Due to Covid-19 Nappy Leaks was unable to have our usual live audience, so we have a special guest, Keryn. She is Bubblebubs’ Cloth Nappy Support Specialist and comes across all sorts of questions from families starting out with cloth nappies through to those who have used it across multiple children. She calls in to join Vicki and Vashti, discussing with the ladies the top 3 questions she gets enquiries for.
Is there such thing as a night nappy? I’ve heard some people talk about them but I don’t know if there’s anything specifically different about them or just a different way for bubs to wear them.
What is the best nappy for babies 4 months old?
One of the snaps has fallen off my nappy, what can I do?
Transcription: Nappy Leaks Live Dec 2020
Andrew: Welcome to Nappy Leaks with Vicki Simpson and Vashti Wadwell. How are you doing, Vicki?
Vicki: I’m doing really well, Andrew, how are you?
Andrew: Excellent How are you doing, Vashti?
Vashti: Good thanks, Andrew, how are you?
Andrew: Good thank you. Keryn, are you still there?
Keryn: I’m sure here.
Andrew: Excellent. Keryn is our cloth nappy expert…
Andrew: What cool name did we think for her?
Keryn: Cloth nappy specialist.
Andrew: Cloth nappy specialist.
Keryn: Support, I provide support.
Andrew: Support. She answers 99.9% of the questions that come through the website.
Keryn: Pretty much, yeah.
Vicki: And about 100% of my stupid ones, too.
Andrew: That’s right, yes. So Keryn, let’s kick things off with this live episode. What’s your first question?
Keryn: This one is a little bit of a long question. Is there such a thing as a night nappy? I’ve heard some people talk about them, but I don’t know if there’s anything specifically different about them, or just a different way for bubs to wear them.
Vicki: They’re just generally thicker. So instead of having say two layers, they’ll have three or four layers, which also increases the drying time. So yeah, pretty much they’re a thicker nappy, if I had to summarise it in three words or less, which is very unlike me.
Andrew: It’s a podcast, you can take as many words as you want.
Vicki: It costs us more to get it transcribed then.
Andrew: That’s right, yeah, yeah.
Vicki: Kirsty loves me.
Andrew: I feel like I’m wasting money by just talking.
Vicki: But yeah, you agree, it’s just a bigger…
Vashti: Three to four layers is a bit circumspect. Most of the dedicated night nappies have probably 12 to 16 layers in them.
Vicki: Oh sorry, I’m actually talking, like individually. Non pull apart. Gosh, no.
Keryn: Like say a trifold or a prefold then a fitted, layers of fabric.
Vicki: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Mind you, if I’m making a night nappy, I wouldn’t be sewing more than three layers together, it just takes too long to dry, and that middle layer takes a long, long time to dry, so I’d be trying to make it as pull-apart-able as possible, so you’ve got your trifold and you’ve got your booster. So it means that generally there’s a bit more work to put them together, but drying time is always a consideration.
Keryn: You can get a better clean with that as well by having less layers.
Vicki: You could sew 16… I’m looking at my poor overlocker over there, I don’t know that you could sew 16 layers together. But you could, potentially, sew eight to ten layers together. But it would take three months to dry, even in the dryer. You would just never, ever get it fully dry.
Andrew: Because you’d never penetrate the centre, would you?
Vicki: Exactly, exactly. And by the time you did, I reckon it would go mouldy. Because it would just be wet for so long, even if you took it off.
Andrew: And it’s dark in there too, perfect place for mould to grow.
Vicki: Even out in the sun, it just would not penetrate those layers.
Keryn: So looking for a multilayered nappy basically.
Vicki: Yeah, that you’ve got to put together.
Keryn: Is there anything, a different way that babies need to wear them too, compared to a day nappy?
Vicki: No. Unless they’re cowboys.
Vashti: They just go on the bum. They’re definitely going to be thicker through the legs, so they do get a little bit of a cowboy walk going.
Vicki: Which is good for the hips. Really good for the hips.
Keryn: I think also one little difference as well, it’s important for day nappies, but it’s particularly important for night nappies, I find, is just to make sure that that leg seal is…
Keryn: …perfect, because you don’t want pyjamas or sheets to be caught up into that elastics and wick.
Vicki: And if you do, just put a towel down.
Vashti: Yep, wouldn’t be the first.
Vicki: Wouldn’t be the last. I’ll vouch for that.
Vashti: Double make the bed. Mattress, protector sheet, mattress, protector sheet, and then a wet mat on top. First accident, you pull the wet mat off. Second accident you pull the top sheet and mattress protector off.
Vicki: And that goes with disposables as well.
Andrew: We learned a great trick the other day. Like, with our eight year old. We’ve currently got two mattresses on his bed, because…
Vashti: Just take one mattress off.
Andrew: Basically, yeah.
Vicki: We literally do.
Andrew: We do, the dog doesn’t do it anymore, we’ve finally got the dog out of the habit of peeing on the mattress, but when the dog used to pee on the bed, we used to take the whole top mattress off, and the bottom mattress has got a sheet on it, ready to go.
Vicki: Because the dog, being a male dog, he felt that he was more dominant. It’s taken a long time to train him out of that, that he’s actually at the bottom of the food chain. So he would actually pee on Gabe’s bed, as a sign of dominance. So yeah, we did… but it’s also a good spot to have a spare mattress for when you have visitors…
Vashti: There you go.
Vicki: …is you just take, literally, take the mattress off and it’s all made, ready to rock and roll.
Andrew: Yeah, I wish we’d learned that when we were younger. When we had kids.
Vicki: Yeah, but his bed, the reason it happened, OK, was because he would not stop jumping on his bed. And guess what he did?
Vashti: He cracked the slats?
Vicki: He broke all the slats, and the bed started falling apart.
Andrew: All the wood under there just basically ended up a pile of timber.
Vicki: You know the car bed that I made into a Batman bed, that I spent hours making him a Batman bed, because nobody had a Batman bed, and he broke it. So now, with actually having the two mattresses, it brings it back up to the right height, because it’s only a car bed. It’s not like it’s, you know, some massive big bed. But yeah, he would not stop jumping on that bed.
Vashti: It’s OK, we had to replace three or four slats on Braith’s bed, because the kids jumped from, we had the two…
Keryn: I’m looking forward to this.
Vashti: …we had the two beds side by side. Well not side by side, but in the same room, there was only sort of a narrow path between them, and the kids would jump from one bed to the other. One of the beds had steel frame, so it was OK, but the other one was wooden.
Vicki: This is the problem with slat beds. It’s OK with spring beds.
Andrew: I don’t know what started it. Was it when we bought the trampoline that it started, or was he jumping on it before then?
Vashti: Probably jumping on it before then.
Vicki: No, I have actually got videos of him jumping in his cot. You know, where he’d bounce, bounce, bounce. And we thought it was funny. Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, and then jump, he’d fall.
Andrew: Not funny now.
Andrew: Actually, I remember Abby bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, like holding the rail and jumping. And I turned around and all of a sudden, I turned around and she’s on the floor.
Vicki: Oh, really?
Andrew: Yeah, she jumped so high that she’d actually gone over the top and landed on the ground.
Vicki: That’s funny.
Andrew: Well, might not have been funny, but funny now.
Vicki: It is.
Andrew: She landed OK…
Keryn: I think there’s some gymnasts on your hands there.
Andrew: Like, then it was like, how did you get from that position to that position without breaking anything?
Vashti: Kids are pliable. They really are.
Vicki: They are.
Keryn: Well, I haven’t got to the second mattress yet, but I’ve been, I use brolly sheets, which are, they’ve got PUL on the bottom and then some bamboo fabric and a cotton top on top, so they’re really absorbent, you can just take them out, which I really like as well, for nights. But yeah, no second mattress.
Andrew: Yeah, yet.
Vicki: He’s still only little, he doesn’t weigh… I don’t know what an eight year old weighs, poor child.
Andrew: He can jump high enough that he almost hit his head on the roof.
Vicki: Yeah, he can.
Vashti: Oh my gosh.
Vicki: He really can.
Andrew: On the trampoline as well. OK Keryn, what’s your second question?
Keryn: What is the best nappy for babies four months old is one of the questions I had this week.
Vicki: Oh, that’s that transition stage. I would never sell anybody with a four month old a newborn nappy. Not on your life, no matter how small that baby was. I’d sell them a one sized, or a medium, a small medium sized nappy, simply because they just will not get the value out of a…
Vashti: The absorbency as well.
Vicki: Yeah, exactly.
Vashti: Even though, because I do have one customer whose daughter has just gone 12 months and she’s only six kilos. She was born prem, she had some issues, hasn’t really gained weight properly. She’s six kilos and still fits in her newborn nappies beautifully with plenty of room to grow…
Vicki: But she out wets them.
Vashti: But she out wets them. So even though she’s still small, she’s got a bigger bladder, and the newborn nappies just don’t have the absorbency. She’s changing at least hourly on a newborn nappy. Whereas a one size fits most, it’s going to be a little bit bulkier, but she’s going to get the absorbency she needs.
Vicki: It’s almost unethical. I even have people come to me with four week old babies, and I go, you’re not going to get your money’s worth out of newborn nappies unless you have another child. I still won’t sell them a newborn.
Vashti: Once bubby hits five kilos.
Andrew: It’s funny, you know, when they’ve got a four month old and you say that to them, they’re not willing to commit to another child yet.
Vicki: That’s because there’s a regression at four months. Get them at three.
Andrew: I don’t know, we’d better stick with the one size fits most them.
Vicki: The only time I would be selling a newborn nappy would be one of the bigger newborn nappies.
Vashti: If they’re on the smaller side.
Vicki: Yeah, and only if they were going to have more kids. Or I’d suggest buying them second hand, or yeah, that is definitely one of those ethical cards that I just couldn’t do it.
Vashti: I’m of the opinion that once bubby hits 5 kilos even though they’ve still got some of your bigger newborn…
Vicki: Or even 4 kilos.
Vashti: Yeah, you’ve got some of your bigger sized newborn nappies that go up to 7 and a half, 8 kilos. There’s still no way that I would sell a newborn nappy past the 5 kilo mark.
Vicki: You’ve just wasted, well not waste that time, that month, that first month of not using those nappies, I feel. Same as you.
Andrew: So if I summarise, the answer to the question is, anything but a newborn nappy is best for a four month old.
Vicki: Anything but a newborn nappy.
Andrew: Anything but a newborn nappy, OK. OK Keryn, what’s your next question?
Keryn: One of the snaps has fallen off my nappy. What can I do?
Vicki: Re-snap it.
Vashti: So you can buy little hand snap presses online, or if you live close to, get in contact with your preferred nappy retailer. Most of them have snap presses. If you don’t live close to somebody you can always send the shell back to them and they can replace that snap for you.
Vicki: Just the shell, you don’t need the inserts and all of that sort of stuff.
Vashti: If you do live close to your favourite nappy retailer, then head in. I don’t I know a single retailer that doesn’t have a snap press.
Vicki: If it’s an internal snap, it does involve unpicking to get into that, so you might need more a work at home mum, we do that. We do that here, because I can sew. It’s just a straight line, it’s not hard to unpick and repick a straight line. But yeah, that’s the only thing with the hidden snaps. But they’re less likely to snap than your…
Vashti: The external ones.
Vicki: The male snaps.
Vashti: But yeah, get it fixed.
Vicki: Don’t throw it out, don’t throw it out.
Vashti: If it’s a rise snap and you’ve already gone past those risers, don’t worry about it, you don’t need it.
Vicki: Until you do, for the next one. Unless it’s the last baby.
Vashti: Well yeah, if you’re planning on more bubbies, then yes, you want to get it fixed for your next one. You know we had, one of the girls, Jess, she brought in a shell to us the other day. So she bought it September last year, so it’s been in rotation for a full 12 months. And a couple of weeks ago she brought it in saying, I just got stabbed by a snap. And I’m like, what do you mean? And she goes, I went to put this nappy on, and I got stabbed. She’s been using this nappy for 12 months and there was like a stud, so had the post on it and everything like that, and it had not stabbed her in 12 months. It was inside the shell and was sitting there trying to find where it had broken off going, but it couldn’t have broken off, because it’s still got the full post on it, like the shop fit.
Vicki: Must have just got sewn into it.
Vashti: Yeah, it got sewn in somehow.
Keryn: Like a snap that hadn’t been pressed down.
Vashti: Yeah, 12 months she was using it. So we’re sitting there going OK, we could snap it down, but then you’ve got a snap rotating around in there somewhere, and it might do damage when we do press it down. So one of the girls took it home, unstitched it, took it out.
Keryn: I was really surprised when I learned how snaps worked actually. When you’re used to them, it just seems normal, but what there is, is there’s a cap which goes on both sets of snaps, and then there’s essentially a male and a female, work that out everyone, piece. And they have like a…
Vashti: A sharp post.
Keryn: Yeah, a post…
Vicki: That gets squished.
Keryn: Yeah, you squish it so the plastic, it’s fairly soft, I guess, because you have this thing that presses down the middle and squishes the plastic, and that’s what keeps the two pieces together on either side of the fabric. So I didn’t actually realise that until I snapped myself, and did snaps myself.
Vicki: You don’t know what you don’t know.
Keryn: Yeah, and a lot of people are really surprised, they look at them and think they’re super difficult. But that’s all it is, it’s just two pieces that get squished together, basically.
Andrew: Didn’t we have a lucky coin that was sewn into one of our nappies once?
Vicki: We did, but how long did that go undetected? We actually had…
Andrew: Yeah, she sewed it in, so then it went past QC, they didn’t find it. Then it went and got packed and shipped.
Vicki: It was like two years old, the nappy itself was two years old before we found this lucky coin that was sewn into a nappy. I think she got the job after that. And she actually asked me, we took it out and we had a look at it, took some photos and all this, and she asked me to sew it back in, because it had been clearly put there over Chinese New Year as a good luck charm, and she was going for a job interview the next day, and she just took that as a sign, which is why she wanted it back in the nappy. So yes, my seamstresses…
Keryn: I wonder if there are any other nappies floating around with good luck things inside.
Vicki: I don’t know, I don’t know. My seamstresses sew good luck coins into nappies, they don’t kind of write notes of help me. Which is really, in card games and stuff like that, it’s really nice, it’s a nice change. So yeah.
Andrew: Nice. I think we’ll finish up there. Thank you, Vicki.
Vicki: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: That’s your name, isn’t it? Vicki, yeah.
Andrew: Thank you [pause, laughter] Vashti.
Vashti: Thanks, Andrew.
Andrew: It’s hard to tell who you are when you’re smiling like that.
Vashti: What are you…
Vicki: It’s still the boobs.
Andrew: Thank you, Keryn.
Keryn: Thank you, it’s been my pleasure.
Andrew: Bye bye.
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.