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Baby Bibs

Babies are messy. The right bib can make them less so. Choose wisely and make your life easier.


Published Feb. 19, 2021.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

Sometimes I look at my baby in her high chair and the surrounding area and think, I can’t do it. I cannot clean up one more time today. There are tons of bibs out there that promise to make feeding tidier—do any of them work? I’ve been rating kitchen gear for a decade, so as a new mother I turned my testing eye and deep passion for avoiding cleaning toward bibs.

 I eliminated plain fabric bibs from the jump. They’re great for catching liquids such as breast milk, formula, spit-up, and drool, but they’re not as good for catching solid foods. Modern bibs have improved on the classic design for feeding. To find the best bib for meals, I zeroed in on nine made from plastic, vinyl, silicone, neoprene, and/or waterproof fabric. I used them while feeding my little one over a period of several months and also sent copies home with 12 different testers to use with their kiddos for a month.

Do Bibs Actually Keep Things Cleaner?

Get this—the right bib CAN reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do. But choose wisely! Don’t bother with the neoprene or coated fabric bibs that fasten around the neck and have flat pockets on the front. While they provide some protection for the child’s chest, that’s all they do. Plus, the flat pockets were not all that effective at catching falling food. Because we couldn't see inside the pockets at a glance, it was easy to forget about the food that did get caught in there and get a gross surprise the next time we used the bib. 

Catching Trays Are Key

We liked bibs with three-dimensional catching trays best. Because the trays stuck out, they caught more falling food than flat pockets did, keeping the surrounding area clean(er). What they caught was visible and didn’t get squished, so we could scoop out the food and serve it again—no more wasting as much of those pricey fresh raspberries or little sweet potato cakes that you finally got up the energy to make from scratch. 

Full-Coverage Bibs Work Well in Certain Situations

Two bibs we tested covered more than the chest. Both had full sleeves, and one also had a skirt that covered the gap between the baby and the high chair tray. The skirted model was too large for our tiniest tester, who was 4 months old, and it didn’t fit on every high chair, but when it worked, it kept our floors cleaner than any other bib. If something ended up on the floor when my baby was wearing this bib, it was because she chucked it there—and short of spoon-feeding her in a straitjacket like Hannibal Lecter, I haven't found a way to prevent that. These two full-coverage bibs required more cooperation from our little charges, as we had to thread their arms through the ...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Hannah Crowley

Hannah is an executive editor for ATK Reviews and cohost of Gear Heads on YouTube.