Following on from the success of our previous Live Podcast, we decided to do another one! Our special guest this week is Danielle, she is mother to baby Scarlet and actually just came along to the podcast to listen but offered to jump in and answer some submitted questions from another mum who couldn’t make it on the day. Danielle asks about how to help a friend get into cloth who has an awkward laundry situation to contend with. She also asked how to tell what fabric a pre-fold or booster is made of, which I know can be a common issue when people are gifted secondhand nappies. She also asks a popular question, travelling with cloth! She asks about how to manage it and what nappies are best for that situation.
This Nappy Leaks episode is recorded in front of a live studio audience… and by “live studio audience” we mean in the Bubblebubs warehouse with an audience that was 50% babies! But we all had a great time and it was good to be able to pick Vashti and Vicki’s brains in person.
Vicki Simpson is the outgoing President of the Australian Nappy Association and has been advocating for and selling cloth nappies in Australia for over 15 years. 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: Nappy Leaks Live February 2020
Andrew: How are you doing Vicki?
Vicki: I’m good, Andrew. How are you?
Andrew: Good, a bit of pre-rushing.
Vicki: I’m actually really cold.
Andrew: Are you?
Vashti: It’s not cold anymore.
Vicki: Do you know what? You’re not allowed to talk yet, remember?
Vashti: You’re wearing a jumper.
Vicki: Fun fact, fun fact.
Andrew: How are you doing, Vashti?
Vashti: Good Andrew, how are you?
Andrew: OK, chime in.
Vicki: Fun fact, when he had, when we were dating, he would have the air conditioning so cold, you want to know why? Guess.
Vicki: Yes, it really was.
Vashti: Are you serious?
Vicki: Yes, he would do it for…
Vashti: And he’s gone bright red, so it’s true, it’s true.
Andrew: It’s not good to be outed on national.
Vashti: This is a good… Andrew really likes when we share. Andrew, this is actually international, remember? We have international listeners.
Vicki: And considering, considering by the time this goes, we would have thrown out so many cards in Germany, Nappy Leaks business cards in Germany, people will be listening to this everywhere going oh, all I have to do is turn my air conditioning down because my girlfriend is in the car.
Jenna: She’s going to be making a Nappy Leaks business card.
Vashti: Yes, Jenna, you’re making a Nappy Leaks business card, and you need to get onto it ASAP.
Jenna: Shall I do it when this podcast comes out?
Vashti: No, no, no, no. Like today.
Andrew: We don’t want to date this podcast, but it’s 2018 right now. And we have a special guest and the screen has gone blank because I’ve been talking so long Dannille, how are you?
Dannille: Alright how are you?
Vashti: Hi, Dannille. Who have you got with you today?
Dannille: This is Scarlet.
Vashti: Hi, Scarlet. Aren’t you a cutie?
Andrew: Now Dannille just wanted to come and observe, but I managed to talk her into asking some questions.
Dannille: Yes, excellent.
Andrew: So I will let you ask your first one.
Dannille: So, friend is discouraged from trying cloth because her laundry is in her kitchen. So what would be some suggestions to make that a bit more hygienic and manageable?
Vashti: So, my laundry is just off my kitchen. Fun fact, there is no room in my kitchen for a dishwasher, so my dishwasher is actually in my laundry. It’s pretty awesome. But I have a large wet bag as my pail. It hung off my change table, which was in my dining room, and that was it. It was nice and easy, everything was contained. I hosed my nappies out in my bathroom.
Vicki: Or in the toilet, with the Little Squirt. I’d probably suggest a Little Squirt, and that way you’re dealing with the dirty nappies in the toilet or bathroom, rather than in the laundry.
Vashti: In the laundry.
Andrew: Which is normally where you deal with that sort of stuff.
Vicki: Some people do it in the laundry sink. It’s all grey water. It’s all…
Vashti: Black water.
Vicki: Black water, so it all goes down the same spot.
Vashti: So yeah, no. I’d just take my poopy nappies down to the bathroom and hose them out with my Little Squirt into the toilet. I did have a wet bag there for those nappies, so that way I wasn’t dripping a nappy back through the house to the other bag…
Vicki: A wet bag that hangs on the back of the toilet door or bathroom door would work as well.
Vashti: Yep, so yeah.
Andrew: Nice, next question.
Dannille: Alright, is there any way to tell what fabric a prefold or booster is actually made from? There’s a few mystery ones which I can’t tell, and also what fabric would be best for what purpose?
Vicki: I can tell.
Andrew: Let Vicki feel it.
Vicki: See, the problem with, there’s fibres versus fabrics, OK. So what the base fibre of a fabric is, can be different. As an example, you can have velour, which is a super soft fabric. You can have that in cotton, in bamboo or in hemp. Or multiple other things. So probably to an untrained eye, it’s a little bit hard to establish. Cotton is usually pretty easy to pick. Most of us know what cotton kind of feels like. Hemp will tend to be a bit beigier. And bamboo will tend to be off white, through to white. So as a guide, without actually seeing the fabric. But touching and feeling will also help. Hemp is actually quite stiff and scratchy. Bamboo is going to be the softest, and cotton kind of in the middle.
Vashti: If you’re curious, send a photo through to your local Nappy Leaks expert.
Vicki: Most fabrics can…
Andrew: What do you mean, local? You guys live in the same town.
Vashti: Well, yeah.
Vicki: We do.
Vashti: But send a photo through to Nappy Leaks, and…
Vicki: We’ll have a red hot guess.
Vashti: We can have a go at guessing. It is, it can be difficult to tell just from looking. It’s much easier to tell from feel, but there are some fibres that we can pick up from visibility really quickly.
Andrew: Next question.
Dannille: Alrighty, so we like to travel, but cloth takes up a lot of weight and space. So what would be some suggestions for something that’s lightweight, quick drying, but good for a heavy wetter?
Vicki: I’d say, especially camping and that sort of thing, I’d say flats. I’ve only ever travelled once with a child, and fun fact, if you bring nappies back wet, you’ll go overweight on an aeroplane.
Vashti: You will. We travelled to Darwin for ten days when Kylan was four months old, and I just packed my modern, my M.C.N.s. It didn’t really worry me. When we knew, when I was looking at where we were going to stay, we actually booked an apartment that had wash facilities, and we were stuck in, or we weren’t stuck, we chose to stay in that one location for the whole ten days. But yeah, that worked for us.
Andrew: Going to answer that, Keryn?
Keryn: Yes, I can help answer that. Hello everyone on podcast land. I, we were trialling some flat nappies, just for fun really. I was in Nest Nappies and Vashti was selling some flat nappies to a lady so I though I’ll get some too. And yeah, at the time on Instagram there was a flat cloth nappy challenge happing, or flat diaper actually, it was an American group thing. So I thought I’ll give that a go and see what it’s like to use flat nappies. And just after a week in, we had to go down to New South Wales for a family emergency. So we just rolled with it, with the flat nappies. It worked really well. The way we did it was we used flats and pre folds for night time. And that made, they dried really quickly and we could wash them really easily. So we just stomped them in the shower and things like that, and hung them all over the hotel room, because it was a really short notice trip, we didn’t have time to plan or anything like that.
Andrew: So you didn’t have access to a washing machine?
Keryn: No, not until we got to my mother in law’s house. And then that opened up a whole other kettle of worms in washing.
Female: Don’t want poo in my washing machine.
Keryn: Yeah, washing up nappies adequately, so if it’s just a single layer of fabric, it made a lot of difference to a multilayer cloth nappy, modern cloth nappy.
Andrew: Thanks, Keryn.
Keryn: That’s alright.
Andrew: I think that’s out of questions. Anything else you wanted to ask the girls?
Dannille: No, that’s all.
Vicki: No, she didn’t want to ask us anything at all.
Andrew: We had to feed her questions. They were good questions.
Dannille: Someone else put me to it.
Andrew: They were good questions, we didn’t want them to go to waste.
Vashti: Where do those questions come from, Andrew?
Vicki: Katherine. So Katherine Pitt sent those ones in.
Andrew: Thank you, Katherine. Sorry you couldn’t make it. I hope you’re well. Thank you, Vashti.
Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: Thank you, Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.
Vashti: Thanks, Dannille.
Andrew: Thanks, Dannille.
Dannille: Thank you for having me.
Andrew: Bye everybody. Vicki Simpson is wife and mother to three children, and owner and founder of Bubblebubs. Vicki has been making and selling cloth nappies through her website for 16 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 14 years. She is the owner of Australia’s first cloth nappy store, Nest Nappies, located in Brisbane, Australia. Vashti can be contacted through her website, nestnappies.com. If are finding the podcast helpful, and would like to make it easier for other parents to find, please leave a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. I am your host, Andrew Simpson.