My little sister Mary is pregnant and due in January. Being a good big sister, I love giving her advice. Especially when she asks for it!
Mary recently called me to ask: "How many wash cloths and hooded towels do I really need?"
Regarding hooded towels
My response: Four hooded towels are more than enough! Two are plenty.
Here's my thinking. They are adorable, and you might as well make bath time adorable with the cute animal and colors and designs on the thin towel/blanket/hoodies that folks love to get for baby.
But you prob'ly wont always use them.
An example from my personal experience
I am in the tub bathing. I call to Ross: "OK, clean her butt and bring her in," as I'm running cold water into the tub AND soaping up a brightly colored washcloth that I grabbed BEFORE I went into the bathroom.
Ross comes in with a naked, and wide-eyed Ginger.
And a towel.
Yes, it's a clean, brightly colored towel. But it's NOT a hooded towel (which I store in a basket on top of the baby clothes etc. bin/shelf/baskets.) It's also not one of the yellow and white striped, ducky beach towels that Ross's dad and step mom sent us (which came with matching, bright yellow wash cloths. Ross has taken to using the beach towels, which I keep meaning to discourage... but maybe Ginger is OK with sharing already? She IS advanced for her age, after all.)
Now, if I had grabbed a yellow, ducky washcloth and had it soaped up, I would have turned him around and demanded that he return with a yellow and white striped, ducky beach towel.
But I had not.
"Wait, no. You have to get one of the hooded towels."
While holding the now squirming, still naked baby, and wondering just when she's going to pee on him (she pees on him much more than on me, by the way), Daddy Ross needs to be reminded about where the special towels are stored, etc.
The bath is now below the desired "lukewarm" temperature. My freshly shaved legs are covered in goosebumps. I try not to suggest that he hurry it up already.
He comes back with the least cute hooded towel. It says "got milk?" I make a note to donate it to someone who will appreciate it's utilitarian value so that we can focus on using the fish and duck and polka dots -- which are far superior because they are far cuter. (Yes, this is how my brain works when I am sitting in a bath tub full of cooler and cooler water.)
We bathe her. She either smiles or squawks depending on her mood. We wrap her up, likely take photos. We laugh about the hood hiding her face. She squawks some more.
We are only bathing Ginger, for reals about once a week. We do not need more than two hooded towels. Any more than that and Ross is confused and I approach being frustrated. Will I pass on the ones I think are cute? Nope! Silly? YES! The new norm? For a few more weeks at least, yes!
I have a whole bin of brightly colored washcloths. Some match towels for baby. Many are in the pink family (which I love) and lately we only have 10 or less in the laundry at a time.
How we use our cloths
--meconium: for that special three-to-five day period of sticky poop, we used a cut up old towel to clean Ginger's butt. We simply threw away the stained and sticky pieces of cloth.
--burp cloths. Ginger doesn't spit up very much. Much less than once a day. So we don't need a ton of these.
--diaper changing time. We alternate between home made wipes, wet paper towels, wet organic diapers and washcloths. It depends on the temperature, who is changing her, what is handy, the state of Ginger's butt and the mood of the diaper changer.
Folks should know, that right now we do laundry at least once a week, closer to once every five days, because we can. I expect to spread out laundry days (and need more stuff, not to worry we have more stuff)
I told Mary 20 washcloths are PLENTY.