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What is a Baby Hooded Towel? Can Babies Use Regular Towels?

a happy baby using the hooded baby towel
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You want the best for your baby from the moment they wake up in the morning, throughout the day and while they slumber. And yet, with endless "must-have" products on the market, it can be difficult to filter through the noise and figure out which items will actually benefit your little one's well-being — or at least make your life easier.

Research has shown that until about 24 months of age, a child's skin is not just incredibly delicate but also substantially thinner than that of older children and adults. With sensitive skin and developing lungs, lightweight, breathable materials are crucial for infants and toddlers. And at bathtime, a soft hooded baby towel checks all the boxes.

But what is a hooded baby towel exactly? Does your child actually need one, or is it just about taking the cuteness level up a few notches? Here's what you should know.

Hooded Baby Towel / hooded-baby-towel_natural_studio_14507.jpg

What is a Baby Hooded Towel?

A baby hooded towel is essentially a small bath towel with an attached hood. The point is to keep an infant's head warm and dry during the time right after a bath and before getting them dressed. This type of towel can also be used after swimming, helping to regulate a child's body temperature so they don't get chills.

The size, material and hood feature are specifically designed to accommodate a small child's stature and sensitive skin. Just like it's vital to dress your baby in cozy pajamas and swaddle them for sleep, a hooded towel is all about keeping them warm and protected. Of course, the adorable factor doesn't hurt either.

Woven from long-staple Turkish cotton, Parachute's take on the hooded baby towel is notably light, extra-soft and always gentle against delicate skin. It'll keep your child warm, cozy and comfy right out of the bath, as well as during diapering, hair-combing and lotioning.

Can Babies Use Regular Towels?

Generally speaking, babies can use regular towels. However, there are a handful of reasons why a full-size bath sheet isn't ideal for a tiny tot. For one, a standard towel is substantially larger than a baby hooded towel (about 56 x 30 inches versus 30 x 30 inches). Based on size alone, it might be too much weight for an infant or toddler.

Regular towels are also typically made of heavier textiles. Some can work for small children when used carefully, but you'll want to be mindful of the weight.

Another thing to think about is the fabric weave. The terry cloth material used to make most regular bath sheets can be somewhat rough against a baby's skin, whereas hooded towels are usually softer and gentler.

Additionally, as most new parents know, towels can become soiled before you have a chance to get a diaper on. For this reason, using full-size towels could mean not only larger but also more frequent loads of laundry. Plus, you probably want to keep soiled baby laundry separate from your other clothes and linens.

Why Do Babies Need Hooded Towels?

At this point, you should have a decent idea of what a hooded towel is, and why regular towels aren't ideal for infants and toddlers. Just like with adult bath sheets, there's no one-size-fits-all style or material, so the right towel for your little one might not be the best option for the next baby. Having said that, let's break down the various reasons why many parents opt for the hooded variety.

  • Before developing their insulating "baby fat," infants are vulnerable to chills, so it's important to dry them off quickly after a bath. On the other hand, you also want to be as gentle as possible. That’s why a soft, lightweight newborn baby towel is ideal.

  • This type of towel helps keep your baby's body temperature up to avoid goosebumps and shivers in the time between the warm bath and their cozy crib.

  • Baby towels are woven with a lower pile than traditional terry cloth towels. The surface is smooth and less abrasive against their delicate skin but still plenty absorbent.

  • The hooded design and small dimensions make for a more seamless transition from the tub to the changing table, especially in the wiggly stage.

  • As babies become more accustomed to bathtime, having a designated towel can help establish a routine.

  • Baby-sized towels take up less space in the laundry basket and washing machine. Plus, you can launder them using gentle detergent, along with the rest of your baby's laundry.

  • Toddler hooded towels can also help you keep your child warm and dry as they enter the mischievous phase of running around your home in fits of giggles (or tears) after a bath.

Parents of littles know bathtime can be a fun and adorable experience, or a tear-filled battle. While you can't always predict how things will play out, a baby hooded towel might make the routine go a little smoother. And for many families, a hooded towel helps bridge the gap between warm bath water and snuggly footie pajamas.

How Long Should Babies Use Hooded Towels?

In their first few months of life, bathtime can be an alarming experience for babies. Some love it immediately, but for others, it takes a bit of getting used to. A hooded towel helps keep your pint-sized loved one warm and comforted during this critical stage as they become accustomed to life outside the womb.

Hooded towels are recommended for infants, and they often work really well for toddlers too. If your child likes using one and prefers it over regular bath sheets, there's no reason to stop using it until they physically outgrow it. Depending on the size, you might be able to get up to five years of use out of a hooded towel.

What is the Best Material for a Baby Hooded Towel?

The best material for a baby hooded towel is terry cloth cotton, as this will provide an optimal balance of absorbency, softness and breathability. Moisture-wicking baby towel cotton is also lightweight and naturally hypoallergenic, so it's less likely to obstruct breathing or irritate the skin.

With the comfort and safety of your precious bundle of joy in mind, the Hooded Baby Towel you’ll find at Parachute is made of 100% long-staple Turkish cotton. Measuring only 380 grams per square meter, the premium textile is incredibly lightweight and gentle against the skin.

How Many Baby Towels Do You Need?

How many towels should a baby have? All households are different, so the number of towels you need depends on how often you bathe your child, how many post-bath accidents they have and how often you do laundry. That said, two to four hooded baby towels should suffice. Luckily, a baby towel costs less than a full-sized towel in most cases, so you won't have to spend as much when stocking up.

How Often to Wash Baby Towels

Since newborns and infants haven't had time to develop their immune systems yet, it's important to always wrap them in a clean towel. In the first few months, you might only bathe weekly, in which case, you'd only need to wash their towel once a week.

When your child begins crawling around and eventually walking, you can expect them to get dirtier throughout the day and need more frequent baths. At that point, you don't necessarily have to use a freshly laundered towel after every bath. However, washing a towel after every three to five uses is a good rule of thumb.

How to Wash Baby Towels?

As with the rest of your little one's laundry, mild liquid soap is best when washing a baby hooded bath towel. (Scented and dyed detergents can be harsh and irritating on a baby's skin.) For everyday cleaning, cold water is best. But if the towel becomes soiled from an accident or needs disinfecting for any other reason, run the load on a warm or hot cycle.

A baby hooded towel can be tumble-dried on a low or medium heat setting. To make your child's laundry extra fluffy, consider tossing in a couple of wool dryer balls. Sourced from pure New Zealand Wool, the dryer balls you'll find at Parachute are a natural alternative to dryer sheets, helping to cut drying time in half while enhancing the softness of the fabrics.

What are the Best Baby Towels?

If you're on the hunt for high-quality baby towels, you've come to the right place. Bath essentials from Parachute are thoughtfully crafted from naturally moisture-wicking cotton sourced from Turkey. Whether you're looking for ultra-gentle washcloths, the best hooded towels for your baby or a bathtime bundle, you'll find it here. You can count on an inherently soft feel, looped-terry weaves and a pre-shrunk, piece-dyed finish without any harsh chemicals.

Baby Essentials from Parachute

Want to keep the softness and cuteness going after bathtime? You might consider getting a set (or two or three) of baby pajamas from Parachute. When you browse the selection, you'll find cute and cuddly footies for newborns and infants, as well as top-and-bottom sets for babies and toddlers. Each piece is made of undeniably cozy, breathable and warm organic brushed cotton, and printed with a gender-neutral design. Both you and your baby will be delighted when it's time to put these buttery-soft, supremely snuggly jammies on.

Complete your bedtime routine with baby bedding. From brushed cotton and percale crib sheets in the sweetest prints, to knitted and cashmere baby blankets, to lightweight toddler quilts and pint-sized pillows, Parachute has just the thing to help your little one sleep safely and comfortably year-round. And when your child is old enough to sleep with a stuffed animal, Parachute has those too.

You'll also find other baby essentials, like muslin swaddle blankets, cotton bibs, absorbent burp cloths and quilted changing pads. Whether you're looking for products to make bathtime easier, seeking to ensure your child uses only the gentlest fabrics or just want to stock up on charming textiles, you can bet you're getting high-quality materials at fair prices when you shop Parachute's baby collection. Start browsing today!