All new parents should be given a muslin square, we tell you why! Muslin cloths are a must-have essential in every new mum and dads baby bag.
In short, it’s a large square of light cotton fabric with beautiful prints that is perfect for wrapping your baby when breastfeeding or cuddling them to sleep at nap times. Plus they make a great burp cloth if ever baby has the hiccups.
Can I use a muslin as a nappy?
Yes, for newborn nappies they can be used as super slim terry nappy with a waterproof wrap. It’s not something we advise as they’re definitely not as absorbent as a traditional nappy. You can also use it to boost a nappy if you are short on boosters.
For older children, we would not advise using muslin as a nappy as they will just not provide adequate absorbency.
9 things you can do with Muslin Squares For Newborn babies…
But what makes muslin cloths a must-have? We have listed our 9 reasons why you should add these to your baby essentials list:
A large muslin is perfect for swaddling newborns. We recommend buying at least 6 larger sized squares for swaddling.
Keep some as a backup if by chance one gets dirty or misplaced.
Swaddling your baby is a great calming technique and muslin cloths are the perfect size for a snug swaddle. The muslin fabric is very soft and ideal for swaddling a babies delicate skin.
A Cuddle Blanket
Muslin squares make a perfect cuddle/ lovey blanket that keeps your babes feeling safe and secure. Babies feel comforted by an item that smells like mum or dad, so wrapping them in a muslin cloth is a great way to make them feel safe. Muslins make idea baby comforters and you can buy special ones as a comforter, making a perfect newborn gift!
A Breastfeeding Cover
Newborn babies need to feed frequently and it’s always nice for mum to have the option of discrete breastfeeding access. Muslin cloths make a large, lightweight material that can be draped over you for breastfeeding privacy. In fact, we recommend having at least two muslin squares so you can have one on hand while the other is in the wash. Some tie the muslin into the bra strap to keep it secure, but this is up to you!
A Burp Rag
If every baby has a bad case of hiccups or reflux, they tend to spit up which is why it’s always handy to have a burping cloth nearby.
A muslin cloth makes for an ideal lightweight fabric that absorbs the spit up and keeps your clothes clean.
Babies dribble a lot, especially over your shoulder on your clothes so throwing a muslin over your shoulder will really save your clothes!
Finger Puppets/ Playtime Fun
As you well know, baby toys are expensive! Muslin squares make the perfect play time toy because they can easily be sewn together to create three-dimensional characters such as a teddy bear or bunny rabbit. You can also cut smaller squares for finger puppets and play time is more fun when it’s interactive. Or even just use one to play peek a boo!
Cradle/ Bassinet Mattress Protector
Newborn babies’ nappy contents are liquid-like until they get the hang of things, so it’s a good idea to protect your mattress from any inevitable accidents by wrapping it with a muslin cloth. If ever there is a spillage, it will make cleaning up the liquid mess easier and you don’t want to sleep on a damp mattress. Or in Moses basket or cot they make ideal sheets, an organic cotton muslin square is idea for a baby to fall asleep on.
To Clean Baby Messes Up With While Out & About
Whether you’re out shopping or at the park with your baby, you’ll need to keep their hands clean. Now, don’t get us wrong – clothes that are dirtied during outings aren’t uncommon; it’s what babies tend to do!
For every mess accident, simply use your muslin cloth as a cleaning tool. They can be used to wipe off the mess from your baby’s hands, face and even clothes – keeping your little one looking tidy wherever you go!
To Use As A Cushioning Material While Your Baby Learns To Sit Up
Babywearing is a convenient way to keep your infant close by while they learn how to sit up on their own. However, you want to make sure that your baby is always safe while being worn.
This is why it’s vital for you to use cushioning material when the time comes for them to learn how to sit up by themselves. When not in use, keep your muslin cloths rolled up and secured with hair bands or elastics – this will ensure that your baby’s head doesn’t fall when they do eventually lean forward!
A changing mat cover
When you’re changing your baby’s nappy, make sure that they are lying on a clean surface.
You never know what might be missed in previous changes and it’s always annoying to end up with a mess!
Using a muslin cloth as a cover will ensure that any leaks stay within the cloth and don’t get all over the place. They make nappy changes so much easier!
A summer Pram Shade
On a hot day you can use a muslin as a pram mesh can be used to protect your baby from the UV ray without spending too much. You can use it to keep your baby in a stroller or when they are in the car seat. Your baby will not overheat and you do not have to worry about it becoming exposed.
A Tummy Time Blanket
Tummy time is very important for babies to learn how to lift their heads when they are young. A tummy time blanket made out of the muslin cloth will help your baby feel comfortable while they exercise during this phase in their development. Muslin squares can also be used as a shielding material when you go outside with your baby in the stroller.
How to wash Muslin Cloths
Washing muslin cloths is pretty straightforward. Just follow the washing care instructions provided by the manufacturer and machine wash cold or warm with like colours. You can also hand wash cold with mild detergent if you prefer to do it that way. Do not use bleach or fabric softener – this will destroy the ability of the muslin to absorb liquid.
Put them in the washing machine on a cold wash.
Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
Tumble dry your muslin cloths on a low setting.
How many muslin squares do I need for a newborn baby?
How many muslin cloths do I need for a newborn baby? There is no definitive answer to this question, but it’s safe to say that you should have at least six in your changing bag. Three will be used as changing pads and the other three for burping, wiping up sick and general cleaning.
What if my kid spits up on the muslin?
There is no point in stressing yourself out if your baby spits or even vomits over their changing pad. These things happen and it’s only natural! The best thing to do in this situation is clean up what you can with a small amount of cold water, give them back to your baby so they don’t feel abandoned and throw them into the washing machine as soon as you get home.
What if my baby is teething?
Muslin squares can be used for a number of things during your child’s teething years – firstly, they provide firm grip for little hands that are looking to chew on something. You can also putthem in the fridge to provide some relief from your child’s sore gums.
What to do with old muslin squares?
When your baby has outgrown the muslin square, don’t throw it away! You can give them to a neighbor or friend who is expecting. Alternatively, ask at your local playgroup center if they need any.
Or use them around your house! They make an ideal tea towel, picnic blanket, you can use for cheese making to make your own cheese, a bouquet garni as cot sheets and so much more!
Where do muslins come from?
Muslins are thin cotton cloths that have been used to create coarse fabrics. They are made in India and come from the Indian subcontinent and are traditionally used for baby clothing, towels or other linens. The world’s first muslin sheet was woven in the Indian city of Dacca (now Dhaka), which is one of the main suppliers of these cotton pieces today.
The origin of the word “muslin”
The word muslin means “mussy” which means that this fabric is soft and has a loose weave.
Muslins are used by many people around the world, not just for babies! They are also used to make some clothes, bedding or even curtains.
The history of muslins
Muslin is a cotton material that was first worn by the ancient Egyptians as early as 4000 BC In Mesopotamia, soon after. It is still used today all over the world and has been very popular for over 6000 years
In the past, those that could afford it wore a cotton fabric known as “fine linens” In Europe, these were made from linen or cotton which was imported from the East by trading ships. It became a luxury fabric because of this and therefore it was very expensive for people to buy.
In the 18th Century, muslin started to become much more popular as a material for clothing and bedsheets. This was partly due to the industrial revolution which meant that there was more cotton produced and it became much cheaper to buy. By paying less for their clothes, many people were able to afford designer items made from muslin.
Muslins are not only worn as clothing but are also used in cooking. The French often use them as a bouquet garni or wrapped around to help form a tight seal. They are also used by bakers in oven cooking and for lining cake tins.
It is safe to say that you should have at least six muslin cloths in your changing bag. They are the perfect thing which every new parent needs!
This article was written by: Gian MIller – Full-Time Writer, Baby Whisperer & Dad of 3.
Gian spends a lot of his time writing. A self-proclaimed baby whisperer, Gian has been through it all with his own children and is passionate about sharing his hard-won wisdom with other parents. When he’s not writing or changing diapers, you can find him playing the guitar or watching baseball (or preferably both at the same time).