Go into any department store and visit the baby section or shop at online and offline baby shops and you will find a wide range of choices when it comes to bibs and burps.
A generation or two ago, it was the basic napkins that did the trick. Our parents used a stack of napkins and washed and reused them to clean the drops, spit and drool from their babies.
As I remember, wallowing in some nostalgic memories of the past, it is clear that a lot has changed since then; good or bad will likely ignite a debate with valid points supporting both sides of the equation.
That said, this article will highlight the options available to all parents and rank them in perspective. Who are we to do it? We are a team of parents who vary from different race; religion and culture that have decided that all parents, especially mothers, face similar challenges with their respective children, regardless of our different backgrounds.
After a long experience of research-purchase-test of chest hunting, we have come to certain conclusions and we would like to share our opinions with all parents who are concerned about making the best choices for their children.
So, let’s talk about bibs and burps, shall we?
Pectorals before starting solids
There is one thing that seems very clear to us.
From birth to breast milk or formula feeding, most babies experience some form of drooling, dripping, and / or regurgitation. At this point, the bibs need to be large enough to cover most of the baby’s clothes and sufficiently absorbent to withstand the usual drool and spitting.
The most useful bibs and burp cloths at this stage have many names: burp, drool, dribble, plain terry bibs, bandana with sleeves, novelty bibs, and scarf or neckerchief.
Were these names created as a result of a clever marketing strategy? Maybe, but to be fair, babies are unique in their individualistic and natural expressions with some babies experiencing severe spitting and burping while others may suffer from massive smearing during teething stages.
Thus the categories of sub-niches are born
- drool and drip bibs for baby teething,
- burp cloths for severe burping and spitting,
- Bibs with sleeves to completely cover children’s clothes from stains or splashes as well as protect during play with colors and paints.
- Original bandana and bibs that can tackle basic smearing and dribbling despite size limitation due to aesthetically pleasing designs to match or complement children’s clothing.
- Scarf or neckerchief bibs that basically act as a winter warmer for babies that comfortably cover the neck and lower chin while still addressing any smudging and dribbling
Babies who spit and drool moderately require at least plain terry cloth bibs. Babies who drool or spit heavily may require bibs made from 2-3-layer waterproof materials.
Burr / dribble and burp bibs usually only resemble each other with differences in material, size and headband types.
Almost all terry cloth bibs are made from: –
- Cotton that is really soft, cool and comfortable and is helpful for moderate drooling and burping.
- Polyester which is more absorbent than cotton. What’s really noteworthy is the fact that polyester is resistant to wrinkles, shrinks and fading, which makes it last longer. The setback is that it loses the cooling effect making it warmer than cotton.
- PEVA (Polyethylene Vinyl Acetate) which is a biodegradable, chlorine-free, PVC-free material used primarily as an alternative to PVC in toy products, bibs and shower curtains. It is important for parents to know that PEVA is made from petrochemicals containing untested chemicals.
- Or combination of 2 or 3 of the materials mentioned above
Most collars are Velcro or automatic.
- Velcro sometimes gets caught with other materials when washing (scratchy part)
- There is a tendency for children’s necks to suffer from irritation due to the velcro material which sometimes leads to rashes.
- Poor quality velcro can be removed quite easily by children
- Much better if the closure is on the side rather than the back of the children’s neck
While snap closure is preferable, a simple tip is to fasten both ends of a Velcro fastener exactly without overlapping and most problems can be minimized.
Choosing a bib in the early stages should be based on the sensitivity / condition of the baby’s skin and the amount of spitting and drooling. If you want the most absorbent bib, polyester is the recommended material especially if you live in a cooler environment. The other option is to find 2-3 layer waterproof material sandwiched between layers of 100% cotton.
Pectorals after the start of solids
However, once babies start eating solid foods usually at around 6 months of age, feeding bibs become more functionally useful. There are manufacturers who claim that the same bibs for drooling, drooling and burping can meet the needs of a baby starting Solids. We, on the other hand, do NOT agree.
There are 3 drawbacks to good waterproof terry cloth bibs too.
It stains easily
Loads and loads of underwear with bibs, waste of time and water
Not cheap as you need to keep stocking up on cloth bibs
The most functional, economical and laundry load saving bibs are high quality soft silicone baby bibs for medical use. The reason we are emphasizing words like “premium medical grade soft” is because the baby feeding bib market has been saturated with “plastic-ky” rigid TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) bibs that are gaining ground. also as soft, quality food grade bibs.
Unfortunately, the pictures look alike and it is a challenge for most parents to spot the differences. However, we have taken the necessary steps to enlighten parents about what these differences are and how to spot them.
Let’s start by identifying first of all the most popular silicone bibs on the market, also declaring that they are of food quality …
- TPE silicone bibs with plastic headband (most common)
- Bib in soft 100% food grade silicone for medical use (including silicone strap
TPE silicone bib
- Most of the silicone bibs that can be found in most offline department stores and online e-commerce platforms are made from plastic or TPE materials marketed as food-grade silicone.
- Please note that TPE is a thermoplastic elastomer. While generally considered safe, TPE means it is a hot-melt vinyl that has all kinds of harmful additives that can be absorbed through the skin.
- TPE is an unstable material that melts when overheated with varying points. Additionally, TPE bibs can cause an allergic reaction to surface contact with babies’ skin, especially when sweating or in hot weather and in areas with high humidity.
100% food grade premium soft silicone bibs for medical use
- 100% medical food grade silicone bibs are completely safe inert material that must withstand and pass precise and meticulous tests to qualify as medical food grade. There is absolutely no comparison between TPE bibs and 100% food grade silicone bibs when it comes to health risk and durability.
- Silicone rubber is generally non-reactive, stable and resistant to extreme environments and temperatures while retaining its useful properties.
- Many competitors make similar claims, but their bib has a skin-irritating plastic or Velcro strap or closure with limited neck size.
- The food grade silicone neck band is sufficiently adjustable with 4-position lock to fit children’s neck size.
- It should be noted that babies and toddlers sometimes tend to pick up the strap or clasp and put it in their mouth out of sheer curiosity, making common TPE and plastic bibs risky.
- Protruding Pocket – Because most bib pockets are flat when worn, making it difficult to catch splashes of drinks and food crumbs, 100% medical grade food grade silicone bibs have a slightly protruding pocket that automatically protrudes making it very more effective in its functionality as a crumb collector.
In conclusion, it is clear that most waterproof terry bibs with a 2-3 layer polyester and / or cotton combination should meet the needs of babies in the first 6 months to overcome drooling, burping and spitting. However, after the baby has started breastfeeding, the most affordable and hassle-free choice is to opt for high quality medical food grade silicone bibs which are much larger in overall size, pocket width and material texture. it is much softer and more pliable. The difference is huge.
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