How Many Bibs Do You Need? Avoid The Spills, Plan Ahead!

Sooner or later you’ll find out that a good question to ask is: how many bibs do you need? If you’re new to parenting, you’ll discover very soon mealtimes aren’t as tidy and organized as they used to be pre-baby time. Mealtimes with babies are messy. Food gets everywhere. On the baby, on the clothes, on the furniture, on you and if you’re really lucky, some of it might end up in the baby’s mouth.

Fortunately, baby bibs are an incredible solution to keeping a great deal of the mess contained. In this article, I’m going to give you a breakdown of some of the types of bibs out there and which surpass others in terms of general use and maintenance.

How Many Bibs Do You Need?

To ensure you’ve got enough bibs on hand, at any given time, you should get anything between 10 to 15 bibs. Of course, this number may change slightly depending on the type of bib you use. 

When you think of baby bibs, you might think of the little “Monday to Sunday” ribbon bibs you or your siblings had as babies. Some of those old style bibs even had the meal times on it in the form of “breakfast, lunch and dinner”.

Well, fortunately, baby bibs have evolved a lot since those days and there is a much broader variety to choose from. There are also a few other factors you need to consider when determining the number of bibs you’ll need. Let’s look at a few of them which I also used with my fiancée to plan ahead.

Things to Consider When Determining the Number of Bibs to Have

Your Current Washing Cycle

When you have a baby in the house, your washing cycle will become more frequent. Once a week washing will now become two or three times a week, if not more. Not having the right type of bib will mean you’re washing baby clothes every day or after meals. The right bib will mean you can simply wipe off the bib or wash the bib instead.

So, ask yourself, do you have the time to do more washing or would you rather invest in the correct bibs from the word go?

From What Age Will Baby Need a Bib?

In general, most new parents suggest starting out with an average of 10 cloth bibs. While it’s true that your baby won’t be eating at their high chair from day one, will they really need bibs so early? Babies from 0-6 months benefit a great deal from drool bibs, which prevents drool from dripping onto their clothes. You can start looking at feeding bibs from 4 months onwards. Some parents let babies drink their bottles with bibs on to catch any possible spills. I don’t overdo this but we do use bibs when my daughter is sitting in her high chair ready to drink and eat.

Bib Materials

Bibs are made with an assortment of different materials. These include plastic, cotton, silicone and a variety of different absorbent materials. The point of a bib is to absorb and prevent spills to clothes.

Cotton bibs are more suited to smaller babies, whereas plastic bibs are ideal for babies or toddlers who are sitting and feeding themselves. 

Other Points to Consider When Choosing the Right Bib

Different bibs can be used for different reasons. Some are for drooling, others are for feeding at different stages, and some are for burping. Let’s look at few of the points to consider when buying a bib:

  • Easy Fit: The bib should fit perfectly around the baby’s neck so that the baby doesn’t take it off.
  • Easy to clean: Since it’s guaranteed bibs will get messy, choose a type that’s easy to clean.
  • Comfort: The bib needs to be comfortable. An uncomfortable baby will fuss a lot, making meals more messy.
  • Easy to fold: As a rule of thumb, the bib goes where the baby goes. The bib should be easy to fold and store in the baby bag.

Are Bibs Different to Burp Cloths?

If you’re new to the world of babies, one bib might seem like the next. Sure, some may be shaped differently, some may be bigger, materials may be different, but they all do the same thing right? Well, sort of.

Essentially there are bibs for different purposes and then there are burp cloths. Not sure what burp cloths are and what the difference is? Let’s have a look.

Burp cloths are the cloths you see draped over every new mom’s shoulder. Burp cloths are different to bibs in that you don’t tie them around the baby’s neck. They are every parents’ go to for burps, spit-ups, milk dribbles, sneezes and any other wipe up that baby might require. The only real criteria for burp cloths is that they should be soft, super absorbent and survive many, many washes.

Bibs can be made of cotton, plastic, silicone or any other super absorbent material. Bibs are tied around the baby’s neck or worn as a coverall above the clothes.

With bibs and burp cloths you’ll need a few spare ones when others are in the wash. At any time the baby can throw up or spit up and then you’ll need to change to a new bib or burp cloth. Keep a few in the diaper bag, your handbag, the car and everywhere else the baby goes!

When is the Best Time to Get Bibs?

I suggest getting bibs as early as possible. Stock up on them when you buy the other baby essentials. Bibs can be used to catch spit-up during breastfeeding or bottlefeeding etc. This will save you washing baby clothes after every feeding.

Do I Need Bibs for My Newborn?

You may think your newborn doesn’t need a bib, but consider the many times newborns spit up. Newborns adjusting to formula may vomit as well. With a bib, there is less chance of it ending up all over the little’s one’s clothes.

How Can I Clean Baby Bibs?

In general, baby bibs are designed to be easy to clean. Most times, baby bibs can be washed in the washing machine with the normal laundry. Manufacturers of bibs recommend you shouldn’t wash baby bibs in hot water over 30 degrees C. Washing it at too high a temperature will damage the water-repellent coating on the bibs. 

When it comes to cleaning, here’s an easy tutorial giving you some tips for cleaning your bibs along with baby’s other clothes.

Which is the Best Baby Bib to Get?

As I’ve already mentioned, there are different types of baby bibs you can consider for your baby. Let’s look at a few of the most popular types:

Neat Solutions Feeder Bibs

These bibs are the basic bibs that every new parent needs. Their solid white design makes it easy for you to add your own custom embroidery. Made from absorbent terry cloth, they offer great protection against any mess.

Upsimples Girls Baby Bandana Bibs

This 10-pack bandana set is made with cute prints to accentuate your precious little lady’s style (you can also get ones for boys). Made with 100% organic cotton in the front and thick polyester fleece, these stylish bandanas will absorb all kinds of drool and spit-up.

Green Sprouts Stay Dry Bibs

Another 10 pack of bibs providing ultimate protection from spit-ups and drool with their terry cloth material. They provide waterproof protection for your baby’s clothes. With adjustable hook-&-loop closures, it’s easy to put on and take off.

Luvable Friends Water-Resistant Bibs

This set of 4 bibs is made with 100% PEVA free materials. Perfect for everyday use, these bibs have a crumb catcher added to its waterproof fabric.

Happy Healthy Parent Silicone Baby Bibs

These funky silicone bibs eliminate you having to wash bibs with the laundry. Food grade silicone resists stains and doesn’t absorb water. Simply wash it with soap and water! A big wide silicone pocket catches food, so no mess.

Bumkins Sleeved Bibs

Sleeved bibs are the perfect type of bib for babies aged 6-24 months. They’re designed to protect the baby’s entire outfit. Your baby wears it like a shirt complete with sleeves, avoiding spills on the arms as well. Material is lightweight, waterproof and easy to wipe.

The Pros and Cons of Different Bibs

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of the different bib types:

Type if bibsProsCons
Cloth Bibs- Easy to fold for traveling
- Durable
- Affordable
- Will need washing and drying to reuse
- May contain synthetic fibres
Plastic Bibs- Easy to clean
- Great coverage
- Thin straps can rub against the neck
- Easy for baby to pull off
Bandana Bibs- Difficult for baby to remove
- Absorb a lot more dribble
- Great for teething babies
- Don’t provide a lot of coverage
Sleeved/coverall Bibs- Covers the whole upper body
- Can be used by babies and toddlers feeding themselves.
- Can be uncomfortable
- Can make baby too hot
Silicone Bibs- Easy to clean
- Baby can feed themselves as the pocket caches the spills
- Baby must be of sitting age
- Can rub against the neck and cause rash

Final Thoughts

With the wide variety of baby bibs available on the market, it’s easy to find the right type for your baby’s specific needs. As a general suggestion, stick to the minimum of 10 cloth bibs that you can use for everything from spit-up to feeding. As the baby progresses, you can adjust your bib choices to the baby’s specific needs. Buy the right bib and eliminate the mess of feeding time!

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