Baby Checklist: How Many Burp Cloths Do You Need?

By admin

Shopping for a new baby is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy. Whether it is choosing pretty rompers and cute booties or buying the perfect nursery furniture, baby shopping is a fun way to prepare for your baby’s arrival.

There are, however, lots of less exciting items that need to be bought, including burp cloths. You may be unsure of how many burp cloths to buy, as many new parents are, so we are here to help you out.

We talk a look at how many burp cloths you will need as we talk you through what you are likely to use them for. Don’t find yourself arriving home from the hospital to find you have no burp cloths, be prepared yourself with this burp cloth checklist. 

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How Many Burp Cloths Do You Need?

The quick answer is that you will need around 12-16 burp cloths for your baby to be comfortable, but this may be more or less depending on your baby. If you buy 12 to begin with you can always buy more or use some of your baby shower gift cards to buy extra if you find you burp your baby more than average.

If needing 12-16 burp cloths comes as a surprise it is likely that you have read that 5 or 6 will be enough. We say that it is always best to be as prepared as possible and have a stock of items that you may not be able to wash quickly. 

We know that burp cloths are small pieces of fabric as they are for babies but you will see that there are a few different sizes on offer A burp cloth that measures 44 to 45 inches wide cloth is a good size to choose.

Anything smaller and you may need to double-up on cloths if you find your baby makes a lot of mess when burping. 

Birth Gift Registry

If you are setting up a birth registry you can add burp cloths to the list. They may not be the most desirable of gifts but often the most practical of gifts turn out to be the best.

Your friends can make up a hamper of essentials such as diapers, bottles and burp cloths that will help you along with your stash of burp cloths. 

Why do I need Lots of Burp Cloths?

You can never have too many burp cloths in the newborn days as you baby’s digestive system will be developing and spit-up is a frequent occurrence. 

Burp cloths are great for wiping up dribbles when feeding and, of course, when burping. However, they are also handy to use when you are out and about and your baby vomits or has some spit-up.

This is especially the case if you find that your baby suffers from reflux. Having enough burp cloths to have in your baby changing bag for when you are out and enough around the home for when you have one batch in the washing machine means that 12-16 is a good number to buy. 

How Many Feeds Will my Baby Have Per Day

If you don’t want simply guess at how many burp cloths you will need, we can take a look at the average number of feeds a baby has per day. By working out how many feeds your baby has you can roughly buy the correlating number of burp cloths, with some spare for the messier feeds or when you baby is sick. 

As you will have likely read, babies will feed little and very often when they are first born. You should be looking to feed your baby 8-12 times over a 24 hour period.

If you are breastfeeding you may find that you feed more frequently than this in the first few weeks. If your baby does not spit-up a lot then you may not need a fresh burp cloth for every feeding session but, ideally, you will want a rest cloth, especially if you are out.

As a guide, 8 burp cloths per day is the minimum you would need here. This is if you are able to launder your cloths ready for the next day.

No matter how organized you are and how much help you have from family members, it can be difficult to keep on top of the laundry which is why having 12-16 cloths is helpful. By having an extra stock of burp cloths you can take the pressure off when you are catching up on sleep during the early days. 

If your baby is due to be born during warmer months you may be able to buy fewer burp cloths as the ones that you wash will quickly dry ahead of the next day. 

Absorbent Burp Cloths

If you are worried about how much it will cost to buy 12 or more birth cloths you can look to buy fewer burp cloths that are of better quality. In general, cotton chenille or muslin cloths are the best as they are breathable yet absorbent.

If your baby is due in the winter months a thicker, flannel material is better. For summer babies, a lighter fabric is required so they do not get too irritated if you leave the cloth under their chin when feeding and burping.

The better quality of burp cloth you buy the longer they will last, so buying so many early on will be a wise investment. Muslin cloths are easy to store and do not take up too much room.

After the First Year?

As your baby grows they will feed less often and, therefore, you need fewer burping cloths.

When babies approach their first year there digestive system develops at a rapid pace and it is less likely that there will be spit-up and vomit, unless reflux is an ongoing problem.

This means that you no longer need to stock up on burp cloths or replace fo worn cloths. If you invested in good quality burp cloths and they are still in good condition you can either store if you are planning on growing your family or you can use to clean up the mess when weaning your baby.

Your baby/toddler will still vomit from time to time so having a spare burp cloth in your change bag when you go out is a good idea.

You can use any remaining burp cloths for when your child gets sick or to mop up general spills, so don’t worry about having too many burp cloths, unless you are low on storage options. 

Can I use Something Else to Burp my Baby?

While burp cloths can be very cheap, it is understandable that you will want to save as much money as possible when shopping for your baby. All of the small things add up and sometimes you will look for alternatives to buying anything new.

That said, we do recommend that you buy burp cloths as babies will make a lot of mess and some of the vomit and spit-up can stain cloths, so you won’t want to use items that you will want to use again.

In addition, as your baby’s skin is delicate you will need to be careful what materials you use, for example an old synthetic sweater that you don’t wear anymore may irritate your baby’s skin.

Burp cloths are designed to absorb as much spillage as possible and we guarantee that you will use them more than most things that you buy for your baby. 

Do Cloth Diapers Make Good Burp Cloths?

If you are thinking how you can multi-task with certain items, you may be looking to use cloth diapers as birth cloths. Cloth diapers are made up of materials that are kind to your baby’s skin so there is no harm using them as a burp cloth.

They can, however, be a little bulky so they are not always practical when you are out and about.

When at home though, cloth diapers can double-up as burp cloths and are especially useful if you have vomiting baby as the diaper can sit across their body to absorb any powerful bursts of liquid. 


During the first year of your baby’s life you will need around 12-16 burp cloths per day, if you choose to use a fresh burp cloth each time. Once your baby hits 1 they will need a burp cloth less ad less and you can recycle or refuse for another baby.

Good quality burping cloths that are kind to sensitive baby skin are essential. Whether you want to add burping cloths to your gift registry or buy yourself, you know that 12 burp cloths minimum will see you through.

If you don’t have time to launder your cloths on a regular basis then you should buy more. You can cut down on the cost by buying bulk packs or adding one or two to your weekly shop to spread the cost.