baby bandana style bibs

How to choose infant drool bibs and baby mealtime bibs

When shopping for baby clothing accessories, expecting parents are overwhelmed by selections of infant socks, baby mittens, headbands, bibs, burp clothes, blankets, and newborn hats.  They often wonder “what are the essential items that my baby really needs?”  These new parents are probably told “baby bibs are important and is a must” but often times it wasn’t until they actually reached the throes of parenthood that they realize just how necessary bibs are.  Babies (or even toddlers) can easily go through several bibs a day, and different activities may require a specific type of bib.  So there really isn’t a “best baby bibs” out there that would serve all purposes.  Here we are going to go through the two major categories of bibs, their functions, shapes, and different materials that are used to make the bibs. Hopefully this will help new parents picking out the ideal bibs for their needs. One thing important we must remind everyone again is “buy quality rather than quantity”.

Bibs for teething or drooling

All babies drool.  This is because their oral muscles used to control their drool may not be fully developed until they are 2 years old. The excess drool helps kids to digest food when they start eating solid food.  When they begin teething, drooling intensifies and they may go through couple of bibs in a day.  So it is a good idea to keep a few bibs at home or in the diaper bags.  A drool bib can sop up the spit to keep babies’ clothes getting soaked (and potentially irritating the skin underneath).  It can also be handy to wipe off dribble around their mouth, which can also cause a skin rash.

babysoy reversible baby bibs in orange and green

The size

Baby drool bibs (or some refer them as baby teething bibs) are smaller than feeding-time bibs. The main purpose is to keep the front part of babies’ clothes dry, so basically the bibs size should be just large enough to cover the neck to upper chest part.  You want to make sure they fit well around your baby’s neck and leave no or very little gap so drool doesn’t go down their neck and eventually get to their body.

The fabrics

You want to make sure these bibs are made of absorbent fabrics that also wash easily and last well (you might be washing them daily). Since at this stage, baby’s skin is still delicate, so you want to pick out something that’s soft. Organic cotton baby bibs are a good choice. You can also consider sustainable fabrics such as azlon from soy and rayon from bamboo, these fabrics are softer than cotton and are environmental friendly. Most of drool bibs are double-layered, there are some waterproof baby bibs in the market which has a plastic or polyester lining between the layers.  But we think the regular double layer bibs will do the job.

The fit and style

Cloth bibs : Basically a round piece of fabric with a neck opening using either snaps or Velcro to secure itself on baby’s neck. Simple, machine-washable bibs made from soft, absorbent fabrics.

Bandana bibs :  When you want a bit more style, baby bandana bibs is an option.  They are a good choice for drooly toddlers, since the bandana style looks less babyish. One thing to note is that a bandana bib is a bit more difficult to take off than regular-shaped baby bibs, the positive side is that it will stay on better when your child tries to pull it off, but not so cool when you have a million things to accomplish and trying to remove the bib.

babysoy baby bibs in flower petal shape brown and yellow

Flower shape bibs Some brands has taken a step further and modified the cloth bibs and turn them into a flower petals shape drool bibs. Although some may consider these to be more of a baby bibs for girls, but we think they are gender neutral and ideal for those that simply want to add a bit of style on top of the traditional shaped bibs.


Bibs for mealtime

Babies and toddlers are known to create a mess when they eat.  So when it comes to keeping formula or food off your baby or toddler’s outfit, any bib is better than nothing. Especially when your baby begins to self-feed, you will find a mealtime bib is important.

The size

Mealtime bibs are typically larger than drool bibs. They offer wider coverage to protect your baby’s clothes and skin from mealtime messes. Ideally, a mealtime bib should at least cover your baby’s entire chest area. If your kids tend to make a real mess, you will find large baby bibs that cover their stomach and arms are a plus.

The fabrics

Mealtime bibs are usually made of waterproof or almost waterproof fabrics. Silicone and plastic are the most common materials used for mealtime bibs. This makes them easy to wipe off or clean after each meal and ready to go on the next. At the end of the day, a quick hand-wash or toss them in the washer and air dry.

Silicone bibs are soft, flexible and waterproof. They can also be wiped clean after mealtime. Make sure you select food-grade silicone, which ensure safety especially for younger children.

baby silicone bibs

Plastic bibs are thinner than silicone bibs but are also waterproof that can be wiped clean. Some have pockets for crumbs, but they don’t always catch as much as silicone bibs. Some options are also big enough to cover a child’s shoulders or lap. 

Disposable bibs are single-use made with thin plastic, an option that can be helpful for meals-on-the-go or when you’re traveling. 

The fit and style

Feeding-time bibs come in various styles. The first is what we call large baby bibs. They are simply a larger sized traditional drool bibs that covers baby’s whole chest area. The second is the scoop bib. It looks like a traditional bib but with a lip or pocket at the bottom. This pouch catches food, drool, and other debris during mealtime.  The third is smock-style bibs which is a long-sleeved bib that offers full coverage. These bibs are open-back long-sleeved shirts that you can put on and take off for a meal. This added coverage keeps even the messiest baby food free. There are short-sleeved option baby smocks if you feel it would be more comfortable for your baby or toddler. One drawback is that these bibs are more size-specific, your little one may outgrow their pair of smock bibs sooner than you think.


Bibs for newborns

We also came across some new parents asking what about bibs for the newborns?  A bib can keep dribbled breast-milk or formula off of your little one’s clothes during feeding and also help sop up the inevitable spit-up that comes every now and then.  We recommend using drool bibs (as they are smaller) made with either sustainable fabrics like soy fabric or organic cotton as they tend to be softer and less irritating to infants’ delicate skin.  Using snap bibs is better than Velcro as there’s a chance Velcro might scratch your baby. 


Other factors to consider

Whether you’re shopping for baby drool bibs or mealtime bibs, besides fit and comfort, colors and patterns is another factor to consider.  Solid colors are an easy option as they would match up to outfits more readily (yes, your baby want to remain stylish even while drooling).  If you like patterns, pick bold and loud patterns, they hide stains better. If you are buying baby gifts, an embroidered baby bib or a monogrammed bib may be a good option to show off personalization!

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