In a time before babies, the word muslin was as foreign to you as the term ‘dump and pump’ or ‘tired Mombie’. All of which have subsequently become daily vernacular in the world of being a new parent!
Commonly found stuffed in the back of your pockets, hiding in bags and almost always in every wash, the faithful muslin is a staple in every parent’s getup.
Indeed, you can never have enough, and will need an endless supply in those early months of having a newborn baby.
Along with baby blankets, soothers, comforters and baby swaddle wraps, the muslin is going to be your best friend! Why? Because this versatile piece of cloth has a myriad of uses.
Here’s what you need to know:
Traditionally handwoven, the humble muslin has come a long way. Today it is one of the most popular baby items, which has succumbed to mass production. As such sustainable cotton and organic cotton muslin make the best choices for your baby; which are produced in natural environments free from chemicals, and kinder to their vulnerable skin.
Indeed, this versatile piece of kit is one that will serve you well in parenthood, as the following ten uses for it reveal.
Newborn babies are more than just a bundle of joy, they’re a bundle of fluids waiting to make an appearance at any given opportunity! Keeping in mind that they’re just learning to ‘be’, babies often need encouragement with burping, and expelling extra wind that they might have taken in during feeding. As any parent will warn you, when it’s time to ‘burp the baby’ be ready with a muslin to prevent ick ruining your clothes, let alone theirs!
It’s customary in fact, to throw it over your shoulder, while baby is looking out to the world and being patted at the same time.
In the absence of a swaddle wrap, a large muslin can serve as a baby swaddle. To do this, you will want to fold your muslin over, placing baby at shoulder height of the fold. Arms should be positioned into a secure fashion, that even Houdini wouldn’t be able to escape from, before folding and tucking in place, allowing enough room to breathe comfortably. There’s many self-help videos on YouTube to assist, including novel ways of wrapping your little one up as a burrito; what’s not to love!
Eating and sleeping on rotation for the first six months, you never know when they might need a top up. When you’re on-the-go, it can be useful to have a muslin to hand for such moments. Doubling as a nursing shield, they are lightweight and large enough to offer you coverage should you want it. They also make great cloths for cleaning up any unexpected spillages too.
4. Weather shield
Come rain or shine, babies benefit from exposure to natural light. The problem is the unpredictable British weather. This is when a muslin can pay dividends. In the summer, they offer a soft cover for allowing the wind to blow in to strollers, while protecting from the harsh rays of the sun. If it’s a bit chilly they offer a good alternative to heavier baby blankets. Come winter, they offer an extra layer to keep babies snuggly in the colder months.
5. Changing mat
In times of need, the muslin square can offer a great alternative to a changing mat, if you’re stuck for options. Being sizeable, they offer plenty of room for baby’s little bottom, providing a hygienic option.
Whether you’re at home, away or on holiday, babies need their sleep. But that shouldn’t limit you to being housebound. A muslin is a great go-to product, that doubles up as a night shade, wherever you are. Light enough not to block the sun fully, they still offer protection and shade for your little one.
7. Teething comforter
Some babies dribble, others like to chew. Another versatile use for the muslin is that it can act as a comforter during the painful process of teething. Use the edge for baby to chew on or suck, it also helps soak up all the dribble. With this being in direct contact with your child it is best to opt for a muslin made from natural cotton, which is 100% organic. This means that the material is grown without chemical nasties.
You can even fold up a frozen ice-cube to offer relief, or if they are weaning, or a frozen banana which the muslin can wrap around and hold (with adult supervision).
8. Cleaning baby
If your muslin square is made from organic cotton, then there’s no better alternative for cleaning baby. Soft and gentle, it makes the perfect material for washing down their neck and face, to help prevent ‘cheesy neck’.
9. A gift
You can expect to be showered with gifts as a new parent; mostly in the form of baby tops and soft plush toys. Muslins make the perfect gifts, since you can never have enough. It’s a real luxury for a parent to receive high-quality organic cotton muslins, and there’s a number of independent companies offering unique and bespoke illustrations to bring them to life.
Ever the helpful distraction, when it’s time to get creative, the faithful muslin can be the perfect child entertainer, offering a handy shield to play a round of ‘peek-a-boo’ with baby.
There’s so many uses for the humble muslin cloth. These are just some of the benefits as a parent, it extends to many other walks of life too. As with all things for your precious baby, it is worth investing in high-quality ethically sourced products, which are kinder on their delicate skin.