How many burp cloths do you go through a day?

As a new parent, you likely go through a lot of burp cloths in a day. Burp cloths are an essential baby item that helps keep spit up and other messes off your clothes and furniture. But just how many burp cloths does a baby really need in a day? The number can vary quite a bit based on your baby’s habits.

Quick Answer

Most parents go through 6-12 burp cloths per day for a newborn. Older babies may only need 2-6 burp cloths per day. Have at least 15-30 burp cloths on hand so you always have a clean one ready.

How Often Do Babies Spit Up?

Spit up, along with other messes like drool and spilled milk, are the main reasons you need burp cloths. So how often do babies actually spit up? Here’s what to expect:

  • Newborns spit up after 40-50% of feedings in the early months
  • Spit up peaks around 4 months old
  • By 6-7 months old, babies spit up less as their digestive systems mature

Of course, frequency varies by individual baby. Some babies spit up after nearly every feeding, while others hardly spit up at all. Premature babies and those with reflux issues tend to spit up more often.

How Many Burp Cloths for a Newborn

For a newborn in the first 3 months, plan on using 6-12 burp cloths per day. Here’s why you may go through so many:

  • Newborns eat 8-12 times per day
  • After 40-50% of those feedings, they’ll likely spit up
  • You’ll want a clean burp cloth for each feeding
  • Extra burp cloths are handy for other messes between feedings

So for example, if your baby eats every 2-3 hours, they are eating about 8-12 times a day. If they spit up after half of those feedings, that’s 4-6 spit ups per day. Since you’ll want a clean burp cloth each time, you would go through 4-6 burp cloths just for spit up alone.

Then you may need a few more burp cloths throughout the day for drool, leaking diapers, milk dribbles, etc. So a total of 6-12 burp cloths per day is reasonable for a newborn.

Newborn Burp Cloth Schedule

Here is an example schedule of how many burp cloths a newborn might use in a day:

Time Feeding Burp Cloths Needed
7 am Morning feeding 2 (1 for spit up, 1 for milk dribbles)
9 am Mid-morning feeding 1
11 am Late morning feeding 2 (1 for spit up, 1 for drool)
1 pm Afternoon feeding 1
3 pm Mid-afternoon feeding 2 (1 for spit up, 1 for leaking diaper)
5 pm Early evening feeding 1
7 pm Evening feeding 1
10 pm Night feeding 1
Total 12

This example shows how 12 burp cloths may be used in a day. The number can go even higher if your baby spits up more frequently.

How Many Burp Cloths for Older Babies

As babies grow older and their digestive systems mature, they spit up less often. By 6-7 months old, babies have typically outgrown the spitting up phase.

So for an older baby who doesn’t spit up as much, you may only go through 2-6 burp cloths per day. You’ll still need some for the occasional spit up, drool, and other messes.

Here’s a sample burp cloth schedule for a 6 month old:

Time Feeding or Activity Burp Cloths Needed
8 am Morning feeding 1
10 am Mid-morning feeding 1 (for drool)
12 pm Lunch 1
2 pm Afternoon feeding 1 (for spilled puree)
5 pm Evening feeding 1
7 pm Pre-bedtime feeding 1
Total 6

Older babies who only spit up occasionally may only need 2-4 burp cloths per day. But it’s still smart to have extras on hand for blowouts, bigger messes, and for convenience.

How Many Burp Cloths to Have on Hand

It’s a good idea to have a surplus of burp cloths, more than you need per day. Here are some reasons why:

  • You want clean burp cloths always readily available
  • Extras allow you to double up for bigger messes
  • You won’t have to do laundry every day
  • Spares are useful if baby goes through an extra spit-uppy phase

For newborns, have at least 15-30 burp cloths on hand. For older babies who don’t spit up as much, you can get by with 12-24 burp cloths.

Burp Cloth Tips

Here are some additional tips for using burp cloths:

  • Use large, thick burp cloths that can absorb a lot of liquid
  • Have designated burp cloths for outings in a diaper bag
  • Place burp cloths under baby during tummy time or playtime
  • Drape burp cloths over your shoulder when burping baby
  • Keep spare burp cloths around the house for easy access

Washing Burp Cloths

Burp cloths take a lot of abuse when catching all those messes. Be prepared to wash them frequently:

  • Wash every 2-3 days or whenever you run low on clean cloths
  • Use baby laundry detergent and avoid fabric softeners
  • Sanitize regularly to kill germs and bacteria
  • Wash cloths separately from adult laundry
  • Dry thoroughly so they are ready to absorb again

Invest in multiple burp cloth packs so you always have a fresh supply. Consider different colors/patterns so you can easily tell which are dirty.

Burp Cloth Alternatives

If you’re in a pinch without a burp cloth, some household items can work in a crunch:

  • Paper towels or napkins
  • Hand towels
  • Washcloths
  • Small blankets or cloth diapers
  • Bibs
  • Your own t-shirt or other clothing

Just try to avoid items that could scratch baby’s delicate skin. In general, stick to soft cotton or fleece fabrics.

Purchasing Burp Cloths

When buying burp cloths, look for:

  • Absorbency: Thick, multi-layered cotton works best
  • Size: Cloths should be at least 10×10 inches or larger
  • Extras: Buy packs of 12-36 burp cloths for a good supply
  • Cute designs: Fun patterns can help hide stains
  • Affordability: Burp cloths are used heavily, so buy cost-effective packs

Some top-rated burp cloth picks include:

Gerber prefold cloth diapers

  • Very absorbent 4-layer cotton
  • Can be used as diapers, then repurposed as cloths
  • Sold cost-effectively in packs of 36

Green Sprouts organic cotton burp cloths

  • Soft 6-layer organic cotton
  • Comes in a pack of 10
  • Cute unisex prints

Burt’s Bees baby bee cloth diapers

  • Absorbent 4-layer organic cotton
  • Pack of 15 in gender-specific patterns
  • Budget-friendly price point

Hudson Baby double-layer burp cloths

  • 2 layers of lightweight fleece and terrycloth
  • Affordable 6-packs available
  • Comes in many cute designs and colors


Most babies need 6-12 burp cloths per day in the newborn stage, reducing to 2-6 per day as they grow. Have at least 15-30 on hand for a good supply between washes. Look for thick, absorbent cotton burp cloths sold in money-saving multi-packs. With enough quality burp cloths on hand, you’ll be prepared to handle even the biggest messes!

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