As a new parent, taking proper care of your first baby properly can seem daunting. There are so many decisions to make and you will always be worried if you are making the right choice. After the baby arrived, you have probably lived on the web in different forums looking for tips from other parents. One question that my wife and I had when our son was born is whether or not she should use a bib while breastfeeding.
Using a bib while breastfeeding is a great way to keep both yourself and your baby clean during feedings. Leaking milk, spit-ups, drooling, and problems latching can all cause milk to drip down onto the mother and baby’s clothes and cause problems when breastfeeding whether you are out and about or at home.
When we had our first babies (twins!), I cannot explain the joy we had. Trust me, if hearts could burst because of joy, mine would have burst the first time I laid my eyes on those angelic faces. My wife was adamant that she breastfeed from the beginning because she understood the benefits it provides.
You should use a bib during breastfeeding to stay clean
Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits. For example, the baby gets to crucial nutrients that cannot be prepared in any formula that are needed for quick growth, development of a stronger immune system and robust organ growth. Did I mention that breastfeeding also helps strengthen the bond between the mother and baby? Anyway, we wanted all our babies to gain all the benefits that come with breastfeeding.
Before my son was born, we didn’t know how messy it could be to breastfeed an infant. He kept spitting out milk during breastfeeding and this meant a change of clothes every time our bundle of joy had to feed. Trust me, it was a lot of clothes changes. This meant a lot of laundry and a lot of time spent in the laundry room. For new parents struggling to make ends meet, there is no time for all that extra stuff!
Eventually, my wife started using a bib during his feedings and it helped a lot!
You probably already know what a bib is but just in case you are a super new parent that was ALSO raised in outer space I’ll explain. Bibs are basically a cloth towel worn around the neck of the baby in such a way that it covers the chest to offer protection from spilled fluids or foods. Bibs basically prevent the wearer from dirtying their clothes.
Bibs saved us during the period our baby breastfeeding. We also used bibs during the early stages of weaning our little boy to solid foods.
If you are looking to know more about bibs, I have used my experience with our baby to create a useful post that will help you if you are considering using a bib when breastfeeding your child.
What types of baby bibs are available in the market?
In the past, the standard bib was a piece of cloth that was tied around the neck. Not anymore! If you have done some research, you may have seen that there are varying types of bibs in the market. If you visit a store or online shopping platform, you will find the following types of bibs:
1. Dribbler/Drool Bibs
During the early years, babies tend to drool a lot. If you do not have a plan on how to take care of the saliva dribble, you can end up doing tons of laundry at the end of each day. Drool bibs are perfect for young infants as they cover their clothes and remove the need for constant cloth changes. These bibs come in varying styles and colors and they can be worn by your baby as they are crawling or playing around the house.
2. Feeding/Scoop Bibs
Feeding bibs look like ordinary drool bibs except they have an added pocket at the bottom. If you have just started your baby on solid food or they are learning to eat on their own, there is the possibility that a lot of food will end up on the floor and not in the mouth. This is the reason feeding bibs have a pocket. It is there to capture any food or liquid remains that do not go into the mouth of your baby. With this bib, you will have a cleaner baby and a cleaner house too!
3. Smock/Coverall Bibs
These bibs also go by the name long-sleeved bibs. They are usually worn like a shirt and typically reach the knee level of the baby. They are useful for protecting fancy clothes during feeding. These bibs can also prove to be a lifesaver if you are traveling with your baby.
4. Disposable bibs
As the name suggests, these bibs are typically just used once before they are thrown away. They are usually made of cheap plastic and won’t stand up to much.
Which is the most ideal type of bib for breastfeeding?
If you are looking for a bib that you can be using breastfeeding there are certain factors that you should consider. They include:
The first thing that you should consider is the age of your baby. For a newborn younger than six months, it is best to use drool/dribble bibs. These bibs are ideal for this stage because your child will only be breastfeeding and not eating solid foods.
When your baby gets to weaning age which typically starts when a baby is around 5 months, you should pick up some feeding bibs. These bibs can be used when breastfeeding and they can also be used when your baby is eating solid foods. Trust me, the pocket on feeding bibs will save you a lot of cleaning headings not to mention your baby will always have clean clothes which means less laundry!
2. When Do You Plan to Use the Bib?
Are you going on a long journey where you will not have access to your laundry machine? Are you in a situation where you do not want to carry around a huge pile of dirty laundry? Well, if that is the case, it is best to use disposable bibs.
These bibs are ideal for these situations as they can be thrown away after just one use.
3. The Sex of The Baby
As I mentioned earlier, bibs come in different styles and designs. When shopping, you will definitely find some bibs that have been styled and customized with messages for a baby girl or boy. You can choose a bib that compliments the sex of your baby.
However, you will also find bibs that are unisex. This means they can be used by both boys and girls. These bibs are ideal since you can still use them when you are blessed with another baby. You can also gift them to a family member with a new baby once your baby has no need for them.
Pros and Cons of Using A Bib When Breastfeeding
Truth be told, I had to really think hard to come up with the disadvantages of using bibs. They are highly beneficial and have almost no cons! Here is a list of the top pros and cons that I identified for using baby bibs when breastfeeding.
- They prevent the baby from dirtying clothes during breastfeeding
- Bibs actually look like baby clothes!
- Less baby laundry in the house
- They do not pose any danger to the baby since they are tied around the neck in such a way that the baby cannot tamper with them
- Some bibs are not long and as such, they do not cover the baby entirely
- You will still need to clean your bibs regularly
- An added cost to worry about
Tips for Using Bibs During and After Breastfeeding
Using a bib when breastfeeding happens to be very easy. All you need to do is to tie the bib around the neck of your baby and start feeding them.
However, you should ensure that the baby is fully covered so that you are not just protecting the top half of the body. If you are not careful, you can end up doing zero work as you may still be forced to wash clothes if the dribble and spit reach some part of the clothes your baby is wearing.
You should also be careful in ensuring that the bib is tied carefully and loosely around the neck of your baby so that they do not choke.
After using a bib when breastfeeding, you should ensure that you wash it before using it again. Do not use a soaked bib twice! Always ensure that your bib is using a clean bib. Some of the cleaning tips that you should remember include:
• Ensure that you read the recommended cleaning instructions given by the manufacturer for the particular type of bib your baby is using
• If your baby stains the bib, ensure that you get rid of the stains as quickly as possible so that your bib always looks fresh and new
• Instead of drying bibs using electricity, it is recommended that you hung them in the sun to dry. This helps eliminate odors!
By the way, I’ve written a whole article on feeding your baby cold breastmilk. If you find yourself pumping and feeding later, it’s worth checking out right here!
Which Items Can You Use as Alternative to Bibs When Breastfeeding?
The primary purpose of bibs is to ensure that the clothes your baby is wearing do not get dirty. If you do not want to buy manufactured bibs, you can use the following items:
• A bandana
• A soft piece of cloth
When using the items above, ensure that they are not tied too tight around the neck of your baby.
You can also save costs by actually sewing your own breastfeeding bibs. But that is a story for another day.
By now, you know the advantages of using bibs and how you can choose the best bibs for your baby. Just like us, you can use bibs when breastfeeding to keep your child clean and happy and also lower your laundry workload!