Starting to use cloth nappies for your baby can be a bit of a minefield. There are so many different options and knowing which to choose can be mind-boggling. This is why I have developed the Cloth Nappy Series as a resource for parents who want to get started with reusable nappies.
Today we are talking about inserts, liners, and boosters. I am going to tell you exactly what they are, whether you need them and how to use them.
What is a liner?
Liners are the non-absorbent bit that goes between the cloth nappy and your baby’s bottom. Wetness is drawn through the liner, away from the skin into the absorbent core of the nappy.
The liner also serves another purpose – to catch poop. The liner will catch the majority of the poo, making it easier to flush away and minimising any staining on the nappy.
Which types or liners are there to choose from?
When it comes to liners, you can choose between disposable liners and reusable ones. When I started using cloth, I saw it as a no-brainer, I would use disposable liners. The fact of the matter is, having tried both reusable and disposable liners, I found that the reusable ones were just better. I found the disposables bunched up in the middle of the nappy, so didn’t do their job very well.
When I started using cloth, I saw it as a no-brainer, I would use disposable liners. They come in rolls and are biodegradable and flushable.
The fact of the matter is, having tried both reusable and disposable liners, I found that the reusable ones were just better. I found the disposables bunched up in the middle of the nappy, so didn’t do their job very well.
That said, many Mums use and love disposable liners, they just weren’t for me.
You can buy fleece liners to go with your nappies. I like the Little Lamb fleece liners. They are lovely and soft next to baby’s little bottom.
Cut up blanket
The other option is to cut up a piece of fleece into rectangles about 13 centimeters x 28 centimetres in size (smaller for a tiny baby). It can sometimes be cheaper and easier to buy a fleece blanket to cut up. I have done this before.
Fleece won’t fray, so it is as simple as cutting the liners to the right size and they are ready to go.
Whether you choose to use a piece of fleece from a fabric shop or a fleece blanket, I would recommend washing the fleece before cutting it up. This will ensure that any chemicals remaining on the fabric from the manufacturing process, plus will ensure any shrinkage happens before you make the cut.
The insert is the main absorbent but of a pocket nappy. Some nappies come with inserts when you buy them, others come with no inserts and it is up to you to choose which you wish to use. Here are some of your options.
Microfibre inserts are made from a synthetic fabric, meaning that they would not take dye. They absorb quickly but would not hold as much as the bamboo alternative (see below).
The charcoal inserts are a combination of microfibre, charcoal and bamboo. The charcoal is said to reduce acidity and help prevent nappy rash.
A bamboo booster is added to a nappy for extra absorbency for a heavy wetter. I have the Little Lamb bamboo boosters, which come in 2 sizes, and the Little Blooms bamboo boosters which are a little larger than the Little Lambs.
If you know me, you probably know that I love pretty, vibrant colours. This is one of the reasons that I have machine dyed all of my bamboo boosters. Much like new towels, boosters do not reach their full absorbency until they have been washed around 10 times. I would certainly wash them at least a couple of times before using them in a nappy, so why not use this opportunity to dye them a pretty colour? I know that no one other than you will really see them, but it makes stuffing them, so much nicer. I also find that dying them avoid the white bamboo going a sad and stained colour.
While you could just use 2 microfibre inserts to boost the nappy, I personally find that the combination of 1 microfibre insert and 1 bamboo booster works best. The microfibre insert absorbs quickly and holds less while the bamboo booster absorbs quicker and holds more. Make sure that of the 2 the microfibre is nearest her baby’s bottom.
Those are my recommendations for what you will need to stuff and line your pocket nappies. Check back next week when we will be talking about storing, washing and drying your nappies.
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