By Cathy Monaghan RD MINDI Paediatric Dietitian.

Like so much of being a parent, even choosing a bib has become quite complicated!

Having a baby brings a lot of clutter into our homes, but weaning is really the start of mess. 

 

Can the perfect bib really make a difference?

Bibs with sleeves, plastic weaning bibs, coverall weaning bibs, silicone bibs, waterproof weaning bibs – how are there so many to choose from?! With over 15 years professional experience and 3 children of my own you are in the right place to find the answer! You’ll be glad to know that this is not a sponsored post so you’re getting an impartial, unbiased & professional, expert opinion!

 

Is a feeding bib necessary?

Mess is an essential part of the 32 steps of learning to eat. I have written a blog post on why you should let your baby make a mess. A bib is not absolutely necessary. The only real purpose of a bib is to keep your baby’s clothes clean. Whether you use a bib or not depends on how you feel about the mess! Some parents find the mess of weaning really difficult.

Baby Eating in diaper

This baby should have a 5 point harness on – check out my blog on choosing a highchair.

Anything that reduces mess is developed for the parents benefit and not the baby. 

How much is a feeding bib?

A feeding bib ranges in price from €5 to €60.

Reasons to use a bib in Weaning?

  1. Keep clothes clean.

  2. Let baby self feed & make a mess.

  3. A coverall bib will help stop any food going all over the highchair.

Reasons to not use a bib in Weaning?

Using a bib is up to you as a parent but they are not an essential part of your parenting tool kit.

  1. Can be uncomfortable for baby. Baby may feel restricted or too hot in some coverall bibs.

  2. Depending on the age of your baby the bib may make it difficult for them to interact with the food.

  3. Although the bib keeps the clothes clean you still have to wash the bib so no matter what you will always have to wash something. Personally I mainly changed my baby’s clothes after meals as I felt my baby was more relaxed that way.

  4. Environmentally & financially, only buy an expansive one if you intend to use it lot. 

  5. Stripping baby down to their nappy/ diaper is also a perfect option or you could just use old clothes rather than buying an expensive bib.

Which Bibs are best for Weaning?

Your baby being comfortable and relaxed is an essential part of learning to eat and enjoy family meals. 

Put yourself in your baby’s position. What would make you feel most comfortable and relaxed?

  • Weaning bibs with long sleeves are usually waterproof. These coverall weaning bibs do exactly that – they cover everything so that no food gets on the baby or the highchair. Can be useful at events where you don’t want to change baby’s clothes but can cost upto €50.

  • Plastic weaning bibs – although these are often the cheapest option they can be hard and uncomfortable on your baby’s neck. They may keep the baby’s clothes clean on their torso but the food is likely to go everywhere else.

  • Silicone bibs are generally soft and sit comfortably on the baby. They can be short so will keep some of the baby’s clothes clean but you are likely going to need to wash the clothes anyway.

How many bibs do you need for weaning?

It depends on how you feel about the mess. Could you use old clothes? 

At what age does a baby need a bib?

You can start using a bib early in weaning (at around 6 months) but if the baby is not comfortable or doesn’t like wearing it then let it go. If you find a coverall bib stressful to put on your baby then also let it go.

When should babies stop using bibs?

The more you embrace the mess and encourage self feeding early in weaning the better your baby will be at feeding themselves. Consider it short term pain, long term gain! Most toddlers will have stopped using a bib by age 2, some much earlier.

Dad feeding baby in highchair

Finally, bibs are not essential, fancy bibs are not essential. The more practice your baby gets with self feeding whether it is preloaded spoons or finger foods, the tidier an eater they will become!

I have a whole video section on this in The Weaning MC if you would like to check it out!