I made my first tube pad for Aidan back in 2013. I was so tired of the leakage on his clothes and the never ending granulation issues and sore skin - there had to be a better solution than just using gauze!
We were a cloth nappy family so figured what works well for cloth nappies would work for some sort of tube pad. My first pads were made from cotton flannel (or flannelette as its also known) and the good old fashioned white cloth nappy, the flat kind - we're going back a few years here! These nappies were great, we had used them on our 2 older kids before Aidan and being cotton, you could boil them, bleach them without damaging them so they were still in pretty good condition. So I cut some of them up and used them as an absorbent layer in-between the softer cotton flannel. I didn't have access to the plastic KAM snaps I use now, just the metal ones which were smacked in place with a hammer and snap tool - the KAM snaps are so much better! Speaking of snaps, all snaps are applied with a snap press machine not pliers.
These simple pads worked and we went from changing Aidan's pad every couple of hours to 12 hourly within a couple of weeks once his leakage settled down, soon after we moved to one pad for 24 hours and his granulation has not returned since. The pads not only help in absorbing any leakage but they act as a barrier between the Mic-key button or PEG and the skin itself lessening the chance of irritation which means less granulation! My pads also don't have the edge stitching around the middle opening to help lessen any irritation for those with sensitive skin.
One of my first pads!
Fast forward a few years when I started Tubie Love in 2015 and I began selling the pads with the bright, fun cotton fabric top layer, a middle 'magic' layer of a bamboo/cotton fabric which was great at not only absorbing moisture but wicking it down into the fibres and away from the skin and the cotton flannel backing. A few years ago, I looked into options for sensitive skin and started offering the bamboo velour as an alternative backing fabric.
Bamboo Velour backing fabric
Which brings me to one of the most asked questions - should I order the cotton flannel or bamboo velour pads? It's personal preference. The top and middle 'magic' layers are the same in both pads, the choice is between the backing fabric that sits against the skin. Both do a great job but the bamboo velour is definitely softer and also retains its softness longer with all the repeated washing. Aidan definitely prefers the bamboo velour backed pads in our house.
Another question often asked is "when can I start using the pads?" It's best to wait at least 6 weeks post surgery to give the stoma time to settle down and heal.
All items come with care cards detailing the best way to launder your items and for tube pads its recommended to:
- Pop them in a laundry bag
- You can soak them to help remove any stains, just make sure to use a non-chlorine bleach (something like Ecostore Laundry Soaker and Stain Remover)
- Wash on a gentle cycle, cold or warm machine wash
- DON'T use fabric softener as this will effect the absorbency of the pads over time!
- Gently stretch them back into shape when wet, I do this as soon as they come out of the machine
- Lay flat to dry
- Tumble dry is not recommended as they may not hold their shape.