29th October 2021

It is great fun preparing for the arrival of your baby and gathering all the items that you will need. There are important items to buy like a cot and stroller, cute baby outfits to admire and also essentials like toiletries and muslin squares. Muslin squares really are a great buy as they can be used in so many ways that they really are an essential ‘must have' for babies!

What is Muslin?

Muslin is plain open weave cotton cloth that is soft, incredibly light and perfect for babies. Muslin was first made in Mosul in Iraq in the 16th century and the word ‘’Muslin’ comes from this area’s name. The skill of making this beautiful cloth spread to Dhaka (Bangladesh) where the cotton was grown along the banks of the Meghna river. Muslin was hand woven and the process took 12 intricate steps,. Dhaka muslin was gossamer fine and many found it impossible to believe it was hand woven. Muslin was brought to Europe in the 18th century and it soon became very fashionable to wear blouses, petticoats and skirts made from this fine fabric.

Why is Muslin Good for Babies?

Muslin is made from cotton so it is a totally natural product. There are many different types of muslin available. Most are an extremely fine woven cloth that is amazingly light, soft and breathable - perfect for your baby’s skin.

Muslin squares are a great buy because they are made from an eco-friendly material. They are hard-wearing and can be used in so many different ways for your baby – and for years afterwards too.

How Many Muslin Squares do I Need for my Baby?

There is certainly plenty of discussion about the ideal number of muslins to buy, but most experienced mums will say that you need a minimum of seven – one fresh muslin for each day of the week.

In the past, muslin squares were always white in colour, but today they are available in different colours – which makes them fun and more practical! Stericare® sell a trio pack of muslin squares in three different designs – plain dove grey, grey and white zig-zags and grey stars on a white background.  

Muslin squares are long-lasting so you can wash them endless times and they get softer after each wash which is perfect.

What Can I Use Muslins for?

You will soon discover that muslin squares are so versatile to use on your baby.

  • For baby’s first nappies

Because they are so soft and gentle on the skin, muslin squares are ideal to use as first size nappies for your baby.  

  • Ideal at feeding times...

Whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding your baby, it is great to have a soft muslin cloth handy to wipe the milk from their lips.

  • ..And for winding your baby

New mums learn from an early stage that it is dangerous to hold their baby against their shoulder while they wind them – winding usually causes a little milk to be brought back up and this will land on your clothes – far better to drape a safety muslin over your shoulder in case this happens.

  • A swaddling cloth for a newborn

Swaddling is a tradition that went out of fashion some years ago, but is making a comeback. Young babies like to be wrapped in a cover because it makes them feel secure and is reminiscent of the time they spent in the womb. Muslin is featherlight, but warm and is stretchy too so it allows your baby to move as they sleep. 

  • As a soft layer on the changing mat

While plastic changing mats are practical to use, they can feel cold on your baby’s skin. This can quickly be remedied by folding a muslin square in half and placing it on the changing mat. Not only will this be more comfortable for your baby, the cloth will speedily mop up any leaks. 

A valuable tip is to use a second folded muslin to place on your son as you remove his used nappy to save you getting sprinkled with urine! A second square is also lovely to use to dry your baby’s bottom after you have cleaned it with a baby wipe.

  • A convenient handy cloth

There will be times when you will need to grab a cloth quickly to wipe up sick or urine. When your baby starts teething there will be dribbles and drools too and when they start to crawl, you will have little hands to keep constantly clean.

  • An instant bib or sun shade

If you suddenly need a bib whilst you are out, a muslin square can quickly be folded and tied into a kerchief bib. If you find that the parasol on your stroller is not protecting your baby enough, you can drape a muslin square over part of it to give your baby extra protection. Likewise, if you are taking your baby in a car with no sunscreen at the window, a muslin square is a great improvisation!

These are the main uses for muslin squares for when your baby is young, but there is is no need to discard them when your child is older! Muslin squares are ideal lint-free dusters or cut up to make bouquet garni. Muslin squares are ideal if you are a jam or wine maker and need to strain your jam or grapes. If your other half has a car that he treasures – beware! You will find your muslin squares being used to produce the shiniest bodywork!

Time and time again you will find muslin squares the perfect solution to a problem. As you prepare for the arrival of your baby, you will probably agree with us that muslin squares are the essential ‘must have’ for babies!