I remember the first “baby photo shoot” I did with my son. I dressed him up in the most adorable angel outfit and booked a professional photographer to capture those precious memories of the first few weeks of his life.
I made a giant rookie mistake, though: I left the house with a clean baby in a pristine white shirt and no bib. As you can imagine, that pretty little costume didn’t make it past the first flash of the camera. It was sopping wet before I could say “precious memories.”
So, what I remember more than anything from that day is that bibs are non-negotiable. Babies are little mess-machines, but the best baby bibs can help you keep things drier. Don’t make my mistake – let this guide help you choose a bib that works best for you and your baby, no matter what they spit up!
- Nickel-free snaps
- Soft and comforting fabric
- Super absorbent
- Machine washable
- Safe, azo-free dyes
- Neutral designs
- Snaps can’t be pulled by baby
- Super comfy and absorbent
- No food and spills on clothing
- Covers down to elasticated cuff
- Lap pouch catches fallen food
- Easy to put on
- Soft as a washcloth
- Generously sized
- Save pants from being stained
- Adjustable neck width
- Cute floral designs
- Absorbent and hypoallergenic
- Classic, unisex prints
- Contoured to fit neatly
- Large, adjustable neck hole
- Wipe clean with soapy water
- Catcher tray for dropped food
- Dishwasher safe
- Adorable designs
- Isn’t bulky when worn
Do Babies Need Bibs?
I’d like to tell you children get less messy as they get older, but my son disproves that theory every day. So do yourself a favor – put a bib on your children for as long as they’ll let you. It will save you a lot of aggravation and work in the long run.
In their early years, my children ruined a lot of perfectly good outfits because I used the wrong bibs. And their timing couldn’t be worse. They always seemed to ruin precisely those outfits that were given to them by their grandparents.
Almost without fail, if one of them was in an outfit from grandma, it was only a matter of time before they’d regurgitate an entire bottle of milk on themselves right after their bib with the chintzy Velcro fastener fell off.
I quickly learned what to look for in a good bib, and I hope this knowledge will save you some irritation… and money.
Helps Prevent Drool Rash
Not every baby will get rashes, but sensitive skin is common in babies, and staying in wet clothes can trigger a monster of a rash.
My son got regular rashes in his first few weeks of producing swimming pool levels of drool. That was before I wised up and learned that wet shirts rubbing against sensitive baby skin could cause rashes. Like any new mother, when I saw a rash of any kind, I would worry myself sick until it went away.
The best way to prevent the dreaded drool rash on a baby’s chest is to keep their shirt dry. And it’s much easier and more practical to replace bibs than it is to change an entire outfit.
Types of Baby Bibs
The most common style is the classic bib shaped… well, like a bib. These are great for dealing with low to medium amounts of drool and are best for everyday use for kids 6 months to 2 years old. They’re useful for feeding and may come with a little pocket at the bottom.
Bandana and Drool Bibs
This style is a triangle shape that clips or fastens at the back, forming a draped cowl in the front, a bit like a cowboy. These have less coverage but attach firmly and are super cute. They’re better for drooling and teething than full-on feeds.
Silicone Baby Bibs
Some bibs are made from a stiff, food-grade silicone shaped into a cup at the end to catch spills. These are ideal for sloppy eaters and can be put in the dishwasher to clean immediately after a meal. You won’t need such heavy-duty protection for drooling or teething.
Smock and Full Coverage Bibs
Choose a longer, wider bib with sleeves if you have a particularly messy child on your hands. Typically made of wipe-down plastic materials, these are great for older kids who don’t want to wear a baby bib but make a huge mess.
How to Choose Baby Bibs
These are some of the factors you’ll want to think about before you buy your first bib for baby.
- A good bib should fit closely under your baby’s chin to cover their clothes, without being too tight.
- Finding the right fit can be tricky, especially since babies often have multiple chins from all that adorable baby fat.
- If your baby’s birth weight was in the double digits, you might want to skip the newborn bibs for something a little bigger to make sure it fits comfortably.
- Some are cute and tiny. Other bibs are so big they cover your baby’s entire torso – it looks like they are wearing armor. In a way, they are.
- Remember – it’s is the only thing protecting your baby from drool rashes and more costume changes than you’ll see during a Taylor Swift concert. So you want it to be big enough.
- I know budgets and babies don’t always go together, but bibs are one of the cheapest things you can buy for your baby. If you can resist the lure of the super cute (i.e., expensive) designs out there, you can easily stock up without spending too much.
- Bibs are a good investment when you crunch the numbers. It’s cheaper to buy a few than to replace the constant parade of outfits that will be destroyed by massive amounts of spit up.
- Keeping bibs around will also save you from having to wash load after load of laundry just so your baby will have some dry clothes to wear.
The Cuteness Factor
- Even though bibs were invented for a practical reason, that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun and fashionable. They are cheap enough that if you really want the one that says, “I love my mommy,” you can buy it.
- Go ahead, have some fun with the cute baby fashions out there!
The Best Baby Bibs of 2021
Here are the best baby bibs currently on the market:
1. Parker Baby Bandana Bibs
Fans of the bandana bib trend will likely think these Good Baby bibs are super adorable. They’re made out of a soft, thick material that absorbs well. The front part of the bib is made from organic cotton, and the back is made of durable polyester.
They can fit many different sizes of children because they have two nickel-free snaps at the back that fit a range of ages from 3 months up to around 2 years. Always remember to never let your child chew on the snaps, these could be a choking hazard.
- The nickel-free snaps may be less irritating and more secure than Velcro.
- The fabric feels soft and comforting.
- Super absorbent and no problem handling heavy droolers.
- The washing instructions require you to lay the bib flat and avoid the dryer.
- Doesn’t hold up well when washed repeatedly, and may bunch up or warp.
2. Green Sprouts Stay-Dry Infant Bibs
The best thing about these Green Sprouts bibs is that they’re made of ultra-absorbent cotton terry, which will protect your baby’s tender skin from drool rash by soaking up the endless rivers of drool they seem to produce.
They have adjustable Velcro closures that make it a breeze to put on and whip off again. A bonus is that these come in a colorful ten pack with each bib priced at just more than $1.
These stay-dry infant bibs are made for babies from 3 months to 12 months old. They have a waterproof inner layer and two super absorbent outer layers. They come in a range of fun, solid colors so your adorable little monster can spit-up on the whole rainbow!
- These are machine washable.
- They use safe, azo-free dyes.
- Some parents may find the material a bit rough and scratchy.
- The stitching doesn’t hold up well to heavy washing.
3. Matimati Baby Bandana Bib Set
These bandana bibs hold a lot of drool and feature adorable neutral designs that look good on both boys and girls.
Each set comes with eight different bibs in a variety of white, blue, and grey colors with matching arrow and triangle designs. The front of the bibs are made of 100 percent soft organic cotton muslin. The back lining is polyester fleece for absorbency.
Instead of Velcro, which can come undone and scratch your baby’s skin, these bibs have two metal snaps. They stay in place and your baby won’t be able to pull the bib off.
Most importantly, they’re super absorbent. You don’t have to worry about your child’s clothes getting wet and you can even wipe their face with the front of the bib because it’s so soft.
These make an especially great gift for expecting moms because you know they’ll look great no matter what.
- Neutral designs look great on both boys and girls.
- Snap closures can’t be pulled off by baby.
- Organic cotton muslin front is super comfy while the polyester back is absorbent.
- They’re pretty thick, so they can get bunched up around the neck.
4. Bumkins Sleeved Toddler Bibs
Bumkins bibs are huge! Made of stain- and odor-resistant plastic that you can just wipe down, this means you can whip them off after meal times to reveal a perfectly clean, happy kid underneath.
Designed to cover the whole torso, lap, arms and right up to the neckline, this bib couldn’t be fuller coverage. The material is free from PVC, vinyl, BPA, phthalate and lead, and comes in a wide range of unisex patterns that are pretty cute. Wipe with a damp cloth or throw in the washing machine when you’re done.
Bring one of these if you’re heading to a restaurant or friend’s house, or use them for other messy moments like arts and crafts projects. Your child might also like that these look a lot more like big-kid clothing than a baby bib.
- Least chance of getting food and spills on clothing.
- Covers right down to the elasticated cuff.
- Has a lap pouch to catch fallen food.
- The tie neck closure can take a while to fasten, and the entire bib is a bit tricky to get on and off.
- Some parents have found the quality lacking.
5. Luvable Friends Baby Bibs
These come in assorted solid colors and are an excellent choice for parents trying to watch their budgets. Luvable Friends bibs are made with a Velcro fastener, easy to put on and made of soft fabric that won’t have your baby screaming at the top of their lungs and trying to rip it off.
They hold up well with repeated trips through the washing machine and dryer. Your baby’s entire torso will be protected, making it great for those parents trying to protect whole outfits.
- Not backed with any irritating plastic.
- As soft as a washcloth.
- Generously sized.
- Made to handle a light drooler – not a baby who is teething.
- Neck too big for newborns.
6. BabyBjorn Soft Bibs
These BabyBjorn bibs are nothing like the ones your mother used on you when you were a toddler. You know, the ones that look like giant plastic nosebags you see on horses. Instead, they’re made of nifty propathene and thermoplastic elastic rubber.
They’re more comfortable than the cheap plastic bibs that babies usually find so irritating, but are not made of a soft fabric. This means they can go in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
What sets these apart from the competition is the deep front spill pocket, which catches dropped food. And since toddlers seem to miss their mouths more than they find them, those pockets should get a workout.
- The deep front pockets will save pants from being stained during meals.
- Easy to clean.
- Adjustable neck width.
- BPA free.
- Pricier than other brands.
- Wearing it may feel heavy to some children.
7. Ana Baby Bandana Drool Bibs
If your little princess has trouble with drool, these floral bandana bibs will help keep it at bay. This pack includes ten precious bib designs, including bright floral colors perfect for outings or family photos.
Each bib is made of 100 percent organic and hypoallergenic materials. They have a dual layer function so your baby stays warm while preventing drool and moisture from reaching clothes or skin. No matter which part of the bib touches your baby’s skin, you don’t have to worry about it causing rashes or irritation.
We also really like how they grow with your baby. The metal snaps closures can be adjusted to three sizes, so they’ll fit both newborns and toddlers. Parents can fasten and unfasten the bib easily, but little hands won’t be able to take it off.
There’s a lot of joy in dressing up your little girl and these adorable bibs make a cute and useful accessory.
- Moms will love the cute floral designs.
- Each layer is absorbent, hypoallergenic, and comfortable.
- Adjusts to fit your baby’s neck size.
- The fabric can stain fairly easily, especially during mealtime.
8. aden + anais Cotton Muslin Burpy Bibs
This aden + anais bib is essentially a thick, durable burping cloth and bib in one, and its shape and size make it multipurpose. When draped over the shoulders and snapped closed at the back, it becomes a full-coverage bib for a smaller baby. When draped over your shoulder, it’s an absorbent burping cloth.
They are made of a lightweight, 100 percent cotton muslin material that can be thrown in the wash afterward. The pure cotton makes it suitable for even the most sensitive skins, and will get softer with each wash.
Because the kidney-shaped cloth fits right around your baby’s neck and shoulders, you get fuller coverage than you would with a more traditional style. The arms and sides of your baby’s neck are well covered.
- Thick, 4 layer, quality cotton muslin feels soft.
- Classic, unisex prints.
- Contoured to fit neatly over your shoulder when burping.
- Large, adjustable neck hole.
- They are a little more expensive than the others on the list.
- The cape design may hinder your baby’s arm movements.
- Some parents have complained that the material shrinks after washing.
9. Happy Healthy Parent Silicone Baby Bibs
The Happy Healthy Silicone Baby Bibs are the best if you’re looking for something that’s easy to clean. The bibs are made of 100% food grade silicone. It doesn’t absorb any water. When you need to clean the bibs, wipe a cloth soaked in soapy water across the bib. Viola! Job done.
These bibs don’t need to be deep cleaned or go in the washing machine. So it saves you time, money and energy. It also means the bibs are always ready to use. When meal time comes around again, simply wipe the bibs clean and put them on your baby.
The bibs always have a handy catcher tray at the bottom. When your little one drops food, it doesn’t land on their lap or the floor. It falls into the catcher. Simply empty it after meal time, and wipe clean.
- Wipe clean with soapy water.
- Catcher tray for dropped food.
- Fit kids from six months to six years old.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Easy for toddlers to take off, which can end in breakage.
- Some babies find the bib uncomfortable.
10. Neat Solutions Bib Set
Neat Solutions bibs are just that – a neat solution. The most affordable option on the list, they come in a pack of 10 for only $7, meaning it won’t exactly break your heart should one get so badly stained it needs to be tossed.
The back fastens with Velcro and each one has a super-sweet embroidery pattern on it. They’re thin and lie flat against the torso, so they don’t get in the way during dinner time.
The front is soft 75 percent cotton terry cloth and the back is BPA- and PVC-free plastic to stop any wetness soaking through. Even if you’ve splashed out on more expensive bibs, it won’t hurt to keep a few of these on hand for travel or emergencies.
- Ideal for sending to daycare, or keeping as a cheap backup.
- The plastic backing is drool-proof and keeps the mess off your baby.
- Adorable designs.
- Thin, low profile construction that isn’t bulky when wearing.
- They are on the small side.
- Might not be able to protect bigger babies or heavier droolers.
- The plastic backing might irritate some children.
11. Skip Hop Zoo Toddler Bibs
Skip Hop Zoo make bibs that will make you (and hopefully your toddler) smile. While they’re perfectly charming, if your kid is like mine, you’re also glad for the chance to make mealtime feel more like playtime and less like a chore.
There’s the ladybug, butterfly, and cow design, which is my favorite because of the sweet little ears. Just because they are dead cute, doesn’t mean they don’t also do the job, though. There’s a handy food pocket at the bottom that’s incorporated into the design.
These are water-resistant, soft and fasten on the side, which is always great for fussy toddlers who don’t want anything bothering the backs of their necks. Another great feature is that they can be neatly folded up, so you can store soiled bibs easily with the wet parts tucked inside.
- Coordinates with this brand’s other themed products to up the cuteness factor.
- Folds down for easy storage and travel.
- Wipe clean or machine wash.
- No very affordable.
- Some moms find the design washes off or fades with time.
- The material might wrinkle significantly after a wash.
Baby Bib FAQs
When Can Babies Start Wearing Bibs?
Some people only have their babies wear bibs when they’re eating or drinking. Some parents have their babies wear them during all their waking hours, especially if they are really prolific in the drool department. Your baby should never sleep with a bib on due to suffocation and strangulation risks.
No one knows your baby better than you do – you’ll be able to make a sound judgment just by gauging how dry their shirts stay when not wearing one.
How Many Bibs Do Babies Need?
Babies go through bibs like crazy. At my house they were like the hot-ticket items for sale on Black Friday – I had trouble keeping them in stock on my shelves. At every feeding, I strapped one on my baby, and when they’re infants, that can be every two or three hours (2).
And when babies start teething, you’ll want to keep extras on hand for that. If you don’t, you’ll be changing outfits at the speed of light. They’ll get soggy in record time and if you let your baby continue wearing them, they’ll get a rash around their neck and chest.
If you’re breastfeeding, the milk will be coming out slower than it would if you were bottle feeding, so you can get by with fewer bibs. If you’re formula feeding, the milk flow from bottles is generally faster than with breastfeeding. Your baby may have more leak out from their mouths so you’ll need a one at every feeding.
10 to 20 Works Best
What's the Best Fabric for Bibs?
Instead of trying to take the food or milk stains out of your baby’s clothes, you’ll remove them from your baby’s bibs. Some fabrics are easier to clean than others – plastic cleans up in mere seconds.
Avoid Plastic Straps
I’ve found it’s best to stay away from cheap plastic bibs with irritating fasteners unless you happen to be serving a very messy meal to your baby. They’re okay for occasional use, but it’s not worth fighting an angry baby at every meal just to use an uncomfortable product. You’ll want your baby’s bibs to be a soft, non-scratchy material.
Can Baby Wear a Bib While Sleeping?
No. Though many babies nod off right after feeding time, they shouldn’t be allowed to sleep in them. Bibs can be a choking hazard if they cover your baby’s airways or pull too tightly on their necks.
Can You Bleach Baby Bibs?
Some can be bleached; some can’t. Check the label carefully or read the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Bleaching will damage any plastic layers in a bib, but if they’re pure cotton (and white!) bleaching may be OK.
How Do You Fold and Store Bibs?
Regular and bandana styles can be laid flat, before tucking in the two arms and then folding again into halves or quarters. You could also fold all bibs in half lengthways and then roll them up. Store folded or rolled bibs in a pretty shoe box, or use a wardrobe organizer to keep them neat and in one place.
Smock or full coverage bibs can be folded as you would any other shirt or apron, but take care to make sure that plastic materials are completely dry before storing away. Mould can develop if plastic bibs are packed away before they’re properly dry – yuck!
Can You Make Your Own Bibs?
Yes! DIY bibs can be cheaper and longer-lasting, plus you can make them to any size you want. Be careful with the material you choose, though – highest quality terry towel or thick organic cotton is best. If you like, you could wash and repurpose old blankets or burping cloths if they’re still in good condition.
The Bottom Line
Considering both function and finances, Luvable Friends bibs are our top pick as the best baby bibs. They are durable, cute, cuddly, and large. What more could you want?
New parents can underestimate just how much mess can come out of such a small person. I love that these cover the entire torso because as adorable as children are when they’re hungry, they just don’t care how much milk or food they spill in an attempt to get some into their mouths.
They offer excellent protection, and they keep clothes dry and stain free. They are also comfortable enough that your baby won’t try to rip them off, which they’re going to try eventually.