Bathtime is an opportunity to bond with your baby as you care for their health. A tool every parent should have at the ready is a soft, soapy washcloth. Baby washcloths are perfect for gently exfoliating your baby’s skin without overdoing it and they can also be a fun bathtime toy.
Parents can’t seem to get enough of the aden + anais Muslin Washcloths. Made of breathable 100% cotton muslin, these are made to stay soft and gentle even after a trip through the washing machine.
Your baby’s skin is soft and delicate, more sensitive than your own and that tender skin needs an ultra-soft and gentle washcloth. Picking the right material is the first step.
One option you’ll find is organic terry cotton. Being an organic natural fiber, these will typically be soft and breathable. Because they are made from organic cotton, you have more of an assurance your baby is safe from any harsh chemicals or pesticides used in the growing process. And by using organic cotton, you’re getting a washcloth that preserves the natural properties of the cotton.
Bamboo is another natural fiber that is sweeping the market and for good reason. It’s softer than cotton, more absorbent, has wicking properties, is hypoallergenic and even antibacterial. This is the definite choice if your baby has particularly sensitive skin.
Another cotton option is muslin cotton. While this is the same fiber as the terry cotton, it’s woven differently, creating a different texture. Muslin cotton washcloths provide a natural and breathable option for cleaning your baby. They are known for being super soft and gentle on delicate baby skin.
With your washcloth in hand, it’s time to bathe your baby. Many parents question how frequently they should bathe their baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends bathing your baby about three times per week during their first year. Any more than that and you run the risk of drying your baby’s skin out.
During the bath, there are several ways to use the washcloth. The obvious is to gently scrub your baby clean, especially on their head to avoid cradle cap. You can also lay the washcloth on your baby’s head to help them maintain a comfortable temperature during bathtime. If you get creative, the washcloth can be a fun way to entertain your baby during their bath, too.
It’s recommended that you have at least six washcloths. Before you go out and buy a set, consider the following:
Assess your baby’s skin type. Are they particularly sensitive to textures or chemicals? If so, you should try a bamboo washcloth. They are the softest and the hypoallergenic properties won’t exacerbate any skin irritation. If you combine that with a gentle baby wash, their skin will stay happy.
While the recommendation is to have six washcloths, you should consider how often you use them. If you find yourself often reaching for a washcloth for daily clean-ups, you’ll run out of your six washcloths quickly. In that case, consider getting a larger set that you use for those daily touch-ups and spills, then purchase a separate set specifically dedicated to bathtime.
Many washcloths on the market are labelled organic. The benefit of an organic material is the reassurance that there are little to no chemicals in it that could be harmful to your baby. These are usually a more eco-friendly option, meaning you’ll be practicing sustainability. However, organic washcloths will likely be more expensive. Non-organic washcloths, on the other hand, will be cheaper, but often aren’t as soft and frequently use a blend of synthetics with their natural fibers.
Above all, avoid synthetics and synthetic blends if at all possible. You should aim for washcloths made of 100% natural fiber, whether that be cotton, bamboo, hemp, etc. You’ll notice a difference. The natural-fiber washcloths will feel noticeably softer. Your baby will notice the difference, too.
Because the recommendation is to have at least six washcloths, you will want to focus on sets of washcloths. Most come in sets of three, six or 12. You can find many high-quality brands for reasonable prices selling packs of high-end washcloths in sets of at least three. Look for these to build your collection.
Every washcloth should be machine-washable, but it’s worth double-checking. Certain fibers are meant to be laid out to dry and any extra step in the laundry process adds more work for you. Look for the washcloths that have the easiest care instructions so you can throw them in the wash without stressing about following extra steps.
You can typically find a pack of baby washcloths for between $5-$15. These will be smaller packs or basic-quality products. If you can spend between $15-$30 on a pack of washcloths, you’ll have access to better-quality materials and more durable craftsmanship. Factoring in both ends of the spectrum, the average baby washcloth costs about $2.75-$3.25 each.
A. By far, the best option for a baby with sensitive skin is bamboo. It’s naturally softer than cotton and has inherent hypoallergenic properties to reduce any skin irritation. Pair it with a great sensitive skin wash and your baby’s skin will be happy.
A. The recommendation is to have at least six washcloths. That being said, many parents are turning to washcloths to clean their children up throughout the day. It’s less wasteful than wipes and reusable, which saves money. If that’s the case in your household, consider investing in a larger set of clean-up washcloths of a lower quality and purchasing a higher-quality set strictly for bathtime.
A. Both terry cotton and muslin cotton are great options, especially if they are organic. It comes down to personal preference. Terry cloth cotton will typically create more suds and is a better exfoliator, while muslin is a softer, gentler way of scrubbing down your baby.
What you need to know: Made of 100% natural, breathable cotton muslin, these washcloths are a gentle option your baby will love.
What you’ll love: Despite being a soft way to clean your baby, these washcloths are extremely durable. As a medium, woven fabric, it will provide just enough exfoliation to cleanse your baby’s skin without irritating it.
What you should consider: Some users have reported the edges can start to come apart after some use.
What you need to know: If you want to stock up on washcloths quickly, you can’t go wrong with this 12-pack set.
What you’ll love: Made of a synthetic blend, these are exactly the washcloths you want to stock up on for mid-day clean-ups and wiping up spilled meals. The cotton-polyester material is soft enough for a quick wipe when your baby’s face is messy and there’s enough of them to always have one on hand.
What you should consider: Because it’s not a natural fiber, it could irritate more sensitive skin.
What you need to know: This 100% cotton washcloth set is a breathable, soft option at an accessible price.
What you’ll love: Being a 100% cotton terry washcloth, this is going to stay soft and gentle on your baby’s skin. It’s smooth on one side and looped on the other, so you can customize your baby’s bathing experience.
What you should consider: Some users have noted these washcloths feel too thin.
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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.