Top 5 benefits of using a silicone bib

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Feeding is messy business; seriously messy. Babies will get food on hands, legs, arms, clothes, perhaps even heads, ears and nostrils before (hopefully) getting some into their mouths.

This can mean a lot of cleaning up after, and very soon it is clear that even the temptingly simple solution of letting baby eat topless is not as simple or cute as it sounds. Awww… a bath after every meal?

Before you lose heart though, remember there are bibs to the rescue!

Every parent soon learns the value of putting a bib on baby before feeding and there is a huge variety of bibs in the market to choose from.

The latest among these is the silicone bib which is rapidly gaining favour among parents and caregivers. So what is it that makes a silicone bib special?

In no particular order, here are the top 5 benefits of using a silicone bib;

  1. It holds its shape, yet, silicone is a soft material and is an inert, non-toxic, BPA-free, Lead and Phthalates free polymer that is made from silica (sand) and will not leach on to food or hands unlike other plastic or plastic coated material. It is also resistant to bacteria.
  1. The silicone bib has a huge advantage over other materials in that the ‘pelican mouth pocket’ that it comes with stays open to catch crumbs, spills and drool. In most other bibs this large pocket tends to close when worn, and the food slides on to clothes and floors. The silicone bib catch pocket however, is strong enough to hold up to a cup full of food spill without leaking or tipping, providing reliable coverage
  1. The smooth surface of silicone makes these bibs very easy to clean with a damp cloth or wash in the kitchen sink and wipe dry. They can even be conveniently washed in the dishwasher, in striking contrast to fabric bibs which absorb stains and odors, need special effort to clean and take longer to dry
  1. Because they are easy to clean, silicone bibs are better for carrying in diaper bags or lunch bags. Unlike a fabric bib which once it is soiled after a feed, must be carried around as such till it can be washed
  1. These bibs are good value for money as they can be used for months and even years together, staying in good shape through repeated use

It all seems a little unbelievable!

While silicone is increasingly being presented as 100% inert, there are very few studies available to make any conclusive statement in favour or against these claims. It is generally a safer alternative to plastics and as research picks up, we will find evidence to make more informed choices.

In the meantime, while not a “100% natural” material like rubber, food-grade silicone can withstand heating and freezing without releasing hazardous chemicals which contaminate food in these environments. It is also hypoallergenic (which rubber is not), odor- and stain-resistant, soft to touch and does not break, making it the perfect material for eco-friendly and non-toxic baby products in particular.

So given its advantages, how then will you cut through the clutter and pick the right silicone bib for your baby?

Just keep it simple and look out for these top tips to help make your choice

  • Check that it is easy to put on; using voice command if possible (just kidding!), but preferably able to be put on using just one hand.
  • Not easy for baby to yank off either; remember they’re artful like that
  • Is a comfortable fit for your baby. This means having a soft neck band or strap, no pokey buttons, and being large enough to cover the front for maximum coverage of clothes.
  • Provides ease of cleaning with no hidden crevices created by complicated design that might trap food
  • Is made with good food grade silicone so the food that is caught can be picked up and fed back. There’s a simple way to check for good grade silicone. Pinch and twist a flat surface on the item. If white shows through, the product contains filler. Pure silicone does not change color when twisted.

Good silicone bibs are hardy; they will take hefty use and stay intact for the next child even! You might find that a silicone bib is among the best purchases you make for your baby.