This week the ladies discuss all things flat nappies. Flat nappies are the most traditional you can go in cloth nappies. They are versatile, quick-drying, economical and with the correct fold will fit any baby. Vicki and Vashti take us through how to use flat nappies and what to look for when buying them.
Check out the Bubblebubs range of flat nappies here.
Transcript: Flat Cloth Nappies
Andrew: 00:00 Welcome to Nappy Leaks with Vicki Simpson and Vashti Wardwell.
So, how are you Vicki?
Vashti: 00:19 Vashti.
Andrew: 00:19 Oh, sorry, how are you Vashti?
Vashti: 00:20 I’m awesome Andrew, how are you?
Andrew: 00:20 Excellent. How are you, Vicki?
Vicki: 00:24 I’m good.
Vashti: 00:25 How are you Vicki?
Vicki: 00:25 I’m good.
Vashti: 00:26 You’re good? It’s nice to see you. I haven’t seen you in ages.
Vicki: 00:31 I haven’t spoken to you in forever.
Andrew: 00:31 Are you kidding? I’ve had to shut you guys up talking the shop talk just to [crosstalk 00:00:33] podcast. That’s terrible to pretend that you’ve just seen each other. So, while I’ve got you both, I actually wanted to congratulate you both on the Australian Nappy Association Award. So, I hear you guys won a couple of things.
Vicki: 00:31 Yeah.
Vashti: 00:46 Yeah, did I? I hadn’t seen them.
Andrew: 00:53 How’d you go, Vashti?
Vashti: 00:55 Nest Nappies did absolutely fantastic. We were really, really happy to score gold in the best customer service retailer award. So, that just …
Vicki: 01:06 That’s the one you can control. 100%
Vashti: 01:08 Yeah. I’m over the moon at that and the fact that all of my customers think that I do a great job just means the world to me and that they took the time to go and vote for me as well. I can’t thank them enough.
Andrew: 01:20 Excellent.
Vashti: 01:21 And also, the BIGS, the Bam Bam has grown up which is exclusive to us at Nest for its first entry into an awards, it won bronze for the best sized nappy.
Andrew: 01:32 Oh wow, excellent.
Vicki: 01:32 Did you not know that?
Andrew: 01:34 I did not know that.
Vashti: 01:36 Oh, there you go, yeah. So, BIGS have only been on the market for, what, less than 18 months? They were released March of last year. So, we decided to enter them in the awards this year. We popped them in the best sized nappy because they start from [inaudible 00:01:52] upwards. Yeah, it scored bronze.
Andrew: 01:55 I happen to know they actually do fit on a baby smaller than that.
Vashti: 01:59 They do. We were very lucky, we got …
Vicki: 02:02 Is that some insider information there?
Andrew: 02:04 Insider information. No, no, no, the video will be posted by the time this podcast goes out.
Vashti: 02:08 We did a video recently and [Matisse 00:02:13] was only 3.35 kilos and four weeks old and we managed to get the big on her beautifully.
Andrew: 02:20 Did you put it on Brock too?
Vashti: 02:21 We do put it on Brock. He was …
Vicki: 02:21 Seven.
Vashti: 02:21 5.1 kilos
Vicki: 02:22 Oh yeah, no 5.1.
Andrew: 02:26 So, 3.2 is the record, right?
Vashti: 02:26 3.35.
Andrew: 02:26 3.35
Vashti: 02:28 And I’ve had a couple of customers, one of my customers with Catherine. Catherine was five weeks old and 3.5 kilos. Dad grabbed a BIG instead of a BAM BAM and didn’t know, and did a really good job as well. [Asriel 00:02:44] has been using them, mom’s been using them on Asriel since he was 4.3 and Nate, mom’s been using them on Nate 4.5 kilos.
Andrew: 02:52 Awesome. How’d you go, Vicki?
Vicki: 02:55 Yeah just a couple.
Andrew: 02:55 A couple.
Vicki: 03:00 It’s a bit embarrassing. No, see the one I wanted was customer service, the brand and that one I took out gold in that. As I said, that’s the one you can control 100%. People can have a bad experience with a product, and still have a good experience with a brand. That’s kind of my whole philosophy. So yeah we took that one out but I guess I took the heart. Best all in two. Best newborn. Best brand.
Vashti: 03:25 Best traditional.
Vicki: 03:26 Best traditional. And second in best fitted. Oh no not fitted. Best night napping.
Vashti: 03:31 Oh night napping. Yes. Delight got second, silver.
Vicki: 03:33 Yeah.
Vashti: 03:36 [crosstalk 00:03:36] did well.
Andrew: 03:37 Well you said customer service like you control everything [inaudible 00:03:42]. Technically, you’re the manufacturer of all those nappies.
Vicki: 03:44 Yes.
Andrew: 03:45 So you technically control every part of that too.
Vicki: 03:47 Well I do but I can’t control …
Vashti: 03:50 How a customer … How it fits a child.
Vicki: 03:53 Yeah. Like no one nappy is ever going to be perfect for every single child. And not just that, not everybody wants to use a traditional nappy. So the fact that I won the traditional nappy category, it may not even be relevant to some people. They might hate traditional nappies.
Andrew: 04:12 Like me?
Vicki: 04:15 Ironically that’s what we’re talking about today.
Andrew: 04:19 That’s right. We do a whole podcast on flat nappies, but before we get to that, I just wanted to say thank you. I don’t know how to say the name. It’s spelled C-J-N-A-Y, and she left a beautiful review for us. An informative podcast that answers so many questions about all aspects of cloth nappies. Thanks.
Vicki: 04:36 Aww. Pleasure. Glad you’re enjoying it.
Andrew: 04:38 So if you are enjoying the podcast, please go to your podcast app of choice and give us a rating. So far we’ve got five, five-star reviews on iTunes and thank you everybody who did that. So as Vashti let out of the bag, or was it Vicki?
Vashti: 04:38 No it was Vicki.
Vicki: 04:51 That was me.
Andrew: 04:54 I’ll have to go back and check the transcript. Today’s subject is … Oh actually, the podcast plays too. Hello to all the people in The Netherlands, that have been listening to us. In the last 30 days, Netherlands have been the second most listened to country on the podcast.
Vicki: 05:10 Really?
Andrew: 05:10 Yeah.
Vicki: 05:10 Which really surprised me because I actually had a customer in the shop this week. So her mom is visiting from The Netherlands.
Andrew: 05:18 Really?
Vicki: 05:19 It’s actually pronounced Netherlands.
Andrew: 05:20 She must have a lot of friends over there because it’s pretty …
Vicki: 05:25 But she was actually commenting that they don’t use cloth nappies over there.
Vashti: 05:31 Really?
Vicki: 05:32 Only disposables.
Vashti: 05:33 Wow. I thought Europe was pretty [crosstalk 00:05:38]. Because you see a whole lot of stuff coming out of Scandinavia where they’re really at the top of the game with recycling and stuff like that.
Vicki: 05:49 [crosstalk 00:05:49] which is one of the longest running commercially available cloth nappies, it was commercially available in the 80’s as a modern cloth nappy, they’re from Sweden.
Vashti: 06:00 Yeah.
Vicki: 06:01 But from what I can pick up, Europe or that area is, they all use disposables. Or …
Vashti: 06:11 I’m surprised because I know that that is the case in France, but my developer is actually in Belarus and he’s actually asked to distribute within Europe. [crosstalk 00:06:27]. I told my husband. I have.
Andrew: 06:32 Am I going to have to block all this out though?
Vashti: 06:33 No. No. No no.
Andrew: 06:35 Is this public information yet?
Vashti: 06:37 Well, I do have a little secret. By the time this comes out, likely the Nappy lady will have some Bam Bam’s in stock in the UK. Like the UK Nappy Lady, I was so excited when I got Wendy’s email.
Vicki: 06:53 I mean I was telling you the other night, I got an email from a city council in the UK asking to use content of my blog this week.
Vashti: 07:04 The whole environmental move, like the move back to cloth nappies, it’s real. We’re seeing so much of that here in Australia where the millennials are prepared to give it a go, whereas Gen X, we kind of move towards the other way. [crosstalk 00:07:23] Yeah yeah. Completely moved over to disposables and millennials are just far more eco aware than my generation. So we’re seeing a huge … At Expos you don’t get people coming up and going ew, ew.
Vicki: 07:37 No well the recent expo I was at, can we say where it was? Perth? A little while ago.
Vashti: 07:44 Don’t date it.
Vicki: 07:47 Prior to that expo, one of the biggest things we used to get asked at Expos was ew yuck. That means you have to deal with poop.
Vashti: 07:55 And you’ve got to wash them.
Vicki: 07:56 Yeah. In Perth, it wasn’t … I did not have one single person come up to me and say ew yuck. It was more …
Vashti: 08:04 They were wanting to know.
Vicki: 08:06 They wanted to know.
Vashti: 08:07 They wanted the information.
Vicki: 08:07 And if they didn’t want to know they were just like oh yeah no, I just can’t be bothered. If they did ask some more questions and you explained how easy, they were actually interested. There was no issues with poo or anything like that, which was really surprising me after 10 years of doing Expos. That’s the first Expo I’ve been to where someone hasn’t said ew.
Vashti: 08:26 Which is awesome. Good on you guys.
Vicki: 08:28 I love it.
Vashti: 08:29 Good on you for converting your friends. And really it’s just changing the narrative. That it’s not something that’s hard, it’s something that maybe we could give it a go.
Vicki: 08:42 It’s just a different lifestyle choice.
Vashti: 08:43 Yeah.
Vicki: 08:44 It’s like wearing shorts instead of skirts.
Vashti: 08:46 And if you listen to this and after it you still don’t feel like doing cloth, that’s perfectly fine. You do what you got to do to get through the day. Sometimes that’s wine during a podcast, because I got kids home …
Andrew: 08:56 Still give us a five star review.
Vicki: 08:58 Did you just say wine during a podcast?
Vashti: 09:05 I did.
Vicki: 09:05 Where’s mine?
Vashti: 09:07 But see I’m so bogan. Didn’t you say it on the blog, I’m so bogan I have ice in my wine. I do. My wine is in the fridge. It’s moscato. That’s just how I roll.
Andrew: 09:19 Okay so onto today’s subject. Today’s subject is flat nappies.
Vashti: 09:23 I love my flat.
Vicki: 09:25 So I’ll just sit this out and play Candy Crush.
Vashti: 09:28 No we need you because you sell lots of different styles of flats.
Vicki: 09:31 I know nothing about them.
Andrew: 09:34 Oh you’re a flat wizard now.
Vashti: 09:36 You are.
Vicki: 09:36 Yeah but I put a flat on a baby all by myself.
Vashti: 09:40 I know and you did an awesome job as well.
Vicki: 09:43 That’s an awful lot of fabric on [crosstalk 00:09:44] because it was the smallest baby.
Vashti: 09:43 It was a tiny baby.
Vicki: 09:44 It was like 2.2 kilos, wasn’t it, wasn’t he?
Andrew: 09:50 That’s right. Yeah [crosstalk 00:09:51].
Vicki: 09:50 Typical, typical.
Andrew: 09:54 Don’t have any evidence. So obviously the first question I got to ask is what is a flat nappy? So what’s a flat nappy guys?
Vicki: 10:01 It’s just a square of material. So a general flat nappy is about 60 by 60 centimeters. You can get bigger ones and you can also get smaller ones. They come in a range of different fabrics and the whole premise is that you fold them to fit your child. They’re what our parents used on us. They’re what’s being used for millennia.
Andrew: 10:27 A bit off topic, were there that many folds. Like the video that we did on all the nappy folds. Were there that many folds back then or has it just been smart innovating people recently have come up with those cool folds.
Vicki: 10:37 No there’s always been different folds. There’s folds that are suitable for boys and folds that … Not suitable. Like more appropriate for a boy and more appropriate for a girl. There’s folds that are more suitable for a newborn and an older child. You can just really … You can fold it anyway you want. It doesn’t have to be some spectacular fold that you’ve got to study and learn and practice over and over again. It can simply be fold the nappy up into a rectangle, pad fold it, and throw it in a cover. You don’t need to do anything special
Andrew: 11:17 And what are they normally made of?
Vicki: 11:18 They can be made of anything. So muslin, birds eye cotton, organic cotton, standard cotton, bamboo, hemp. Anything. As long as it’s absorbent then you can get a flat out of anything.
Andrew: 11:36 Okay.
Vashti: 11:37 Except microfiber.
Vicki: 11:39 Yeah.
Vashti: 11:39 Because you can’t have microfiber against the skin. So there is …
Vicki: 11:42 Well you can have microfiber against the skin, it’s just going to draw the moisture out of your baby’s bum.
Vashti: 11:48 Not the best practice to grab one of those buntings. Microfiber cloth [crosstalk 00:11:52] straight on bum.
Andrew: 11:53 [crosstalk 00:11:53] on a dry bum?
Vashti: 11:54 Yeah no this is …
Vicki: 11:55 Dry bums and no moisture in the skin are two different things.
Andrew: 11:55 Okay.
Vashti: 12:00 It’s a bit like getting wind burn during the eco winds. Oh that really dates the podcast, doesn’t it.
Andrew: 12:00 So brands. How many different types are they?
Vicki: 12:11 Just about every brand has a flat or some variation of a traditional nappy. Do you know what? It doesn’t have to be a brand either. So it can just simply be head down to your local [inaudible 00:12:22] or your fabric store …
Vashti: 12:25 Get some suitable fabric, spotlight.
Vicki: 12:27 Yeah spotlight. Get fabric that’s absorbent and you chop it up and you hem it or overlock it and make it yourself. You don’t need to have a brand.
Andrew: 12:36 Okay. How many different brands do you actually have that [crosstalk 00:12:40]
Vicki: 12:40 Oh I’ve got [inaudible 00:12:41] organic cotton flats. I’ve got Bubble Bum’s bamboo cotton flat. I’ve got Big Softie’s [teratalon 00:12:51] white or colored flats. I’ve got Bubble Bum’s birds away cotton flats. And I’ve got Bubble Bum’s muslin flat. We’re currently …
Vashti: 12:58 One more you forgot. [crosstalk 00:13:01]
Vicki: 13:00 Yeah the muslin ones. Bubble Bum’s muslin flat.
Vashti: 13:05 Oh okay.
Andrew: 13:06 Sheep nappies?
Vashti: 13:07 Yeah. Sheeps.
Vicki: 13:08 Well I’ve got my flat manufacturer, my profile manufacturer had a heap of seconds. So I just chucked them on the container and got them out. So they were super cheap. There was, I kid you not, about 1300 sheep or something like that. I’m like Vashti will you take some of these sheep from me? In all of my wisdom, I’m like yes, I’ll help you out. They were the words that came out of my mouth like word vomit. [crosstalk 00:13:38]
Vashti: 13:37 Cartons and cartons of flats that you have.
Vicki: 13:40 Yeah.
Andrew: 13:40 I remember I’m loading that truck.
Vicki: 13:43 Well I thought, why not? It helps them out. They’re seconds. They’re flogging them off cheap. I can sell them cheap to customers. It’s win-win all around except we needed to get a bigger warehouse because they didn’t fit in the old warehouse.
Vashti: 13:58 Well you know.
Vicki: 13:58 Joking, not joking.
Vashti: 14:02 I actually have a box for you.
Andrew: 14:04 Oh I was at the old warehouse the other day. It’s still got the name on the wall.
Vashti: 14:10 [crosstalk 00:14:10].
Andrew: 14:11 So this is an audio podcast, so I don’t know if I can ask this next question, how do you fold them?
Vashti: 14:14 Lots and lots of different ways to fold them. Well I did a video … Well I taught Vicki, we’ve got it recorded, a while back on a few different folds. Do you know what? One of the easiest folds is just bring all the corners into the center to make a small square and then you fold it in three, just like a pad. You can angel wing out the back of the nappy if you want to get a fit around the hips, but it’s called the Jo fold and it is honestly one of the simplest folds. You can cross the corners over when you bring it into the center to make it even smaller or you can have them a bit further out to make it a little bit bigger.
It is simple. It’s effective. And it gives you lots and lots of absorbent. But why don’t you link the video that I did with Vicki?
Andrew: 15:02 In the show notes?
Vashti: 15:02 Yeah.
Andrew: 15:03 No I never do show notes.
Vicki: 15:06 We always say we’re going to do show notes and we never ever actually do show notes.
Andrew: 15:11 Never. And I’m not going to keep the façade up anymore.
Vashti: 15:13 Oh fair enough.
Andrew: 15:14 We don’t do show notes. We have the transcript and that’s all anybody gets. And we don’t even do the transcript. We hire some other company to do the transcript for us.
Vashti: 15:23 Okay well jump on YouTube and Google traditional flat nappy folds because …
Andrew: 15:31 [crosstalk 00:15:31] nappy folds on your website?
Vashti: 15:32 We do have some nappy folds on our website.
Andrew: 15:36 Go to nestnappies.com.au and just do a search for flat and I’m sure a whole bunch of them will come up.
Vashti: 15:40 Yes.
Andrew: 15:41 So let’s do some pros and cons. Do they dry quick?
Vashti: 15:43 Oh heck yeah. It’s one layer of fabric.
Andrew: 15:45 Okay. Will the other half of the relationship do them?
Vashti: 15:48 I think that comes down to your partner.
Andrew: 15:52 Because I never did it.
Vashti: 15:53 No and do you know what? My other half, Brent would not touch them even though I pre folded them with both, he just refused to touch … I think I mentioned before the first time I left Brent [inaudible 00:16:05] at home alone, I was ducking down because we were using a mixture of flats and disposables at that stage and we’re talking nearly 13 … But I ducked down to the shops because we were out of disposables and I said going down to get some disposables and I’m going to tuck out. Take a little bit of time out for myself. I hadn’t even walked in the door of the supermarket when I was getting a phone call saying where are the nappy?
I’m like they’re in the drawer. Not those stupid origami things. Where are the real nappies?
Andrew: 16:32 He’s under pressure. He’s got a screaming child.
Vicki: 16:36 First time parent.
Andrew: 16:36 First time parent and you want him to do origami before he puts the nappy on.
Vashti: 16:42 But the thing was, he didn’t have to do the origami because I had already done it for him.
Andrew: 16:46 Unless he thought that they were just ordinary folded and he just picked them up.
Vashti: 16:49 Yeah.
Vicki: 16:50 But you know what, he probably just didn’t feel confident.
Vashti: 16:52 No.
Vicki: 16:52 Because men are really funny creatures.
Vashti: 16:55 Well it’s not just men.
Vicki: 16:56 Really?
Vashti: 16:57 I’m noticing women who wouldn’t touch flats. But then I had a workshop on the weekend and one of the couples there, dad turned around and said “Why don’t we just do flats?” So I showed them a couple of folds and they’re pretty much … They’re going to do most of their stash as flats and dad’s really on board with it. Mom’s on board with it. There’s no issues at all. The beautiful thing is the flat’s are going to last them from birth to toilet training. Then they’re going to be able to use them on other things later on down the track.
Vicki: 17:25 Yeah they’re so versatile.
Vashti: 17:26 You can use them as spew cloths and burp rags and change table covers and everything like that.
Andrew: 17:32 Don’t get ahead of the outline.
Vashti: 17:34 Oh I’m sorry.
You’ve got an outline?
Andrew: 17:41 Oh no. Some of these podcasts are prepared.
Vashti: 17:43 But no it really does [crosstalk 00:17:45].
Andrew: 17:45 That’s funny. Well I’ve got to get it done because I’ve got to publish this in two days.
Vashti: 17:55 No definitely. It honestly does depend on your partner. As I said, Brent hated them with our first, but with our third, his favorite nappy was a pre fold, which isn’t that different to a flat. So it just goes to show that people change and as you’re moving through your nappy journey your ideas and your preferences on your nappies will change as well.
Vicki: 18:16 And how many people do we see just within the community that go “I used disposables with my first, I want to do cloth with the second.”
Vashti: 18:24 Yeah.
Vicki: 18:25 It’s this whole first time parent thing, you don’t know what you’re in for. So it seems like this huge, big daunting thing to be adding cloth nappies into the mix. It’s all well and good for both of us to kind of come at this as third time parents. You could hand me a child now and none of it would be anywhere near as daunting as it was with my first. Yeah. It’s really nowhere near as … I only say it all of the time. It’s not as hard as you think it is or as hard as you perceive it is. Parenting a teenager is far harder than anything your baby will throw at you.
Vashti: 19:03 Don’t even talk to me about teenagers. But anyway. I was going to say something and I can’t remember what it was.
Vicki: 19:12 Must have been a lie.
Vashti: 19:12 It must have been. It is … It’s something that will … You’ll find it easier as you move along. The plans that you had or the perceptions that you had in the early days will change completely as you go. Your first child is so teeny and tiny and precious. You’re constantly worried that you’re going to break them, you’re going to do something wrong. Six weeks seems to be a magic marker doesn’t it? After six weeks it’s like oh my baby’s crying and I actually know what they want.
Vicki: 19:43 Yep and do you know what? Your baby won’t break. I promise. They bounce actually.
Vashti: 19:49 We should be careful saying that though.
Andrew: 19:52 Oh don’t worry, I’ll bleep it out [crosstalk 00:19:54]. Here’s a question for you. Are they easy to use if the baby’s moving about? Because I saw Brock the other day and Brock’s like over six months old now and he’s squirming around like crazy and Vicki’s having trouble getting the candy on. Are these things easy to put on if the baby’s squirming around?
Vashti: 20:10 They can be. I think it comes down to if you’ve been using cloth nappies from an early age then you know what you need to do and how you need to do it. I used flats on both from birth through around about the eight month mark when we moved into fitted nappies. We did use the occasional flat after that but not very regularly. My mom used flats on me, my sister, and my brother and she used them all the way through from birth to toilet training.
Vicki: 20:40 That’s a good point.
Vashti: 20:42 Our parents did it.
Vicki: 20:44 Yeah you’re right. That hasn’t changed.
Andrew: 20:45 Well I’m wondering if that’s why because I see flats mostly only put on really young babies because they’re not moving around.
Vicki: 20:52 Is that because the babies that we’re doing videos on are really young and they just haven’t got bigger yet.
Vashti: 20:56 Yeah I think it’s more if you’re used to doing it then you know how to get it on quickly. So yeah Brock might have been moving around and it may have seemed like Vicki was having some trouble.
Vicki: 21:08 Yeah because I actually wasn’t having troubles at all.
Vashti: 21:10 It was just more …
Vicki: 21:11 I’m more worried about him rolling off the changing table. I was concerned about that side of it.
Vashti: 21:16 Yeah.
Vicki: 21:17 There’s a whole world of ways you can stop them rolling off the … Rolling during a nappy change. Not one of those did I have with me at the time. No toys, nothing to entertain him.
Andrew: 21:30 He was pretty fond with that booster.
Vicki: 21:31 The booster. Yeah he enjoyed the booster.
Andrew: 21:33 Do you need to use them with liners?
Vashti: 21:35 You don’t have to use them with liners. Liners will help for poo clean up, especially if you’re using a flat that has a terry weave on it. So the cotton terry flats, your bamboo terry flats, because they’ve got little loops, a liner will help contain all those flaky crunchy bits in the poo. Well not so much crunchy but …
Vicki: 21:58 [crosstalk 00:21:58].
Andrew: 21:57 crosstalk 00:22:04] you haven’t changed the nappy in a while?
Vashti: 22:05 No. But you know the little, the bits, like the little curdy bits.
Vicki: 22:12 I’m just enjoying you describing chunky bits of poo.
Vashti: 22:16 Chunky bits. The chunky bit. I couldn’t think of the word chunky. The chunky bits of poos, so they’re hopefully [crosstalk 00:22:22] but if you’ve got a good washer [inaudible 00:22:24] most of that should wash out in your washing machine anyway. Stay dry liners because most of your flats or pretty much all of your flats will be a natural fiber. They’re going to feel damp so a stay dry liner in your flat will help keep them feeling dry as well. So you can use liners, but you don’t have to. It’s not a hard and fast rule.
Andrew: 22:44 Do they leak?
Vashti: 22:45 If you haven’t got a good fit but cover …
Vicki: 22:46 Any [crosstalk 00:22:47].
Vashti: 22:47 Yeah. If you haven’t got a good fit, any nappy will leak. But the benefit with the flat is because it’s a two part system that you put a cover on over the top, you’re going to be … You’re going to have that double layer of protection. So if you roll the legs on your flat or pull it nice and tight around the back of the thighs to form a [inaudible 00:23:05] that holds everything in, anything that does escape from the nappy, once the cover goes on, the cover should contain it.
Andrew: 23:10 Do you have to use a cover?
Vicki: 23:10 No not if you don’t want to have a bit of pee on you. No worries at all.
Vashti: 23:17 If it’s summer and you’re having a bit of play time and you’re not putting clothes on over the top or putting them down for a sleep or anything like that, there’s no reason that you have to use a cover over the top but just like with the fitted and a pre-fold, every layer is absorbent. So if you want that water proofing and if you want to put clothes on over the top, you want to put him down for a sleep or in the carrier or in the car or something, pop a cover over.
Andrew: 23:36 What sort of fabrics would you recommend? Like there’s lots of fabrics out there and there’s fabrics that we’ve got now that they never had 30 years ago, what sort of fabrics would you look like in our flat?
Vashti: 23:46 Absorbency.
Yeah look and you can go for something like a cotton muslin, which is … It’s like your baby wraps. Pretty much it’s the smaller version of your baby wraps. So if you’ve got baby wraps that you’re not using, just use them as a nappy. But they’re nice and light and so of course a breath of wind gets them dry. So if you were say out camping, that would be the perfect thing to take with you because …
Andrew: 24:10 Then you wash them on a rock.
Vashti: 24:14 You can wash them on a rock. Yeah. They are. They’re super easy. Not as much chunky bits of poo to get stuck in the fabric.
Vicki: 24:24 Because muslin’s are a different weave as well.
Vashti: 24:27 It’s very open.
Vicki: 24:28 Yeah. And it’s more a flat so there’s no loops for any chunky bits to get caught in.
Vashti: 24:33 Yeah. It would be good for smaller babies as well like newborn. Baby just depends on absorbency you need. Like obviously if you’re using something that’s quite light, like a muslin flat, you’re going to need to boost it for a bigger baby.
Vicki: 24:49 Or double it.
Vashti: 24:49 Or double it yeah.
Andrew: 24:50 Do you have to change them more often than say a fitted? Do they last as long because they don’t … I know a lot of the all in tune nappies [inaudible 00:24:59] liner. And not all … Actually here is a good question. Do some of the flat nappies have a stay dry liner?
Vashti: 25:04 Not generally because it’s just a square of fabric, you won’t have a stay dry liner in it because it’s folded in different ways for different babies.
Andrew: 25:14 So does that mean you have to change it more often?
Vashti: 25:17 I think that will come down to your fold. So what fold you’re using, what fabric you’re using. As Vicki said, if you’re using a muslin fabric, there’s less absorbency in a muslin fabric but it’s a lot lighter and airier. So you’re getting a trimmer fit on smaller baby or you get more air flow around your baby’s bum. But because it’s a thinner absorbent fabric, you’re going to probably go through it a little bit quicker. If you’re using a thicker fabric like I mean Nature’s Child organic cotton luxury flats are so thick and thirsty, they’re not funny. The Bubble Bums bamboo flats that I’ve got, once they’ve been washed, they fluff up and their absorbency levels are out of this world.
So both of those nappy’s if they’re folded in a correct way, and you’ve got the right amount of absorbency where you need it, you could most likely still get three, maybe four hours. If you’re popping a small little booster in there or you’re double nappying, so a lot of people use double flats at night as night nappies and that’s what we would have had on our bums is two flat nappy’s together to get us through the night no dramas whatsoever.
Andrew: 26:23 Well this pretty makes me look very naïve but what’s that nappy called that you guys put on that’s a square but it’s got a liner running up the middle of it?
Vashti: 26:29 Pre-fold.
Andrew: 26:29 It’s a pre-fold.
Vashti: 26:30 Yeah. It’s a rectangle and it’s a traditional nappy like a flap, but there’s not as much origami involved in it because it’s just three panels and the center panel is thicker. It’s normally got double the amount of absorbency that are on the outside panels. You just fold it in through. You can Angel wing out at the bum or you can jelly roll it or you just use it as a pad.
Andrew: 26:54 Okay because I thought they were flat nappy.
Vashti: 26:54 Well they are flat but they’re not a modern flat. They’re a modern version of a [inaudible 00:27:00] flat.
Andrew: 27:00 Okay. So they’re a little bit more than just a square piece of fabric?
Vashti: 27:03 Yeah and they take a little bit longer to dry than a flat because a flat is just one single layer of fabric. You’ve only got one layer to get through dry whereas a pre fold is, or Bubble Bum’s pre fold, a stretchy jersey pre fold is two four two, which means that on the two outside panels, you’ve got two layers of fabric, but on the center panel you have four layers of fabric. So some half the fold.
Andrew: 27:28 And obviously they can only be put on one way, you don’t have to fold them at all.
Vashti: 27:32 Well there’s different folds for a pre fold.
Andrew: 27:32 Okay.
Vashti: 27:33 So there’s the angel wing. There’s the jelly wing, jelly roll. And there’s just a pad fold.
Andrew: 27:38 Okay. So we said they dry faster.
Vicki: 27:41 So can I just mention here Andrew. If I put one-size nappies on the babies, ever that’s it. You just have the one type of nappy and if it wasn’t there that’s it. Hence the naivety, he really is like if it’s not this nappy I’m not putting it on.
Andrew: 27:58 If there was no candy …
Vicki: 27:59 It’s supposed to be unbranded.
Andrew: 27:59 I’m sorry, unbranded.
Vicki: 28:02 That’s why I called it a one size nappy.
Andrew: 28:05 One size fits most. If there wasn’t any one size fits mosts, of the ones [crosstalk 00:28:09] that I like that’d be a good change.
Vicki: 28:05 Yep.
Andrew: 28:09 I’ve got [crosstalk 00:28:09] and it’s probably because that was the first one I learned.
Vicki: 28:08 With the third child.
Andrew: 28:08 With the third-
Vicki: 28:08 Second.
Andrew: 28:13 Yeah I suppose. Second yeah. So other uses. As a swaddle?
Vashti: 28:26 Well your muslin ones, you could definitely use them as a swaddle or even your birds eye cotton, you could use that as a swaddle.
Andrew: 28:31 And for the silly people in the room, what’s a swaddle?
Vashti: 28:35 Just basically a square of material, like a light material that you wrap your baby up in to swaddle them.
Vicki: 28:42 To make them sleep.
Vashti: 28:42 Yeah especially [crosstalk 00:28:46].
Vicki: 28:45 To actually lower yourself into a sense of hope that baby will sleep.
Andrew: 28:45 As a burp cloth?
Vashti: 28:52 Yeah definitely. Look I’ve still got 90% of the cheap big W brand, terry flaps that I bought for [crosstalk 00:29:02] which I would have bought them like 13 years ago and used them as nappy’s on him. He actually got to the point where he wouldn’t sleep without a flat nappy because he was such a spewy baby that we always had a [inaudible 00:29:14] flat next to him or near him or in his cot when he was doing nappy free time or something. Even breastfeeding, I would make a little hammock. I would tuck the flat into my bra and make a hammock so that we weren’t sweating against each other while I was breast feeding. He just wouldn’t sleep without a flat.
I’ve still got 90% of those and they are used for everything around the house.
Andrew: 29:36 Speaking of security blankets, here’s something you might not have known, guess what my youngest brother liked as his comforter?
Vashti: 29:42 [crosstalk 00:29:42].
Andrew: 29:42 Hair.
Vashti: 29:42 Hair?
Andrew: 29:42 Hair.
Vashti: 29:42 There you go.
Andrew: 29:46 Either his hair, somebody else’s hairs. As long as he was twiddling in the hair he was happy.
Vashti: 29:50 There you go.
Vicki: 29:50 My best friend … Not many people know this. I’m actually going to make this public.
Vashti: 29:55 No.
Andrew: 29:56 Heard it here first, folks.
Vicki: 29:58 Yeah. She’s still even now, and I found that when … And I found it because she slept over the night before our wedding because she was my bridesmaid, petticoat material because she used to hang on to her mom’s petticoat and that became her softie or something like that.
Vashti: 30:16 Oh.
Vicki: 30:17 Yeah even now, in our 40’s she still has her thingy.
Andrew: 30:21 As extra inserts and pocket?
Vicki: 30:24 Oh definitely.
Andrew: 30:24 I say pockets but [crosstalk 00:30:28].
Vicki: 30:24 Why?
Andrew: 30:35 [crosstalk 00:30:35].
Vashti: 30:35 You’re a little bit biased aren’t you Andrew?
Andrew: 30:36 Just a little bit yeah.
Vashti: 30:40 Yeah no you can fold up your flat and pop it inside a pocket or layer on top of an [inaudible 00:30:45]. You can use it as boosting on the outside of a fitted nappy before you put the cover over the top of it. You can double flat as I mentioned before. So you put one flat on and then another one just as a pad through the center or something like that for overnight. You know the best thing is a really cost effect. They are the cheapest way to cloth nappy your child because it’s just a square of fabric that’s been hemmed.
Vicki: 31:11 Well I think even the … Like if you wanted to go to town on the most expensive flat, you’d be looking at like what $13 a flat, but you can go as cheap as a buck each, one or two dollars per nappy. When you talk about how much it costs to cloth nappy a baby from birth to toddler, you really do have the choice of you can do it under $100.
Vashti: 31:34 Yep.
Vicki: 31:34 Or you can go over $1000. The choice is really yours.
Andrew: 31:41 Do they stain like some nappies can?
Vicki: 31:42 That’s an advantage of flats is you don’t have any peeler or elastic to worry about so you can pretty much boil the stains out if you really wanted to.
Andrew: 31:51 Okay so when you go to use them as tea towels, you’re never going to have little brown decorations on them?
Vashti: 31:51 No.
Vicki: 31:57 You know what, if you’ve got brown decorations on them, you need to look at your washer. But no definitely not. A good [crosstalk 00:32:04], a good decent powder. But you can soak them easily.
Vashti: 32:08 Use your stain removers. Use hot water.
Vicki: 32:12 You don’t have to think about it.
Vashti: 32:15 You can throw them through the dryer without any issues. Hang them on the line for days on end if you really want to. They’re going to get a bit crunchy laying out in the weather for days. That’s not poo crunchy.
Vicki: 32:29 Thankfully I wasn’t eating at that point that time.
Andrew: 32:32 Crunchy poo. We’ll [crosstalk 00:32:34]. Dusting and cleaning cloths, all purpose glass?
Vashti: 32:37 Yeah.
Vicki: 32:37 Rags. Rags.
Vashti: 32:39 They make really great car cleaning cloths and do you know what, if anything gets spilled in our house, my kids know to go and get a terry flat and they clean up the mess. Mikayla and Kyle were actually cleaning walls the other night. I got a little bit cranky because I walked into a room yet again and saw dirty hand prints all down the wall and I was just …
Vicki: 33:01 And that was at home, not at the shop.
Vashti: 33:03 Yeah I know. I was just really … I couldn’t believe …
Andrew: 33:10 Dirty hand prints on the wall?
Vashti: 33:14 Of the kids. No just kids. Just kids.
Vicki: 33:15 Are you blind? Have you not seen our house?
Andrew: 33:18 What was on their hands? Milo?
Vicki: 33:18 Just kids.
Vashti: 33:18 Just stuff.
Andrew: 33:18 Just dirt?
Vashti: 33:23 Kids don’t wash their hands properly. You have soap from here and there and back again and they still don’t wash their hands properly.
Vicki: 33:29 Have you seen Gabriel’s fingernail?
Andrew: 33:32 No.
Vicki: 33:32 Yeah.
Vashti: 33:33 Go and have a look around the light switches in your house Andrew because I bet you every single light switch …
Vicki: 33:38 Man blind. He is man blind to this stuff.
Andrew: 33:41 I’ll bet you $100 there’s not. Do you know why?
Vashti: 33:44 Because you cleaned today?
Andrew: 33:45 Vicki has painted the house. All the kids bedrooms just got painted recently.
Vicki: 33:50 Yes and I made them clean their walls. Yes.
Andrew: 33:50 That’s hilarious.
Vashti: 33:55 but anyway, Mikayla and Kyle were running through the house cleaning walls and they were using terry flats to clean walls and they were the same terry flats that I used on [Bryce 00:34:03]’s bum nearly 13 years ago.
Vicki: 34:05 I am so going to bring some sheep home.
Vashti: 34:06 Yeah there you go.
Vicki: 34:08 Sheep here everywhere.
Andrew: 34:12 [crosstalk 00:34:12]. Carton of sheep. Yeah. So you guys got anything else you’d like to add about flats?
Vashti: 34:17 Flats for the win. Honestly every stash needs at least half a dozen flats. They make great emergency backup nappies.
Vicki: 34:26 Even if they’re just sitting in the car. If your kid vomits in the car, it’s just …
Vashti: 34:30 A bib. Chuck it around your kid’s neck while you’re out feeding.
Andrew: 34:36 Hopefully you’re fast enough with the [crosstalk 00:34:38].
Vashti: 34:37 Yeah.
Vicki: 34:41 But even impromptu swim. You’re driving along it’s just a towel. It’s just … It’s one of those hacks. One of those parenting hacks that you have just a couple of flats in the car because someone at some stage will have an accident. A husband, you pick him up and he’s drunk and he has an accident and …
Andrew: 35:06 I’ve never thrown up in anyone’s car.
Vashti: 35:07 We weren’t talking about that sort of accident.
Vicki: 35:13 Well I thought it was probably more appropriate than your husband peeing his pants. I didn’t think … I thought that was more relatable.
Andrew: 35:20 I haven’t done that either, which husband are you talking about?
Vicki: 35:24 My ex husband.
Andrew: 35:26 Let’s clarify that. Okay. Well I think we’ll finish up then. Thank you Vicki.
Vicki: 35:30 Thanks Andrew.
Andrew: 35:30 Thank you Vashti.
Vashti: 35:31 Thanks Andrew.
Andrew: 35:32 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 Bubblebubs.com.au or call 1300792232. Vashti Waldell is the Member 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 found this podcast helpful, then the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store. I am your host Andrew Simpson.