Mellow Mummy: The Sunday Review - Pelican Bibs On Trial : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 7 March 2010

The Sunday Review - Pelican Bibs On Trial

At eight months old, Lara is beginning to master the art of finger food. It's a messy business but incredibly good fun. I've found that when I give Lara finger food, her tie-neck fabric bibs are no longer enough to protect her clothes from the food chaos. I have recently been trying out several different pelican bibs trying to find one that will keep Lara dry when she drinks, clean when she eats and which will catch the piles of half-chewed food that are discarded during her mealtimes.

Image courtesy of Brother Max

The first bib we tried was the Brother Max Combi Bib. The Combi Bib comprises a soft plastic 'crumb-catcher' (crumb???) and a set of 3 white cotton tops which you snap into place to create the bib. This means that you can use a different cotton bib top for each meal of the day. The cotton tops are backed with a leak-free lining to keep your baby's clothes dry but although they are machine-washable, I found that I was not able to wash them at a high enough temperature to remove the food stains from the white fabric. After just a couple of weeks, the bibs looked discoloured and grubby. You can buy additional cotton tops without the need to purchase further crumb-catchers; I have needed at least 6 of them to avoid me having to run the washing machine every evening.

The best thing about the Combi Bib is that I can fold the cotton top and any spoons that I need for the day into the crumb-catcher and button it shut making it compact and therefore the most practical bib with which to travel.
Image courtesy of Tommee Tippee

Next, Lara tried the Tommee Tippee Comfi-Neck Catch-All Bib. Unlike the Brother Max bib, it does not roll up or collapse at all (although Tommee Tippee do make a roll-up bib). For this reason, I found the Catch-All bib to be too bulky to take out with me during the day. The Comfi-Neck bib is adjustable to 4 different neck sizes and is held in place with a push-through button which we found came undone very easily. On the plus-side though, of all the bibs that I have tried, it is by far the easiest to clean because the BPA-free plastic can be simply wiped clean. The area of the bib designed to catch food (I refuse to call it the crumb-catcher!) is generously proportioned and means that most of the food manages to stay in the bib, rather than on the floor!

Image courtesy of Bibetta

Finally we tried the Bibetta Ultra Bib. Bibetta make a range of brightly-coloured bibs made from soft, absorbent Neoprene (the stuff from which they make wet suits). Their choice of material means that the bibs are flexible enough to roll up, absorbent and thick enough to keep liquids away from baby's clothes, largely stain resistant and machine-washable. I love the bright patterns on offer (Lara has a gorgeous bright pink floral pattern) and it is fabulous that I can choose to either wipe it clean, rinse it, or, if it gets really mucky, wash it.

The Bibetta bib features an ingenious catching pocket designed such that the bib naturally lies flat to allow you to roll it and fold it when it is not in use; When you need to use the bib, you just reverse the pocket so that it juts out from the front of the bib. The bib has a Velcro fastening which can accommodate little necks of various sizes; it stays put on Lara much more effectively than any other bib we have tried. I have put the bib through the wash once after a particularly messy tomato pasta incident but I'm not yet 100% confident of the stain resistance of the patterned Neoprene so I tend to rinse it immediately after a meal; I have found that the fabric can take a good few hours to dry after washing – it's worth the wait though.

All three brands of bib have their pros and cons so I am glad that I have one of each available to me. If I had to choose one, it would be the Bibetta Ultra Bib because I have found it to be the most effective at keeping Lara clean.

If you have a review of a bib that you think would be useful to my readers, please add it below:-

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