What is a Burp Cloth For? Our Guide to Burping Cloths

  • By: The DIG for Kids
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Do you know what burp cloths are used for? Click on this article for all the ways you can use burp cloths and how to choose the best options.

A burp cloth is a baby item that is often flung over a parent’s shoulder to catch any spit-up or drool that comes from burping a baby after feeding them.

While catching spit from a burping baby is the main reason behind burp cloths, it is not the only reason to keep these on hand at all times when you are a parent. For more information regarding burp clothes, keep reading our article.

What is a Burp Cloth For?

There are many different colors, styles, and designs of burp cloths made from a wide variety of fabrics and commonly placed over a mother’s shoulder while she is burping her baby after feeding to avoid getting any spit up or drool on her clothing.

All the Ways You Can Use a Burp Cloth for Your Baby

While burp cloths are mainly to catch spit up before it becomes another pattern on your shirt, there are many other great ways to utilize these long pieces of fabric.

When Your Baby is Ill

Many yucky messes can come from an infant when they are sick, and using a burp cloth to catch all these bodily fluids is an ideal way to keep your laundry pile low and your child as close to you as possible.

Burp cloths can be utilized as softer and easy to access tissue to clean up any messes that come from a little one sneeze or running nose due to a nasty cold or those pesky seasonal allergies.

You can also keep them close for a child suffering from an upset stomach. Because you usually drape these cloths over your shoulder, it’s there for you to grab, instead of the instinctual hand cupping, all mothers are guilty of doing.

Replaces the Bib

While bibs are handy and come in tons of adorable designs, putting them on your baby and taking them off every time you feed them can be a little irritating.

Many moms find it much more convenient to simply lay the burp cloth across the baby’s chest and underneath their chin, to absorb milk leaks and spit-up. 

After giving your baby a bottle, you can then throw the towel over your shoulder and burp them without having to change any bibs or clothing in the process.

Makeshift Light Blanket

Many parents take advantage of the versatility provided by a good, top-quality burp cloth in all types of situations.

A great example of this is using a burp cloth for a light blanket to cover your baby as they sleep when you have no other option in sight.

First Aid 

As your children get older, keeping those burp cloths around is still ideal for playdate or trips to the park.

Toddlers are well-known for getting messy and getting hurt. Having a soft and durable burp cloth on hand can aid in boo-boo clean-ups or messy faces after an ice cream cone or a sticky lolly-pop after a doctor’s appointment.

The Best Burp Cloths 

When shopping around for burp cloths, there are a few features you should consider keeping an eye out for. This way, you know you are getting a great product that will last you throughout the baby stage.


You can find burp cloths made out of many different materials, but there are a handful of options that are much better for burp clothes than the rest.

Flannels, terry cloth, chenille, and cotton are the best options for baby burp cloths because they are strong fabrics and very absorbent. They are also very easy to clean.


There is no reason to pay a fortune for burp cloths. Honestly, the purpose for these products is just to get spit up on anyway. 

Unless you are looking for designer brands or personalized options, burp clothes should be one of the lesser expenses of having a baby.


Baby burp cloths come in a few different shapes and sizes, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to parents and babies. It is important you choose the option that works best for your family.

There are long, thin burp cloths, which are the most basic option. There are also contoured burp cloths that curve little inwards in the middle, making it a much better fit when slung over your shoulder. Lastly, there are long oval patterns where the ends are circular. 


Burp cloths can come in layers depending on the brands you buy and the material they are made from. It is important to recognize the thickness of each fabric and how absorbent they are. The less absorbent, the more layers you are going to want.

Best Ways to Wash Burp Clothes

It is always important to remember just how sensitive baby skin really is. When you are washing any fabrics that come in direct contact with your child, make sure you do not use any strong cleaning agents.

Using a mild scent-free soap in these situations is ideal, and should be done on a gentle cycle with warm water, then tossed into the dryer for a nice fluffed tumble dry, without any fabric softeners.

Burp Clothes Vs. Bibs

Burp cloths are much more versatile than bibs and can be carried around over the shoulder and never fasten around your baby’s neck. The only situation where a bib is probably a better option is when your baby starts to eat jar food; then, these products do a better job of keeping everything your child is wearing clean.

Bibs can also come in easier to clean materials such as plastic, making them a great option for cleaning up after meals.


All parents can vouch for the importance of a large supply of good quality burp cloths. These items are great for catching spit-up or just about any other type of mess your baby can create.

Whether you are using your burp for the very reason it was designed, or one of the other reasons listed above; choosing a good quality burp cloth can make all the difference in the end.