Bath time can be one of the loveliest bits of the day when you’ve got a little one. Hopefully, they really enjoy being in the water, and you’ll have chosen a special baby wash that’s suitable for their skin.
How exactly are you going to wash and dry your baby, though? You might be tempted to grab a washcloth and towel from the stash you already have, but that’s not a good idea. Babies have soft, delicate skin – and that old washcloth that’s fine for scrubbing you clean will be uncomfortably rough for them.
If you use your own towels, they’re going to swamp your little one (plus they might too be a bit rough – or of such good quality that you don’t want to risk any unfortunate baby-without-a-diaper-on incidents)!
Most baby towels are hooded, too, which makes it super-easy for you to keep your little one warm after their bath.
So, you need a soft washcloth specifically designed for babies, and a suitable towel to snuggle them up in.
In this article, we’ll be going through everything you need to know about baby washcloths and towels, as well as suggesting plenty of great options for you to choose from.
But first, let’s have a quick look at what we believe to be some of the best baby towels and washcloths of today!
Best Baby Towels and Washcloths – A Quick Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations
- Hudson Baby Unisex Baby Animal Face Hooded Towel
- Organic Bamboo Hooded Baby Towel by San Francisco Baby
- Baby Natural Muslin Washcloths By MUKIN
- SpaSilk Baby Washcloths
- Hudson Baby Unisex Plush Animal Face Robe
- Jj Cole Two-Piece Hooded Towel Set
- Athaelay Hooded Towel for Girls
- Hudz Kidz Hooded Towel for Toddlers
- Dream Embroidery Personalized Baby Hooded Towel
- Organic Bamboo Baby Washcloths by Pupiki
Note: When clicking on any of the above links, you’ll go to the product listing pages on Amazon, where you can read further information, see current prices and read customer reviews.
Why Should I Use Towels and Washcloths Designed for Babies?
You might find yourself putting your baby’s towels and washcloths more often than you expected.
At Bath Time – Obviously!
You’ll want to keep your baby’s washcloths and towels (yes, plural because you’ll want more than one of each) easily to hand.
Make sure that other family members don’t use them, too: they should be reserved for your baby alone.
After Meal Times
Even if your baby isn’t weaned yet, you may well find you need to clean some milky drool from their chin!
A soft warm washcloth can be a more comfortable – and eco-friendly – alternative to chilly baby wipes. That’s unless you have a baby wipe warmer, of course.
To Clean Sticky Hands
If you’ve got a slightly older baby, especially if you’re trying out baby-led weaning, you’ll find you need to wipe their hands a lot.
Instead of constantly having to go through many wipes, try a washcloth as a quicker and easier way to get those little fingers cleaned.
To Clean After A Diaper Change
While cotton wool and water (or baby wipes) might do the job most of the time, you’ll occasionally need something a bit more heavy-duty than that.
If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a poonami, break out the washcloth!
Why Can’t I Use Regular Washcloths and Towels for My Baby?
Let’s face it, washcloths and towels might seem like yet another thing to buy. However, it’s definitely best for your baby if you can get at least a couple of washcloths and towels specially designed for them.
Adult-sized washcloths and towels have three major problems when it comes to bathing your baby:
I know your washcloth might seem like a perfectly good size for washing your face, but it’ll seem bulky and unwieldy if you try to use it on your baby’s face.
Your bath towel will be massive compared with a baby’s – yes, you could use a hand towel, but that’s likely to be awkwardly sized.
They’re Not Gentle Enough
Sure, that washcloth might be just what you need when you’re scrubbing your hands after a rather disgusting nappy change … but it’s not going to be comfortable on your baby’s delicate skin.
They May Not Be Absorbent Enough
The best baby towels will be very absorbent so that they dry your little one quickly.
The sooner you can get that diaper on, the better! Plus, you don’t want your newborn to get chilled while they’re waiting to be dressed.
When Should I Start (and Stop) Using Baby Washcloths and Towels?
Here’s the good news: baby washcloths and towels are designed to be used from your baby’s very first bath (and it’s fine to use a washcloth even if your baby was born premature).
So, these are one of the many (oh, we have no doubt about that!) purchases that you’ll want to make before your baby even arrives.
Many baby towels will have age guidelines. For instance, some might be suitable up to a year, while others will be designed for toddlers. It’s best to use the appropriate size of towel so you don’t swamp your newborn or leave your toddler shivering.
Obviously, if you get to the point where your washcloths are falling to pieces or your towels have been washed so much that they’re no longer as soft, you’ll want to retire those and get some new ones.
By the time your child turns three, you’ll probably be fine to switch to regular washcloths and towels. With that being said, many parents prefer to stick to soft baby washcloths and hooded towels for a bit longer, so there’s no reason to ditch these straight away – unless you want to, of course.
What Types of Fabric Are Available for Baby Towels and Washcloths?
Baby washcloths and towels come in all sorts of different types of fabric, all of which have different pros and cons.
The main ones you’ll come across are:
These towels are almost always organic, and bamboo fiber is more absorbent than cotton – as well as being super-soft.
It’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, too.
It can be slightly pricier than cotton, though – but there’s often not much of a difference.
100% cotton towels tend to feel thick and soft, and they should be very absorbent (even if they’re not quite so absorbent by weight as bamboo).
Microfiber is very light, so it could be a good choice if you need a portable baby towel.
It’s made from synthetic rather than natural materials, though – normally polyester and/or polamides – and you may well choose to avoid those for environmental reasons.
You may well already have muslin blankets that you use to swaddle your baby, but towels can be made from muslin too (it’s a finely woven cotton fabric) – often along with terry toweling to help make the towel thicker and more absorbent.
Most terrycloth, or terrytoweling, is 100% cotton, but some contain polyester.So, be sure to read product descriptions carefully to know for sure what you’re getting.
Like the other fabric options, it’s very absorbent.
What Types of Towels Are There to Choose From for My Baby?
While washcloths are pretty much all a square of fabric (maybe with a hanging loop, or at slightly different sizes for variety), baby towels come in a few different shapes and sizes.
These are the most popular towels – in fact, you might struggle to find a baby towel without a hood.
They tend to hang diagonally: one corner is a hood that goes over your baby’s head, so the towel hangs down like a cape. Obviously, don’t leave it hanging – wrap it around your baby!
Some towels are hands-free: they fasten around you (normally around your waist or neck) and then you can lift baby straight from the bath into your arms – all without getting soaked.
They tend to be a bit pricier, though, but if you’re worried about dropping a slippery baby while getting them into a towel, this could be just what you need.
While you probably won’t want to put your baby into a robe while they’re still dripping wet, if you want to give them a quick dry in a towel and then snuggle them in a soft fluffy robe afterwards, there are plenty of options out there.
For older babies who are crawling or toddling, this could be a great way to keep your little one warm while they’re drying off.
You may well find that you want to use different types of towels at different times: perhaps a hands-free towel is perfect when you’re bathing your newborn, but a baby robe is ideal for your wriggly toddler.
What Should I Look for in Washcloths or Towels For Babies?
When you’re choosing washcloths or towels for your baby, look for the following:
You may be happy to use synthetic materials – but if you aren’t, take a careful look at exactly what the washcloth or towel you’re considering picking up for your baby is made from.
Many will be 100% cotton or 100% bamboo, both of which are natural – but check to be sure.
Again, you may not mind if your purchases aren’t organic – but many parents prefer to buy organic products that they know won’t have come into contact with any nasty chemicals.
Most bamboo towels, as well as many cotton ones, are organic (but again, check the labels to be sure).
While most towels are suitable from birth, some aren’t designed for older, larger children.
If you have a toddler, or if you’re hoping to continue using this towel for a few years to come, do check that it’s going to be suitable for when your little one’s not so tiny anymore.
If your child has allergies, or if you’re just being extra cautious to avoid potential problems, make sure that you’re purchasing towels that won’t cause any sort of allergic reaction.
This probably means opting for a towel made from bamboo, which is naturally hypoallergenic.
Okay, it’s not quite so worthy a consideration as “is this towel environmentally friendly?” … but let’s face it, you’re probably going to want to snap quite a few photos of your adorable baby snuggled in their towel.
So, it makes sense to choose one that you think looks good!
Plus, if you manage to find one they think looks cool, they’re more likely to want to use it.
You don’t want your washcloth to end up considerably less soft and gentle after it’s been through the washing machine a few times, and you don’t want your towels to bobble or to come apart at the seams.
Besides putting it to the test yourself, the best way to know whether a particular washcloth or towel will stand up to repeated washing is to check with fellow parents who’ve used it, or to read reviews (real, verified ones) that talk about their experiences.
Best Baby Towels and Washcloths – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations
Ready to see your little bundle of joy in something so cute, yet so soft and comfortable to keep their body all nice and warm after a bath? Let’s go over some of the best baby towels and washcloths you could wrap around your little one today!
Hudson Baby Unisex Baby Animal Face Hooded Towel
This very cute hooded towel comes in a huge variety of designs which you can choose from, each of which has an animal face on the hood.
The sleeping elephant is particularly cute if you ask me, but you could easily get your child’s favorite (if you know they prefer one animal over the others), and watch how they’ll start looking forward to using this towel for all the right reasons!
There are 57 options to choose from (yes, 57!), so you’re sure to find something that’ll suit your little one here.
The towel is a good size – roughly 33” by 33”, though the designs vary slightly – so it should be big enough to last your child quite a few months on end, before you’ll need to get a new replacement for it.
You can easily wrap a newborn up cozy and warm in this towel, too – but pay attention to the sizing first, as some designs might be a big too big for newborns.
It’s made from 100% woven terry cotton and should wash well, without shrinking or getting stretched out after multiple washes.
The fun designs available also mean that this towel could make a lovely gift for a baby shower or for a new baby.
The material is soft and surprisingly absorbent – you’ll likely be impressed how much water this towel can soak up, especially considering that it’s lightweight and not especially thick.
- Very cute design – and loads of options to choose from.
- Really soft material to snuggle your little one in.
- Good size – not just suitable for newborns, but could last up to the toddler years as well.
- Washes well and, despite being very absorbent, dries quickly.
- Might seem a bit too big for a newborn, they might be swamped by the hood.
- If you’re looking for baby towels that are especially thick, this one is not quite as thick as some other towels you could get.
Organic Bamboo Hooded Baby Towel
This super-soft baby towel is made from organic bamboo, so it’s super-cuddly and lovely for wrapping your little one in.
I don’t know about you, but wrapping my baby in safe organic bamboo is super important for me and my reassurance, as opposed to doing so with other baby towels and washcloths that could be made from nasty materials.
Because it’s made from bamboo, it should stay soft even after many washes. In fact, you may very well find that it gets softer as you wash it more.
It’s 35” by 35”, so it should last well into the toddler years, and it’s a great size for a larger-than-average baby.
The hood has little “ears” to make it extra-cute, and the neutral white with gray details makes this towel a good option for both girls and boys alike.
Not everyone wants a gender-specific baby towel and washcloth, so if that speaks for you, then this is a great option to consider.
While it might not be the cheapest option out there, this towel would certainly make a lovely gift for a baby shower or similar, and you can count on it to do a great job of properly drying your little one and keeping them warm post-bath.
- Made from organic bamboo.
- Smells lovely.
- Very soft and large towel for wrapping your little one in.
- Stays soft wash after wash.
- Attractive, gender-neutral design that would suit a little boy or little girl, and would go with almost any decor.
- In some cases, the stitching may come apart quite easily after some time.
Baby Muslin Washcloths by MUKIN
These 100% cotton muslin washcloths are super soft, as well as being very absorbent.
They’re a fairly good size (around 10” by 10”), which means it should be easy to get your little one clean quickly while using them. I think I speak for everyone here when I say that if your baby dislikes bathtime, you’ll want to get it over with as quickly as possible!
They come as a set of five, and each one is a different pastel color: yellow, pink, blue, white, and green.
In other words, they’re particularly handy if you want to designate one washcloth for your little one’s face and another for their bottom.
It’s important that you don’t use the same ones for both areas, and these different colors make it as easy as possible for you to separate different washcloths for different uses.
They’re supplied rolled up in a little yellow mesh bag, so they’re already nicely packaged for a gift – in case you’re getting this for a friend or family member.
They’re easy to wash – just pop them in the washing machine then the dryer – and they should become softer with repeated washings.
In particular, this is a great option to consider if your little one has sensitive skin, or you could even use them yourself if your skin is sensitive.
- Very soft washcloths that get softer the more you wash them.
- Five different colors supplied – handy if using them for different children, or if you want to separate face cloths and bottom cloths.
- Loop in the corner lets you easily hang them to dry.
- Large enough to be used as small burp cloths too.
- The colors may run slightly on first washing – so, don’t wash them in with anything white or precious.
- Not the cheapest option out there, so if you’re looking for a budget buy, you may want to opt for different washcloths.
These basic washcloths are great value, especially if you’re purposefully not looking for anything too fancy, and come in a pack of 10 with assorted patterns.
They’re not especially large (measuring 9” by 9”), but they should be big enough to get the job done just fine.
They’ll wash well, and although you’ll realize they’re quite thin when you first see and touch them, you should find that they work well for carefully washing your baby. These are especially great for getting into complex little chin folds or similar.
It’s also great that they’re double-sided, with one very smooth side and one more textured side that’s great for scrubbing off dirt.
They should stand up to repeated washing and drying, so you could easily use these as cloth wipes if you prefer not to use disposable wipes.
Available in a wide range of different colors and styles, with some of the ten packs having five designs (with two identical washcloths for each design), and others with ten different designs.
So, if you want to find washcloths that’ll match your bathroom decor or other accessories, it’s worth looking through all the different options you have at your disposal here!
- Very budget-friendly price, especially given that you get such a high number of washcloths in a single pack.
- Suitable for use as reusable wipes, if you want to avoid disposable wipes.
- Lots of different designs to choose from.
- Great for sensitive or acne-prone skin (whether yours or your little one’s), as they’re so soft.
- Durable – they’ll stand up to lots of washing and drying.
- Quite small and thin – this is not necessarily a problem, but you should be aware of this before buying, just in case you’re looking for something opposite to this.
- Pattern is printed on, so the more patterned washcloths may not feel particularly soft.
Hudson Baby Unisex Baby Plush Animal Face Robe
This fleecy bathrobe is suitable for newborns, but should last for at least a few months, depending on the size of your child.
While the manufacturer suggests that it’s suitable for up to 24 months, this is unlikely to be a very good and comfortable fit for older toddlers.
There are 38 different designs available for you to choose from – some of which are fairly plain, but the majority have animal patterns on the hood.
The lion is especially cute, but there are plenty of other options to choose from as well, including some seasonal designs like a Santa Claus robe. Who said you can’t start planning for the Christmas holiday season from now?
Whatever design you opt for, you should find that the robe is very soft – like plush velour – and that it’s really comfortable and warm on your little one to wear.
This robe is an especially excellent way to keep your little one warm after bathtime, and have their entire body protected.
In situations where you find you have no other option, you could use it instead of a towel – but it’s not as absorbent as most towels, so you’ll probably want to get your little one fairly dry and then pop them in this robe to stay warm afterwards.
- Very soft and gentle robe to wrap your baby in after their bath.
- Nice and warm, which means it’s ideal for those extra cold days, or for little ones who tend to get chilly easily.
- Loads of designs available – so you can easily find something that coordinates with your nursery decor.
- Great for younger/smaller babies.
- Won’t necessarily last all that long. Depending on the size of your baby, they might start getting too big for it within a few months. Nonetheless, it’s definitely worth getting and using while your little one still fits in it!
- Not exceptionally absorbent, so it isn’t much of a good idea to use it instead of a towel. Instead, it should be used in conjunction with a towel.
JJ Cole Two-Piece Hooded Towel Set
This two piece set comes with a towel and a coordinating washcloth – perfect if you (or your little one) like everything to match!
The whales design would be great for a little boy or a little girl, though there are also three other lovely designs to choose from if you want something a bit different than that.
The towel is soft and absorbent, and nice and fluffy. Both the towel and washcloth are durable, and should stand up well to washing, without losing their shape.
It’s a fairly large hooded towel, though it comes in a little smaller than some other options – it’s 30” by 30”. You might want to consider a larger hooded towel if you want something that grows with your child, or your little one isn’t exactly so little!
It’s thicker than some other baby towels, which is excellent if you prefer to stay away from the thinner baby towels designed these days, and as it’s from well-known brand JJ Cole, so you can definitely expect it to be of good quality.
- Soft and good sized baby towel — made from terry cloth, so it’s nice and absorbent too.
- Comes in a range of pretty designs.
- Co-ordinating towel and washcloth make a great gift, and work well together as a set.
- Thicker than many other hooded towels, without the ridiculously higher price-tag.
- Hood isn’t too large, so it shouldn’t swamp your newborn.
- Quite a lot of lint might come off it at first, so you’ll want to wash it at least once before using it.
- Dye may run a little when you first wash or use it.
Athaelay Hooded Towel for Girls
This cute mermaid towel is like a poncho, with a hood and a folded towel that covers the front and back of your child, making it a bit like a cross between a towel and a robe.
So, if you’d like to get the best of both worlds, this could be an excellent option to consider.
The towel sits horizontally (rather than on the diagonal like baby towels), and measures 24” by 48” – which makes it a great size for toddlers and preschoolers.
You can fasten the towel around your child by using the plastic snaps, so if you’re using it on the beach or at the pool, it’s easy to stop it from flapping around too much. This towel won’t fall off or drag along the ground.
It’s made from 100% cotton, and it’s thick, fluffy and soft. It should absorb water pretty well, too.
There are a range of styles available to choose from if your little one isn’t all that much into mermaids, too. For example, Baby Shark fans will probably love the shark version!
While it’s not a super-thick towel, it’s a great way to quickly wrap up your child – and it should help to get their hair dry fast, too.
- Large towel that’s big enough to fit children up to kindergarten age.
- Can double up as a poncho, if you fasten the plastic snaps at the sides.
- Warm on cold days and breathable on hot days.
- Several different cute designs available, all with a patterned hood, back, and front.
- Only one snap on each side, so this won’t 100% work as a robe.
Hudz Kidz Hooded Towel
This is another poncho-style towel, with a hood plus a front and back so you can simply pop it straight over your little one’s head once they’re out of the bath.
The very soft, plush material gets even softer as you wash it – so it should be comfortable for your child to snuggle up in after a bath or a dip in the pool.
It’s designed for size 2T-5T, though you may find these towels are definitely best suited for kids who wear sizes at the lower end of that range.
The button and loop at each side let you fasten the towel so that it doesn’t flap around too much. There are four different designs available: blue and pink sharks, plus a crocodile and a unicorn.
The dyes used are color-safe, so they shouldn’t ruin in the wash.
- Very soft towel that you can pop on your little one after a bath – it should get them dry nice and quick.
- Absorbent, so should dry your child quickly.
- Fun designs will likely be a big hit with your child.
- Can be worn poncho-style or fastened at the sides so it doesn’t flap around.
- Buttons and loops may be a little more complicated to fasten than snaps, especially if your little one is especially wriggly already.
- Nicely sized for a 2- to 3-year-old, but some people find that it’s a bit on the small side for older children to be comfortable with, despite supposedly being suitable up to size 5T.
Dream Embroidery Personalized Baby Hooded Towel
This baby towel isn’t the cheapest one out there, but you do get some very neat personalization thrown in!
This would make a lovely gift for a new baby, or you could choose to get something this special, customized for your own little one.
You can choose the color and font of the personalization, too. So, it’s not like one of those other “personalization” services where you’re very limited on what you can actually personalize – you can get really creative with this one.
It’s a high quality towel, too, made from 100% cotton, so it should be suitable even for sensitive skin.
The towel itself is soft and fluffy, and also really absorbent, so it’s great for getting your baby dried quickly if you’re in a hurry.
It’s a good size as well (36” by 30”), so should be big enough to use not only for a newborn, but for a good few months to come after that phase is over.
Just like most hooded towels, the hood is in one corner, and the rest of the towel wraps around your child.
- Large baby towel – suitable for older infants as well as newborns.
- Can be personalized with a baby’s name or monogram, and you can choose the color and font as well.
- Made from 100% cotton and designed to be suitable for sensitive skin.
- Soft, fluffy, and absorbent.
- Quite a bit pricier than most comparable options, but remember, you’re also paying for the personalization aspect here!
Organic Bamboo Baby Washcloths by Pupiki
These washcloths are made from 100% rayon, which is derived from bamboo, and come in a pack of six.
There’s a choice of colors available for you to choose from as well. You can opt for blue and white, pink and white, or green and white. You can also opt for a pack of 10, if you prefer.
Unlike many other washcloths on the market today, these are plain, not patterned. This might be a huge bonus for you, as it means there aren’t any printed or stitched-on designs that could be rough on your little one’s skin.
The pack comes with a free washbag to help you launder them safely on a regular cycle, and they should stand up to a fair amount of washing.
They’re thicker than some other washcloths, and are truly soft, so they’re great for dry or sensitive skin (whether that’s yours or your baby’s).
They’re relatively small, but aren’t the smallest out there. They’re still larger than some other baby washcloths, as they’re 10” by 10”.
- Really soft – if you’ve tried other washcloths and have been disappointed because they weren’t as soft as you expected them to be, these just might be the ones for you.
- Durable and easy to wash: they should last for a good while.
- Larger than some other washcloths (10” by 10”, and fairly thick).
- Hypoallergenic, as they’re made from bamboo.
- Not particularly cheap, compared with other options.
- Threads may come out quite easily after a few washes.
How Many Towels and Washcloths Do I Need For My Baby?
Many parents want to use a fresh washcloth each time they wipe their baby’s face or hands, which could add up to quite a few in a day.
With towels, you’ll probably not be using more than one a day – but again, you may well want to have a spare or two at your disposal (should you need them), or a couple of different varieties.
A lot of parents report owning, if not using, a pretty high number of washcloths – having 15 to 20 functional ones isn’t uncommon.
Most washcloths come in packs of five or six, so you’ll want at least one pack and probably a couple of packs, making 10 – 12 washcloths in total.
Of course, if you feel you can manage with fewer (perhaps you’re happy to put laundry on every night), then that’s perfectly fine as well. It all depends on your circumstances and what you can deal with.
With towels, you’re unlikely to want quite that many, but you’ll probably want at least two, and potentially three or four.
Even if you’re only bathing your baby once every two to three days, you’ll want to wash their face and bottom daily, and those sensitive areas need gentle drying.
You might want to opt for a couple of standard hooded towels plus one more functional towel, like a hands-free one for a baby or a warm robe for a toddler.
Ultimately, it’s really up to you how many you buy: the exact number will depend on you and your baby’s needs.
How to Use Your Baby’s Washcloths and Towels Safely
I’m sure it goes without saying that your baby’s washcloths and towels should be clean and fresh before use, and you don’t want to use the same washcloth day after day.
It’s also a very good idea to designate some washcloths for specific parts of your baby’s body. Designate some only for your baby’s face, others only for the body, and others for the bottom. That way, you’re not washing your baby’s face with a cloth that’s been recently used to clean them up after a messy diaper change.
If all your washcloths look the same, then wash your baby’s face first, then their body, and finish off with their bottom. Any time a washcloth has been used on your baby’s bottom, pop it straight into the wash – don’t keep it to reuse (even after the next diaper change).
Keep your baby’s washcloths and towels only for your baby’s use, too: don’t share them with other family members. If you’ve got a toddler and a baby, for instance, then buy separate and distinct towels for each one.
Whatever you do, don’t reuse the same towel for each of them or you risk passing on harmful germs, especially if one or the other happens to be ill.
Last but certainly not least, wash your baby’s towels frequently. Most parents like to use them just a couple of times and then wash them.
Between uses, hang the towels carefully so they can dry and air, and don’t leave them scrunched up in a heap on the bathroom floor.
Wrapping it Up
Choosing cute baby towels and soft washcloths for your little bundle of joy can be a lot of fun.
They make lovely gifts too, in case you’re buying for a mom-to-be or a friend who’s just had a new baby.
If you pick 100% organic cotton or bamboo washcloths and towels, they’re almost certain to work well for your baby – remember, bamboo is a better option if you want to stick to hypoallergenic fabrics.
Check that the towels you’re buying are a suitable size for your baby or toddler, and make sure you stock up on washcloths – you might be surprised just how many you go through!
Product photos: © Amazon.com
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