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How Many Burp Cloths Do You Need?

Burp cloths or spit-up rags are especially handy when you have a baby. You can use them to wipe up drool, catch spit up, and more. But, how many burp cloths do you need? On average, you’ll want at least 8-14 burp cloths. This number might change based on how much your baby spits up and how often you do laundry, but this is a good place to start until you know exactly what your baby needs. 

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Tips for Buying Burp Cloths

Burp Cloth Size

Burp cloths come in a wide range of sizes. Usually, they have a rectangular shape because it’s easier to drape it over your shoulder. In most cases, the spit-up rag is at least 9″ wide and anywhere from 15″ to 18″ long. If your baby only has small amounts of spit-up, you’ll get more use out of a bigger burp cloth because you can use it more than once. 

Laundry Frequency

You’ll spend a lot of time washing laundry after the birth of your little one. However, you’ll also find yourself busy with caring for your baby (and yourself) after they’re born and it may be a little harder to get chores done for a while. Having more burp cloths on hand means that you won’t have to wash them as frequently. This is a great idea for new parents that are likely facing exhaustion, especially if their spouse goes back to work after the birth. It’s also a good choice for people who may not have a washing machine in the home, especially if you have to wait to go to the laundromat or a relative’s house to get laundry done. 

Frequency of Use

You’ll also want to consider how often your baby spits up. Spitting up is completely normal. In fact, most babies start spitting up not long after they are born. It’s most commonly a sign that your baby is full. However, some babies might also spit up too frequently. There are steps you can take if your baby spits up a lot, but it usually isn’t something to be concerned about as long as they are gaining a healthy amount of weight. What you will need to do is stock up on some extra burp cloths if your baby seems to go through them fast. 

RELATED: How To Make Baby Burp Cloths

Cleaning Baby Burp Cloths

Something else that you’ll want to factor into how many burp cloths you keep on hand is the material and how easy/difficult it is to clean. Most of these are machine washable, even when you make them yourself. However, some burp rags develop an odor after being used. This is likely caused by stubborn particles of old milk or formula stuck in the cloth. 

Something that helps to rid your baby’s spit rags of this odor is adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to the wash. Vinegar is known for its ability to fight odors and disinfect, so it should have your baby’s burp cloths clean and smelling good in no time. This way, you don’t have to worry about re-washing the burp cloths and not having them when you need them. 

RELATED: How Many Clothes Do Newborns Need?

FAQs – How Many Burp Cloths Do You Need? 

What can you use burp cloths for? 

The best baby burp cloths are made with absorbent materials that will come in handy once your baby is born. Most people associate burp rags with catching spit-up. They are usually big enough that you can lay the cloth over your shoulder to protect your skin and clothes when you need to burp your little one. The big size is also nice because you can use them more than once, as long as they don’t get too dirty. 

In addition to catching spit-up, burp cloths are great for wiping up the drool. You’ll find this is especially handy once your baby is teething, especially since the extra moisture on their chin and neck can cause irritation and even rashes. If your baby has a severe diaper rash or stubborn boogers, it might also be helpful to use a damp baby burp cloth to clean them since it won’t irritate their skin as much.

There are even things you can use your burp cloths for after your baby has outgrown them. They are great for everything from cleaning and dusting to placing under pet water dishes to reduce spills. 

Why do babies spit up? 

It’s estimated that at least half of all babies spit up in their first three months of life. This happens when your baby’s stomach contents travel up their esophagus, resulting in spit up. Most of the time, this is a result of gastroesophageal reflux, also called infant acid reflux. 

The reason this is so common is that your baby’s body is still developing. There is a muscle called a sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus. Once it’s strong enough, it holds the esophagus closed and prevents reflux. For most babies, however, this muscle is still developing. Most of them outgrow their reflux as their digestive system matures, but you’ll need burp cloths to catch spit up in the meantime. Your baby is most likely to spit up when they are full. 

Can I make my own burp cloths? 

Yes, you can make your own burp cloths very easily at home. Many parents find that it’s a more affordable option, especially for babies that go through a lot of burp cloths. This is especially true if you can find fabric on sale. You can learn more about how to make baby burp cloths here, including how big burp cloths need to be, what type of fabric to use, and how to cut and sew them. 

Final Word

Many parents have lots of questions before their new baby arrives. Hopefully, now “how many burp cloths do you need?” won’t be one of them. It’s a good idea to start with around 8-14 cloths, though you can have more if you don’t do laundry as often or if your baby spits up a lot. 


  1. Baby Spit Up…, www.boystownhospital.org
  2. Spitting up in babies: What's normal, what's not, www.mayoclinic.org

Samantha Davis is a part-time writer and a full-time mommy of two boys, Apollo (age 5) and Adrien (age 7). She has been working as a writer for seven years and loves the freedom it gives her to spend time with her boys and fiance.and do things like camping, swimming, and painting. She is also a parent to three fur babies- two dogs and a cat!

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