Bibs are nonnegotiable baby essentials. Frankly, the common thread among newborns and toddlers is that they know how to make a mess. As a new or expecting parent, you can help keep your baby and home clean by getting to know the different types of bibs. Let’s discover what makes drool and feeding-time bibs different from each other and why you should invest in both.
Sometimes babies can’t help but make a mess: All babies drool. This is because until they’re a year and a half or 2 years old, they haven’t developed oral muscles to control their drool. This excess drool helps them digest food when they start solids. When they’re teething, their drooling intensifies. Luckily, by then you’ll have a supply of drool bibs to keep your baby dry.
Besides dry clothes, a drool bib also prevents neck rashes. Moreover, a bib lets you wipe away dribble around their mouth, which can cause a skin rash. Here are the main features of a drool bib and what to look for when shopping for one.
The size: Drool bibs are smaller than feeding-time bibs. Their main purpose is to keep the front of your baby’s shirt dry. This means the bib is just large enough to cover your baby’s upper chest and neck. If your little one has started crawling, drool bibs will help your floors, clothes, and other surfaces stay drool-free.
The fabric: These bibs are usually made of absorbent fabrics that also wash easy and dry quickly. This includes fabrics like flannel, heavy cotton, and even bamboo. You can also choose a bib that is a fabric blend like cotton knit jersey or microfleece. Keep in mind that most bibs are made with two layers for optimal absorption.
Additionally, these fabrics should withstand heavy washing. Avoid fabrics that pill easily or break down after a handful of washes.
The fit and style: Since drool bibs are meant to be worn all day, they should fit snugly. To fasten, you have multiple options: snaps, Velcro material, or buttons. The most common are adjustable metal or plastic snaps. These keep the bib on your baby even when they’re playing.
You might also opt for bandana-style bibs, which are less bulky than the traditional rounded shape. Bandana bibs also have a higher collar, which keeps drool off of your baby’s chest and neck.
Some bandana-style drool bibs have a silicone arrow tip for teething babies. These two-in-one bibs are helpful from birth until toddler age. A bandana bib is also a little more difficult to take off than a regular-shaped one, so it can stay secured even if your child tries to pull it off their neck.
Besides bandana-style bibs, you may opt for traditional styles with a plush collar to catch drool, milk, and food, and prevent neck rashes. If your child is prone to neck rashes, consider changing their bib multiple times a day and giving their neck time to air out.
Whenever your baby begins to self-feed, a mealtime bib will help keep food on their plates and off their clothes.
The size: Feeding-time bibs are typically larger than drool bibs. They offer wider coverage to protect your baby’s clothes and skin from mealtime messes. Ideally, a feeding-time bib should cover your baby’s chest and shoulders at least. Larger bibs that cover their stomach and arms are a plus.
The fabric: Mealtime bibs are usually made of waterproof or almost waterproof fabrics. This makes them easy to wipe off or clean after one meal and ready to go on the next. At the end of the day, you can toss them in the washer or hand-wash them and air dry.
Feeding-time bibs are often made of silicone that you can wipe down after a meal. Food-grade silicone ensures they’re safe to use, especially for younger children.
The fit and style: Feeding-time bibs come in various styles. The first is the scoop bib. It looks like a traditional bib but with an added pocket at the bottom. This pouch catches food, drool, and other debris during mealtime. It’s also commonly made with food-grade silicone or another waterproof fabric.
Next, you can try a long-sleeved bib or a smock bib. These bibs are like open-back long-sleeved shirts that you can easily take off after a meal. The added coverage keeps even the messiest baby food-free. Baby smocks offer a short-sleeved option if that seems more comfortable for your baby.
One disadvantage about long-sleeved bibs is they’re often size-specific. Unlike traditional bibs, which you can adjust, keep and use for months, your little one may outgrow their pair of long-sleeved bibs more quickly.
Other factors to consider
Whether you’re shopping for drool bibs or a heavy-duty feeding-time bib, opt for products with adjustable neck fasteners. Bibs that have a wide use age range are practical. For instance, a bib for 6-24 months might be more ideal than a bib for 6-12 months. This helps ensure your bib lasts more than a few months. It also guarantees a comfortable fit for your baby because you can adjust the fasteners accordingly.
Besides fit and comfort, you want to think about colors and patterns. This is where the fun comes in! Bold patterns and designs are not only visually pleasing: They also hide stains. If a pesky food stain just isn’t coming out, a loud pattern might just be your saving grace. The bottom line is to consider purchasing bibs with prints and designs when it’s possible.
Smaller, absorbent drool bibs are excellent for all-day use, while larger waterproof feeding-time bibs are fit for food messes. Drool bibs and feeding-time bibs are crucial for keeping your baby clean and dry. While some messes can’t be avoided, the right set of bibs may help prevent rashes and stained clothes. A handful of drool bibs and one or two feeding-time bibs should be enough, but the most important thing is that they are durable enough to survive even the biggest of baby messes.
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