Pregnancy is a time for planning, at least it was for me. I remember scouring the internet for checklists of things I would need for my new baby. Bathtime was a topic I was scared of; how would I find a washcloth or flannel soft enough for my baby’s delicate skin?
Whether you’re looking for your own new bundle or a present for a friend or family member, this list of the best baby washcloths will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
Do Babies Need Special Washcloths?
There are a few reasons as to why babies should have their own washcloths. As I mentioned above, an adult washcloth would be too rough for my baby. Most baby washcloths or flannels are made from a softer material and texture, meaning it’s kinder to their delicate skin.
Another reason baby washcloths are a necessity is the size. An ordinary flannel might look small to you or I but when they’re put against a newborn baby, they suddenly seem enormous. Being the perfect size means you can into all of the nooks and crannies their cute rolls hide and ensure that they’ve been thoroughly cleaned.
Best Baby Washcloths, Flannels, Bath Mitts and Gloves
Let’s get into the reason you’re here…the list of the best baby washcloths. They’re categorised so you only have to look at the ones you’re interested in. I’m confident that you’ll find exactly what you need within this list.
CuddleDry Bamboo Washcloth Set
Best Overall Baby Washcloth
These CuddleDry washcloths are made from bamboo fibre, a super soft material which is kind to delicate skin of any age. Bamboo is also grown sustainably and without chemicals, making it a great eco-friendly material. It also has natural antibacterial properties which is fantastic for newborns, these cloths will help get rid of any harmful bacteria on their skin.
Unfortunately, these washcloths do only come in a set of three. As a new parent, the last thing you want is to feel like you’re drowning in laundry so stockpiling items, such as washcloths, is a necessity. If these washcloths are for you, you might feel that it could get expensive quickly.
However, these would make a great baby shower gift for an expectant mum, especially when given with a hooded towel and some bubble bath.
Mothercare 10 Piece Flannel Set
Best Value Baby Washcloths
This Mothercare 10 piece flannel set comes with a variety of colours, making them ideal for either gender. They’re made from 100% cotton so they’re perfect for newborn skin. These flannels would also be good for a quick face wash for toddlers or older children too, they are quite absorbent and hold plenty of water but they dry quickly so there won’t be soggy flannels leaving puddles all over your bathroom!
The only potential downside is that because these work out at around £1 a flannel, they might not last as long as other flannels or wash cloths on the market. Having said that, Mothercare claim that they remain super soft after multiple washes.
This pack of 10 flannels are a good way to stock up before your baby arrives. It’s also worth noting that they can be tumble dried on a low heat so you won’t be waiting around for them to dry before giving your baby a wash.
Check Price: Boots
Blumie Organic Cotton Baby Washcloths
Best Organic Baby Washcloth
Available in three colourways, sandy beige, sage green and dusky pink, these Blumie organic washcloths are great for either gender or even if the parents are waiting until birth to find out. They’re made from GOTS cotton, a soft and absorbent material which Blumie say gets softer with every wash. The cotton is organic, meaning it’s grown in chemical free soil without the use of pesticides. This makes these washcloths ideal for sensitive skin.
With these cloths, the colour could fade more over time as they’re muted already. There’s also the risk that the cotton fibres could start to separate after multiple use or washes but this isn’t a definite.
If you know that your baby suffers from sensitive skin, the cotton used in these cloths could help prevent any skin conditions from developing. You’re definitely paying for the organic cotton though as these are one of the more expensive options available.
Check Price: Amazon
Jumpy Moos Hypoallergenic
Best Bamboo Washcloth for Babies
Sized at 10×10 inches, these Jumpy Moos bamboo washcloths are ideal for newborn, toddler or even adults. They can be used in a variety of ways; bath washcloths, burping cloths, reusable wipes or even for makeup removal (make sure to keep them separated if they’re being used for multiple purposes). Bamboo is a super soft material so these cloths will be delicate on all skin types, including newborn skin.
Jumpy Moos say that these cloths should last and keep their shape after several washes and even offer a lifetime guarantee if they’re not up to scratch. But there are a few reviews which claim these flannels fell apart after a few washes, even when they were washed in the laundry bag that comes with the cloths.
Note that they’re not the cheapest washcloth, but the bamboo material makes them perfect for newborns. They also come in a variety of colours which will appeal to all parents, no matter the gender of their baby or their personal preference.
Check Price: Amazon
Cheeky Wipes Bamboo Terry Cloth Wipes
Best Washcloth for Newborns
While these are marketed as baby wipes, Cheeky Wipes also work wonderfully as wash clothes for new babies. The 15x15cm squares are the perfect size to clean your little one and the wonderfully soft bamboo texture will be kind to sensitive skin. Even better, as it comes in a pack of 25, you can use some for bathtime and some as disposable baby wipes (just don’t get them mixed up!).
I remember when baby wipes weren’t recommended for newborns which seemed ridiculous to me, especially with how sticky meconium is. But if you still don’t feel comfortable using disposable baby wipes on a newborn, these bamboo terry fibre reusable wipes are a great alternative. Simply soak the squares in a mix of water and essential oil. They’ll stay damp in an airtight box or a zip lock bag when out and about.
These wipes will shrink after the first wash which could be a downside for you. Another disadvantage is that it could mean more laundry for you. As it’s not recommended to use softener in a cloth wipe wash, you can’t throw these in with your other laundry loads. If you live in a hard water area, your cloths could look more worn a lot quicker than if you live in a soft water area.
Having said all of this, reusable baby wipes are the way forward. They cost less over time (even with the cost of running a washing machine) and you won’t be adding waste to landfill. This pack of 25 multicoloured wipes, if looked after properly, will last years.
Check Price: Amazon
Aden + Anais Essentials Washcloths
Best Muslin Baby Washcloth
Every parent will tell you that muslin cloths are invaluable, and aden + anais is one of the leading brands in muslins. They have so many uses and this set of three aden + anais washcloths is no different.
Available in a variety of colours and patterns, these muslin cloths can be used as a washcloth, flannel or as a simple muslin to catch spit up from newborns. They’re made from 100% cotton so they’re soft enough to be used on newborn skin and they’ll remain soft after a few washes.
There isn’t really anything negative to say about these cloths. There are a few reviews which say that these muslin cloths aren’t as soft as other washcloths but if you’ve ever felt a muslin, you’ll know that it’s not as soft a texture as a traditional flannel.
These muslins will soon be a staple in your routine. They can be washed on a regular cycle with other laundry and they don’t shrink or fade over time either. There’s also matching towels available which would make a great baby shower gift when combined with this muslin set.
Tidy Tot Bamboo Wash Cloth Mitts
Best Wash Mitt for Babies
Babies usually need some fun encouragement to get them to do things they don’t always want to do. This set of bamboo cloth mitts from Tidy Tot will soon turn the fight of bathtime into a fun and bonding experience with your child. With adorable animal designs, you’ll find three adult sized mitts and three baby sized ones within this pack. They also make a good alternative to cloths or disposable wipes when weaning, they’re not just limited to bathing a newborn.
Unfortunately, there are some reviews which state that these mitts can shrink in the wash, even when the correct instructions are followed. They’re also not suitable for the tumble dryer which could be a dealbreaker for some parents.
This set of six seems expensive for wash mitts or gloves but if they’re looked after and cared for properly, they should last throughout the newborn days through to the weaning months. The antibacterial bamboo will keep conditions like eczema or teething rash at bay and they should stay super soft, even after several washes.
Check Price: Amazon
Baby Washcloths Buyers Guide
Now that we’ve gone through the list of the best baby washcloths, flannels and mitts available on the market right now, it’s now time to explain how to choose the best washcloth for your baby.
What to look for in a washcloth for babies
It’s good to remember that what’s important to you might not be as important to someone else.
- Cost. I know that many parents, myself included, work to a budget. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that I’m going to use to clean my baby and I’m sure that a lot of you are the same.
- Softness. This factor is probably the most important to me. I suffer with dry skin and I have to treat it carefully. When I’m buying a flannel, washcloth or even a towel for my baby, it has to feel really gentle on my skin. Which leads me into the next point…
- Material. In order for a baby washcloth to be soft, it has to be made of a good quality material such as bamboo or 100% cotton. If I see these materials on the packaging of a flannel, it would be a deciding factor as to whether or not I bought them.
- Absorbency. There’s no point buying a washcloth that’s not absorbent. I look for one that holds water without it dripping everywhere, especially when I’m trying to bath a slippery newborn. It’s also important that the flannel is easily dried, bonus points if I can tumble dry it.
- Size. As I mentioned before, the size of a baby washcloth is important. If I’m using it solely as a washcloth, I don’t want it to be too big. It needs to thoroughly clean my baby and this is only possible if I can get into all of their cute rolls. But I like muslins, for example, to be bigger especially if I’m taking them out and about with me.
How to use baby washcloths
Here are some top tips for cleaning your baby with a washcloth or sponge.
- Make sure you use a clean washcloth each time you bath your baby. If not, the damp flannel will hold onto any germs or dirt and you’ll just keep transferring it from baby to cloth.
- Dip the washcloth into the water and wring it out until it’s damp, not dripping. You don’t want to scare your baby with water droplets falling onto their face.
- Start from their head and work your way down. A newborn doesn’t need shampoo or baby wash early on, but you can use these if you want to. Gently rub their hair and skin with slow movements, talking to them while you do it. Remember to rinse out the cloth regularly.
- Try and get into their rolls, especially around the groin. Make sure you do this last though as you don’t want any of those germs on their face.
- When bathtime is over, place the dirty washcloth into the laundry basket, thoroughly dry your baby, perhaps massage with some baby oil, and get them dressed for bed or for the day ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many baby washcloths do I need?
This is a personal choice but with everything baby related, I tried to make sure that I had 7 of everything. That way, if I couldn’t do some laundry, there would still be enough for me to look after my baby for a week.
How to make baby washcloths myself?
Making baby washcloths is relatively easy if you know how to sew. The most important thing to remember is to choose an appropriate material; bamboo or 100% cotton is ideal. Simple cut the fabric into the right size and shape you want and then tidy up the frayed edges with your sewing machine or needle and thread. You can even get fancy and add a patterned side to your cloth.
What is the best size for a baby washcloth?
Baby washcloths come in a variety of sizes but the smaller the better really. An ideal size is around 17x17cm but I know that they can come in sizes bigger or smaller than that.
The Bottom Line
A baby washcloth is a staple in you baby bathtime routine. Hopefully this list of the best baby washcloths will help you decide which one is perfect for you and who knows? You might be surprised with how often you use these cloths in other aspects of your life!