option.
Vicki: Like, that’s one of the biggest differences between buying a quality brand versus say, a China cheap-y. You know, the expectation. That’s [inaudible 00:17:12]
Andrew: Kind of off subject, I also discovered that the better nappies on the market tend to hold their value when they’re sold secondhand.
vashti: Oh, definitely.
Andrew: Where, the ones that aren’t that good don’t seem to hold their value.
Vashti: Yeah. That’s right. But that’s the same with any product. Like, you buy a-
vicki: Secondhand Ferrari.
Vashti: Yeah, you buy a secondhand [00:17:30] Ferrari, it’s still going to be way up there towards what you would have paid new. Like, there’s not going to be a considerable price drop. You buy a secondhand Ford, and it’s going to be- [crosstalk 00:17:39]
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:17:39]
vashti: Yeah, well there you go.
Vicki: Aren’t they, like, going to be antique soon? Or is that- [crosstalk 00:17:44]
Vashti: Going back to your question about how to store your nappies in between babies. Firstly, make sure they’re clean. Give them a really, really good wash. And make sure they’re bone dry. So don’t, like, if you’ve got even the slightest concern there’s any dampness in them at all, leave them out for [00:18:00] an extra day [inaudible 00:18:01] out of direct sun, so that there is no dampness in them whatsoever.
I stored mine a couple of different ways. I’ve saved them in vacuum sealed bags, and also in, you know, plastic tubs. But, you know, try and keep them in a cool, dry environment, out of direct sunlight. So at the bottom of a cupboard, under a bed, something like that.
vicki: Shoved in a basket in the garage works too.
Vashti: Yeah. Well, mine is currently in a basket in a spare room.
Andrew: That was our … Actually, were they in the garage or were they just in [00:18:30] the- [crosstalk 00:18:30]
Vicki: [crosstalk 00:18:30] shoved here there and everywhere. There was nothing special that I did with mine. But I’ve never pretended to be any Martha Stewart.
vicki: You know, I’m- [crosstalk 00:18:40]
vashti: [crosstalk 00:18:40]
vicki: -complete opposite.
Vashti: I’ve got some nappies that I used on Michaela, and seven years later, like, they hadn’t … they were just stored in a plastic tub in the bottom of a cupboard, and they were still in [inaudible 00:18:50] for Kylin. So-
Vicki: [crosstalk 00:18:52] because I’ve had the same, where some are perfect, and some are not. And they’re precisely the same brand, and-
Vashti: You know, so but yeah. Look, [00:19:00] one of the things that you can do is, you know if you’ve got a collection of silica gel packets, throw them in there to suck up any moisture that gets in. Or they always recommend putting your wedding dress in tissue paper, because it soaks up extra moisture. So, you know, throw some tissue paper in wherever you’re storing. Try and store them flat, but don’t stretch them.
Andrew: Hang on a second. Are you storing your wedding dress because of you- [crosstalk 00:19:23]
Vashti: I don’t know why. I think there’s this misconception out there [00:19:30] by women that their daughters, or their daughters who are to be, to use their wedding dresses.
Andrew: No. Fashion is already [crosstalk 00:19:37]
vashti: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:19:39]
But yeah, no. Store them flat, but don’t stretch the elastics.
Vicki: And if at the end of all of that, your elastics die, don’t throw them out. They can be easily repaired.
vashti: Oh yeah.
Vicki: You know, if you can’t sew, some people will happily do it, or donate them. You know, some organisations will repair [00:20:00] them and send them off for donation as well.
vashti: But we accept donations at [NEST 00:20:05]. I know that your mom makes donations. And we look at, you know, getting those donations to … Well, your mom and I both work with charity organisations in third world countries, giving them to family’s there. There’s a couple of people here … Who is it?
vicki: [crosstalk 00:20:23] St. [Kilda Mums 00:20:23]?
Vashti: Yeah. St. Kilda Mums do it. There’s also … Samantha, where’s she from? I can’t even remember her business name. Now she’s in New Castle.
vicki: [crosstalk 00:20:31]
vashti: [00:20:30] No- [crosstalk 00:20:33]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:20:33]
vashti: Yeah, no there’s one of the businesses in New Castle, and I’ll remember it after this podcast I’m sure. She works on getting nappies to low-income families within the New Castle or greater New Castle region. You know, families in crisis and stuff like that. So, that might need some cloth nappies.
Andrew: One of the questions I got-
vicki: You’re a bit puffed.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:20:57] Yes. Really took me out of listening [00:21:00] to that answer.
vicki: Not chasing the dog and stopping it barking.
Andrew: No, no. Not chasing the dog. Dog’s too fast for me anyway.
One of the strange things I heard at the baby show on the weekend was people actually asking me, how does the washing machine get the poos out of the nappy? And for some reason, a lot of people thought that they don’t get rid of the solid poo’s in the toilet, they throw the whole thing in the washing machine.
vashti: Oh, no.
Andrew: Did you guys come across that?
Vicki: No. That must be a dad question. I tell you [00:21:30] what, poo is hands down, the biggest objection. And what people don’t realise, and usually it’s stereotypical is this is … it’s usually the dad who, you know, the mom will come up to the stand, and she’ll be, like, super keen to at least have a listen. And the dad, you can just see this revolted look on his face. And you just say to him, it’s the poo, isn’t it? And he’ll go, “Yeah. Like, I’m not dealing with poo.” And it’s like, but buddy, the nappy is irrelevant. [00:22:00] You’re still going to be dealing with poo.
vicki: And, you know the number of times that they kind of go, “Oh, well I didn’t even think of that.” And you know, the only poo that you really need to deal with, is once it gets to kind of solid stage.
vashti: So once bubby’s eating solids, or if you’re on [crosstalk 00:22:19]
vashti: Formula poo isn’t water soluble, so you need to get formula poo out.
vicki: Oh really?
Vicki: I learned something today. I had no idea.
Andrew: One of the things … the thing that I say [00:22:30] to fathers is, if poo is the worst thing you’ve got to deal with, you’re going to be [crosstalk 00:22:34]
vicki: That’s true.
vashti: Honestly, you are going to be covered in all manner of bodily secretions when you have a baby.
vicki: And you actually won’t care.
Vashti: No, you don’t. And look, I was talking to a customer today about the fact that newborn baby poo, really, as far as poo goes-
Vicki: It’s all right. It’s sweet actually. It smells … Well, I’ve only got experience with breastfed poo, but it smells quite sweet. [00:23:00] And I think it’s mother natures way of kind of easing you into it.
Vashti: It is. You know, your baby lulls you into a false sense of security, that everything’s all beautiful. And you slowly get adjusted to dealing with poo. And then-
vicki: [crosstalk 00:23:13]
vashti: -you start solids.
vicki: Yeah, yeah.
Vashti: And because you’re starting solids slowly, you know, your baby’s only having a teaspoon or two of solids a day when they first start. So, there’s a gradual build up to the feral, disgusting poos.
vicki: [crosstalk 00:23:27]
vashti: [crosstalk 00:23:27] I don’t even want [00:23:30] to think about what my partner does.
vicki: To be fair, the men that are kind of thinking about poo, they’re imagining what’s coming out of their body, is going to come out of their baby’s body, and that’s what they’re going to have to deal with. [crosstalk 00:23:44]
vashti: [crosstalk 00:23:44] Your newborn might do a poo that’s almost as big as your partner’s, but it’s nothing like your partner’s, so it’s okay.
Andrew: How do you know what your partner’s doing?
vashti: I don’t want to know what my partner’s doing.
Andrew: Are you not talking about your partner too much now because you realise he actually listens [00:24:00] to the podcast?
Vashti: Oh yeah. That’s a point. For those of you that missed it, I just found out this afternoon that my other half is actually subscribed to this podcast. And for the first time, I was talking about the fact that I was going to be home late today, because we were doing a podcast. And he’s like, “But you just dropped on the other day.” And I’m like, “What?” I had no idea. So there you go.
vicki: I don’t even listen to the podcast.
Andrew: Yeah, you guys don’t even know when they get published, do you? [crosstalk 00:24:25]
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:24:26] Actually explain the publi- … Yeah. That’s funny.
vashti: [00:24:30] Well we listen to the podcast when you’re asking us for editing.
Vicki: I don’t. I don’t. [crosstalk 00:24:36]
Andrew: because you never get back to me.
Vashti: Oh, sometimes I do. Occasional, very rarely.
Andrew: For the first couple.
Andrew: But, you know, kind of you’re here.
Andrew: So you knew what you said.
vashti: Yeah, exactly.
vicki: And you’ve cut all the bad bits.
Andrew: I’ve cut all the bad bits.
vashti: We trust you.
Andrew: Cut that [inaudible 00:24:51] section. That would be excellent click bait, but that’s what click bait is.
vicki: Vicki drops an F-bomb.
Vashti: No. Vicki’s boob work.
Andrew: [00:25:00] That’s click bait. You know?
vashti: [crosstalk 00:25:02] just cut that whole section again.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:25:06] cut more boobs out.
So, I’ve got one more question for you. “You cannot get stains out of cloth nappies.”
Vicki: Yes you can. Good wash routine, good detergent, absolutely. You know, and look. We’re not bashing them on rocks anymore. You know, we do not have to soak our nappies in chlorine bleach and stuff like that. But if you have got persistent stains, we’ve got products like-
vashti: [00:25:30] Well, I sell- [crosstalk 00:25:33]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:25:33] soak.
Vashti: Yeah, I sell [Tuff Stuff 00:25:33] soap, which is an entirely natural product made in Australia. And that is incredible at getting stains out.
vashti: [crosstalk 00:25:41] works [inaudible 00:25:41] and vanish work.
Andrew: [Tuff Stuff 00:25:42] Soap? What’s their website? Let’s give them a plug.
vashti: It’s from the Tasmanian soap company.
Vashti: So yeah. Completely hand made in Tasmania. So natural, no nasty ingredients or anything like that. And it comes in its own little string bag. It’s just a small round cake of soap in a string bag, and you leave it [00:26:00] in that string bag, and you just scrub it on the stain and leave it to sit, and then throw it in the washing machine.
Andrew: Wow. And don’t forget to tell them you heard about it on this podcast. Even though they’ll get back to you and say, “On a what?”.
Vashti: No, [Jarrod 00:26:12] and his team are absolutely fantastic. Yeah.
I know itty bitty sells Tuff Stuff soap. There are a few other businesses who do it. We’ve got it at a NEST. It’s pretty impressive stuff. I’ve actually got a mechanic who comes in, and he’s got no kid. But he comes in every two months to buy [00:26:30] three bars of Tuff Stuff soap for his mechanics clothes.
Vicki: Do you know? I’m just not that into the laundry. If it doesn’t come out in the washing machine with the detergent, I’m, you know, whatever.
Vashti: At my kid’s old school they had white shirts. Like, who designs a primary school uniform with a white shirt? It’s beyond me. So they were white with these skinny pin strips through them. And every term, like, they were just foul. They were disgusting. So at the end of every term, [00:27:00] I would sit there and scrub them with the Tuff Stuff soap, and then throw them in the machine, and give them all a wash. And they’d come back to a very, very pale grey, instead of a very dark grey.
Andrew: For a couple of days.
vashti: No, they’d last a few weeks.
Vicki: But you know, even if you are into soaking. You know, there’s nothing wrong with soaking in [crosstalk 00:27:19]. You know, it’s an oxygen bleach. It’s perfectly safe for your nappies, as long as you’re following the instructions and not leaving it in there for six or seven days like I … See [crosstalk 00:27:27] I said I’m not a housewife. [00:27:30] I am not a housewife by any stretch of the imagination. And that’s why I don’t do stains, or soaking, or anything. Because I forget.
vicki: And they start kind of, but then they end up mouldy after a week.
Andrew: I don’t remember any bad stains.
Vicki: That’s because… Oh, not on nappies, no. But on bibs. Bibs in particular.
Andrew: Oh, so I’m out of questions guys. Anything else you want to say? Anything that popped up? Like we all did a baby show last weekend, and we’re all still a bit tired.
vashti: It’s extra work.
vicki: It is.
Vashti: It is. It’s an extra [00:28:00] five minutes a day, according to Choice, to cloth nappy over disposables. It’s an extra load of washing, once every two days. And really, it’s not even that, because you can actually pop up … Like, pop your nappy’s through for a prewash, and then top it off with some other things, like your bibs, and your spew rags, and stuff like that, to get them all through together.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:28:20] Yeah, treat your bibs like you treat your nappies.
Vicki: Or not. Or not.
Andrew: Follow the instructions. Don’t listen to me.
vashti: You know, honestly yes. [00:28:30] It is extra work to do cloth nappy, but it’s not that much extra work. And-
vicki: Having a baby is extra work.
vashti: Yeah, exactly.
Vicki: And, you know, you don’t actually appreciate how much time you’ve got, until you have a baby. And then you don’t actually appreciate how easy on child is, until you have two. And, you know, and it goes on, and on like that. I think it just becomes part of your routine, part of your life. You only… You either make it work, or you don’t.
Vicki: And, you know, either way, it’s, you know, there is no right or wrong way. There is no, you know, right or wrong answer, this whole cloth [00:29:00] versus disposable, and-
vashti: And there is no … [crosstalk 00:29:02]
vicki: [crosstalk 00:29:03] it doesn’t matter.
Vashti: I don’t think there is a cloth versus disposable. I think it’s a, what’s right for your family?
Vashti: And if what’s right for your family is cloth, fantastic. You know, high-fives.
Vashti: But if disposables are right for your family, or if one cloth nappy a day is right for your family, or if cloth at home, and disposables while you’re out. You know what? That’s right for your family, and that’s what you need to do.
And if you need to take a break from cloth just for sanity reasons, because everything else is getting on top of it.
vicki: You got to look [00:29:30] after yourself.
vicki: You got to- [crosstalk 00:29:32]
vashti: [crosstalk 00:29:32] self care.
Vicki: Especially mentally. You know, we put so much pressure on ourselves as mothers. You know what? At the end of the day, it’s just a nappy.
vashti: It’s a poo-catcher people.
Vicki: Yeah, that’s right. And while, you know, yes it is better for the environment and, you know, better on the pocket, and all of that sort of stuff, you know, sometimes you’ve got to make choices about, you know, what’s more important. And if your mental health or, you know, lifestyle doesn’t suite it, then so be it.
vicki: No judgement [00:30:00] here- [crosstalk 00:30:00]
Andrew: because if you’re not looking after yourself, you can’t look after somebody else.
Vicki: That’s why on aeroplanes they say, put your own mask on first before helping anyone else. And it’s the same with anything in parenting. You know, look after yourself first, and then you can- [crosstalk 00:30:15]
Andrew: I think they say that because of the plane’s crashing.
Vicki: Possibly. Never actually been in that situation. You watch too much Air Crash Investigation.
Andrew: I think we’ll finish up. Thank you, Vashti.
vashti: [00:30:30] Thanks [inaudible 00:30:31]
vicki: She went first again.
Andrew: Oh, do you want to do it again?
vashti: Thanks, Vicki.
Andrew: Thanks, Vicki.
Andrew: Thanks Vashti.
vashti: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: 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 bubblebubs.com.au or call 1300-792-232.
Vashti Wadwell is the member [00:31:00] secretary of the Australian Nappy 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 nestnappies.com.au or phone 0732175200.
If you have any comments about the podcast, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’ve found this podcast helpful, then the way to thank us for leaving feedback [00:31:30] in the iTunes store.
I am your host Andrew Simpson.