Answer: Liners can be totally confusing and I definitely understand how their different applications and styles could overwhelm you. Lets address the different types of liners and frequent issues that arise.
- Bidegradable/Flushable Liners are similar in feel to a soft tissue paper. They are often sold in rolls or sheets and you lay them inside your babies diaper in order to help catch some of the soiling and make diaper washing easier. At the changing you'll take the diaper to the toilet and best case scenario, the poo is mostly stuck to the liner which you can peel off and flush down the toilet. The diaper will still need washing as usual but may not require as much effort as it would if you hadn't used the liner.
- Microfleece Liners are similar to the flushable liners but made out of a stay-dry microfleece fabric which will keep baby feeling dry as well as catch the majority of the poo. The difference is that they do need to be washed. Since they're heavily soiled many moms wash liners separately, especially if they used a diaper ointment or cream with them.
- Built in liners are specifically designed to keep baby feeling dry. In a pocket diaper such as BumGenius or Knickernappies the inside of the diaper IS the liner. The interior of diapers, especially pocket diapers and AIO's, are usually microsuede or microfleece which are synthetic and keep baby feeling dry which helps prevent rashes.
- No liners? Some diapers like fitteds or prefolds are simply cotton or bamboo, hemp, etc. They have no liner and this is where it becomes your choice if you'd like to use one. You can try diapering without liners but keep a close eye, liners help keep the moisture off the skin and if you see a rash developing then most likely you'll need to invest in some.
- Does microfiber need a liner? Since all babies are different this is a tough question. A lot of moms are able to use diaper covers with microfiber inserts inside and no barrier or liner between the baby and the microfiber, with no problems at all. However many complain of severe rash or irritation occurring when using microfiber without a stay dry liner. I suggest that you try this with caution and watch for irritation. If you already know that your baby has sensitive skin then I would definitely suggest sticking to diapers or inserts that have a stay-dry liner or buy them individually to use as needed.