If you have read my other posts on cloth diapers you may have caught on to one theme in my personal love affair with cloth diapers: I like things that are easy and affordable. If you are considering cloth diapering you may be shopping for prefolds or fitteds, pricing pockets and all in ones, figuring costs of water and detergent. One thing I would add to your list: search your house for anything made out of cotton fleece.
When determining how to best diaper baby it is important to keep their bottom happy. You need to keep those buns dry, you will need to catch that poop and get it to the toilet, and you may need to use lotion or ointment that could be harmful to your diaper's absorbency. If you wonder about the last one, trust me, do not let anything come into contact with your diapers that is meant to coat and stay put, it is the enemy of all things absorbent. Let me save you from learning this the hard way, liners are worth their weight in gold.
When it comes to liners I have a love affair with cotton fleece.
Fleece is a cloth diaper's best buddy. You can find super soft thin fleece for a couple bucks a yard at Joann's or cut up some old items or scraps you find around the house. Why fleece? Liquids go right through fleece to the absorbent layer of the diaper leaving solids, creams, and anything else behind. If you doubt me on the beauty that is fleece take a look at some pocket diapers. That fabulous inner material that makes you jealous of your babies bottom is fleece. The softest of these are usually bamboo cotton blends or even hemp cotton blends, but brushed cotton fleece in any form is heaven.
You may now be thinking, I could use any fabric to achieve this barrier, why does it matter that it be fleece? And you are correct, any non absorbent fabric, disposable liner, or even thick toilet paper could do this job. But, there are specific advantages to a good fluffy fleece. I found that solid waste does not stick to fleece as readily as it may other materials (not necessarily true if you are dealing with semi-solid to liquid/peanut butter fecal matter). To dispose of most solids caught on the fleece you need only hold your diaper liner over the toilet and shake. Flushing the all the solids away safely and easily. The liner can then be washed and dried with diapers. In addition to its power to catch poop, cotton fleece also maintains and even improves its super soft and fluffy surface each time it is washed and dried, similar to your favorite towel.
Creating a barrier between poop and your potentially pricy diapers (looking at you fitteds and all in ones) also protects your investment from stains or other damage from scraping or spraying fecal material from the surface. You can continue to use liners in swim diapers, training underwear, etc as baby grows and needs change.
Now that we have tackled the what and the why, its time to get down to the how. To make a fleece liner, grab some fleece and a sharp pair of scissors. Consulting one of your diapers or using a ruler, cut your fleece into strips around 4 inches wide and 10 inches long (10cm x 25cm). Wash and dry your strips and they are ready to go. Storing a small stack of 5-10 liners near your diapers will save you trouble as you navigate the needs of baby and keep your diapers absorbency safe through hundreds of washes.
I am a highly opinionated and sassy mother of three and wife to one. I hope you enjoy reading about my efforts to tackle the infuriating obstacles of life using straight talk and humor. If I say it, I mean it, or maybe I am being sarcastic. I like to focus on topics from my everyday life: parenting, cooking, crocheting, and a whole list of other things that inspire my rage.