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 email@example.com
Today’s questions on cloth nappies are…
Are liners okay to put down the toilet?
Where’s the best place to go to buy used nappies?
Why do the bigger brands make their nappies overseas?
Andrew: How you going Vashti?
Vashti: I’m good, thanks, Andrew. How are you?
Andrew: Not too bad. How are you doing, Vicki?
Vicki: I’m good, good Andrew.
Andrew: Excellent. Of course, if either of you is sick, we don’t do the podcast, do we?
Vashti: No, I was crook as over [00:00:30] the school holidays recently, and we had to dump it. I’m sorry.
Andrew: That’s all right, but people don’t know because we still publish on time.
Vashti: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: Even if I made a thing two days before it’s got to publish, it’s [crosstalk 00:00:44]
Vashti: When would that ever happen? That so would never happen.
Andrew: Questions and answers. Let’s get this rolling. Are liners okay to put down the toilet? Funny thing though, [00:01:00] the last episode ended with a liner episode, and this episode begins with a liner episode because the person asked two questions and we didn’t get to the second question.
Vicki: Oh no.
Andrew: These are the same questions over, if it sounds like it’s continued from last week, or last month, it has.
Vashti: Well, okay, so I’m in two minds about liners. If a one use liner is what’s going to get your family over the line in using cloth nappies, then do it. By [00:01:30] rights, anything that fits in your toilet is flushable except [crosstalk 00:01:34]
Vicki: Except ping pong balls.
Andrew: Ping pong balls don’t [crosstalk 00:01:36]
Vicki: Ping pong balls do not flush.
Vashti: They are good at teaching husbands how to step closer to the toilet.
Vashti: The problem is what happens at the other end, and you know really if you’re going to use a one-use liner, I strongly recommend that you [00:02:00] give it a dunk, swish and flush and then bin the liner. Get the pooh off in the toilet, but in the actual liner. If one goes down accidentally, it’s not a big drama, but it’s not the best thing out. Your sewage could take as little as two to four hours or so two to six hours to get from your house to the treatment plant, depending on where you are.
Andrew: Unless your drain’s plugged.
Vicki: Yeah well, there’s that.
Andrew: Speaking from experience.
Vashti: [00:02:30] One use liners, some of the better quality ones will take 12 to 16 days to break down, and they are the ones that will break down. Many liners on the market won’t break down; they won’t pull apart. It really, it’s a personal choice on what you do.
Vicki: I’m kind of on the same page. I think, no question [00:03:00] wet liners should go in the bin, but my concern is pooh in the landfill. If we’re saying pooh in landfill vs, pooh needs to be treated in the sewage system, so one-liner in the toilet or in the sewage system vs pooh in the landfill, my personal opinion is the liner does less damage than the pooh does in the landfill. Again, the views are like armpits. [crosstalk 00:03:26] I usually use a different body part. Opinions are like armpits. [00:03:30] Everybody has them, and he or she usually stink.
Andrew: Yeah, we can’t use your normal one.
Vicki: No, it is another stinky area of the body, and we only have one, not two.
Andrew: That narrows it down. Where’s the best place to go to buy used nappies?
Vashti: Online. There are heaps of [crosstalk 00:03:55]
Andrew: But you can’t see them online though.
Andrew: How do you know what you’re getting?
Vicki: Very [00:04:00] good point there. Pay with PayPal, don’t do the funds, don’t do the friends [crosstalk 00:04:05] goods and services, pay that extra fee if the seller is asking you to, but you then have got the protection of PayPal if you don’t end up getting what you pay for. Now if you’re seeing them in person, check them all out because [crosstalk 00:04:25]
Andrew: The good ones are on the top.
Vicki: Of course. Unfortunately, not everybody [00:04:30] is ethical, and you can’t rely on somebody else’s ethics to get you through, and you know what? At the end of the day, what I would call excellent used condition is not necessarily what somebody else would call excellent used condition. Just what you’re looking for is you’re double checking for holes in your fabric and [crosstalk 00:04:54]
Vicki: Elastics. They’re the two things.
Vicki: Lamination of your PUL. Yeah, they’re [00:05:00] the three things that you’re looking for. Stains and stuff like that can generally be overcome with a [crosstalk 00:05:07]
Vashti: Good strip and sanitise.
Vicki: That’s it, strip and sanitise, but if your elastics are bad you’re going to have to replace them.
Vashti: If they’re laminated, they’re useless [crosstalk 00:05:17]
Vicki: Delaminated, yeah.
Vashti: Yeah, absolutely useless. There’s nothing that you can do with them if they’ve delaminated. Yeah, no, definitely your local buy/sell/swap pages [00:05:30] are a good place to pick them up secondhand.
Vicki: Gum Tree.
Vashti: Gum Tree. People do still sell them on eBay, but eBay’s policies preclude the sale of used nappies, so be careful if you are buying on eBay.
Vicki: Did they change that, because it was a long time ago that they brought, like years ago, they brought that in, but I’ve seen secondhand nappies on [crosstalk 00:05:54]
Vashti: Lots of people sell them on eBay secondhand still. They list them as new, and then in the description, they say that they’re secondhand. [00:06:00] eBay again will remove listings of used nappies, and they won’t give you any protection if you’ve bought secondhand nappies off eBay. They won’t assist in any way if something goes wrong because it’s a banned item on eBay. Facebook is an amazing resource for used nappies, there are heaps and heaps of buy/sell/swap groups [crosstalk 00:06:27] for each of the brands or just the standard [00:06:30] nappies and it really, it just depends on where you are. You can get your local ones, and you can get your Australian ones. If you’re overseas, I’m sure there are specific groups for where you are [crosstalk 00:06:42]
Vicki: There’s the marketplace as well.
Vashti: Yep. Yeah, no head online if you want to get secondhand or talk to your local moms. Talk to your local nappie business, because most of your local nappie businesses will also know where you [00:07:00] can pick up secondhand cloth nappies from as well. They’re very much in the know and will assist in any way they can to help you get into cloth.
Andrew: Next one I’ve got is, why do the bigger brands make their nappies overseas?
Vicki: Cost and production. There is no way I could get the volume of nappies made here that I need personally. It wasn’t from lack of trying either. [00:07:30] Realistically, the whole manufacturing industry in Australia has pretty much died, and a lot of that is due to our high wages. We’re very much a service country. Yeah, so [crosstalk 00:07:46]
Andrew: Bubblebubs started in a garage.
Vicki: Absolutely. I was making them myself, and I remember yeah, I was pumping out what? 150, 200 a week myself.
Vashti: [00:08:00] Oh, I came and picked up nappies from your house when Micayla was a baby, so you know, I was excited. I got my first Bubblebubs order online because I managed to score in one of the releases and I organised pickup because your warehouse wasn’t that far. I got down to the warehouse, and the girl that was at the warehouse said, “Look, Vicki’s just at home. One of her girls is sick, and she’s just finishing off your last two nappies, do you mind picking them up from her?” I’m like, “No, not a drama.” [00:08:30] Dropped around your house and you hadn’t quite finished them because, I think it was Bella was being very, very clingy.
Vicki: Yes, the joys of being a work at, and you know what? That’s also another reality of being a work at home parent. I have got a philosophy, a business philosophy, a personal philosophy that family comes first. Unfortunately, that does mean that customer’s nappies and stuff like that; they did get put on the back burner [00:09:00] and [crosstalk 00:09:01]
Vashti: But you know what? I was okay with that. I walked up to your house, and you were nice. We chatted for a few minutes, and I had my kids in the car, and your kids had just fallen asleep, and you’re like, “I’m getting on them now. I’m sorry, do you mind popping back?” I’m like, “No, not a drama. I can come back because I understand what it’s like to be a mom and [crosstalk 00:09:22]
Vicki: Try and juggle multiple balls. Having said that, having moved the production overseas, [00:09:30] I have the same expectations of the women making, and men, making my nappies now that I do of myself. Their families come first too. If that means that they have to go home and spend time with their kids and it pushes my production out a day or two, then so be it. As frustrating as that is, at the end of the day, I do have a philosophy that [crosstalk 00:09:57]
Vashti: Family comes first.
Vicki: It does. You [00:10:00] don’t lie on your deathbed and think, “Oh geez, I wish I had worked a bit harder.” Never, ever does anybody ever regret that. Yeah, so that’s a little bit off topic, sorry. That’s, the two big reasons are purely cost and volume. Yeah, yeah, when you consider that you’re having the fabrics produced in China anyway, and then to ship them out here and have them produced out here, it’s no, the costs start to skyrocket.
Andrew: Back in the early days you’d [00:10:30] spend all week making nappies, and then you’d put them online and then they’re gone within five minutes.
Andrew: You sold in five minutes because [crosstalk 00:10:39]
Vicki: It was like a good and a bad thing. It was almost a little bit depressing because, but at the same time, it was like a bit of a high. It’s like oh yay, all my work is gone.
Andrew: I remember somebody coming to us and telling us that he’d written a script for his wife [crosstalk 00:10:58]
Vicki: To ping the website.
Andrew: Ping your [00:11:00] website every one minute to see when a new nappie had been put online so she could get it first.
Vicki: Yeah. Those were the days, the hyena days.
Andrew: I think these next two questions are from the same person, maybe, but not sure.
Vicki: Do you think it’s a multiple birth person?
Andrew: Could be. How many nappies do I need if I’m going to have twins?
Vashti: I recommend, okay, a newborn will use about 10 to 12 nappies a day. [00:11:30] My recommendation is to have enough nappies to get you through three days so you can wash every second day and you’ve got the third day as drying time. With twins though, we find that you only need one and a half stashes, because you tend to see that you don’t get a full two days in those newborn days between washes because you’ve just got so many nappies. For triplets, two stashes are generally enough because you’re going to be washing every day, no matter what, there are too many nappies.
Andrew: [00:12:00] That’s the next question like we’re running over time, but the next question is how many do I need for triplets?
Vashti: There you go.
Vicki: That double, double the amount for the singleton.
Vashti: Double firstly, then [crosstalk 00:12:09]
Vicki: You certainly don’t need three times the [crosstalk 00:12:11]
Andrew: For two kids, one and a half times, for three kids, two times.
Andrew: Cool. There’s got to be a formula for that.
Vicki: There was, that was it.
Andrew: That was it. [crosstalk 00:12:22] We’ll make a spreadsheet and put it out.
Vashti: If you’re having four or five, get a live-in nanny.
Andrew: [00:12:30] If you’re having four or five, you won’t be able to keep up [crosstalk 00:12:35]
Vicki: Yeah, get an au pair. If you’re having four or five, get an au pair and make them do it and they can work out what you need.
Vicki: You’re going to be too busy feeding.
Andrew: I remember, was it twins or triplets that were in a magazine and they used your nappies?
Vicki: No, there was five of them. They were quins.
Vashti: [00:13:00] Quins.
Vicki: They were the Perth quins.
Andrew: Wow, and you sent down a bunch of nappies to be in the photo?
Vicki: That was before the Pebbles came out. They were a one size nappie, and these babies were teeny tiny [crosstalk 00:13:13]
Vashti: They were so small.
Vicki: They weren’t, they were put on by a stylist not somebody who was [crosstalk 00:13:20]
Vashti: I think, when I look at them, I believe that they kept the disposables on underneath.
Vicki: They could have. However, hey, we made it into Women’s Day twice.
Andrew: Well you know, they didn’t want to make these nappies [00:13:30] dirty. [crosstalk 00:13:32]
Vicki: No actually, yeah probably true. True.
Andrew: Excellent. Thank you, Vashti.
Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Thank you, Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Vicki Simpson is the current president of the Australian Nappie 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 Wadell is the member secretary of the Australia Nappie Association [00:14:00] and is the owner of Australia’s first bricks and mortar nappie 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 07-3217-5200.
If you have any comments about the podcast, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you found this podcast helpful, then the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store. I am [00:14:30] your host Andrew Simpson.