First up: what are burp cloths?
Burp cloths or ‘burpies’ or receiving blankets, are covers that are a must-buy for new parents. A burp cloth helps absorb regurgitated food or spit-up before it lands on the parent or caregiver and makes the clothes dirty. A bib may help soak up the fluids before it leaves the baby’s mouth but after their feeding, the need to burp the newborn needs more than just the bib. Not only does a burp cloth help from having to change clothes, but it also saves the amount of clothing that to wash every time the baby spits up. Washing a few baby burp cloths is less inconvenient than washing the child’s and parents’ whole outfits.
The best fabrics for burp cloths are flannel, cotton, terry cloth, and chenille. Other burp cloths are made out of organic cotton. Organic cotton baby burp cloths do not contain bleach or artificial colors, so they are suitable for the baby’s sensitive skin.
Burping the Baby
Burping the baby is important because it helps get the gas out of the newborn’s stomach. However, more often than not, spit-ups may happen, and this is where a burp cloth comes in handy.
Here are some tips on how to place a burp cloth and help absorb spit up to save clothing:
- The burp cloth should be placed horizontally on the shoulder to completely cover it.
- The burp cloth should run vertically from the front of the shoulder and down towards the back for maximum usage.
- If the baby is being burped across the lap, lay the burp cloth across both legs before placing the baby for full coverage.
- There are many ways to burp the baby correctly, and if one position does not work, other options are available to relieve the baby’s gas.
Things to Consider
The burp cloth’s main purpose is to avoid dirt and frequent washes as much as possible during spit-ups and burping the baby. Burp cloths can also double as bibs, and some even have snaps to prevent them from dropping off parents’ shoulders and arms. Other burp cloths are enough to cover for nursing so mothers need not purchase a separate one, especially when feeding the infant outdoors. For extra help, special burp cloths also have pouches or pockets for added convenience.
Expect burp cloths to be washed frequently and because of this, parents and caregivers may want to consider choosing burp cloths that are both durable and for long-time use. The fabric must survive repeated washings especially if parents opt for the ones that are machine-washed. Stitching should be tight to avoid loose threads and wearing out along the edges. Tough fabrics can also withstand multiple children and graduate from the burping stage to mealtime bib for maximum usage.
The shape and size of the burp cloth also have different styles and options. Parents can choose from rectangular, square, shaped around the shoulders, or custom with indents to fit every need. These burp cloths can vary from small to large sizes for full coverage. Any mess from spit-ups that the baby makes will surely be caught by bigger surface burp cloths and a lesser risk of getting unwanted fluids on parents’ clothing.
The coverage somehow is a personal preference since there are no measures to know how far the ‘splash zone’ may travel. Other parents do not like the feeling of too much fabric so there is no middle way to evaluate the right coverage as long as there are no bulging areas and less bunching and folding when placed in the shoulder, arm, or lap.
Folding the burp cloth may decrease in size but can also increase or decrease its versatility. It allows to double up best places for parents’ comfort and areas to be filled while avoiding a bundle of loose fabric hanging off the edges.
If burp cloths are too silky, then chances for flowing into the caregiver’s garments are high. If burp cloths are too padded with layers, then there is no room for the parent’s and baby’s skin to breathe. The absorbency of the burp cloths should also be considered since not all types of cloths can accommodate what new parents are looking for. The type of material used and the number of layers in a single cloth are important in the selection process and can both contribute to the absorption level.
Baby burp cloths are normally the most common object that will touch the infant’s skin, especially for newborns. Frequent feeding may also result in a frequent number of burping sessions, sometimes for an extended period of time, so it is best to choose from many burp cloths that will not harm the baby’s sensitive skin. Make sure to test out if the baby is allergic or sensitive to certain fabrics to avoid irritation and rashes. Fabric texture that has grooves sometimes is hard to clean since fluid and dirt may get stuck deeply and may give the baby’s face obvious marks after laying on lengthy intervals during the day.
While all products may seem comfortable and tested for softness, organic cotton and smooth jersey fabrics often feel cozier and safer for infant usage. Flannel burp cloths have fuzzy and gentle fabric that is also super soft for the resting baby’s face. Be on the lookout for some burp cloths that get softer and fluffier after each wash which may also provide a smoother surface for the baby.
Best Burp Cloths Today
Burt’s Bees Organic Cotton Burp Cloths
Size: 16″ x 11.8″
These soft printed burp cloths are the parents’ staple, made of organic cotton and come in a pack of 5. According to their reviews, even celebrity moms and dads add these burp cloths to their baby registries. They are folded into three and are stored nicely when not in use. When in use, expect that they soak up messes and get softer with each wash. Other than being burp cloths, it can be used as a mini pillow to prop the infant’s baby up during diaper changes or laid flat on top of the changing pad so parents can easily dispose and toss in the wash instead of changing the covers of the changing pad itself.
Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs
Size: 9″ x 23.5″
Aden + Anais combined their signature prints and soft muslin fabric to make the perfect burp cloth they call the ‘Burpy Bibs’. Muslin is a lightweight and breathable loose plain weave cotton of high quality which is both smooth and soft. The unique shape and no-slip design offer full coverage once placed over the shoulder surrounding both front and back part for maximum protection. Its price may be contributed to its dual purpose as a heavy-duty bib with good airflow just by using the side snaps together. It instantly covers the baby’s chest, arms, and shoulders so parents can be assured there are lesser items in the laundry.
Copper Pearl Burp Cloths
Size: 21″x 10″
These burp cloths’ oversized dimensions provide maximum protection while staying luxuriously classy with several designs to choose from. These burp cloths are raved for as ‘wardrobe savior’ because of their fleece middle layer which makes them more absorbent than other burp cloths. Its outer material is jersey cotton knit that is smooth against the baby’s face. Copper Pearl also offers matching bandana bibs for the little one so parents can leave the house matchy-matchy.
Gerber Baby Flannel Burp Cloths
Size: 14″ x 20″
Gerber’s burp cloths come in cotton knit, terry cloth, and flannel. They offer a more gender-neutral range of designs for parents who are not sure if they are going to have a boy or girl. They are machine washable and are both soft and absorbent which fits their purpose as a burp cloth. It has extra thick, tight weave material with solid stitching around the edges. Shrinkage is very minimal and offers extended durability over time, making it super valuable for its price, which is one of the most affordable on the list.
Green Sprouts Muslin Burp Cloths
Size: 19.5″ x 9.5″
This organic cotton muslin burp cloth has four layers of cotton sewn together in a contoured shape to provide extra coverage on both ends after draping over the shoulder. Green Sprouts also value safe and high-quality materials while staying as natural as possible and avoiding harmful additives in the process. Typical for any muslin product, expect these burp cloths to get softer, fluffier, and even more absorbent after repeated washing in the machine without fading. Still a little bit pricey but parents and caregivers are assured of its quality and functionality as it catches most spit-up incidents while protecting the baby’s skin with its softness and smoothness.
Milkbarn Burp Cloths
Size: 23″ x 23″
The Milkbarn burp cloths are large square cloths made up of organic muslin fabric. It comes in several fun designs and prints and feels durable with its tight weave that does not snag and tear easily. It is only comprised of one layer and must be folded a number of times to feel its absorbency. This versatile burp cloth can be used as a light blanket during car rides, or as a stroller sunshade, adding to the fact that it dries out faster because of its thin material. This burp cloth is on the ‘splurge’ side, but knowing MIlkbarn and its bamboo-rayon fabrics, parents may extend its use as a lovey for children who get attached to the cloth’s lightweight nature and pliable familiarity.
Maximizing the Burp Cloths
A burp cloth can be used for multiple feedings, especially if the baby does not spit-up on the first feeding session. The number of burp cloths needed depends on several considerations including how many times a day the baby is being fed, or how often the burp cloths need to be washed. The average range is 8 to 14 pieces of burp cloths. Parents and caregivers may also need another separate set of burp cloth for when the first batch of burp cloths is being washed and dried. Most burp cloths can be machine dried, but there are some that have to be air-dried and will take an extended time to be ready for use again.
Are There Alternatives?
If burp cloths are not available, a good alternative is multi-purpose cloth diapers. The Gerber Pre-fold Gauze Diapers for instance are super absorbent and durable and are incredibly versatile as they come in large size. Its ability to soak up messes is even better than most burp cloths or towels.
Burping the baby is not something you’ll be doing forever. It is not a necessity once they are able to move around and sit up. This means that parents and caregivers only need a burp cloth until the baby reaches usually no more than nine months. However, burp cloths are always nice to have on hand for other uses like laying out on changing tables when going out, catch little sneezes, and wiping the child’s face and hands-free from food and dirt. Do keep in mind that it is still best to wash their hands and face to avoid oral-related illnesses.
It is very common for the baby to spit up occasionally or even on a regular basis as part of the baby’s development. Buying a burp cloth or not, the only thing new parents should worry about is their child not being well-taken care of and giving it its much-needed love and attention during mealtime, cleaning time, and even playtime.