I am from Panama and well acquainted with the tradition of using sabanillas or half Zzz TM as a solution to a very common problem: changing crib sheets several times a day when you have a newborn.
A newborn baby spits up or drools on the bed several times a day requiring frequent sheet changes. Tired new moms don't love to change sheets at 2AM or more than once a day. They would rather sleep.
What to do?
Sabanillas come to the rescue! These flat half-sheets are wonderful... they are made of soft white percale with a colorful trim, they can be quickly removed and a fresh one tucked in between the rails and mattress over a changing pad... and both mom and baby can back to bed! They are durable and with each wash they get softer and softer.
They make wonderful swaddling cloths in warm and cool weather, or in the stroller, etc. I have used the same sabanillas with my 4 children and 3 grandchildren... So easy! This tradition doesn't exist in the States, but it should be encouraged.. it can preserve your sanity in those first 3-6 months.
Get some for yourself, give them as gifts...you won't regret it.