When we started out with cloth, Mr The Cloth Stash had a no disposable liner, no cloth nappy policy. And to be honest, Mrs The Cloth Stash was totally down with that! A weak stomach; picture Mrs The Cloth Stash dry-retching every poo change even after 3 babies and a busy life meant that any way of making poo clean up easier was a win for us!
Now we know that we use cloth nappies to reduce landfill, and using a disposable liner adds an element of landfill back in but better to go cloth with disposable liners than to not go cloth at all was our way of thinking.
So, when is a disposable liner worth it.....and when is it not?
Ok before we go into this further let's highlight two main negatives to disposable liners....but first let's just say before hand that we did successfully use them here at The Cloth Stash for a time, and we did love them for their convenience!
So negative number one, although most disposable liners are advertised as flushable....they are not. Just ask a plumber or your utilities provider and they will back this up. So yes, disposable liners need to be disposed of in landfill unless you have an epic backyard composting system.
Negative number two, disposable liners can cause nappy rash if bub has sensitive skin. This is because they don't wick away moisture from the skin as fast as what a stay dry microfleece liner would and therefore bub's skin can stay on the wetter side. So, if bub ends up with nappy rash, this would be the first thing to get rid of before looking into your wash routine etc to see if there are any issues there.
When to use disposable liners or not....
The newborn stage:
YES. If you are planning to use cloth straight from birth, they will be useful to catch the meconium poo which can be quite sticky, so they will make poo clean up easier.
NO. If you are able to exclusively breastfeed then it will be easier without the liners as the nappies can go straight in the wash and then you have one less poopy component to deal with. Yay for that!
MAYBE. If bub is formula fed, then really it would depend on how runny their poos are as they could just end up soaking through the liner and then the liner won't really be any use in making clean up easier.
After newborn up until toilet training stage:
YES. Once poos are plop-able liners can be incredibly useful. Plop the poo into the toilet, dispose of the liner as you would a disposable nappy and you're done! The nappy can go straight in the dry pail, hopefully poo free.
Tip: We wrapped the liner around an insert which we laid in the shell so that the liner didn't scrunch up and slide around in the nappy.
NO. If you don't need them or want them then don't use them. Simple! Plus it saves you money.
MAYBE. If you are using liners in pocket nappies, we found they slid around too much to be useful especially once bub is up and about so this is something you may need to test for yourself!