Behind the brand

#76 Protect our oceans! CHOOSE CLOTH.

Getting to know April

In this article we will meet April, a mom,,wife, and small business owner! April lives in Newcastle Australia close to the beach. Her love for the ocean is what encourages her to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. April and her family love to be outdoors! Whether it’s camping, fishing, or even golfing!

First I need to know how you came up with the name poops and giggles? It’s so creative and funny!

I thought of so many names, but wanted something different to what was out there. We like to keep things fun, light and humorous, so we wanted a name that reflect that. I thought about what Cloth nappies were all about and at the end of the day it’s a poop holder which made me giggle, that’s when Poops & Giggles popped into my head.

How did you become an advocate for sustainable living?

I would get so upset when I would see rubbish, especially in the oceans. I wanted a way to reduce pollution, but also find a way to bond with my daughter, as a new mum. That’s when I thought I’d start a cloth nappy business and help other families reduce their footprint, even if it’s one nappy.

Besides cloth diapering what other low waste/sustainable choices have you made?

We use try to use as many reusable products as we can, like wipes coffee keep cups and canvas bags for shopping. We avoid buying veggies that are wrapped in plastic. We also compost regularly and try to make sure we recycle correctly. We also have a big veggie garden and grow a lot of our own produce.

What does using cloth nappies mean to you?

It means a chance for a better future. It means I can sleep better knowing I’m not contributing to landfill. Best of all, it means another type of wardrobe I get to pick for my daughter. ‘Yeah there’s cute tops and pants for babies, but have you seen my babies nappy?

What was your biggest influence in making the choice to use cloth nappies?

My daughter, she is the whole reason I wanted to use cloth nappies. Not just to dress her in gorgeous nappies, but it felt good knowing this will positively impact her later years, while teaching her sustainable habits.

What are the things you are most thankful for in life?

That I can hug and kiss my family every single day. There are some people who aren’t so lucky and I’m so thankful that I can.

Isolation

How are you choosing to spend your time during isolation?

We have a big veranda and backyard, so we spend most of it outside, drawing with big chalk or swimming in the paddling pool

How has life changed for you since the implementation of lockdowns associated with coronavirus?

The no travelling has been the hardest part to deal with. We used to go away nearly every weekend. Also, not being able to visit friends that don’t live nearby.

How has life changed for you and your family as a result of COVID-19? Has it resulted in a new outlook on life for you? If so, can you please explain.

We realise we took for granted the ability to travel whenever and wherever and visit people. It was so easy to push your plans with people to the following weekend, but now we haven’t been able to catch up with friends for months. Once we get out of lockdown we will be visiting people more!

How have you adjusted to life in isolation?

Being a young family, it hasn’t been too much of an adjustment – we have a lot of fun with each other so we’re lucky enough to not feel too isolated.

Have you picked up any new hobbies during isolation? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

My mind is always jumping from different projects I want to take up, from starting a T-shirt printings business, to wanting to learn to sew.

As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?

I wanted to collect items from the bushlands and sell it in a craft store

Your Instagram account is all about cloth diapers and your small business. what does it mean to you to share this side of your life?

Only a very small percentage of people use cloth nappies, so I like to use our Instagram account as a way to not only reach parents who use cloth nappies, but parents who are looking to make a switch or try cloth nappies. This way I can provide photos and resources for anyone who’s new or wanting to try cloth nappies.

Would you say that having children has affected your mental health? If so, how, and how have you worked to overcome this?

Absolutely, having children pushes your patience to the limits. Your emotions all over the place from the hormones of bringing a child into this world, you feel highs of love and lows of from being so tired. I just make sure I take 5 mins in the shower to breath and decompress.

Motherhood/ Parenthood

Can you tell us about your motherhood journey?

For the most part it’s been very positive, thankfully no big dramas – lots of emotions but it’s heavily outweighed by the amount of joy that she brings.

What’s the best part about having children?

Sharing experiences together.It means the world that I can share my journey with someone that I love endlessly.

What would you say is your parenting philosophy?

Every child is different and should be treated as such

How would you describe your identity change since becoming a mum? Have you struggled with defining who you are and how have you dealt with this?

Did you find motherhood came quite naturally to you? 

My identity changed a lot, I was only responsible for myself, but now I have someone else that I’m responsible for. I went from going out and drinking frequently, to hardly at all. At first it was an adjustment, but I’ve learnt to appreciate the other ways to have fun.

How do you manage the juggle in your household?

On the days when I’m not working, I try to keep a bit of a routine where I’ll clean in the morning and everything else in the afternoon.

How do you make the balance of motherhood and career work? Do you have any tips for mothers attempting to do the same?

Try and schedule time and stick to it while working around your child’s schedule. I try to pump out work while she’s asleep, and then housework while she’s active and try to get her involved by helping. Such as helping to put clothes in the washing machine. But most importantly, try not to put so much pressure on yourself.

What are some of your challenges with finding a work life balance?

That every day is different, sometimes you won’t get anything done, and that’s ok

How do you make it ‘work’ being a mother, a businesswoman… is there anything you have learnt or advice you can offer?

I am lucky that I am able to work on projects while Molly is with my husband. But I try to involve Molly in my projects, that way she can learn. 

How has becoming a mother shifted the way you think about your career?

It’s made me realise that having a career isn’t the most important thing in the world.

What are your time management tips? How do you get everything done in a day?

I don’t, haha – but I try to stick to a routine where I clean in the morning, and do tasks in the afternoon.

When it comes to managing it all – what is your secret?

It helps if you have an actual interest in what you’re doing, it pushes you to keep going. Rather than scrolling through your phone, work on your business

What is the biggest challenge you face in terms of time management?

Having a child means things can be unpredictable, and every day is different so things don’t always go to plan.

Do you feel mother guilt? If so, how do you manage it?

Yes, every time I’m working on my business rather than playing with Molly, but I just tell myself that it’s not always about her and you need time for yourself too.

What is your experience with mum guilt?

I used to feel it all the time when I was on my phone/laptop especially when I first worked on my business. But it’s not as bad anymore.

What is your best advice for acing life as a mother?

To realise if you’re child is happy then you’ve aced it

What is your advice for parents pushing themselves to ‘do it all’?

Take it easy on yourself and that you don’t have to, reach out to family and friends.

Why would you say “enjoy every moment” is not good parenting advice?

Because like life, it’s not always good. If you don’t take in the bad moments, you won’t be able to enjoy the good moments.

You & your childhood

What was your own childhood like? Did anyone around you use cloth diapers growing up?

I lived on an Island in the Philippines while I was a baby, so there was a lot of nappy-free time, but once we moved to Australia, I believe they used disposables. It was the early 90s and disposables were big then.

What’s one thing you did as a child you like to now share with your own children?

I have a love for water, I was a water baby, it’s great to see my daughter love water just as much as me

How does your childhood differ to the way you’re raising your own children? Do you subscribe to any parenting philosophies?

There’s more focus on eco-friendly values in our household, but everything else is similar, like the value of money and being kind to others.

Future

What hopes and dreams do you have for your children?

I hope they feel confident enough to pursue whatever passion they have. To be kind, but also to stand up for themselves. I hope the live in a world where people make more eco-conscious, sustainable choices. 

What concerns you more about the future than before you had a child?
That there won’t be a future, either from destruction, climate change or war.

What worries you about parenting girls today?

That people will take advantage of them, there has been so much progress but we still have a long way to go to reach full equality. 

We’re parenting in a challenging age. What worries you most about raising a daughter in 2020?

My biggest challenge doesn’t necessarily rest on her being a girl, but the fact that she won’t have as much of a chance to socialise due to lockdowns.

How do you plan to speak to your daughter about the ocean, our environment in general, and our future in this world?

We incorporate it in everyday life, by choosing to make more eco-friendly choices, being kind to animals, picking up rubbish at the beach. Also, through books and videos.

What clichés of motherhood do you think are unfair?

That we can do it all, and have no reason to be tired by the end of the day

Business

Why did you decided to start a small business? I always wanted a small company I could proudly call my own. Being pregnant at the time, I wanted it to be something that I could involve my daughter in and loved the idea of cloth nappies, so I thought – that’s it and I just dived in.

When did you start? How long did you spend planning before opening?

I started around November 2019 while I was pregnant, but took a break for a few months after Molly was born and officially launched in April 2020.  

How did you come up with the design of your nappy?

I wanted to start with a super easy nappy design that anyone wanting to start cloth nappies could master, and I felt the Pocket nappy was the best way to start… from there I wanted one for the older market, that’s when we introduced the Ai2/Pocket nappies.

Why did you choose to name your shop Poops and Giggles?

I thought of so many names, but wanted something different to what was out there. We like to keep things fun, light and humorous, so we wanted a name that reflect that. I thought about what Cloth nappies were all about and at the end of the day it’s a poop holder which made me giggle, that’s when Poops & Giggles popped into my head.

Can you describe the benefits of the style of cloth nappy you design?

Pocket Nappy – Simple to use, fast-dry wicking lining so it’s great for anyone looking to dip their toe into Cloth nappies, without feeling too overwhelmed.

Ai2/Pocket Hybrid – Comes with 4-layers of absorbency and plenty of room to boost if wanting to use it as a night nappy. Also, because the lining is Bamboo and takes a little longer to absorb it helps order babies prepare for Toilet-training as it helps them feel wet.

Why are reusable products so important?

So many reasons, but to reduce landfill. That is the most important aspect of using reusable. Even clothes – we throw out 6,000kg of clothes every 10 mins in Australia. That’s why I also have a small section in our shop that sells pre-loved clothes.

Because you sell reusable products, is it hard to ever use a single use item?

What do you hope for the future of cloth nappies?

To grow of course but also lose the ‘gross’ stigma that surrounds it. 

Your cloth journey

What compelled you to become a cloth family?

There was never really a thought that I wouldn’t use it. I came for the environmental aspect and stayed for the patterns.

What makes you feel good about using cloth nappies?

Knowing that I’m helping with the reduction of plastic in the world. I see those images of plastic islands in the middle of the ocean or stuck to animal and it would make me sick. Absolutely, the less plastic in the world the better. 

What has been the hardest part about using cloth nappies?

Convincing people that it’s not gross! There are still a few of my friends that find the concept of reusable nappies icky and a lot of work.  

What has been most influential part to your cloth journey?

My other friends that also use cloth nappies along with seeing other parents use it. It’s wonderful feeling part of a special community.

What have you discovered recently you wish you had discovered earlier in your cloth journey?

I would have tried going full-time earlier, but otherwise nothing. I’ve been really happy with my journey so far. I was also a bit late to discover the silicone brush – I was just rolling the poo into the toilet and it would get pretty messy.

What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you started out in cloth?

I did a lot of research before I started, but I wish I knew more about the material of inserts so I could have used and paired them for boosting properly in the beginning to avoid leaks.

What role does your partner play in your cloth routine?

He helps with the hanging and taking nappies off the line, apart from that I’m doing most of the washing. 

What is the most encouraging comment you have received from someone supporting your cloth journey, and how did it make you feel?

That it’s all trial and error when I was getting leaks and couldn’t work why. Turns out, Molly was just wetting more and I needed to trial a new fit and boost the nappy.

What is the most uninformed comment you’ve received from someone not supporting reusable nappies, and how did you respond?

I had a comment from a lady on a post saying reusable nappies looked “hot and cumbersome” I just responded saying reusables are actually feel cooler and the bamboo lining from our nappies is more breathable than a plastic-bag feeling.

What are your greatest cloth hacks?

Hanging a wet bag next to the change bed so you can place the nappy straight into the bag. I then don’t empty it until the evening when I go to do a pre-wash.

Place your inserts along your forearm, and slide your whole arm into the pocket nappy to easily stuff your pocket nappies.

What do you consider to be the key to success with cloth?

Trying a few different brands and types of nappies, as no one nappy works best. It will depend on your bub.

Many parents express feelings of overwhelm when considering cloth – what advice do you have for them?

Take a break if you need to, then reach out to support groups (there’s heaps on Facebook) or friends to work out a good routine and finding the best fit.

Practical advice

What do you do with the poo? It’s a question you get asked a lot – please, share your response.

Yes that’s definitely up there with the top 10 questions. First, I let them know that you’re actually meant to flush ALL poo, whether it’s in a reusable or disposable nappy, but of course it’s much easier to throw away a whole disposable. My go to advice with poo – if bub isn’t on solids just rinse the poo in the laundry sink and throw into the wash. If bub has started solids then using a silicone brush, scrape the poo into the toilet, rinse the nappy in the laundry sink and then throw in the wash.

How did you come to find a cloth wash routine that suited you and your family? Any tips for others?

I worked around my work schedule – I do a pre-wash every afternoon after work as I don’t need the sun because they don’t need to be hung out. I just put all those nappy into my main wash basket, then every Wednesday (when I only work half day) I do a Main wash. I then continue to do a Pre-wash every day until Sat/Sun where I do another main wash.

What is your take on the cost of reusable nappies compared to disposables?

They may seem expensive at first, but there are a lot of affordable nappy brands out there and in the long run you will be saving way more than disposables. 

Would you recommend cloth nappies as a starting point for new parents hoping to make more eco conscious decisions?

Definitely, using cloth nappies it’s a great way to be more eco-friendly and a great way to meet other eco conscious families.

What do you think needs to change for more families to come on board using cloth nappies?

More rebates and incentives from local government to use cloth nappies.

What do you think needs to happen to make cloth mainstream?

More rebates and incentives from local government to use cloth nappies.

What other eco changes has cloth promoted you to make?

Going along the reusable path and purchasing more second hand items. Also taking your own water bottle and coffee cup.

Can you share some of the ways you attempt to lower your family’s footprint on the Earth?

We use compost and use biodegradable bin liners, use reusable coffee cups and bring my own drink bottles. Use my own grocery bags, using eco-friendly beauty products.

Eco Q’s

How would you describe your approach to sustainability?

A staggered one, unfortunately we’re not going to be able to end pollution in one day or year or maybe even in my lifetime – but if we can all do a bit and it turn into a lot.

What did your first steps to a more sustainable lifestyle look like?

It started out with buying more second-hand items, like clothes and accessories. I couldn’t believe how much clothing went to landfill, it was such a waste!

Where can our readers connect with you on Facebook and Instagram?

https://www.facebook.com/poopandgiggles/

https://www.instagram.com/poops.and.giggles/?hl=en

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