Some brands of paper liners, such as the Supersoft Mioliners or Tots Bots Spunlace liners, are much thinner. As such, we only recommend these for older babies weaned onto solid food and whose poo is consequently thicker or more 'formed'. A thinner liner often just isn't up to the job of staying in place and holding a runny newborn poo, which defeats the object of helping with nappy cleanup in the first place!
Disposable liners biodegrade much slower than toilet roll, so they are no longer designed to be flushed. Wet only liners can go into your compost bin if you have one or even your paper recycling bin (WET ONLY!!!) This will dramatically cut how many liners potentially will go into your rubbish bin. It is worth noting that even with disposable nappies, most local authorities do not permit poo thrown into your household waste, so if your paper liner is very full it may still be necessary to remove the worst of the contents before throwing the liner away.
You will find good quality disposable liners are very strong, and do not tear or split, however wet or full they are. However, if your main reason for using cloth nappies is the cost, then you might want to look at washable liners, to save on the ongoing cost of disposable ones.
Washable/Reusable Nappy Liners
Washable liners come in a number of materials: fleece, polyester and silk being the most common. I am a big fan of fleece liners. There is no right or wrong way up with either a fleece or a paper liner. However, the polyester ones are often slightly "furry" on one side, and this goes face down into the nappy to stop the liner sliding around; on the other side, they are shiny and non absorbent, which goes face up and so is an effective stay dry layer.
How to sluice a reusable liner
Undoubtedly, a squidgy poo is slightly more of a pain to deal with if you have washable rather than disposable liners, but that is only so if the disposable liner in fact caught all of the poo. When you have a pooey fleece nappy liner you should sluice it in the toilet to remove the poo before storing it in your nappy bucket. What this means is you hold one end of the liner where it's not pooey, then flush the toilet holding onto the fleece liner firmly. The power of the clean water from flushing the toilet should remove most of the poo. The liner then is stored in your nappy bucket until wash day. While baby is very young and just on breast milk some parents don't bother with sluicing pooey liners at all and just let their washing machine deal with them. If you do this you must ensure you do a rinse cycle before your main wash. For some people this is a stage too far and they don't like the idea of poo in their washing machines, that's fine either keep sluicing or stick with disposable liners until baby is weaned.
Washable liners do keep baby amazingly dry, and are a very good idea if your baby is subject to repeated rashing (assuming you have ruled out other causes of this). Silk is the most gentle of these fibres, and is particularly suitable for babies who suffer from eczema. However, it does have a bit of a funny smell when wet, which some people do not like, and others do not even notice. Silk liners should be hand washed.
Once your baby gets to the wriggly stage, if you find the liner is moving try the following to counter this. When you have fastened the nappy - feel inside to straighten out the liner as much as possible. Very often, it shifts as part of the process of being put on, rather than through later wriggling - but once it is no longer in place, wriggling will make its position worse.