Firstly, when we say liners we mean a thin non absorbent layer that sits next to your babies skin. We have found people use the words liners and inserts interchangeably. So while both go in the nappy, a liner is not designed to absorb. An insert is usually multiple layers of absorbent material. There are two types of liners - reusable and disposable. Reuseable These may come in a microfleece, suede cloth and even silk. They can be washed and reused time and time again. They are designed for two reasons. The first to keep your baby feeling dry when the nappy is wet. The fabric draws moisture away to the layers below and then leaves the liner feeling dry against your baby. The second purpose is to make cleaning up easier. They protect your inserts from potential staining etc and you can more easily scrub and treat the liner. There are a few options for purchasing liners. The best value for microfleece is a pack of 50 from Baby Bare. Other brands also sell them. Bare and Boho sell a charcoal colour which is darker if you are looking for that option. Disposable These can be made form bamboo or viscose. They can often be washed a couple of times if they are only wet and reused, but will deteriorate over time. They are purely designed to assist in cleaning up a nappy. Its important to note they should not be flushed. This is because while they are biodegradable (check your individual brand but most are), they do not break down fast enough in the sewer system. Products like liners, flushable wipes etc then end up as blockage in the local sewer plant that needs to be removed. Its important to know that even though many brands market them as flushable they are not, and they should be thrown in the bin. Most brands have their own brand of liners. You may find some are softer, different sizes so its good to look around for better value or a more suitable product if your first try isnt the right one for you.
Do I need liners? This is probably the most important question and the answer is no. Liners are like many things in cloth use, a personal preference. Some parents swear by them and others hate them. For some parents they are the key to keeping their baby feeling dry (some babies will cry as soon as their nappy is slightly wet). For others they make cleaning up much easier. You definitely don't need liners but you may like to grab some and give them a try.