Liners can be a really handy thing to have when you’re cloth diapering. What is a liner? Basically, it’s a thin, one-layer piece of cloth that doesn’t add any absorbency but can be used (a) as a barrier against creams and ointments (b) as a stay-dry layer on top of natural fabrics like cotton and bamboo, or (c) to make cleaning up #2 messes easier.
Some are flushable or disposable; others can be washed and reused.
Disposable or flushable liners are made of a biodegradable or flushable material like bamboo. You can toss in the trash or the potty (depending on your system) after one use. They generally come in rolls and you tear them off, one sheet at a time, just like a paper towel. They can help make cleaning up #2 easier because they catch most of the mess and keep it off the diaper. Disposable liners cost from $6 to $8 per roll of 100; you can find top brands at Diaper Safari with free shipping. My favorites are the Bummis BioSoft liners; they are a decent size and not scratchy.
- More economical (up front) than a diaper sprayer when it comes to dealing with poo
- Convenient because you don’t have to wash them
- Can be flushed in some cases
- Create waste
- You have to keep buying them
- Diaper cream can potentially get through the fibers
- Some brands can be a bit scratchy and/or may bunch up when soiled or wet
Washable or reusable liners are meant to be used over and over again, just like your diapers. Most are made of fleece, although some are silk. There are a couple of mainstream options, but my favorites are WAHM-made fleece liners. They come in cute prints and colors and are serged at the edges for a clean, professional look. And you can get them for as low as $5.00 per pack. I highly recommend Knits and Naturals liners because they are made of microfleece, which is a finer gauge than polar or regular poly fleece. Lindsey at Winning Colors Baby tipped me off to the fact that diaper cream residue is easier to rinse off of this type of fleece and my experience with the Knits and Naturals liners has confirmed it. These particular liners are 11×4.5 inches and give great coverage in a medium to large sized diaper, without adding any bulk. I bought myself some this month and plan to get another set because I am using them almost daily for Ingrid.
- Small upfront cost
- No need to keep purchasing
- Lots of colors and prints to choose from
- Hold their shape and don’t bunch up as much
- Offers a “stay dry” affect to your diapers
- It’s cheap and easy to make them yourself
- Fleece is synthetic so you might find over time that some build-up occurs if you’re using them as barriers against rash cream.
Some mothers pre-treat their fleece liners separately to eliminate the possibility of diaper cream residue getting in the laundry. Fortunately, this is easy because liners are so small and thin. You can wash them in the sink with hot water and a little squirt of blue Dawn. Squeeze the water out and toss them in your diaper pail or wet bag with everything else.
I haven’t had to pre-treat my Knits and Naturals liners at all. Washed along with my diapers, with Tide and lots of hot water, they rinse out and clean up perfectly.