If you are using, or thinking about using reusable nappies, then one of the items you will no doubt be thinking about is nappy inserts. Nappy liners are the final layer of your reusable nappy. It is the layer that is in contact with your baby’s bottom so you are likely to want to make sure you get the best for your little one.
Nappy liners are a thin piece of material that are used for three reasons:
- They collect the poop while letting liquid pass quickly through to the more absorbent layers of the nappy.
- They protect the nappy from staining, both from poo and from nappy ointments and barrier creams.
- If you choose a reusable fleece liner they act as a stay dry layer, quickly wicking liquid away from babies bottom and keeping them dry.
As you can see the liners serve a number of different purposes. They catch poo, they protect your nappies and they protect your baby’s bottom. And to a certain extent different liners excel at different functions.
When looking at liners you also have a choice between reusable liners and disposable liners.
As a general rule disposable liners are much thinner liners that come on a roll. They are generally made of viscose or rayon and many are biodegradable made of wood pulp or bamboo. This means that liners that are just wet and have not been soiled by poo can go in the compost, and those that have caught a poo can simply be bagged and binned. No washing required.
The fact that they are disposable is certainly a benefit in terms of ease of nappy changing and dealing with poo. However, liners that have caught a poo can’t go in the compost so they will increase the waste you are sending to landfill (unfortunately they cannot be flushed). Disposable liners also do not act as a stay-dry layer to keep the baby dry in the same way that fleece liners do. And they can get bunched up in the nappy.
Reusable nappy liners are thicker than disposable ones but still very thin compared to most inserts and boosters that form the absorbent part of the nappy. Fleece liners are popular as they are inexpensive, great at not getting stained, easy to wash, and quickly wick water away from the baby’s bum keeping them dry. If you are after a more natural option then silk is popular as it has very similar properties.
Most people find reusable liners are very effective and easy to use, however, you do need to scrape off the poop once a baby has weaned which can potentially be an issue when you are not changing a nappy close to a toilet.
The Best Nappy Liners
Many people will in fact use different liners at different times both during the day and as babies grow. A reusable fleece liner for example is best for overnight nappies whereas you might find childcare prefer using a disposable liner they can simply bag and bin like a disposable nappy.
Babies are often fairly predictable as well so you may know that they always have a poo at certain times of the day and could use a disposable liner for that nappy and reusable liners the rest of the time.
Next Up: Are Nappy Liners Necessary?