A regular fabric bib can seem like a great investment at the time, but can end up being a cleanup nightmare. As little ones grow and experience new tastes and solid foods, stains present a new issue on a fabric bib. Some messes are easy to get out, and some are just there forever!
When they are young, parents spend an inordinate amount of time doing laundry. Babies are known to need constant changes in clothes, bedding needs to be frequently changed as accidents can sometimes happen, and cloth diapers may need to be laundered as well.
If this sounds like your experience, then a silicone baby bib could be a great alternative to a traditional cloth bib. They are promoted as an easy cleanup. You don’t need to put them in the washer to clean, you are supposed to wipe them, and they are good to go. However, when looking into a silicone bib, the baby’s safety can be overlooked.
While they are designed to remove the stress of cleaning and allow you to just enjoy your baby, there are things that you need to ask yourself, such as:
- Does this bib have any toxic materials (lead, BPA)? Is it safe to use?
- What is the age limit on silicone bibs? Why?
- What are the differences in the silicone used for this bib?
- When are bibs not necessary?
- How easy is this material to clean… really?
What are Things to Consider?
While silicone bibs make cleaning effortless, you need to make sure they are healthy and safe. You will be wiping them down after each use. Bibs should be kept as sanitary as possible to prevent contamination and from allowing bacteria to grow.
They should be thoroughly wiped clean with a fresh damp cloth. The water should be warm and make sure to use soapy water. Dry them thoroughly before putting them away. There should be no beads of water on them as this can generate bacteria.
Are All Silicone Baby Bibs BPA Free?
Yes, they are. Silicone acts as an alternative substance to plastic, and it’s non-toxic. It does not contain BPA or other harmful substances that can interfere with food or beverages. Silicone is composed of natural elements such as oxygen, silicon, carbon, and hydrogen.
Parents prefer it because it is safe and easy to use. It is flexible and withstands extreme temperatures without releasing harmful chemicals.
Therefore, silicone comes highly recommended.
What Exactly is BPA and What Does That Mean?
BPA stands for bisphenol-A. It has been used in items like metal, plastic, and water containers since the early sixties. Unfortunately, it was linked to several health problems through the years.
Bisphenol-A was linked to negatively affecting the prostate gland and brain in unborn children, kids, and infants. It also caused problems with hormones. There are products made with low levels of this substance, and the FDA cites small levels are harmless. However, infant products cannot contain this material.
Do the Bibs Contain Other Harmful Chemical Fillers?
Some silicone products contain BPS, phthalates, PVC, nitrates, and PFC. These chemicals are harmful to individuals and the environment. Platinum silicone, however, contains none of these fillers. It is a safer option when it comes to kids.
With so many things to consider before making a purchase, it may become worrisome. However, if we took the time to look up what each product contained, we may be surprised at the fillers.
Products made of non-toxic elements provide peace of mind to parents because they know their children will be kept healthy. It allows them to focus on what’s important… spending time with their children.
Can Silicone Bibs Safely be Used for Babies?
While babies can safely use silicone-based bibs, parents need to explore a few things to ensure it is 100% silicone and without additional fillers.
Products designed for kids must undergo lab testing. They are not able to contain phthalates, lead in paint, any lead content, or other harmful chemicals that are detrimental to infant growth. Testing is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety. Products are provided a certificate if they are compliant.
When purchasing a bib, ensure the company can give a lab test result under their own company name. There are several businesses that do not do this or borrow certificates from manufacturers. They may be a certificate for a completely different substance.
Are All Silicone Products Made Equally?
Not every food-grade silicone is made with the same quality. Platinum-cured silicone is made softer and more durable. It doesn’t have any scent to it and does not stiffen over time.
Most baby bibs and kid items are created with tin-cured silicone. They are classified as food-safe, but parents complain of the smell, and that they stiffen with repeated uses. They need to be frequently replaced as well.
What Age do Children Stop Needing Bibs?
Bibs can be used for multiple ages ranging from baby to toddler. Babies benefit by using them to prevent stains from drool, milk and spit-up. It keeps them free from rashes and dryness. As they get older, bibs prevent clothing from stains and spills that are so common with toddlers.
Children often stop using bibs between the ages of three to four. However, some do end up wearing them past that age. Every child is different, and the length of time they wear them is dependent on how/what they eat.
Some toddlers also prefer the protection it gives from spills when they eat or when they are wearing their favorite outfit. Having a variety of silicone bibs on hand in a variety of colors makes wearing them more enjoyable- and definitely less messy!
How Do You Clean Silicone Bibs?
The best way to clean them is to place it on the top rack of a dishwasher. Wash it with the next load of dishes. The best way to keep it clean is rinsing it off before adding it to the dishwasher. It will prevent stains from potentially setting in.
Parents can also use soap and water. They should always be cleaned and rinsed after each use to avoid stains. Also, if time is at a premium, rinse the bib under water. Then wipe with a dry towel.
Things to Look For
Bibs should be easily washable. Dishwasher safe is probably the best way to safely sanitize a bib other than putting it into a washing machine.
Carefully check and research the material. There are products that say they are BPA-free and food friendly, but they are loaded with fillers under names that sound compliant. Come armed with the truth, and you will make the best purchase.
Pay attention to the size. Bibs come in 6-12 months (which are considerably smaller), six plus months, and six months to two years. You need to consider the lifespan of the bib as children grow quickly.
Sustainability should be considered as there is so much waste going into landfills. Also, parents do not want to have to make another purchase so quickly down the road. Ideally, the bib should cover the child and leave a little room for growth.
The fit should be adjustable, comfortable, move easily with them, and be well-suited for your lifestyle.
A bonus are bibs that roll up for easy storage, come in twos. Kids love colors and parents love the cost-savings. Some have long life spans, offer several products in one, come with utensils, and fit nicely in a bag.
Some recommendations of fun bibs include:
These bibs have funny sayings on them, are silicone, and contain pop-culture sayings. These will put a smile on any parent’s face. They have shelves which catch food, and they are completely dishwasher safe.
- 100% BPA free
- Comfortable fit
- Certified food grade silicone
- PVC, latex, lead, phthalate, and mercury free
- Dishwasher safe
- Text was off centered
- Too small for large child
PandaEar bibs are equipped with a sturdy and deep spill pocket. This catches any falling food or liquids. It comes in a three-pack of reusable bibs made from silicone. The neck strap is adjustable and comes in four different sizes.
It is suitable for children from six months to six years.
- Comes in a three pack
- 100% soft silicone
- Adjustable closure
- BPA free
- Clasp may catch longer hair
Happy Healthy Parent Baby Bibs (6 months to 6-years old)
These bibs are ready to use, and easy to clean. They are made from a 100% food grade silicone which resists discoloration and will not absorb water.
- Adjustable neckband
- Stain resistant
- Some residue on the neck left on toddler’s skin from the bib
- Latch closure is a bit clumsy
These bibs have a wide and large area to catch spills. It doesn’t close shut, like some models, and always stays open to catch any food that dribbles down. It is very lightweight and has adjustable buttons to grow with your child. The benefit to the button closures is that they do not catch in the baby’s hair.
The bib is designed to be soft, and easily rolls up for quick storage while travelling.
It is made from a food grade silicone and meets all food safety requirements.
- Child can’t rip bib off
- Dishwasher safe (top rack)
- Extra wide opening to catch food
- May rip easily
It is so fun to watch a baby learn to eat and explore different food textures! However, the clean-up isn’t as enjoyable as watching them grow. It is time consuming and tiresome for most parents who simply just want to relax for a bit.
Clean-ups can be additionally messy if the child’s clothes are not protected from messy foods. Stains can seep in so quickly, and some are next to impossible to remove. Bibs should adequately cover the baby, be waterproof, and be able to be gently cleaned.
Bibs can be used for many age groups to prevent messy stains and to prevent their clothes from being ruined. Toddlers aren’t known for their neatness!
Silicone bibs, and bibs in general, do not contain toxic substances such as PFC, phthalates, nitrates, and other substances. Chemical fillers should also not be used in their bibs. Platinum-cured silicone bibs are the best choice for parents as they are more durable over the tin.
Silicone baby bibs are a joy for parents who are looking for something that is safe and low maintenance. Parents do not want to do more laundry than necessary, so accessories that can be cleaned with little to no effort are time-savers.
Silicone bibs allow parents more time to spend enjoying their little one. They are easy to maintain and keep clothes safe from stains. Providing parents are knowledgeable prior to making a purchase, they are a great investment all around.