How to Choose the Best Burp Cloths for Baby

Close Up Of Baby On Adults Shoulder
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Burp cloths are a necessity for newborns. Babies make lots of messes, especially around meal time, so it's important to have something on hand for quick cleanup. Good burp cloths protect your clothes and baby's wardrobe from stains and extra wear, since you won't have to change outfits as often if you can keep the mess off your shirt.

There are lots of burp cloths in stores today. Some are basic, while others have cute decorations and embroidery.

Some even have other fancy features or unique shapes to help cover more of your wardrobe territory. Prices vary wildly, from just a few dollars for a package to $20 or more for just one cloth. Here are some things to consider when you're buying burp cloths for your baby.

Bigger Is Better

Babies are small, so their gear tends to be pint-sized, as well. Burp cloths, though, are one product that you want to go big with. Babies never seem to hit the same spot twice when they spit up, so it's a good idea to cover as much real estate as possible with your burp cloth. Baby spit up tends to be pretty runny, which means it can easily run right off a small cloth and onto your clothes, meaning you still have to change your clothes plus you have to wash the too-small cloth that didn't do its job. Small burp cloths may only exist to create more laundry for you! It's usually better to choose a larger cloth that can be folded easily if you need it smaller than to only have a small cloth on hand.

Material Matters

You can find burp cloths made of just about any type of fabric, and with many types of embellishments. The ideal burp cloth is extremely absorbent and works fast to soak up messes. A fabric with a bit of texture is also a good choice because the texture helps grab spit up before it can make its way down your back.

Some effective options are terry cloth, minky fleece, cotton muslin, chenille, and flannel. Make sure the decorations or embroidery aren't made of slick, non-absorbent materials. Those materials might look good before baby decides to spit up, but if they allow messes to spread, they're not worth it.

Mission: Washable

It may seem silly, but there are burp cloths out there that require special washing or aren't made to stand up to regular cleaning. If your baby spits up a lot, you'll go through lots of burp cloths in a day, and you'll need to wash them often. Sturdy, simple materials are best when it comes to baby laundry. Various cotton knits or weaves make good, washable burp cloths, and they often get softer the more you wash them. Again, make sure any decorations are also tough enough to handle washing. Paying for a burp cloth with a cute bow isn't worth it if the bow comes off after a few washes.

Extra Features

Most burp cloths are just burp cloths, and that's OK. There are a few burp cloths available that have additional features that might make them worth a few extra dollars. Some have a pocket or shaped area that you can position to catch spit up before it slides down onto your shirt.

Some have snaps or fasteners that allow the burp cloth to be used as a bib. Others are shaped to fit nicely over your shoulder or under baby's chin. Whether you buy a basic style or something multi-purpose and ergonomically shaped is a matter of preference.

The Price Is Nice

Six burp cloths is a good number to start with, but if your baby spits up often, you may want even more than that. If you're on a tight budget for baby products, there are lots of effective, inexpensive options. One popular choice is a package of pre-fold cloth diapers. After you've mopped up baby barf, those pre-fold diapers can be recycled into cleaning rags for household chores. On the more expensive end of the burp cloth spectrum, you can find luxury fabrics, gorgeous trims, personalization, and adorable patterns.

Check out some of these options to help you get started choosing the right style for you and baby - The 6 Best Burp Cloths for Baby.