Looking into using newborn cloth nappies? This podcast follows up on the Top 8 reasons to use newborn nappies.

In between a good dose of nappy chat, learn: why you should choose newborn cloth nappies over one size fits most nappies (OSFM); how many nappies you’ll need for twins; the best style of newborn cloth nappy to keep those leaks at bay; and ways to bring down the cost of a newborn cloth nappy stash. Vashti and Vicki have been wrapping newborn bums in cloth for over 3 decades combined, with their passion and experience you’ll soon not need any reasons to justify using cloth nappies because it will be instant love!

Show note links:

Podcast: Top 8 Reasons to Use Newborn Cloth Nappies

Facebook group: How to make your own Modern Cloth Nappies and Woollie

https://www.facebook.com/groups/103526709741676

Cloth rental: Cloth Nappy Hire Australia

https://clothnappyhire.com.au

Transcript: Another 5 reasons to Use Newborn Cloth Nappies

[Music]

Andrew: Welcome to Nappy Leaks with Vicki Simpson and Vashti Wadwell. How are you doing, Vashti?

Vashti: Good thanks Andrew, how are you today?

Andrew: Not too bad. How are you doing, Vicki?

Vicki: Yeah, good. 

Andrew: Love your top.

Vicki: Thank you.

Andrew: Just went to get that onto the recording.

Vicki: Spotty.

Vashti: It is a beautiful shirt.

Andrew: It reminds me of that song, that polka dot bikini, red and white…

Vicki: Red and white polka dot. I look like one of our tea towels, actually.

Andrew: Are you sure you didn’t wrap a tea towel around you before you came? Are you sure it’s a real shirt?

Vicki: Yeah.

Andrew: Cool. Customer reviews. Don’t you love customer reviews? 

Vashti: Have we got some more?

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve got a good one here. Handy, but there’s a catch. You have to tolerate some mindless chit chat, but if you pick the topic you’re interested in and skip through to the actual nappy chat, there’s some handy hints. Thanks.

Vashti: Yeah, there’s mindless chit chat, I’ll agree. 

Vicki: You obviously don’t take enough out.

Andrew: I think it’s great actually, because she’s obviously using the new feature that I added like a year ago, where you can actually skip to the chapter that you want.

Vicki: That’s a good idea.

Vashti: There you go.

Andrew: It was a very expensive piece of software and it takes a really long time to set that up and make that work with every single podcast, and I’m glad to see somebody actually knows it’s there and uses it.

Vashti: Awesome.

Andrew: So it’s good.

Vashti: The chit chat, there’s really interesting information in between the chit chat sometimes.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s right.

Vicki: Says the chit chatter.

Andrew: You are best friends, so we’ve just got to put up with that, really, don’t we?

Vashti: It happens.

Andrew: So today’s topic is another number reasons to use newborn cloth nappies. Now, this is obviously a part two of a part one, which was a year and a half ago. So because it was a year and a half ago, I need you girls to describe what a newborn nappy is again. For those who haven’t listened to the previous episode.

Vicki: A nappy for a newborn baby.

Andrew: Excellent. You had more words last time though.

Vashti: Did we?

Andrew: Yeah, you did. What’s classified as a newborn nappy?

Vashti: Something that will fit a newborn. So it’s designed for those first few months. It’s going to be trimmer, it’s going to be snugger, and it’s going to be a better fit, which will hopefully result in less leaks and less bulk to be able to get newborn clothes on over the top, I suppose. 

Andrew: OK. So they can be all in ones. There can be all in twos. Obviously flats and there’s fitteds as well. So all of the designs out there, there’s a newborn version of it.

Vashti: Yeah, you can use a flat on a newborn. You can get trimmer fitting flats, like you can get muslin flats, which are a lot trimmer for newborns. You can also get smaller sized flats. Like a standard flat is about 60 by 60, but you can get smaller ones at 45 by 45. Prefolds come in sizes.

Andrew: See, look at that, I didn’t know that.

Vashti: Yeah, you can get 90 by 90 flats and 75 by 75 flats as well. 

Vicki: Ninety by 90 are huge.

Andrew: Ninety by 90. Just imagine the table you’d need to fold that sucker up. 

Vashti: But yeah, prefolds come in different sizes, fitteds come in different sizes, all in ones, all in twos, pockets. 

Andrew: Does everybody who sells a newborn nappy, do they label it a newborn nappy? Or do they just call it an all in two?

Vashti: Well an all in two is a type, it’s not a size. 

Andrew: True, but do they call it a newborn all in two? Or do they just say all in two?

Vicki: No, usually, yeah. We do, we just brought out a newborn all in two, and we specified the difference between that and the one sized.

Andrew: Is that out yet?

Vicki: Yes. Yes. Did you not see the delivery of the latest print range? 

Vashti: So pretty.

Vicki: Those Pebbles.

Andrew: This time last year we were announcing it thinking it would be here by now. It didn’t arrive. This time last year.

Vicki: Yeah, it was too.

Vashti: No, this time last year it was here.

Andrew: Was it? We haven’t had it for more than a year.

Vashti: February. 

Andrew: No, this is December. 

Vashti: OK, no it hadn’t arrived in December.

Vicki: No, this was cocky. I was being hugely cocky.

Andrew: You announced it in December but we didn’t actually get it until February.

Vicki: February, because of Chinese New Year, Corona, shipping delays, all sorts of things. Actually, I don’t think it turned up until March or April to be honest.

Andrew: And the fact that it was a new nappy, and it went through quite a bit of trials and checking before it actually…

Vicki: Yeah, the problem was, the sewing. The seamstresses went home early for Chinese New Year. So it actually didn’t get produced before they shut down. That was the biggest delay. They eventually arrived.

Vashti: And they’re such a gorgeous nappy.

Andrew: Wasn’t there another new product coming after that? What happened to that? Is that still coming?

Vicki: No. Not yet. The one that should have probably been here by now, no. Time.

Andrew: So you didn’t cancel it, it’s still coming.

Vicki: No, no, it’s still coming, it’s just time. 

Andrew: Cool.

Vashti: And this has been a year for needing time.

Vicki: Yeah, this year has just disappeared. 

Andrew: Yeah, true. But Bubblebubs has fared better than a lot of other companies who have had a lot more problems with stock than we’ve had.

Vicki: Yeah, we’ve been pretty lucky actually. Good relationships.

Andrew: Yeah, I don’t call it luck, yeah, good relationships. So how many newborn nappies do you need if you’ve got twins?

Vashti: Same amount of one size fits most nappies that you need if you’ve got twins.

Andrew: Don’t answer a question with a question. 

Vicki: About 40.

Vashti: I always say about one and a half stashes.

Andrew: OK, 40, wow. 

Vicki: You don’t need two full stashes.

Vashti: Because you’re going to be washing a little bit more frequently, because you’ll have enough nappies to do a full load every day and a half. 

Andrew: You’ll have enough dirty clothes to do every day though. 

Vicki: It depends if they’re spewy babies or not.

Andrew: Yeah, spewy babies, or some babies are just messy.

Vicki: Dribblers. 

Vashti: My kids.

Vicki: No, ours were pretty good.

Vashti: No, I had chucky babies. All three of them were refluxy babies.

Andrew: We didn’t have chucky babies, but we did have a dog that sat at the bottom of the baby, of the…

Vashti: High chair.

Andrew: …high chair, just waiting. I don’t think we had clean babies, I think we had a dog. 

Vicki: Yes, that cleaned the children.

Andrew: Yes, that was it, yeah. And if you let the dog, the dog would even lick the baby clean for you. 

Vashti: There are some things that you just sit there and you go, that’s life. Trying to keep the animals away from the babies, and it just doesn’t happen.

Vicki: Or the babies away from the animals.

Vashti: Well yeah, there’s that too.

Andrew: So would you ever skip newborn nappies? I know for example, trying not to mention a brand, the Candies, Candies fit from four and a half kilos on. What if you have a four and a half kilo baby? Do you still use newborns, or do you just go straight to a Candy?

Vicki: You wouldn’t be using a small newborn nappy, that’s for sure. Otherwise you wouldn’t get your value. Look, it depends on budget more than anything. One size fits most nappies are exactly that. They fit most. So you’ve got to be aware that you may struggle, even on a four and a half kilo baby, you may struggle to get a good fit. I’ve been doing this for a long time, so bring a baby in and I can fit any nappy and get a good leg seal and things like that, but as a first time parent, you may struggle.

Andrew: Hang on, let me interrupt you. You say one size fits most, or fits most babies most of the time, but you say that bring the baby in, you could actually get it to fit every time?

Vicki: Yeah, but I’ve been doing this for 16 years. If I can’t fit a nappy a baby, every baby, properly now, I’ve got to get out of the industry. 

Vashti: That’s kind of the way I feel as well. If you bring a baby into Nest and I can’t do a fitting…

Vicki: There’s something wrong.

Vashti: …there’s something wrong. 

Vicki: Because we’ve seen so many different babies. Even this year, just photoshoots that we’ve had.

Andrew: Four photoshoots we did? Or three?

Vicki: I think it was more like five or six actually. And you know, videos and stuff like that. Literally, and I wing it too, it’s not like we do everything… not so much the photos, but the videos are all done in one take, so I’ll wing it. I remember there’s a Candy video of Brock when he was a newborn and I got the most amazing fit on it, shocked me. And you can almost see it in my face. Oh, that was really good.

Vashti: It’s like when I first did the fitting videos with the Bigs, on Matisse, there’s a video on our website that we got the Bigs down to 3.5 kilos or something like that. And you can see it on my face, I’ve watched the video since, and I’m shocked that we got the Big on such a trim little bubba. Because Matisse was a teeny tiny little thing, and it wasn’t overly bulky.

Andrew: That’s funny, I’ve probably watched the video more times than you, but didn’t see it.

Vashti: Didn’t you? There you go. Maybe I just look like this all the time. 

Andrew: I guess that’s a plug for the pictures and videos that are done. Like there’s hundreds and hundreds of pictures now on the Bubblebubs website and the Nest Nappies website, and every single one of those nappies is perfectly put on, basically because one of you guys put it on. 

Vashti: I wouldn’t say every one is perfectly put on. I know I’ve watched some of them afterwards and gone, oh, that’s not the best fit there. Or you know, as I’ve been doing a video and I’ve picked up one of the bubbies, I’m like that could have probably been done a little bit different in there, but it works. And that’s the thing, yes, Vicki and I have been doing this for years and years and years, and we can get a nappy to fit every single time, on every baby. It may not be the best fit, sometimes. But it will work. And I know, occasionally, most of the time it’s no issues but occasionally I’ll have a bubby come into the shop and it will take me a couple of goes and just a little bit of tweaking and stuff like that, to get a great fit. But it doesn’t take long. It’s one of those things, it’s sort of like put it on. Oh, we’ll probably come over one more snap there, just to get a slightly nicer fit. The first snap would have worked fine, it would have held everything in, but the second snap just makes it look that little bit prettier.

Andrew: So it’s kind of not the direction I expected you guys to go with that question. I actually expected you to go down the route of, you might not have enough nappies if you’re trying to use…

Vashti: A one size fits most.

Andrew: Yeah, because they’re a bit more expensive.

Vicki: Yeah, but you’re using them from birth, so it’s six of one, half a dozen of another. Like you’ll save money by only buying one set of nappies, instead of buying newborn nappies and one sized nappies. But if you’re having two or three children, you’ve got to be aware that they’re not going to be in the same condition because you’re using them from birth. And in those first six weeks, it’s something like a thousand nappies. 

Vashti: Five hundred changes in the first six weeks. So it’s a half a wheelie…

Vicki: Yeah, it’s a thousand changes in the first six months.

Vashti: It’s half a wheelie bin a week for the first six weeks. And in those first three to four months, you’re putting…

Andrew: These are nappies you don’t throw away though.

Vashti: Yeah, I know. If you’re using disposables.

Andrew: Trying to put it into context there. 

Vashti: But if you’re using a one size fits most nappy from birth, in those first three to four months, you’re putting the nappy through closer to about six to eight months’ worth of use. So your chance of it, yes it will get you through until toilet training, but you get to the end of toilet training, and think about it like a t-shirt. If you wear a $30 t-shirt every second or third day for two and a half years, it’s not going to be in great shape. It’s going to be stretched. The collar might be starting to fray, it’s going to have some stains on it, things like that. And are you going to want to pass that on to another person? Or is it going to go into the rag bag? And a one size fits most nappy is the same. When you get through, yes it will fit most of the babies most of the time, from birth through to toilet training, but is it going to get through to a second or third child? Whereas using your newborn nappies, yes you use them intensely for those first three to four months, and some people get longer out of them if they have smaller bubbies, but then you put them away and bring them out for your second or third bubby, or if you’re not planning on any more kids, and you want to recoup some of your funds, you sell them and they’ve got great resale value, so you get to recoup some of those funds. One of my customers actually made money on her newborn nappies, because she bought in bulk to start with, and then broke that pack down.

Vicki: She bought a birth to toddler pack, didn’t she?

Vashti: Yeah, she broke that pack down into smaller bundles, and was able to make money back on her nappies after she’d used them for six months. Yes, it’s a bigger upfront cost to buy in bulk.

Vicki: But you’re more likely to get your money back. Closer to, we always say half, but you can get your money back.

Vashti: There’s some nappies out there that go for above retail value. Which I’ve never been able to understand why you’d sell something above retail value when it’s been used as a poo catcher. But you know, each to their own.

Vicki: Different strokes.

Vashti: It’s the same as somebody going out and buying Swarovski crystal and then it becoming a collector’s item, and selling it for ten times the price. 

Andrew: We got these extra plates, and I call them the good china. Vicki pulled them out the other day and says, do you know we payed less than the normal stuff for that?

Vicki: They were an Aldi bunch. You know when Aldi brings the plates out at Christmas time? Yeah, well I bought a couple of cartons of them for Christmas. So they were like ten bucks.

Andrew: I’ve been calling them the good china.

Vicki: Yeah, ten bucks for ten plates, or something. We have low expectations. 

Andrew: That’s right, yes. Where did I learn good china? Probably from my Mum, because it was china, back then. I forgot those plates. I bet she’s not using them. 

Vicki: I bet they’re ugly. 

Vashti: They could be Wedgewood. You know, the…

Vicki: As I said, I bet they’re ugly.

Andrew: So best types of newborn nappies to stop leaks?

Vashti: I’m a fitted all the way. 

Vicki: Yeah, fitted has got elastic and then you’ve got the cover to go over it, and secondly probably a prefold. 

Andrew: A properly folded prefold.

Vicki: A properly folded prefold, yeah. Not just…

Vashti: Pad fold.

Vicki: …pad fold. Like, the poo gusset.

Vashti: The angel wing and pulling those wings nice and snug around the back of the thighs and getting that really great seal. And even a flat, if you can get a great roll on that back thigh, that will hold everything in. But any two part system where you’ve got the nappy and the cover as separate.

Vicki: Is going to perform best.

Andrew: And if you want to see any of those folding nappies, they’re all on Vashti’s site.

Vashti: I think you’ve got some on your site as well, don’t you?

Vicki: Yes, because I can fold a flat nappy now. 

Vashti: Yeah, I’m pretty sure I came out and taught you guys.

Andrew: Vashti’s are more up to date.

Vicki: Oh, OK.

Andrew: She’s got the latest.

Vicki: That was probably before my Botox. I look younger now. You’d never tell if we redid them.

Andrew: Go back in time. Go back in time and do them. Not that a flat nappy has changed in the last 50 years. 

Vashti: Oh, 100, thousand years. Since the invention of napkins, which is what they were actually originally. That’s why we call them nappies, because they came from a napkin. 

Andrew: Oh, OK. There’s people that wipe their face on them now. Here’s a joke for you. What does toilet paper say when you wipe your nose on it?

Vicki: Thank God. 

Vashti: That is such a dad joke.

Andrew: And you can tell I’ve told it many times, because she knew the line straight away. I am going to edit that out and make me say that catch line. Is there a, leaks, when I call leaks, I call that wee leaks. Is there a better nappy for poos, or is it the same thing?

Vashti: Pretty much the same. A newborn’s poo is going to be super runny most of the time. Because they’re on a liquid diet, their poo is liquid. I always say newborn poo is…

Andrew: Liquid in, liquid out.

Vashti: Sorry if anyone is eating, but it’s kind of like pumpkin soup with unmelted parmesan bits through it. That’s what newborn poo looks like. You’ll never eat pumpkin soup the same way again.

Andrew: That’s a very accurate description. 

Vicki: The other sort of leaks that you can get are from onesies, which even with the two part system, sometimes you can still get them. I don’t know what it is, compression leaks, or…

Vashti: I think it’s because the ribbing on the side of the onesie sort of pulls into that undie line. Because of the way they’re designed, and you get the onesie, the crotch of the onesie goes around and then the ribbing slips into the undie line.

Vicki: That’s a super, super, super common place for leaks. But you know, it’s not like the throw the baby out kind of leaks that you get in disposables, where it’s up their back. It’s really funny that you get this tiny little wet patch on a onesie and people freak out, my nappies are leaking. And yet a disposable can literally cover the baby.

Vashti: You have a brown streak up to the neck. 

Vicki: In the hair and everything, and that’s completely acceptable. Whereas the tiniest leak, because a nappy hasn’t been put on properly, in a cloth, all cloth nappies are bad. It’s one of those really weird things.

Andrew: I think you’ll probably find that most people who use disposables don’t realise there’s something better. So they’ll put up with that because they don’t know that there’s something better. 

Vicki: Maybe. Never really asked.

Andrew: Because if you asked a lot of mums about cloth or disposable, some of them actually say what, a cloth? What do you mean, a cloth?

Vicki: Yeah, because they think…

Andrew: Like Grandma? I’m not using those. 

Vashti: And I think that comes down to a lot of misconception in regards to what a cloth nappy is. Most people still believe that a cloth nappy is a piece of, a square piece of material that you’ve got to fold and use pins and you’ve got to soak and scrub and have buckets hanging around the house, because that’s what their parents and their grandparents did. I have to say, especially this year, the information and the knowledge that’s getting out there, and the amount of people who are keen to give cloth a go is just phenomenal. COVID has done wonders for the cloth nappy industry, I think, because more people have been looking for different alternatives. Whether that be because they’re home more, whether that be because they’ve had to look at their budget and they can’t afford $50 a week on disposable nappies anymore, I don’t know what it is. But it’s been fantastic. The cloth nappy industry has been one of those industries that’s actually…

Vicki: Boomed.

Vashti: …boomed because of COVID.

Vicki: Even though there’s no expos and stuff like that where we’re showing people.

Andrew: It was getting momentum before COVID, to be fair. 

Vashti: It definitely was.

Andrew: I know our company was doing phenomenal growth, I won’t say any numbers, but our company was doing phenomenal growth.

Vashti: And I think social media has got a lot to answer for there. We are a much more connected world these days, and so it’s easier to find information. I know when I was pregnant with Braithe, or when he was a baby, we had the essential baby forums, which apparently are closing. They’ve closed December. 

Andrew: I’ve got some pack links on there. 

Vashti: So that’s what I used. I was living in a…

Vicki: It’s also, the ads are very targeted. 

Vashti: They are.

Vicki: So if you’re pregnant, even mention that you’re pregnant, you’ll get fed all sorts of ads regarding pregnancy. So it’s actually opening people’s eyes, because they’re seeing hang on, there’s this really cool product.

Andrew: So how is Facebook going to know that you’re pregnant if you’re not going to that website? 

Vicki: No, that’s essential baby. 

Andrew: I know but, Facebook has got [over talking, 22:32]

Vicki: Facebook has got Instagram.

Vashti: They’ve got the same.

Andrew: Yeah, but Facebook is watching what website you’re going to, so it knows that you’ve been to those websites.

Vicki: But that’s only for retargeted ads. Oh no, it knows that groups you’re in and what your preferences are and stuff like that. They say they don’t, but guaranteed, you’re talking about something and you get fed an ad almost immediately for it.

Vashti: And this is something that actually came up. My Mum was over the other weekend and was looking at this, it was a carved rolling pin, so it put imprints…

Vicki: Yeah, I’ve been fed those ads.

Vashti: OK, so Mum’s sitting there and showing me on her iPad the video of how this works, and how they cut it out and everything like that, and talking to me. She didn’t send me any links. I didn’t open any websites on my phone. 

Andrew: I know how. 

Vashti: Within 15 minutes, I had an ad in my feed for that rolling pin.

Andrew: That’s an easy one to answer.

Vashti: The microphone?

Andrew: No, she was on your wifi network, using your IP address. That’s a no-brainer.

Vashti: There you go, OK, well whatever. But you know, this is the thing.

Vicki: That’s how targeted ads are.

Vashti: They do target. If you’re near someone who is looking at something… if you go to a mums group and someone in your mums group pulls up to show you about the cloth nappies that they’re using, pulls up that brand’s website or shows you a Facebook group, or invites you to a Facebook group you will start getting targeted with ads for cloth nappies and stuff.

Vicki: And besides, once you’re pregnant, you start looking at baby stuff.

Vashti: Yeah, you look at baby things. You join Due In groups and you look at cots and prams and as soon as you start looking at those things, Facebook and Instagram start targeting you with other things. And it comes up in when you open up a website and you get the ads in the middle of an article, it will be about brands that you’ve looked at or you’ve discussed and things like that.

Andrew: So back onto cloth nappies.

Vashti: Sorry, there’s our mindless chit chat.

Andrew: Mindless chit chat. And if everybody’s playing this over their speaker, now they’re getting nappy ads.

Vashti: Sorry.

Andrew: So you’re going down the path of buying newborn nappies. Which types of newborn nappies will fit the baby for the longest?

Vicki: That’s brand specific.

Vashti: That’s very brand specific. It’s also…

Vicki: You’ve got nappies that will fit teeny tiny babies up to 8 kilos. You’ve got nappies that will fit from 2 kilos to 5 kilos. It’s too broad. Like each brand fits a different size range.

Vashti: There’s also…

Vicki: I’m even looking at, I’m thinking of all of our newborn nappies. We sell a lot of different styles and types of newborn nappies and they all fit different size ranges.

Andrew: That’s interesting. We do one all in two…

Vicki: No we don’t, we do two. 

Andrew: Oh, we do two. But one that’s going to get them to toilet training. And then four newborn nappies.

Vicki: No, we do a Delight is a one sized. 

Andrew: Fair enough, but four newborn nappies.

Vashti: And then your flats and your prefolds, which are one size as well.

Andrew: Newborn nappies are so much more popular than the others. Why do we have four and one? Is it because that one is perfect?

Vicki: I wouldn’t say any nappy is perfect. It’s certainly, it’s hugely popular, and one sized nappies, you know a lot of people skip the newborn stage with, they just use disposables for the first six weeks. So to be honest, all of the nappies that I’ve created are all different. There’s not anything similar on the market. And it’s the same with the one sized, I could make a front snapping one sized nappy with rye snaps and that, and just be like everybody else, but I like to do different things, and so that’s…

Andrew: OK, that’s the sole reason we have four types of newborn nappies is because inspiration has hit you four times for a particular type of nappy?

Vicki: Yeah pretty much, pretty much. And it also, you know, there’s, look as an example, this starts to mention our stuff, but there’s nothing out there like a Bam Bam.

Vashti: Oh, Sloom. Sloom is very similar, and Raw have now done their contoured prefold, which is…

Vicki: Kind of the same.

Vashti: …reasonably similar, just slightly different. 

Vicki: So when the Bam Bams were created, there was absolutely nothing like that out there at all. The Bo Peep, I actually do not know of a newborn sized nappy…

Vashti: Not commercially available, work at home mums will do one. So you can get them from your home makers. And I have seen similar style…

Vicki: But as you said, nothing commercially.

Vashti: I haven’t seen anything commercial. 

Vicki: And the all in one was because I kept getting asked for an all in one, and it’s, I mean it’s the same, but different. It’s just styled a little bit different.

Andrew: OK, let’s move the conversation to you, Vashti. Thinking of your store, do you have more newborn nappies in your store than you have nappies that will go to toilet training?

Vashti: No. But I do have a lot, we’ve probably, Hayley did a quick search recently. We have got the largest variety of newborn nappies available in a multi-brand retailer. She went through all the multi-brand retailers recently, and when you look at it, just in our modern style, so not the fitteds, prefolds, flats things, we’ve got Itty, Little Joeys, Seedling Baby, Pebbles, Bo Peeps…

Vicki: Tot Spots?

Vashti: Don’t have, can’t get Tot Spots in Australia at the moment. The distributer, we won’t go there. Trying to think what else is on there. I think Hayley worked out we had 13 different newborn nappies on the shelf.

Andrew: Oh my gosh.

Vicki: Thirteen different brands?

Vashti: Some of them, like Bubblebubs we’ve got two different…

Vicki: Three. 

Vashti: Three if you count the Bam Bams.

Vicki: Well yeah, that is a newborn nappy.

Vashti: Yeah, but I was just counting the modern, not the… if I put fitteds, because I normally put fitteds into a traditional nappy. Because it’s that two part system.

Andrew: No wonder you’re stressed all the time. How do you chase down 13 different brands to get stock all the time? That’s why…

Vashti: It’s love. It’s pure love.

Andrew: That’s why other retailers don’t carry that much, because they don’t have the time to do that.

Vashti: But this is the thing, is that you walk into our store, and everything that we have on our shelf is something that’s been tried and tested. It’s something that we know that works, and we’ve got it for a particular reason. There’s something different about it, to everything else. There’s not much… mind you, we are short one at the moment. We’re waiting on Bare and Boho to arrive, so we don’t have any of them.

Vicki: That’s right, they’ve got a mini.

Vashti: But yeah, we’ve definitely got the biggest range.

Vicki: You never ask me how I manage to organise stock.

Vashti: How come Vicki’s not stressed, it’s just me? Vicki is the one that’s got to get all this stuff in, so that I can put it on my shelf.

Vicki: Its all well and good for us to be making three different types of newborn nappies, or four, and have the Candies and have limited edition ranges and have how many, five different lots of prefolds and flats, and this, that and the other. I’ve got to manage that. That’s actually just as hard, I think that is 90% of my workload at the moment, and forward ordering. You go to order something, oh no sorry, our lead time has blown out to 150 days. 

Vashti: But, but, but it was only supposed to be 60 days? Why has it doubled?

Vicki: That’s right, last year I was ordering those Bo Peeps for Chinese New Year at the beginning of October, and they still didn’t arrive. They still didn’t get finished.

Andrew: It is a bit of a testament that we’ve hardly been out of stock of anything this year.

Vicki: Except for covers. We won’t even go there, but we won’t be out of stock of covers for a long, long time.

Andrew: We were out of Bam Bams for a week, but nobody noticed because we just were slow shipping for a week.

Vashti: I think that was the same week we ran out of Bam Bams. 

Vicki: Yeah. Again, but keeping up with the increased demand for cloth, not running out of stock, is actually really stressful.

Vashti: It’s difficult. And it’s like, you’re sitting there and you’re basing your ordering on what’s been happening in the past, and all of a sudden you have this massive spike, and you’re like, oh crap, can I say that? Oh poo…

Andrew: We were kind of gearing up. At the beginning of 2020, we were gearing up for international sales. Now, those international sales dropped off, but the local sales kicked in, so we had more than enough to supply.

Vicki: That’s only because the contract got pushed back, and I still don’t think it’s on target for where they want it to be. I’m not cocky enough to mention the country or what baby store, or what. It’s an international…

Vashti: It’s going to be so exciting when it comes off.

Vicki: Absolutely, absolutely. But they were hoping to open all of their stores in March. And did not happen. 

Vashti: But no, things like that, that really does throw it. Because you order based on particular things happening, you’ve also had all the expos this year have dropped off, so you’ve ordered all based on your expos, like 16 expos a year, you do now.

Vicki: Yep.

Andrew: That means that we’ve just got wet bags.

Vicki: Wet bags and change mats coming out…

Andrew: …of our eyeballs.

Vicki: Because that’s what sells a lot at expos. Same with swim wear as well. We sell a lot of swim wear at expos, and what that does, and the reason that we have so much, is it gets people to the stand, where we can start to talk about cloth. What’s this used for? 

Vashti: But that’s really not talking about newborn nappies, is it? We’ve gone completely off topic here.

Andrew: Yeah. So what are some ways, the best ways to bring down the cost of newborn nappies?

Vicki: Second hand.

Vashti: Second hand.

Andrew: Second hand?

Vashti: Yeah, definitely.

Vicki: Or if that’s not your thing, sell them. Look after them and sell them.

Andrew: But I hear you pay more if you buy them second hand. 

Vashti: You can, but you can also, I know when I sold some of Kylan’s nappies, I sold them off at dirt cheap prices, and the woman who got them was just blown away. She was wanting more nappies off me, because she said that there were in immaculate condition. Now we’d used that particular, I’ll say it, it was Bam Bams. I’d used my Bam Bams intensely for four months, because Kylan was a big Buddha bubby. He was born at 3815, which is 8 pound 11, and he hit 8 kilos at four months. We still used our Bam Bams until four and a half months.

Andrew: Were you still picking him up?

Vashti: I was. He was a big boy. Braithe was born 4.850, which is 10 pound 11. But he didn’t hit 8 kilos until five and a half months.

Vicki: Had I actually gone to term, my kids would have been that sort of size. When you have a 35 plus five weeker, that is 7 pound 2, you’re pretty confident that you were going to have a 10 pound baby, at term. 

Vashti: But yeah, we used our Bam Bams intensely for those first four months. They were Brent’s favourite nappy in the newborn stage, and it’s like, they were in immaculate condition, and the woman who bought them was blown away with how close to new that they looked. Because we cared for them. I didn’t leave them sitting for three to four days between washes. I washed every second day without fail, because that’s the best way to care for your nappies. Don’t leave them extended periods of time.

Andrew: We didn’t do that. Actually, funny thing, we just got rid of our nappies that we had…

Vashti: I found a roller tub that’s full of nappies. There’s some Bubblebubs originals in there that you sewed. 

Andrew: What are some other ways to bring the cost down? Find a friend?

Vicki: Make your own.

Andrew: Make your own, perfect.

Vicki: Make your own, there’s lots of patterns online.

Vashti: There’s an amazing group on Facebook called Make Your Own MCMs and Woollies as well. There’s some really, really helpful parents in there that will guide you.

Vicki: I’ll help. I’ll happily help.

Vashti: Vicki will help.

Vicki: If you’ve got problems with your overlocker. I’ve been sewing since I was eight, so you know, someone, I say this because it’s a really common thing, where the overlocker is looping, and usually it’s just not on the tension dials, or it needs rethreading and stuff like that. Just reach out, I’ll ask.

Andrew: To be fair though, I don’t think people have the same sewing machines at home that you have here at the warehouse.

Vashti: No, but Vicki started on home sewing machines.

Andrew: I was going to say…

Vashti: These are industrials.

Andrew: These were $3,000, like second hand.

Vashti: Yeah, but these are industrial machines because Vicki was sewing at an industrial level when she bought these.

Vicki: Yeah, I needed, the only thing that you’ll have troubles with, with a domestic overlocker, and I really found this, was cutting through that bamboo. Because it’s usually quite thick. So once you get past, sometimes even two layers, depending on the density of it, it can get really, really hard to sew. That’s why I ended up with industrial machines. That just cuts it like paper.

Andrew: These machines hardly get used now. Maybe we should start renting these machines out. We’ll rent it out like some hotel rooms, by the hour.

Vicki: Yeah, can do that, do you want to move them?

Andrew: I didn’t say move them. They’ve got to come here.

Vashti: Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Vicki: They’re ridiculously heavy.

Vashti: Yeah, make your own, find a friend, if you’ve got…

Vicki: Share a stash, Jenna did that.

Vashti: If you’ve got some really good friends, you can all, if you’re not planning your babies at the same time, if you’re having them offset, then yeah, you can all go in and yes, someone gets them first and someone gets them last, but…

Vicki: If they’re looked after, it doesn’t…

Andrew: Bound to be some middle people in there somewhere too.

Vashti: Yeah, you don’t need to pay for the stash yourself. 

Andrew: Whatever, rent them.

Vicki: Of course.

Vashti: Definitely, there is…

Andrew: Amy was here last month and you’ve forgotten already.

Vashti: Sorry. No, there’s Cloth Nappy Hire Australia. Actually there’s a few hire places around Australia now, but Amy is the first and she’s doing an amazing job, absolutely amazing. I would definitely have a look at Amy. She can help you out with the right package for you. She does eight week packages, which is a perfect amount of time to get an idea of what you like. You can get a mixed stash from her with a bit of everything in it, and then you know what you’re going to like. She even does one size fits most hire packages, so not just newborns.

Andrew: Yeah, every time somebody just says, oh yeah, get different brands, I personally hate that. Because when I was changing nappies, it’s like what goes with what, what goes with what? It was just so much easier just to have them all the same, for me. That’s just a guy’s perspective.

Vashti: But some people, putting them together can be a little bit confusing when you’ve got several different brands in your stash, and especially when you’re first starting out. But once you’ve been doing it for a little while you get to know what goes with what.

Andrew: No, the whole time. I hated it the whole time.

Vashti: There’s some brands, like I know Itty has colour codes snaps. They’ll have red snaps on the trifold, and then red snaps in the shell, so you know that red goes to red. And then yellow snaps on the hour glass and yellow snaps in the shell, so you can colour code your snaps.

Andrew: That’s true, but we had stuffies as well.

Vashti: Well you can stuff anything in a pocket.

Andrew: That’s right, you can. And I found that out, you can too. But then of course, then you’ve used the stuff part that went with the shell, and now you’ve got nothing to use on that shell, so you’ve wasted a nappy.

Vashti: No, you just trifold what was supposed to be in the pocket, into the shell.

Andrew: No, some nappies wouldn’t swap. I don’t remember exactly.

Vicki: We had these gorgeous shark pups, I think they were called. 

Vashti: Yeah, the rafts?

Vicki: And I loved them. They’re the only pockets, because I hate pockets, they’re the only pocket nappy that we had, and Andrew hated them. But they were so cute.

Vashti: They were gorgeous, the rafts.

Andrew: You were happy to put them on, you didn’t want to take them off.

Vicki: No, and that’s what I hate about pockets, is actually pulling…

Vashti: The insert out while there’s poo all over it.

Vicki: It’s disgusting.

Vashti: And you don’t want to, if you’re using a squirt to get the poo out you don’t want to leave the insert in there while you hose that.

Vicki: Because it gets soaked.

Vashti: Then it’s dripping wet.

Andrew: And another tip that I’ve probably said before, have your mouth closed. 

Vashti: Yeah. Well you can get shields. You know the cones that you get for your dogs? They work perfect. We had a customer who, she got a plastic clipboard, and got one of those cones, and hot glued it, she cut it in half and hot glued it onto the clipboard, so that she  used to clip her nappy onto the clip board and then hose through the neck piece of the cone. So because there’s companies out there who make these special shields for using your nappy sprayers, and she was like, I’m not going to pay $50 for that. I’ll make my own. So she went to Office Works…

Vicki: Hurt her dog, so she had the cone.

Vashti: Well she had a cone at home, and she’s like, I can do this. And literally, she made it for under $5.

Andrew: Well actually cleaning out the garage, I think I found four or five cones. So everybody’s got cones, just check your garage.

Vashti: There you go. But there’s ways to do it, so that you don’t get spray back.

Andrew: OK, cool. Hey guys, I think we’ll finish in that [beep] note. 

Vicki: You’re going to have to bleep that. 

Andrew: Thanks, Vashti.

Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks, Vicki.

Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.

Andrew: Bye everybody.

[Music]

Andrew: 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. Vicki can be contacted 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.au. If you would like to give us feedback, go to nappyleaks.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. 

[Music] 

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