Bibs might be a simple bit of kit, but it’s amazing just how much people spend on useless bibs that end up thoroughly wet and smelly. Weaning babies sure do make a lot of mess and bibs are an essential part of your kit to protect not only your baby’s clothes, but their delicate skin. A great bib will not only keep your baby’s clothes clean, but will be comfortable and practical.
If you take a look on Amazon for example, you will inundated with choice, so it can be handy to have a good idea of what you’re looking for. Our baby bib buying guide is designed to help you discover which of the features suits you and your baby best. We’ve done the heavy listing for you, so read on to find out which bibs made the cut.
Top 5 Best Baby Bibs
Best Plastic Bib – Babybjorn
Pros: Suitable from 4 months, spill pocket, waterproof, adjustable. Cons: Can’t be folded, can interfere with high-chair tray.
The Babybjorn soft bib is made from plastic, that is reasonably soft and flexible. The material makes the bib waterproof, easy to clean and comfortable for baby. The pocket is designed to catch any spills before they reach the ground, so clean up is easier.
This bib is very easy to clean. You can either wipe it down or apparently put in in the dishwasher, which will save you some laundry time. We haven’t found that it stains, but we haven’t given it the beetroot test either. The coverage is good as some bibs of this type are so small, your baby can outgrow them very quickly. These bibs are best for home use, as they don’t fold easily, so can be irritating in a diaper bag.
Best Fabric Bib – My Baby Peach Flexibib
Pros: Soft, comfortable, washing machine and drier safe, cute patterns, easy fold. Cons: Won’t last as long as a plastic bib, does need to be washed after a few uses.
The My Baby Peach Flexibib is a fantastic compromise between fabric and plastic bibs. The neoprene fabric, which is used for wet suits, stops water leaking through and stays soft and comfortable to wear. The food catcher pocket on this bib is a little bigger than some, so is great for catching crumbs and liquids. One of the features we like most about this bib is the fact that it folds so easily, so hardly takes up any space in a diaper bag.
Although they dry quickly, they are also drier safe which is great if you want to get them dry quickly. The velcro is strong, but strong babies/toddlers may be able to put it off. Currently available in four cute animal designs, Zebra, Cow, Pig and Hippo, these bibs are a great all-rounder.
Best Drool Bib – Adovely Baby Bandana Drool Bibs
Pros: Very soft, absorbent, snaps, great designs, packs of 4. Cons: Hand wash, neck coverage only.
The Adovely Baby Bandana Drool bibs style bibs are perfect for mopping up all that drool when your baby is teething. They are made from 100% organic cotton with a fleece back and are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time. The designs are modern, stylish and suit boys and girls, which many bibs of this type don’t.
The cotton is very absorbent, and backed with a soft fleece which makes it water resistant. The adjustable snaps allow you to tighten or loosen the bib depending on the size of your baby or toddler. The only real drawback we have found with these bibs is that they last best when hand-washed and many will not want to, nor have the time to do that. You could machine wash and air dry, but it will probably shorten the life of the bib.
Best Smock Bib – Hippychick Bumkins
Pros: Full coverage, waterproof fabric, Stain and odour resistant, tie closure. Cons: Not suitable for smaller babies, catch pocket does not work very well.
The Hippychick Bumkins sleeved bib is a great solution for older babies who are starting to feed themselves. The sleeves are large and give quite good coverage to protect as much clothing as possible. The handy tie fastener can be useful if you have a baby who tends to rip off weak velcro fasteners.
This bib is waterproof, so can be wiped clean easily. It can also be used for creative play like painting and other crafts. It is reasonably soft and lightweight, but we would avoid leaving it on for too long as the material is not breathable and it may make your baby hot and irritable. The only other drawback we found is that the pocket doesn’t really stay open, so it doesn’t do a great job of catching any spills.
Baby Bib Basics
Types of Bib
There are many different styles of baby bibs, each having their own pros and cons. Below, we explore each type so you can decide which is best suited to you and your baby.
A feeding bib should be used when your child is eating food. These bibs should be large enough to protect clothing and benefit from being waterproof or water resistant. Many of these bibs have a crumb catcher at the bottom to stop food from falling on your baby’s clothes and the floor. These bibs are not ideal for teething.
A dribble bib is the best option for a teething baby. Clothing can be soaked through when a baby is teething which can cause rashes on the chin, neck and chest. Drool, or dribble bibs will absorb much of the saliva and help keep your baby dry. These bibs tend to be small and should be made from soft, non irritating fabrics as they can be worn for long periods of time. They can be worn when bottle feeding your baby, but are not useful when a baby starts self feeding.
A sleeved bib is really a long feeding bib with sleeves. This type of bib is ideal if your baby is a messy eater, and has started feeding themselves. They cover a large area so are designed to keep your baby clean and dry, and can be used for little artistic pursuits as well. These bibs are not suitable to wear for long periods as the waterproof fabric is not breathable.
Disposable bibs tend to be a “love them or hate them” type of item. As the name suggests, they are meant for single use and should be disposed of afterwards. They are designed to be extremely lightweight and compact so are convenient when you are away from home. We wouldn’t recommend these bib for everyday use as the cost over time would be prohibitive.
Velcro remains our firm favorite. It is quick to put on and off and is long lasting, especially if you buy a bib with a strong velcro closure. It stands the test of time in the washing machine and the drier, but should be closed prior to washing as it will stick to other clothes and pick up fluff if you don’t. The downside of course, is that older children can rip it off, so it’s worth buying a bib with good, strong velcro.
Also known as popper fastenings, these are easy to use by clicking into place. This type of fastener is usually only found on drool bibs and they are difficult for babies to pull off. The downside though is that, if they a metal, they can rust when washed in the machine, and plastic ones can simply come off over time, leaving you without a way to fasten the bib in place.
Tie fastenings are convenient and unless you have a miniature Houdini, your baby won’t be getting this bib off. They are also adjustable so will grow with your baby. If you have a wriggly baby, ties can be annoying, but they do enable a closer fit, so can keep mess to a minimum. We found these a fiddle to get on and off, but there are just as many people who love them.
Traditional Terry cloth is an absorbent and long lasting fabric. It is quite affordable, however it tends to stain easily and must be used with a waterproof lining. Depending on the lining used the bibs may not be suitable for the tumble drier.
This is the same fabric used for wet suits so it is quite water resistant. It has a smooth, flexible feel to it, and is lightweight for babies to wear. Neoprene does require washing to prevent food build up or stains, and it remains the most expensive type of fabric bib you can buy.
Silicone is used to make waterproof plastic bibs that are flexible. Food and drink can be wiped away easily and they do not need to be machine washed. Silicone bibs are reasonably comfortable to wear but they are not breathable and can be uncomfortable over long periods of time. They also do not fold well so can be bulky in a diaper bag.
Most dribble bibs are made from soft cotton which is ideal for this type of bib. Cotton isn’t water resistant though, so look out for bibs with a soft fleece backing to keep your baby’s clothes and skin dry. These bibs are not good for feeding (other than milk) as cotton stains easily.
Most sleeved bibs are made from polyester as it is flexible and waterproof. This material is easy to clean and protects clothes well, however it is not breathable, so overheating can be a problem.