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.
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 keen to knit some woollen nappy covers, but I’m not sure which type of wool to use. All of the soft options at the wool shop were super. Can I use these? Do you have any favourite wool brand?
Transcript: Answers to your cloth nappy questions.
Andrew: How’re you doing Vicki?
Vicki Simpson: Hey. Yeah, sprung that on me.
Andrew: How’re you doing Vashti?
Vashti Wadwell: I’m good.
Andrew: For all the listeners on hand, Vicki is just looking at her phone.
Vicki Simpson: And no, it’s the fact that you asked me first. Do you want to know what I’m actually doing? [00:00:30] Because it’s almost dinner time and so I’m looking up to see, because I just got a waffle machine, it was just one of those ridiculous spurs of the moment purchases. And so now I’m actually looking for recipes for savoury waffles because I want waffles for dinner. Can you make creamed corn waffles?
Vashti Wadwell: [crosstalk 00:00:47]
Andrew: Okay, so questions and answer time. Everyone is telling me different reasons why nappies are leaking. What are the causes and how do you fix them?
Vicki Simpson: [00:01:00] The two biggest reasons will be flooding and gaping. So if you have any gaps, like around the legs or around the waist, you’ll likely get leaking. Or, if bub’s flooding. So what that actually means is, the wee just comes out way too fast to be absorbed and so what happens is it rolls off the insert and touches the shell which is basically like pissing on a shell. Am I allowed to say pissing? I guess so.
Andrew: Let’s find out. I’ll keep it in, let’s find out.
Vicki Simpson: [00:01:30] So a way to fix that, if you do have a flooder, is either pop some microfiber into the mix of the inserts or make sure that you’ve got bamboo against the skin instead of, say, suede cloth. It’ll absorb quicker.
Andrew: Which are better? All in two or all in one?
Vashti Wadwell: It really depends on what you’re using it for. Though both have fantastic qualities, all in ones are really easy, simple nappy to use. They’re the closest you’ll get to a disposable with the only difference being that you wash them.
Andrew: But you’ve got to wash the whole thing though?
Vashti Wadwell: You do.
Vicki Simpson: You [00:02:00] got to wash the whole thing. That’s the con.
Vashti Wadwell: You do have to wash the whole thing. They do take a little bit longer to dry as well so. An all in two, on the other hand, breaks down into an absorbent part and the outer shell and that gives it flexibility in the fact that its quick drying. You can buy extra insert sets so that if bub’s done a wee and hasn’t soiled the shell, you can replace those inserts. The downside is you’ve got to spend a little bit of time, when you’re pulling it off the line, putting them all back together. So it depends on what you’re looking for.
Andrew: So [00:02:30] it depends on whether you want to save time or-
Vicki Simpson: Money, I guess.
Andrew: Money, yeah. Which is more expensive, an all in two or an all in one?
Vashti Wadwell: Well they both cost around about the same, but you can actually increase the size of your stash by just buying extra inserts. So you could have two insert sets for everyone all in two shells, whereas with an all in one you have to buy the complete nappy. So the insert set is cheaper than a whole nappy. So, say, for example, you’re buying a 30 dollar nappy, the insert sets probably going to be around about the 17 to 18 dollar mark. [00:03:00] So, you could be getting 45 to 50 dollar for two nappies or the equivalent of two nappies but if you’re buying all in ones you’d be buying two complete all in ones for 30 dollars each which would be 60 dollars for two nappies.
Vicki Simpson: And can you actually get one sized all in one?
Vashti Wadwell: Yes you can.
Vicki Simpson: Obviously I’m only familiar, well not just my products but what I sell, and I’ve had a couple of people at the expo cause I only make sized all-in-ones. [00:03:30] Gosh that’s giving something away. Just newborn all in ones. So yeah I wasn’t sure how sized all in one would work. I’m sorry one sized with [inaudible 00:03:41], how does that work? Does it just end up really just super bulky if it’s in the shell?
Vashti Wadwell: Look, it can be a little bit bulkier but not really. Most all-in-ones-
Vicki Simpson: -are sized?
Vashti Wadwell: Well, no, I’ve got a lot of one-size all-in-ones on the shelf. Pee-Ka-Poo, GroVia-
Vicki Simpson: [00:04:00] So do they end up really, like-
Vashti Wadwell: They can be a bit bulkier through that rise snap
Vicki Simpson: Yep
Vashti Wadwell: But, a lot of the absorbency as well is in a fold-out tongue, so the tongue is still attached.
Vicki Simpson: Oh …
Vashti Wadwell: They do sized.
Vicki Simpson: They do sized.
I’ll have to come and..
Vashti Wadwell: Come and have a play.
Vicki Simpson: I’ll have to come and have a play with your nappies.
Andrew: So basically an all in one takes a little bit longer to dry?
Vashti Wadwell: Yep.
Andrew: And an all in two takes a little bit longer to put together.
Vashti Wadwell: Yeah.
Vicki Simpson: Yeah.
Andrew: Fair enough. So here’s [00:04:30] question. 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 [inaudible 00:04:40]. Can I use these? Do you have any favourite wool brand?
Vashti Wadwell: So my favourite wool brand is Bendigo Wool Mills. They do beautiful natural fibres. They are a little bit more expensive, but they are well and truly worth it. My Mum love knitting with Bendigo Wool.
Andrew: Does your mother knit covers?
Vashti Wadwell: No. You know, Colin’s four, [00:05:00] or about to go four, and I went out an bought a whole heap of gorgeous multi-coloured wools while I was pregnant, and I’m still waiting for her to knit the covers.
Vicki Simpson: Your Mum knits covers. Your Mum knits. Yeah. She gave us some lovely wool instead of the …
Vashti Wadwell: … scruffy acrylic stuff.
Vicki Simpson: Oh, she does, she just, like and no colour coordination.
Andrew: Wait, she might be listening.
Vicki Simpson: She knits like, don’t get me wrong, she knits vests and stuff like that for the kids, which are all super warm, but you’d never take them out in it, because it’s [00:05:30] like, the stuff from the …
Vashti Wadwell: … it’s from the seventies.
Vicki Simpson: Yeah. The stuff that she had for you.
Andrew: It’s like a sheep threw up on it.
Vicki Simpson: It is. It doesn’t matter. I’m sure to purple an orange go together.
Andrew: Sorry, Mum.
Vashti Wadwell: Well, alright. So, anyway, back to the wool. We always recommend 100% natural wool, so don’t use any blends, don’t use any acrylic mixes or anything like that.
Now superwash is a ball of wool that’s machine washable [00:06:00] and therefore will not felt. Now the way they do this is, so wool’s made up of scales so that the fibres knit together. Like they interlock with each other. Felting occurs when you use a hot wash on wool, or you put it through the dryer or something.
Vicki Simpson: Andrew’s really, really good at this.
Vashti Wadwell: Andrew is really good.
Andrew: Yeah, I know, I mastered that one.
Vashti Wadwell: So, yeah, felting occurs when those scales bind together and [00:06:30] don’t release from each other. Now the superwash process actually prevents the scales from bonding in a couple of different ways. So then can give the wool an acid bath that removes its scales, or the yarn can be coated with a polymer or resin that’s a protective coating to stop the scales binding together.
The problem with that is if they’re putting a polymer, a resin over the wool, it’s actually going [00:07:00] to affect the way the wool works. So, while I’ve never used superwash wool to make a cover, I wouldn’t recommend it, because it’s going to affect the absorbency. And one of the critical features of yarn is that it will absorb up to a third of its weight in moisture and allow that moisture to evaporate off without wetting bedding or clothing.
Vicki Simpson: It’s like an air conditioner.
Vashti Wadwell: Yeah. So, that leaves more room in the nappy to absorb even more. So, to answer the question, no, I wouldn’t use [00:07:30] superwash wool to make a cover. Try and get 100% natural wool, and then just either hand wash it in a cool to tepid water or put it through the machine on a wool cycle or a cycle on a cool….
Andrew: And do you have recommendations on where to get the wool?
Vashti Wadwell: Bendigo Wool Mills.
Vicki Simpson: It’s also Aussie wool.
Andrew: Aussie wool?
Vashti Wadwell: Yeah.
Andrew: They’re not importing it?
Vashti Wadwell: No.
Andrew: Aren’t we the country that makes wool anyway?
Vashti Wadwell: We are. Yeah. Well, New Zealand does, too, so …
Vicki Simpson: Is that what they do with their sheep?
Vashti Wadwell: Apparently.
Vicki Simpson: [00:08:00] Did get tape that.
Vashti Wadwell: No.
Andrew: You know, we have listeners in New Zealand. Yeah. Actually, this is an excellent time to thank everybody. Ours listens per month are doubling every month. So, thank you, thank you for everybody that’s passing on to listen to us.
Vicki Simpson: And please don’t get offended by anything we say.
Vashti Wadwell: And if you do, let us know, and we promise we’ll apologise and not repeat it. Well.
Andrew: Uh. So, um.
Vashti Wadwell: So does that answer the question for the superwash?
Vicki Simpson: Yeah, [00:08:30] it does.
Vashti Wadwell: Yeah.
Vicki Simpson: That’s good.
Vashti Wadwell: Happy with that?
Andrew: How helpful are liners?
Vicki Simpson: That’s like saying how helpful are husbands? It depends on the liner.
Andrew: Gotta get the right one.
Vicki Simpson: Gotta get the right one.
Vashti Wadwell: Liners have their place.
Andrew: And they’re much easier to get rid of.
Vicki Simpson: Than husbands.
Vashti Wadwell: Oh, dear. This is really going downhill fast, this podcast.
Vicki Simpson: Yeah, liners do [00:09:00] have their place. Without getting into the debate about so-called flushable or single-use liners, they have their place. In my opinion, if you get somebody over the line using cloth nappies, then, so be it.
Vashti Wadwell: But, I mean, you’ve also got your reusable liners that act like a stay dry layer, so they’re really fantastic in your flats and your fitteds and your pre-folds that don’t have any synthetics in them.
Andrew: Unless the nappy you’ve got’s already got a stay dry liner.
Vashti Wadwell: Yeah, if the nappy you’ve got’s got a dry stay liner …
Vicki Simpson: Yeah, [00:09:30] don’t put two on. If you’ve actually got a nappy with a stay dry liner, don’t put another liner on top because that will actually work kind of like a cover, so it actually … you know, what we were saying earlier about leaky nappies, was that this podcast or was that a different one?
Andrew: That was another podcast, yeah.
Vicki Simpson: That we recorded on another day at another time.
Andrew: That’s right.
Vicki Simpson: Yeah, you can actually instead of becoming a stay dry layer, it can actually become …
Vashti Wadwell: … a repellent [00:10:00] layer …
Vicki Simpson: … a repellent layer.
Andrew: Cool. Well, I’ve got more questions, but you guys have had too much wine, so we’re going to have to stop.
Vashti Wadwell: I wish I’d had wine.
Vicki Simpson: Coffee.
Vashti Wadwell: Coffee.
Vicki Simpson: Irish coffee. Didn’t I tell you?
Vashti Wadwell: No.
Andrew: Can’t drive home, Vashti.
Vashti Wadwell: You’re feeding me tonight.
Andrew: Thanks, Vashti.
Vashti Wadwell: Thanks, Andrew.
Vicki Simpson: Waffles.
Vashti Wadwell: Waffles.
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 [00:10:30] Vicki through her website bubblebubs dot com dot au. Or call 1300-792-232.
Vashti Wadwell is the Member Secretary of the Australian Nappy Association and is the owner of Australia bricks and mortal 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 dot com dot au or phone 0732175200.
[00:11:00] If you have any comments about the podcast, you can email us at feedback at nappy leaks dot com.
If you found this podcast helpful, then the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store.
I am your host, Andrew Simpson.