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How To Make Baby Burp Cloths

Between drool from teething and the many messes that arise when a little one is in tow, suddenly the need for a burp cloth becomes extremely necessary! However, those essential items can be surprisingly expensive depending on the brand you purchase. Thus, we have detailed how easy it is to make your own baby burp cloths!

Page Contents

Choosing The Right Materials

The best fabrics for making baby burp cloths are ones that won’t irritate their sensitive skin and varieties that are good at absorbing little messes. The top choices are cotton, cotton chenille, and terry cloth. Whether you are sopping up spit up or wiping away some drool, these fabrics will quickly and effectively do the trick!

Your goal is to pick out at least two of the three fabrics so that you have a double-layered burp cloth. Quilted cotton can serve as a fantastic base with either the chenille or terry cloth as your other layer

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Fabric Base: Quilting Cotton
  • Absorbent Fabric: Cotton Chenille and/or Terry Cloth
  • Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Sewing Machine
  • Sewing Pins
  • Thread
  • Scissors

In terms of fabric, the goal is to make a collection of baby burp cloths in one fail swoop. Thus, make sure to purchase at least one yard of each type of fabric. You can choose to do either a double or triple layer cloth, depending on the absorbency you hope to obtain. 

RELATED: What is the Size of a Baby Quilt or Baby Blanket?

Step #1: Cut Your Fabrics

The average width of a yard of fabric is around 54 inches. Thus, in order to get the most bang for your buck, we recommend making your burp cloth dimensions 18 inches by 12 inches. This will give you nine burp cloths per yard with no fabric going to waste! 

Moreover, it allows for extended use. If your burp cloths are too small, you will many times have to go through two or three in order to clean up a mess. This gives you ample cleaning power when you need it the most!

After picking out your two fabrics, cut out your pieces using these measurements! This is best done with a rotary cutter and a ruler as your straight edge. Then, lay the patterned side of the quilted cotton facing up. Next, lay your chenille or terry cloth on top of it

PRO TIP: If your baby seems to be going through a projectile vomiting stage, adding a third layer of terry cloth in between the quilted cotton and the cotton chenille can tremendously increase the absorbency!

Step #2: Get To Sewing

Using your sewing pins, evenly align the fabrics and pin them down. An ideal inlay (the space between the edge of the fabric and the stitching line) is between a quarter of an inch to half an inch. Next, pop your fabric into your sewing machine and start stitching. When doing this, pull out your pins as they approach the sewing needle and feed dogs

Your initiative is to sew three of the four sides. Make sure to place a back stitch on each corner of the fourth side. These will help to guarantee that the parts of the seam don’t unravel over time. 

PRO TIP: Make sure to look for a thread that is a color that coordinates with your fabric. Our next step involves a top stitch, which means you will see the thread in the end result. 

Step #3: Flip And Sew

Once three of the four sides are complete, take your scissors and trim the corners of the baby burp cloth. Then, flip the burp cloth in the correct direction! Take the time to push each corner out into a point. Unfortunately, once the fourth side is stitched this can be very difficult to fix so this is important to address before you continue. 

Next, take your sewing pins and prepare your final side. As mentioned, this will be using a topstitch. Just as done before, take the time to place a backstitch and then sew all four sides. For this round, you can choose anywhere between an eighth to a quarter of an inch from the edge of the fabric. Once complete, add one more backstitch and remove the cloth from the machine.

Step #4: Add Center Stitches

Depending on the appearance you are going for, it is recommended to put at least two stitches down the center of the cloth. These should be evenly spaced out to provide an aesthetic look, while also anchoring the two pieces of fabric together more effectively. Moreover, it will also give it a bit of a custom, decorative look!

Just like with all of your other stitches, make a backstitch on either side of the baby burp cloth. Then, Voila! You have a beautiful and affordable burp cloth that will likely absorb ten times better than the store-bought varieties!

For those who notice that a lot of the chenille fibers have broken off while cutting and sewing your work of art, take a lint brush to collect those pieces. Finally, throw this item in the wash using a baby detergent, and then you should be good to go!

RELATED: How to Make a Baby Wrap

Washing Instructions

If you did your backstitching properly, the baby burp cloths should handle well in a regular wash cycle. However, when it comes to baby spit up, the stains and smells can sometimes be hard to remove from these absorbent fabrics. 

Step #1: Rinse After Use

Once you are done using the burp cloth, rinse the material using cold water. Make sure the stain is facing towards the sink basin. You want the water to flow from the back of the cloth to the front. This will help to more effectively push the spit up out of the fabric.

Step #2: Throw It In The Wash

It is best to always wash baby burp cloths in the hottest cycle possible using a baby detergent. However, even the best detergents can sometimes still leave a bit of an odor behind when it comes to bodily fluids. 

If your baby’s spit-up is especially stinky, consider putting up to a quarter of a cup of white vinegar into the wash cycle! This magical solution will not only eliminate odors, it will also disinfect the cloths, whiten and brighten them and even reduce the incidence of pet hair! 

Step #3: Dry With Caution

High heat is known to shrink cotton-based products. This is especially true for cotton chenille. Thus, it is best to dry your baby burp cloths on the lowest heat setting. By doing this, you will prevent too much shrinkage from occurring, thus better maintaining the surface area of your baby burp cloth!

FAQs – How To Make Baby Burp Cloths

What are other fabrics that I can use to make baby burp cloths?

Flannel is another extremely absorbent fabric that many people love for its soft texture. However, many moms also note that if you are not careful to pat the mess dry, this fabric can cause some smearing. 

If you do choose this option, make sure to look for varieties that are made with 100% cotton. Real flannel is often made with wool, which is NOT ideal for an infant’s skin, especially those with a history of eczema. 

Moreover, bamboo is another great option that is said to have antibacterial properties and is more resistant to smells. These are fantastic features in a burp cloth. It is also a thin, yet strong material, so durability will not be an issue over time! 

The only downside is that you will likely spend a few extra bucks for the same amount of this fabric, compared to cotton varieties.

Are there fabrics that I should avoid using when making baby burp cloths?

Yes! Many folks recommend minky due to the soft texture and lightweight nature of the cloth. However, this fabric does have a waterproof-like quality to it. This is due to the fact that it is made of polyester, which is essentially a type of plastic.

This is an important detail for two reasons. First, it will not effectively absorb the spit-up. Instead, it will just smear it around. Second, this is a material that can irritate a baby’s skin. Thus, we recommend avoiding this option, no matter how pretty and plush it may seem.

How long will I need baby burp cloths?

While most babies tend to stop spitting up around seven to eight months of age, at the latest, the messes that ensue over the next few years will warrant keeping the burp cloths around. This item is quite versatile, aiding toddlers with runny noses, cleaning up on-the-go spills, and even serving as a makeshift diaper when you unexpectedly run out. It is recommended that you keep this baby product around for the long haul because you never know when you will need it!

How many baby burp cloths do I need?

Technically, this is a personal preference, but unless you want to be doing laundry daily, most moms recommend having anywhere from eight to fifteen on hand. This can allow you a few days without having to do the wash! If you are making your own, one yard of each type of fabric will get you nine baby burp cloths. Therefore, if you want extra, consider buying an extra yard!

Can I embroider my baby burp cloths?

Embroidery, especially on baby blankets and burp cloths, can add a personal touch to an item that will be used daily. If you choose to add a little extra flair to your custom piece, there are two things to keep in mind. The first is to make sure that you don’t make this embellishment too big. 

Why? While a thoughtful addition to the piece, this part of the burp cloth will suddenly become unusable. The thread will likely cause the spit up to smear instead of absorbing. This decreases the usability of the baby burp cloth if the embroidery takes up a large area on the surface. 

The second consideration is to ensure that you add the embroidery to the quilted cotton prior to constructing the baby burp cloth. This will guarantee that the stabilizer and any stitching on the back of the fabric remain hidden. It will also aid in lessening the first problem of the baby burp cloth is less absorbent. By conducting this step before sewing together all of the layers, the cotton chenille or Terry cloth remains untouched, providing ample space to soak up the spit up!

Final Thoughts

Whether you decide to make your own baby burp cloths or buy them at the store, the two main considerations should be the type of material and the size. This small piece of fabric will play a big role in keeping you and your baby clean over the span of a few months to a few years. Therefore, having a large collection of these seemingly simple items is key. 

Additionally, make sure to deposit your baby burp cloths in key areas. These can include where you conduct your regular feedings, in the car, and of course, in the diaper bag. That way, when an accident happens, you are ready for a quick clean-up! Best of all, in a pinch, these can also serve as a diaper changing pad, a teething cloth, or even a light blanket! 

Finally, this is another item that is quite marketable! Just like baby bows, this is an item that is easily made in a short amount of time. Therefore, if you are a stay-at-home mom and you are looking to make a little cash on the side, this is a fantastic item to make and sell for a profit! They also make great baby shower gifts and Christmas presents for new moms!


  1. How Much Fabric Do You Need for a Project?, www.marthastewart.com

Heidi Butler    

Heidi is a wife, mother, Newfie owner, writer and Meteorologist. She was born and raised in Texas and has worked in the broadcast industry for going on a decade.

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