How Many Burp Cloths Do You Really Need?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


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how many burp cloths do you really need

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about some of our favorite baby items that we use all the time and can’t live without now that Q is here. I didn’t talk about any of the other stuff, like burp cloths, sheets, swaddles, and the like, so here’s a brief summary of what we currently own, love, and works for us! (I know some of you guys are working on your baby registries right now, so I hope this post helps!)

  • Swaddles (5): We love the Summer Adjustable Swaddles! I received a 3-pack at my shower and then my sister gave me a couple of Matthew’s swaddles that he outgrew, so now we have 5, which is plenty. Q uses one swaddle every night for bed, so unless we have a poop explosion or major spit-up disaster, he’ll wear the same one for a few nights in a row.
  • Burp cloths (13): When I made my baby registry, I had no clue how many burp cloths we’d actually use. (I knew nothing about babies!) I originally registered for a set of 4, but within a couple of weeks of having Q home, I was already ordering more online… and then again a couple of weeks later. Q doesn’t spit-up a ton, but one good spit-up will soak a burp cloth, so we usually go through about two each day. When we only had 4 burp cloths, we did laundry just about every day, so we definitely needed to buy more. Now, we have a whole bunch of them and life is so much better! Haha! These burp cloths from Carter’s are THE BEST. They’re big, thick, and dry quickly. I also like these ones from Gerber.
  • Washcloths (12): At my baby shower, I received two 6-packs of washcloths, which are more than enough. (We still haven’t used them all.) Obviously, we use washcloths at bath time, but they’re also great for cleaning eye boogers and icky hands and feet. Q also uses them as “rally rags.” He loves holding them and whipping them around!
  • Changing pad cover (0): Save your money, people! I registered for a cute changing pad cover and ended up throwing it away the first week we were home from the hospital. Q peed on it, so we put it in the laundry. When it was clean, we put it back on the changing pad. Then, there was a poop explosion, so we washed it again. And then Q spit-up on it, so we washed it again. The cover was in the laundry more than it was on the actual changing pad, so we finally just ended up tossing it. Plus, it was so much easier to just wipe down the changing pad with a disinfecting wipe anytime there was a pee/poop/spit-up incident.
  • Pack ‘N’ Play sheets (2): When one gets dirty, we swap it out with a clean one. If they are both dirty at the same time, Q just goes without a sheet until one is clean again.
  • Crib sheets (2): Same as the Pack ‘N’ Play sheets. Q isn’t sleeping in his crib quite yet, but I assume that is how things will work.
  • Onesies (10+): As soon as Q was born, he was too big for his newborn onesies, so I’m glad we had plenty of bigger (3-month) onesies for him to wear. Q typically wears one onesie per day, but if he spits-up a lot or we have a poop mishap, he’ll end up wearing two. Having 10+ is nice because I don’t need to do laundry all the time. (FYI: I didn’t register for any onesies. People love giving adorable baby clothes, so we received plenty as gifts.)
  • Bottles (10): My friend Jen gave me like 20 bottles in addition to the ones I got at my shower, so we have a ridiculous number of them in our house, but we only use about 10 on the regular. FYI: When Mal and I went to the baby safety class, the nurses suggested buying the cheapest bottles first to see how your baby would like them before trying the more expensive ones just to save you money and give you options if your baby is picky about nipples/bottles. Thankfully, Q isn’t picky at all and immediately liked the cheap-y bottles we bought him.

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Thanks to everyone who entered to win a copy of my new book: The Part Time Vegetarian (PTV) Smoothies and Juices! Here are your winners:


My favorite smoothie: frozen cherries, add some blueberries, plain greek yogurt, ground flaxseed and almond milk. Great after a run!


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I love a smoothie with strawberries, a frozen banana, and almond milk.

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Congrats!! Please email me at with your full name and mailing address to claim your prize!

Questions of the Day

Moms, what baby products did you have too many of or not enough of?

How many burp cloths do you own? 

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  1. I think I ended up with about 50 burp cloths by the time my kids were toddlers! I use them for everything, STILL!

    – In the winter, when that naked changing pad is a bit cold, throw a burp cloth down
    – Stick one in your bra at night after nursing when you can’t seem to find the round pad you JUST took out
    -Always keep them in every room to catch emergency spewing
    -They are soft enough to use when you need to clean baby’s face, just wet a corner
    – I actually cut some in half after my breast reduction and used them to stuff my bra, since I was suppose to keep compression on them for like 6 weeks
    – They can double as tiny blankets when you forget one, and could turn into a lovey.
    – Keep a few in the car, for any spills… baby OR you
    – Keep a few in the diaper bag. I have used them to cover shopping cart handles.
    – Roll them up to support baby’s head in a swing or seat when they can’t hold their head up
    – I always had at least 2 in my pumping bag at work too, so I could wipe away all the drops running down my chest, before getting put back together

    yes, I am a bit addicted to burp cloths 🙂

  2. Thank you so much. I am due 12/25 with a little Christmas fella and as he is our first, i am totally out of the loop on this stuff. I have begun building my registry and right now i have like one of everything only. I knew this couldnt be quite accurate but didnt want to also register for a surplus of things that were useless.

    Could someone also provide me some insight on a few things i am totally clueless about- do i have to buy attachments when i buy my pump?
    What about bra inserts for nursing (seriously, im an idiot, nursing pads?)
    Speaking of bras, i live in a pretty rural area by all other standards that are not Montana- i will have my fella here at our hostpital but there is not a place to buy bras, say after my cha cha’s end up godzilla size. Any recommendations? Did you prepare by buying just bra’s bigger than your size at the time in case? Help?

    1. @AshinMT: Congrats! It’s an exciting ride! As for your pump, it should come with one set of tubes, flanges, connectors, and membranes. Some people like to buy a second set of everything (minus the tubing, you only need 1 set of those) if they plan on pumping a lot to cut down on washing every time you pump. I only have one set and pump 3x a day at work and am fine with my one set. You shouldn’t need to buy any attachments to begin with!

      I needed nursing pads for the first few months. My let down was very forceful so I needed something there, otherwise I’d soak right through. I’ve never had a problem with randomly letting down or leaking when my son wasn’t nursing on one side, but some women do. Having a box of breast pads on hand isn’t a bad idea, particularly in the beginning.

      And as for bras, I got fitted at a Motherhood Maternity at 36 weeks pregnant and bought 2 bras then. The fitting wasn’t anything you can’t do yourself, and I’m pretty sure they give you guidelines on their website on how to size yourself. It’s recommended to wait until 34-36 weeks to measure although my breast size never really changed. Keep in mind when your milk comes in, your breasts will be huge and any bra you get may likely feel tight, but once your supply gets regulated you won’t be as godzilla sized as you are in the beginning!

      Good luck!!

    2. @AshinMT:

      Hey Ashin! Before baby, I bought myself 2 cheapo nursing bras and 2 nursing tanks from target. That held me over for a few weeks or a month, then I went to a local store to try on nursing bras and let me tell you – spending a few extra dollars (about $40-60 a bra) makes a HUGE difference. I went with Bravado bras – super comfy. You can buy them online and I think it would be pretty easy to get the right size, as nursing bras don’t have underwire that needs to fit like regular bras. I highly recommend that company!

    3. @AshinMT: My pump came with everything but I bought extra of the little white membranes. Those seem to wear quickly or go missing! I loved the Johnson’s nursing pads. They are super soft and absorbent…at Target in a pink box. The best bra I bought was a Bravado one I found on Amazon. It was super expensive $50 but it was the only one I could find that held things up without an underwire (I couldn’t wear underwire bras while nursing at all…some people don’t mind them though) I would buy a few of the stretchy sports bra/sleeping bras for the first few days while your size is fluxing and then once it stops changing, do some measuring and order away. Good luck!

      1. @ellen:
        In reply to those who commented to me- THANK YOU. I am really sad I didnt get email updates in August that so many helpful folks had left comments… here I am nearing the finish and referencing Tina’s post again that I find them!

        Wanted to also say congrats and good luck Ellen! Still overwhelmed (maybe more so now that things are so close) over here- but just getting excited at this point!

  3. Burp cloths were a funny thing for me! My little dude rarely spits up, so the burp cloths and receiving blankets we stocked up on never got used. Like everything else, it ALL depends on your own baby.

    And as for the change table cover – I totally went through the ‘I’m just keeping it off’ stage. We had two covers and neither would be able to stay clean! But now we have way fewer accidents happening on the change pad, so it’s nice to have it back on.

  4. Great list. I use a changing pad cover, but I also have a little pad on it in case of accidents.

    Also, for the crib I highly recommend the ultimate crib sheet. (From babies r us). We had one with our first and got another for the little guy. We layer the crib with a mattress pad, sheet, ultimate crib sheet and another sheet. That way if there are accidents in the middle of the night you can just quickly peel off one layer. And it’s now on our daughters big girl bed, horizontally, in case she wets the bed.

    I can’t believe Q never fit in newborn onesies. My guy is the same age as Q and is now 8 lbs and still in newborn diapers and clothes…some pants still don’t fit him either.

  5. This is a great starting point for me because it’s so hard to know how much stuff you actually needed. Now granted, we’re having twins, so I’ll probably have to double this list, but it definitely helps.

  6. I have more burp cloths than I can even count. I bought at least two, maybe three packs of the cheap cloth diapers to use as burp cloths. I had several actual burp cloths given to me as gifts but I never used them because they didn’t absorb well. Both of my boys spit up a ton though.

    The thing I could not live without though are the Aden+Anais muslin swaddling blankets. My six year old still sleeps with his. They are perfect for pretty much anything and everything.

  7. We definitely have too many blankets- everyone loves giving blankets as gifts! Otherwise, we have about what we need… similar amounts of burp clothes, washcloths, etc to what you named. We love the swaddle blankets too, and the Aden + Anais are also wonderful for summer!

  8. I agree with most all of this list!! Although for the changing pad, we had two covers and then used changing pad liners. Soooo easy to change out! We had 6 liners and rarely ever had to change the cover itself, but had an extra one in case.

  9. This, along with everything you posted on your pregnancy and Q, have been the most helpful!

    I *just* found out I’m pregnant yesterday, so I bookmarked this. 🙂

  10. We cloth diapered and used prefolds as inserts. Since I already had them around, we used them as burp cloths and a ton of other things. My kiddo is almost three now but when he was done with diapers, I bleached them all and use them for rags. They are so soft now!

    I also had a ton of baby washcloths. I actually accordion folded them, placed them in a wipe warmer, poured a solution of hot h20, a few drops of baby wash and essential oil over them and had hot wipes anytime I needed one! They were especially good for mid-day “mini” baths and wiping under my baby’s neck! I swear he hid all kinds of things under there!!

  11. I love your tops and all of the suggestions in the comments. I’m due in a few weeks and, as a new mom, am trying to figure my way through the sea of baby items.

  12. The best bit of advice I got was to buy multiple sets of waterproof mattress covers and sheets, and then when you make up the crib you layer them – cover, sheet, cover, sheet. That way when you have the inevitable diaper leak or blowout or puke-fest or whatever 🙂 at 3 am, you just strip off the top two layers and put the kid back down on the clean sheet underneath. It’s a lifesaver!

    I cloth diapered, and there is nothing better in the world than a clean prefold cloth diaper to use as a burp cloth. It puts the actual burp clothes to shame (cheap, more absorbant than anything else in the world, and it’s easy and affordable to buy 100% organic cotton ones, if chemicals are a concern you for), and there are a million uses for them. In fact I still keep one or two in my bag despite the fact that my daughter’s potty trained, and I used one the other day to dry off a wet slide at the playground. 🙂

    My one last bit of advice is to NOT buy a million bottles before your baby arrives, in case they are picky! It took two months of hard work and tears to get my daughter to take a bottle at all (it was nerve-wracking since I had to go back to work 12 weeks postpartum), and we ended up buying and trying out about a dozen different combos (and as an FYI, the magic combo that worked for us, and that works for most bottle-hating babies end up taking is a Playtex drop in with an orthodontic, latex nipple).

  13. Ugh, I had so many wash cloths given to me – I counted over 75. I gave all away but 12 or so.

    Because Max was a winter baby, swaddle clothes came in really handy during cold days – especially since you can’t put a baby in a snowsuit into a car seat. So we would wrap him in blankets and removed them as the temp rose in the car.

  14. I couldn’t get enough burp clothes and white onesies and then when they’re a few months older, bibs! We had hundreds of bibs it seems like, since all my kids were spitters and they saved the cute clothes.

    My favorite swaddle was the miracle blanket and I kept an extra one in case of poop or spitup disaster. Also I remember having to constantly wash the changing pad cover and we had at least 4.

  15. I just washed all my burb clothes yesterday. Baby number two will hopefully be here on Friday (being induced). I use the old style cloth diapers and keep them everywhere. My first was a spit up queen so we went through a ton.

  16. There are never enough burp clothes if you ask me! And, finding the right kind (the ones that absorb the best spit up) took time but once I discovered what worked (not the fancy ones) I stocked up. I think I liked the thin Gerber ones. I also learned to love the gerber onesies which I never could have enough of. I found that as he grew (he grew like crazy each month), they were the most forgiving and lasted through growth spurts the longest.

  17. E is a champion spitter and now that she’s teething, she drools CONSTANTLY and wants to chew on everything, so we go through at least 3 drenched burp cloths in a day.

    I am loving the A&A swaddle blankets, E is 4 months, so we don’t swaddle her anymore, but she loves them in the carseat, to lay on, to hold, to suck on and when it’s time for nap or bedtime, the quickest way to get her to sleep in seconds is to put her on your chest, throw a blanket on top of her and she’s out.

  18. I agree on burp cloths! I never bought any, but we were gifted a ton, and I didn’t give them a second thought”¦.until she barfed up so much when she was little! haha. Thank goodness for those!

    I do have to disagree on the changing pad cover–but my baby’s never peed on it (she’s a girl, so that might be why? hah) I love ours and it makes the room a bit more fun 🙂

    I think binkies are key too-our baby loooooves them, and it’s so helpful to help soothe them when they aren’t hungry!

  19. I felt the same about the changing pad cover when my son was a newborn. Get another one when he is closer to 5-6 months and try it again… trust me, the accidents during changings are really only when they are newborns.

  20. best burp clothes are the ones by aden & anais that double as snapped bibs as he gets older! huge and so awesome!

  21. Now that we are in toddler mode i cannot seem to ever have enough toddler utensils or cups, i don’t know where they go, but they just vanish….ha. we had wayyyyyyy to many bibs so i had to return a bunch, now we love the ones that you can wipe down/rinse under the sink so we get a few uses out of it before throwing it in the washer.

  22. yes! love the aden & anais burb clothes that double as a bib! i also love the aden aden & anais sleep sacks (for when baby is a little bigger), and aden & anais blankets, which are thin and breathable. Great for the stroller and to tuck in your diaper bag…do you see a theme?!

  23. I care for three small children and I have at least 30 burp cloths. Besides, I have been doing laundry every single day forever. I sort of assumed that came with children:) (M own is now 19 years old)
    I would like to add, as far as crib sheets go, you may want more then two just in case the flu strikes your home and it is coming out of both ends at the same time:(

    Just saying, I’ve learned from experience
    Q is quite the cutie!

  24. Love this list, we have burp clothes in every room of the house at all times. When my 15-week-old twin girls grew out of their swaddles, I purchased 4 sleeveless sleep sacks (Halo) and we love love them. We have 10+ binkies that the girls HATE (buggers).

    Re: changing table pad cover – they sell washable pads to go over the cover that can catch the poo and pee explosions, for what its worth.

  25. I probably have about 30 burp cloths and I used them ALL when Henry was an infant!

    Also, I used oval changing pad liners, but I put them ON TOP of the changing pad sheet. We only had to change Henry’s changing pad sheet a few times (which is more of a process). Most of Henry’s accidents ended up on the the little oval liner, which we would just toss in the wash and grab another! They were live savers!

  26. We had about 10 burp cloths, we were given a pack of the cute gerber ones, but what i really love are the nice thick cloth diaper ones! Those are great. We got a 6 pack of those and used them for everything. Even now, I’ll use one to wipe up spilled water or a toddler mess. My mom dusts with hers from 30 years ago!

    We had a ton of those little bibs, I always used those for bottle feeding. Once my son hit 6 months, he started ripping those off. And now at 13 mos, we strictly use a silicone bib.

    We use the changing pad cover, I have two, but I’d put a washable cover over it when he was small. We got a 3 pack at babies r us. Now I just change the cover weekly or as needed.

    We used the tommee tippee bottles and somehow got away with 7 small ones, then 6 big ones. I thought that was a lot!!

    My son was 8 15 / 21.25″ and wore borrowed newborn shorts from friends for a week or so. We knew he’d be big and bought nothing in that size. We had him in his 3mo outfits super quick and by time he went to daycare at 14 weeks he was in 6mo overalls. It’s amazing how fast they grow. Now he’s in mostly 2t.

  27. We have 12 burp cloths for our 4 month old and feel like I could use about another 5 🙂

    Something else to have stocked and ready to go – sleepers with zippers! We have about 7 in each size – same line of thought as your onesies. Also, I can’t stress the zipper part enough – whether buying for your own or as gifts. We learned this with out first – no new parent wants to be fumbling with snaps in the middle of the night. We ditched all button sleepers within the first week!

  28. I actually never use burb cloths (even though I have a ton!), but my baby almost never spits up, maybe once or twice per week. She does get milk on her face when eating from a bottle, but usually I just use her blanket to wipe it up. She loves blankets and has a a ton (probably more than 15). And we love swaddle blankets, even though she is too big to be swaddled now! They are perfect for hot summer days!

    I never had a changing pad cover, it seemed silly to me! I just wipe down the vinyl every now and then or scrub it if we have an explosion.

    I think we use about 5 bottles regularly.

    Lucky, my best friend has 3 girls so just about all of Lizzy’s clothes have come from here. Of course, I still buy her some adorable stuff. But most of it are hand me downs.

  29. Just got the Pack and Play. Has anyone bought the mattress for it available on and do you like it?

  30. We did the whole ‘don’t use the changing pad cover’ when my daughter was little. I was vigilant about wiping it off after every mess, but it started to really stink after a while. So much so that we had to buy a new one. I recommend using at least the disposable covers just so you can protect the changing pad. After they get bigger you shouldn’t have to clean up as many messes, so they last for a while. We always used the Munchkin brand from Target, but I’m sure anything would work.

  31. The best gift I received were cloth diaper inserts.
    I put them down on top of the changing pad cover
    So the diaper gets wet / soiled instead of the whole cover.

    That and they double as burp cloths.
    And as you’ve noticed one can never have
    Enough burp cloths or bibs 🙂
    I give them to all expecting mamas.

  32. Howdy! When our little ones were babies we used puppy pads that we had leftover instead of a changing pad cover. They are cheap and disposable!

  33. Thanks for this post Tina. I’m due in 10 weeks and just had a shower and have no idea if I had too much or not enough. I love how your drawers are organized. I’ve received so much clothes that I feel like our drawers are overstuffed. One question that I have is how many bibs do you have and how much do you use on a weekly basis?

    1. We have a lot of bibs, but we haven’t used any of them yet. My sister said she uses a ton of them for Matthew (drooling and eating), so I guess at some point we’ll start using them!

  34. in the winter that changing pad will get chilly on naked baby skin, I have 2 changing pads, but when both are dirty (and I haven’t done the laundry yet) I just put a towel over it, easy peasy. I agree, tons and tons of burp cloths!!!!

  35. we never went through all our washclothes with ryan. hes now 2 and i think we used only a dozen in the last 2 years. we rotate changing pad covers. we have 2. i used the saver on them when he was smaller becuase he would pee on them, and that saved them. now nothing gets on them, so that worked for us. we never used pack and play sheets. we kept the plastic base thing becuase it was easier to clean. the only time we used a sheet, was when we were on vacation and used the pack and play as a bed for him. as for sheets for the bed, we have 3 sheets and 3 sheetsavers. there are 2 of each on the crib at all times. so if there is an accident/leakage/vomit etc in the middle of the night you dont have to make another bed, you just take the top sheet/saver off, and the next layer is ready to go. it was the best piece of advice i was given!!!

  36. Congrats on your beautiful growing family! My sister is about to have her first baby in October, so we have loved reading your blog and chatting about the things to come. Thanks for all the great and honest information you are sharing about having a newborn!

  37. If you are going to breastfeed, I highly recommend Lansinoh gel soothies for the first few weeks. Nursing takes a toll on the nippies and these are great.

    I think I lived in the Target nursing tanks 24/7 for the first few weeks too!

  38. This varies SO much from baby to baby! Mine is 17 months now and we never used one of her burp cloths or washcloths! She hasn’t spit up a day in her life, and we use the little poufs for bath instead. And I got so many bottles! But I’m home with her and breastfeed so I really only needed a couple not the dozen I bought! (And now she’ll just drink out of a camelback kids cup, straw or sippy cup.)

    And the changing pad cover was very much used, we have too, and when she was little and would pee and poo all the time, we just used a waterproof travel pad under the important areas in case of an accident.

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