Your baby will eat thousands of meals and snacks before becoming a dexterous, accurate and (mostly) clean eater. A good bib will keep your baby’s clothes stain-free, your floors clean-ish and your food spared a trip to the compost heap or trashcan.
For new parents, the spectrum of bibs are far and wide: drool bibs, decorative bibs, burping bibs and more, but we’re seeking out the most useful bib you’ll ever own–a food bib. After researching and putting bibs through thorough daily usage at a childcare center, the Happy Healthy Parent Silicone Bib came out on top as the best option.
Who Should buy this?
Parents with children that will eventually learn how to eat on their own (all of you): eating bibs are a must-own. There may not be one other baby-related item that will get more repeatedly used over its lifetime than an eating bib. With at least a year of use, an eating bib could see more than 1,500 uses between daily meals and snacks.
What makes a good bib
There are six traits that can make or break a great bib.
Material: A cloth bib, while often times cuter, has no place in the eating realm. Save them for the drool. Look instead for a material that can be quickly wiped, rinsed and put in the dishwasher or laundry. Silicone, plastic, rubber and polyester blends make life significantly easier for parents and safer for baby with reduced concern about mildew and mold.
Pocket: Bib pockets catch scraps, sparing dirtied clothes, floors and wasted food. Not all bib pockets are alike, though. Some pockets sit flush, while others have a natural gape that may catch more food (and possibly get in the way).
Clasp type: At some point, a child learns that a bib can maybe be removed. Velcro is easy to remove with enough force and metal snaps have tendencies to rust with repeated washings, so we sought out bibs with more traditional buttonhole-style neckbands for the best chance of staying on the kid and off the floor.
Neckband size: Babies will begin eating solids as early as six months and may not get the hang of eating with utensils well past their second birthday. A lot of growing happens during that time, you’ll get more mileage out of a bib that can adjust small and big.
Bib size: The bib coverage needs to be not too small, but not too big. Too big, and it becomes a distraction to the eater; too small risks messing up the clothing underneath.
Portability & storage: Out of sight and out of mind. New parents have enough baby items taking up every nook and cranny in the kitchen, a bib that can pack away and not take up space is helpful at home or when stashed in a diaper bag.
How we tested
We poured over online reviews at Amazon and consulted with the 43,000 member Facebook group Feeding the Littles, which is obsessed with baby led weaning. Baby-led weaning is a method that puts the food in the hands of the baby, literally, with the emphasis on babies feeding themselves from the beginning and not relying on spoon-fed purees.
After consulting with online reviews and the baby-led weaning advocates, we selected five candidate bibs. The contenders were put through the ringer at an early child care facility that caters to all-day care, providing at least one meal and multiple snacks per child. The childcare professionals shared their feedback and picked their favorite. The bibs were also tested at home with a 14-month-old who has a voracious appetite.
Our selection for the best bib for most babies is the Happy Healthy Parent Silicone Bib, which blew us away with its ease of cleaning. A quick rinse or wipe-down with a sponge cleaned the bib of gunk, grime and smashed sweet potatoes with ease. For nights when the menu called for spaghetti, we simply tossed the bib on the top rack of the dishwasher. This extra-thorough cleaning yielded a bib that looked and felt like new.
This bib’s neckband has three buttons with four slits providing the most secure clasping and a broad size range that comfortably fit an undersized eight month old and a two year old.
The simple color options were a nice bonus. Amazon offers three options: boys (red and blue), girls (pink and purple) and gender neutral (lime green and turquoise). The bibs are sold in sets of two for $20, putting them in the bracket of most expensive bibs, but based on the number of uses a great bib will see in its lifetime, the price is easily warranted. The manufacturer Happy Healthy Parents offers a lifetime guarantee in the event that one needs to be replaced.
During our tests, we had our childcare providers write down their thoughts on the bib. This quote pretty much sums it up:
“The Happy Healthy Parent bib was my favorite because it was soft and very flexible. It was the best fit when the kids are eating at the table,” They added “[the neckband] was easy to button on.” Simply put, our pick is the easiest to use and yielded “less mess” where it counts.
No bib is perfect, though. The pocket on this bib is one area caused an occasional problem. It had the widest gape of any bib we tried, which is fantastic for catching food, but occasionally got in the way of eating and frustrated the kid.
Who Else likes it
This bib has a very high 4.9 star average on Amazon out of more than 750 reviews. Several of the negative reviews cited intangibles like shipping errors or inability to fit an adult neck.
The childcare professionals that tested the bibs for The Nightlight were especially fond of how easy these bibs are to clean.
Bumpkin Superbibs ($15)–The cheap velcro attachment and flush pocket caused more floor messes and removed bibs that any competitor.
BabyBjorn Soft Bib ($19)–These bibs were the least soft out of all that we tried. They were made of a semi-hard “POLYelast TPE/Thermoplastic Elastomer” material making them hard to store and not the most comfortable for the kiddo. One positive: the one-of-a-kind beaded neck band ensured a great fit for any neck size.
OXO Silicone Comfortbib ($20)–A velcro clasp ensured that the bib ended up on the floor and the dual-material carried some mold and durability concerns.
Tommee Tippee Explora Easi Roll ($10)–A great step-down option, but the clasp wasn’t completely baby-proof, and the material wasn’t as easy to clean compared to our pick. It was the only other bib to receive votes as the best bib from the childcare professionals.