What are Nappy Liners For?
Nappy liners are the layer in a reusable nappy that is closest to the baby's skin. They are not the absorbent part of the nappy, and they don’t boost absorbency either. So you might be wondering what they are for. Well they have three functions:
- They act as a poo catcher. The thin fabric allows liquid to soak through into the main absorbent part of the nappy but catches the poo making for easier cleaning and easier poop disposal. Both reusable and disposable liners perform this function and it is probably the main reason most parents use a liner in their nappies.
- They help prevent staining of boosters and inserts. Nappy creams and barrier creams are great for protecting little bottoms from nappy rash, but they can stain and cause build up on reusable nappies. Using a liner provides a protective layer that either gets thrown away in the case of disposable nappy liners or is easier to wash and less prone to staining in the case of fleece liners. It is also worth noting that while you can buy reusable fleece and silk liners for a fairly low cost you could also cut up a fleece blanket.
- In the case of fleece liners, and in fact silk reusable nappy liners, the liner acts to wick moisture away from babies bottom keeping them dry and helping to prevent irritation and nappy rash. This can be particularly important at night when nappies are being worn for a much longer period of time. So even if you choose disposable liners during the day you might be better off using a fleece liner at night.
How To Use Nappy Liners
In the case of all liners, whether they are reusable or disposable, they should be the last layer on your nappy stack and be worn closest to the baby's bottom, otherwise they can’t perform their function. Beyond that, they are used slightly differently as of course, reusable liners need to be washed and used again whereas disposable liners are simply disposed of.
Reusable Nappy Liners
How you use reusable nappy liners changed slightly before and after you start weaning. If they are just wet simply fold them up with the rest of the nappy and store them until you are ready to wash them. If they are soiled with breast milk poop this can also just go in the machine. You may wish to flush the worst of it away by holding the nappy under the flush.
Once babies are weaning and their poo becomes more solid you need to scrape, flick or flush the poo before washing. Giving liners a firm stretch over the toilet should work in most cases or you can hold them under the flush and give them a scrape.
Once the majority of the poo is gone you can fold them up in the nappy ready for washing. Because they are very thin liners will dry quickly and are ready to use again in no time.
Disposable Nappy Liners
Disposable liners are in many ways easier to use as you simply throw them away once they have been used. Although many disposable liners are biodegradable they are now no longer permitted to call themselves flushable as they do not break down in the same way as toilet paper and many sewerage systems simply can’t cope with them.
Therefore disposable liners should be bagged and binned or put in the compost if they are just wet.
While disposable liners are more convenient in some instances they don’t wick moisture away the same way as reusable liners and they are also even thinner meaning they are more likely to get bunched up and not work as well.
Next Up: Are Disposable Nappy Liners Flushable?