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When buying a bib, the most important consideration is safety. Bibs with tie closures are an old standby, but after hearing all the dangers associated with hoods that tie, many parents avoid ties on any article of clothing. Tied closures can be safely used as long as your child is supervised at all times while wearing the bib.
Some bibs also come with plastic backing, which can smother babies or small children if they are left unattended. Again, these bibs can be used safely as long as your child is well supervised. This style provides good protection for clothing because food and liquid is absorbed into the fabric on the front, but kept away from clothing by the plastic backing. This style is somewhat more difficult to clean, however. Some plastic bibs may survive the washing machine, but they should never be placed in the dryer.
The next consideration is size. Using a bib that is too large or too small is comparable to not using one at all. A small bib won't cover enough of your child's clothes to protect them from damage, and one that is too large may let food slip through at the neckline and fall onto clothing.
Finding a bib with adjustable closures is a good option. If you can fasten the bib more snugly and keep food from slipping through, it won't matter if it is too large. In fact, it may work better since more area will be covered. When choosing closures, many parents prefer snaps. A row of snaps allows you to adjust the neckline to the perfect circumference. Snaps also close securely to keep the bib in place.
Velcro fasteners also work well, but they need to be cleaned often because food, hairs, threads and other particles stick to them. Also, make sure Velcro fasteners are attached to each other before laundering the bib. Otherwise, lint and other elements will stick to the closures during washing.
Fabrics are another factor to consider when buying a bib. Soft, comfy terry cloth is a good choice for babies and is easy to wash. Denim is very sturdy, and quilted fabric is quite absorbent. Fabric selection should be based on the needs of the child. Obviously, a child learning to feed himself is going to need good coverage and absorption.
With so many cute designs to choose from, many parents prefer to choose a bib by style. From trademark characters to special holiday themed bibs, there is quite a selection.
Also, consider disposable bibs. No washing, drying, or folding; you simply throw them away once used. A disposable bib is perfect for an outing. You won't have to store the soiled bib with baby's other clothing, and you can simply toss it in the trash when finished.
Choosing the right bib is in large part a matter of personal choice. With all of the available options, you can find a bib that will meet your child's needs for any occasion.