Vicki and Vashti dive deep into the subject of all-in-two cloth nappies. All-in-two cloth nappies are one of the most popular styles because they’re minimal work and maximum customisation. They come in different formats but they all have a waterproof shell and absorbent layer that comes apart. Some stuff in, some fold, some don’t, some snap in but they all come apart which is what makes it an all-in-two. Listen and learn more about why all-in-twos are such a popular choice of modern cloth nappy.Vicki Simpson is the current President of the Australian Nappy Association and has been advocating for and selling cloth nappies in Australia for over a decade. She is the owner, creator and Chief Nappy Nerd here at Bubblebubs. Vashti Wadwell is the outgoing 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. Both Vicki and Vashti have used cloth nappies for more than a decade each over three children and turned their passion into a business.
Transcript: All In Two
Andrew: Welcome to Nappy Leaks with Vicki Simpson and Vashti Wadwell. How are you doing, Vashti?
Vashti: I’m good thanks, Andrew, how are you today?
Andrew: Excellent. How are you doing, Vicki?
Vicki: Yeah, good. Good. [silence, then laughter]
Andrew: Sorry, I was just expecting something else. First, let’s thank our sponsors. We did our live show. How did you guys go with the live show? What did you think of that?
Vashti: I really enjoyed it. It was lots of fun, it was lots of laughing and all the cute bubbas.
Andrew: Two and a half hours and we recorded 60 minutes, it was excellent.
Andrew: Actually, we should thank our sponsors for the live show. Seedling Baby, what did they give?
Vashti: Seedling Baby donated a limited edition Nurture pocket nappy, to every person that attended on the day.
Andrew: Only the people that attended got one?
Vashti: Only the people that attended.
Andrew: Excellent. And Bubblebubs, what did they do?
Vicki: I actually don’t know. Can’t remember.
Vashti: Bubblebubs donated botty balm to everybody that attended.
Vashti: And candy as well, so everyone got some Bubblebubs candy.
Andrew: Bubblebubs candy, yeah, that’s good for the trip home. Nest Nappies?
Vashti: We donated a Nest Nappies wetbag, and a packet of Eco Rock crayons for all the little ones that turned up.
Andrew: Nice. Gro Via?
Vashti: Gro Via has donated two prize packs. Each of those prize packs contains a limited edition wet bag, an all in one nappy and a hybrid shell.
Andrew: Wow. Thank you very much, sponsors.
Vashti: And we also had Close Parent as well.
Andrew: Close Parent as well?
Vashti: Yeah, Close Parent donated a couple of shells.
Vicki: Wasn’t that for a prize or something?
Vashti: Yeah, so that was the Gro Via prize packs, and the Close Parent shells for a prize.
Andrew: Maybe we should talk about that prize. So some of you have already given us reviews on the iTunes store, and we thank you very much. And probably a lot of people ask why we ask you to do it on the iTunes store. The reason being is because the iTunes store is the largest podcast database there is. So people looking at podcasts, most of the time they’re using the iTunes one, so that’s why we ask you to use the iTunes one. So anybody who leaves a review, or has left a review and sends us an email, the first four people will win, what do they win?
Vashti: So two people will win a Gro Via prize pack each, and two people will win a Close Parent shell in a limited edition print.
Andrew: Nice, in that order?
Vashti: Yeah, I suppose. I guess it’s the first person through will get the prize pack, the second person will get the Gro Via prize pack and then the next two will get the Gro Via shells.
Andrew: Excellent, so just leave a review on the iTunes store, and then go to the Nappy Leaks website, send us a message, let us know your name that you used on the iTunes store, and after we’ve done back and forth emails to confirm it, you win the pack and we’ll send it out to you for free. The object is, all in two nappies. We did, what did we do last time? We did prefolds.
Andrew: So I wanted to go a deep dive into all in two nappies. So first obvious question is, what is an all in two nappy?
Vashti: I reckon Vicki can do this one.
Vicki: I’m busy playing Candy Crush [laughter]. I’m actually not joking. I really am playing Candy Crush.
Andrew: So listeners at home, now you know why this is not a video podcast. Because Vicki plays Candy Crush.
Vicki: And all in two is a nappy that is all in two pieces.
Andrew: And the pieces are…?
Vicki: It’s made of an absorbent inner, and snaps into, or snaps…
Vicki: …attaches, yeah. It is always snap, isn’t it?
Vashti: No, I’ve had some that are Velcro.
Vicki: Yeah, yeah. Snap or Velcro into the shell. So you end up with two pieces.
Andrew: OK, but I note that some of these nappies on the market actually come with three pieces.
Vicki: You mean, like ours?
Andrew: Yeah, there’s a few though, isn’t there? How many is there?
Vicki: A lot of all in twos will come with two inserts in them. It’s more that you have the main insert, and then you have an extra booster.
Vashti: In case you need it.
Andrew: OK. Why aren’t we calling them all in threes?
Vicki: Because it’s two pieces. It’s an absorbent bit, and a waterproof outer.
Andrew: Very good. I actually never knew that, there you go. I knew this podcast would be helpful for somebody. So you’ve got the outer shell, and you’ve got, well I know in our brand it’s the trifold. Does everybody call it the trifold?
Vicki: If it folds into three, yeah. If it folds into two, no, it would be a bifold.
Vashti: And there’s plenty out there that don’t fold at all.
Andrew: Oh really?
Andrew: No worries.
Vicki: Yeah, they’re a nice, long snake.
Vashti: No, that’s the snake fold.
Andrew: They’d still fold though?
Vicki: Yeah, true, but it’s called a snake, it’s not called a trifold.
Vashti: But Close Parent just has a rectangle with some elastic on the sides to act as gusseting. And that snaps into the shell, and there’s an extra little booster that snaps onto that. Gro Via, their hybrid is just one piece. And so…
Andrew: And so we do call that an all in one?
Vashti: No, it’s still an all in two. They’re hybrid, because you have the waterproof shell and the absorbent inner, but the absorbent inner is just a single piece.
Andrew: So it does come out though.
Vashti: It does come out, with pressure.
Andrew: Sorry, you made that sound like it didn’t come out.
Vicki: So why is it called a hybrid?
Vashti: It’s called a hybrid because you can also use, well the shell and the absorbent bits are sold separately. They’re not sold as a complete nappy, and you can choose to use the shell with a disposable insert. So you can actually get disposable inserts that just…
Vicki: So the hybrid just means cloth and disposable together?
Andrew: So, because of the design of this nappy, does it make it good for cold places?
Andrew: Is that because it completely comes apart?
Vashti: Yeah, it makes it quicker drying. You also have the option of the absorbency going through the clothes drier, and just air drying the outer shell, because the outer shells don’t like constant exposure to high heat. It can delaminate them. But the absorbent bits can go through the clothes drier no dramas whatsoever.
Andrew: With the spin that our washing machine used to use, the outer cover almost came out dry.
Vashti: Very much.
Vicki: Well, it’s polyester, so it’s waterphobic.
Vashti: I love that word, waterphobic.
Vicki: I know, it goes aah [gasps].
Vashti: That’s awesome. I am going to, can I steal that?
Vicki: Have you never heard of it?
Vashti: I have never heard that word. I love it.
Andrew: Have you got that in Wikipedia. You have to make the post in Wikipedia.
Vicki: Yeah, but they don’t do follow links.
Andrew: That’s right, Vicki’s only interested in talking to somebody who’s going to follow her back. So would this nappy suit somebody in warm places?
Vashti: Yeah, definitely. The other benefit, it’s an all around nappy, it goes anywhere, and the biggest benefit of an all in two, I think, is that it does dry a lot quicker than some other styles of nappies, because you can pull it apart into pieces. You also have the option of taking the absorbency out, having several absorbency sets for each shell, so if bub’s just done a wee, and hasn’t soiled the shell, you can just replace the absorbency, you don’t need to replace the entire nappy.
Vicki: So budget wise you can actually save a bit of coin.
Andrew: So you can increase your stash, without actually having to buy, which is the most expensive part? The outer shell or the booster?
Vicki: For us, it’s the same price, pretty much.
Andrew: So for half the price, you can double your stash, really. Brilliant. They’re good in rainy places, good in dry places, and good in humid places. OK. So on a scale of one to ten, ten being the easiest, would they be speedy to put on.
Vashti: Once you get…
Vicki: That depends on the configuration.
Andrew: Once you’ve assembled the nappy, are they fast to put on? and it’s not a squirmy baby. Think of Brock when he was newborn.
Vicki: OK, I think the question is, are you talking about a side snap or a front snap, or…
Vashti: Or a Velcro.
Vicki: …a Velcro close. I don’t think the question is really…
Vashti: It’s hard, it’s a multifaceted question. How long is a piece of string? Because yes, for some people they are extremely easy to put on, once they’re put together and everything like that, but other people, I have seen all in two nappies put on back to front and inside out, with the…
Vicki: No, that was an all in one. I was going to say, your mother managed to put an all in one inside out, and back the front, and it was Velcro, and it was like how did you do that? Why? It had to be super complicated or something.
Andrew: That was a Velcro? I always thought that was a Candy she did that to.
Vicki: No, she did it to an all in one.
Andrew: Wow, that boggles the mind even more, doesn’t it.
Vicki: Yeah, you think?
Andrew: OK, so out of one to ten, are they easy to explain to somebody else how to use?
Vashti: I think any nappy is easy to explain.
Andrew: OK, and would it be easy to explain to a childcare person?
Vicki: Well you know, once you’ve got the nappy assembled, it pretty much becomes an all in one. Which means that it just goes on.
Andrew: Because the reason I ask those questions is they’re some of the questions that people ask when they’re looking at buying a nappy. Is this going to be easy for me to use? Am I going to be able to get my husband to use it? Are they going to use it at day care? That’s all the things, so it passes all those?
Andrew: Can you use them as a night nappy?
Vicki: Depends on the absorbency of the nappy, and how much your bub wees. Generally I would recommend a fitted and a cover for an ultimate night nappy, a fitted and a cover.
Andrew: Because you can’t boost these things on the outside, can you?
Vicki: No. There’s a finite amount of space in there, before you start to compromise the leg.
Vashti: There are all in two night nappies out there as well.
Andrew: OK, is there?
Vashti: Yeah. I can’t think of one off the top of my head, but I do know that they are out there?
Vicki: Didn’t Bonnie use to do one?
Vashti: Yeah, Bonnie Buns? Yeah, she had a fleece, a multimills fleece outer layer, a pocket and then an insert on the inside. And this is going way back when Laurie’s Nappies used to do one. She used to do a wool outer. So look, it is possible to have an all in two night nappy. Baby Behinds is a fitted nappy. Baby Behinds night nappy is fitted, but it pulls apart into two pieces. So technically you do need a cover over the top to make sure it’s waterproof, but there are plenty of bubs out there, or plenty of parents out there, who use a Baby Behinds night nappy without a cover, because of how absorbent it is.
Andrew: So it never absorbs so much that it comes out?
Vashti: Oh look, there’s plenty of bubs out there that will wet through it as well, for your super heavy wetters, but if you’re using a Baby Behinds nappy on a light wetter, you could get away without using a cover. It’s that absorbent.
Vicki: I feel that you learn just as much in this podcast as your…
Vashti: As our listeners.
Andrew: Have I ever explained what my role here is? No?
Vashti: To placate Vicki?
Andrew: No, well…
Vicki: It’s to look pretty.
Andrew: It’s the voice. I’m only here for the voice. No, the idea is I ask the stupid questions. And every time I ask the stupid questions, you look at me like, why don’t you know this? And I am asking the stupid questions because otherwise, it would be us talking about stuff, and nobody else would know what we’re talking about.
Andrew: So that’s why I ask the stupid questions.
Vashti: I just thought you were dumb.
Vicki: You are not to delete that. You are not to take that out. That needs to stay in.
Andrew: Some of them can be boosted as a night nappy, some of them can’t.
Vashti: Yeah, I think it really does come down to the make of the nappy and the fit as well. Like, you’re going to be able to boost an all in two on a smaller baby, more than you could boost an all in two on a bigger baby.
Andrew: Because when I wrote that question, I was obviously thinking of the Candy.
Vashti: Yeah, so a Candy is quite a trim nappy compared to some of the others.
Andrew: But when I see everybody, when I see you boosting it, because I do all the videos for Nest Nappies, and all the videos for Bubblebubs, so I’ve watched every single one of the nappy videos that you’ve got, more time than you can [indistinct word, 13:46]
Vashti: We all do…
Vicki: Certainly more times than me. You probably listen to the podcast more times than me too.
Jenna: Everyone has.
Andrew: I’ll just say what Jenna said, everyone has, Jenna said. That was a good line, Jenna. I told you while you need to be around during the podcast, Jenna. So when I wrote these questions, I was thinking of the Candy. And when you guys talk about boosting in your videos, you’re always boosting on the outside of the nappy, and you can’t do that with a Candy, because you’re putting boosting on the other side of the waterproof shell, so nothing’s ever going to get there.
Vashti: Well you can boost a Candy, there are ways to boost a Candy, but you have to make sure that you keep the snug fit of the shell around the legs. And the Candies are very trim through the crutch nappy, which is perfect for putting underneath clothes and everything like that, but not as great for boosting. Whereas something like a Close Parent all in two, it’s a double gusset all in two, and there is a little bit more room through there. Now, Close Parent also sell a night booster for their all in two, which means that for a light to moderate wetter, you could turn their all in two into a night nappy.
Andrew: Excellent, that’s good to know.
Vicki: Well Bubblebubs sell a night booster set as well, which fits inside a Candy shell, and it’s got a little bit more absorbency in it than the standard Candy insert. So for a light to moderate wetter, you could turn a Candy into a night nappy.
Andrew: So how did you make that booster more absorbent, Vicki? Is there more fabric?
Vicki: Just added an extra layer. Technically it was for the Delights, for the fitted nappies, but I have had people have success with them with the Candies and you know, I always underestimate than overestimate. I’d rather say no, you’re going to get a whole night out of that booster, and somebody get a whole night out of it, rather than be up at 3 o’clock in the morning changing sheets and emailing me the next morning, saying I was up at 3 o’clock in the morning, changing sheets. Nobody does that actually, by the way. People just put towels down, and then put baby back on top.
Andrew: But they do email you at 3:00 am in the morning?
Vicki: That’s because they’re up feeding at 3:00 am in the morning.
Andrew: Can you use the parts of an all in two for other things?
Vicki: Definitely. So you can take the absorbency out of an all in two, and use it in your fitteds or inside your cover, or with your flats, or something like that. You could use your shells from your all in twos over your fitteds and your flats, and your prefolds. So there’s no nappy police ready to jump out of the cupboard and tell you that you’re doing your nappies wrong. Like, Franken-nappy, away.
Andrew: Yeah, they never hide in the cupboard, they’re always in the bathroom.
Vashti: Oh right, OK.
Andrew: OK, so let’s talk about the disadvantages of an all in two. Are there any, what are the limitations of an all in two?
Vicki: There’s only a finite amount of room in there to boost. So if you have a super-heavy wetter, and you can’t get enough boosting in there, yeah, that would be the downfall. The other thing is, the inserts can move around a bit on an all in two, something that is fixed with a pocket, that’s the advantage of a pocket over an all in two. That would probably be…
Vashti: They take a little bit of time to put together. So when you pull them in off the line, you actually need to spend time putting all the bits and pieces back together, and if you have a very varied stash, and you’ve got someone putting your nappies back together that doesn’t know what they’re doing, then they may put different bits back together.
Andrew: Yeah, I used to hate that, because Vicki had different brands, and also different prototypes, and some of the products didn’t fit the others. So yeah, that was difficult. OK, now let’s talk about how you do them up. Snaps, some of them do up with snaps. And there’s single rows of snaps, and there’s double rows of snaps, isn’t there?
Vashti: There is.
Andrew: OK, so why is there a difference?
Vashti: Just a manufacturing preference. So my personal preference is a double row of snaps. I found that I could always get a better fit of the nappies on my kids with a double row of snaps, whereas there are some brands out there who prefer just to put a single row of snaps in. And there’s not as many snaps for you to faff about with when you’re putting the nappy on.
Andrew: I must admit, I did prefer a double row of snaps. The reason I preferred a double row of snaps is because you can get a leg fit and a tummy fit with the two snaps.
Andrew: And some of them do up with Velcro, don’t they?
Vashti: They do. Velcro is super, super awesome for small bubbies, for little, new bubs. Snaps are fantastic, but if your bubby is halfway between a snap closure, you’ve either got to go that tiny bit too tight, or that tiny little bit too loose, and on a small baby, that could make and break a nappy. Whereas with Velcro, you can get the most customised fit every single time without fail. Downside to Velcro is once they start getting a bit more active, and crawling around, the Velcro can get caught on furniture or carpet or something like that. It can get caught on your clothes.
Andrew: You don’t see the baby hanging off a lounge chair with the Velcro of the nappy stuck to the lounge chair?
Vashti: Well the baby won’t be hanging off the lounge chair, but the nappy might be. But the big thing is, I think it’s around about the nine to ten month mark, Vicki, bubs have got enough dexterity to undo those nappies.
Andrew: Yeah, I remember Abby standing in the hallway, just with me watching her, and then she reaches over to the nappy, and then starts to tear the Velcro, because she knows I’m going to chase her. She doesn’t take the nappy off. But also, there’s brands that have got both, aren’t there, Vashti?
Vashti: There are. So the Gro Via 1 is a multiclosure. So it gives you the option of snaps or Velcro.
Andrew: So how does that work?
Vashti: They have a Velcro strip that snaps onto the snaps, and so you can do the nappy up with the Velcro, or you can remove those Velcro strips from the snaps and do the nappy up with the snaps.
Andrew: Nice. Nice. So let’s talk about actual fits. How are all in twos fitting on newborn babies?
Vashti: Same way any other nappy does.
Vicki: You’re getting confused with one sized versus sized nappies.
Andrew: No, I’ve heard you guys say that sometimes an all in two are too…
Vicki: No, no, no, no, one sized nappy.
Vashti: Snappies versus a sized or newborn nappy, can be a little bit difficult to fit on newborns. But an all in two, there are newborn all in twos out there. There are sized all in twos out there. So it’s about choosing the nappy that is right for your family and your baby’s shape and size. So there’s plenty of different styles out there, in every size, for every baby.
Andrew: So are there any disadvantages of using these type of nappies, on say a newborn?
Vashti: It will depends on your baby. I had babies that were prolific pooers. They would fill their nappies several times a day. An all in two in the newborn stages was great in the fact that, especially with the big kids, we were living in central Victoria, so I needed quick drying nappies in winter. But as far as reusing the covers and just replacing the inserts, that didn’t work for me, because my kids’ poo was very runny, and it went everywhere, and I had to replace the shell, every change.
Andrew: So it hit the shell every time.
Vicki: And also, you’ve only got the one layer of protection. So if it does escape the nappy, it’s straight onto the clothes.
Andrew: OK, so with that sort of situation, you’d use a different system? What system would you use for that?
Vicki: Well that’s just in comparison to a fitted nappy, where you’ve got a separate cover. You’ve got elastic on your fitted nappy, and you’ve got elastic on your covers. So you’ve got two layers of protection. But there is no right or wrong, it’s just a case of having all of the information, and then making the decision based on all of the facts.
Andrew: So these nappies are excellent at containing large poos?
Vicki: Look, when you’re comparing to a disposable, most cloth nappies will have between six to eight millimetre elastic. So you’re comparing that to shirring elastic on disposables, which is pretty much stretchy string. So if you’re making a comparison there, yeah, they’re going to contain heaps better than a disposable, because there’s just simply more area for them to contain and push back in.
Andrew: No worries guys, thank you very much. Thanks, Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Thank you, Vashti?
Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Vicki Simpson is a wife and mother to three children, President of the Australian Nappy Association and owner and founder of Bubblebubs. Vicki has been making and selling cloth nappies through her website for 15 years. Bubblebubs is now one of the most recognised and awarded cloth nappy brands in Australia, and is currently expanding to other countries. You can find out more and contact her through her website, bubblebubs.com.au. Vashti Wadwell is mother to three children and has been using cloth nappies for 13 years. She is the owner of Australia’s first cloth nappy store, Nest Nappies, located in Brisbane, Australia. She can be contacted through her website, nestnappies.com.au. If you would like to give us feedback, go to nappyleaks.com.au. If you are finding this podcast helpful, the way to thank us is to leave feedback in the iTunes store or wherever you listen to podcasts. I am your host, Andrew Simpson.