Do you need a lot of bibs?

Do you really need a lot of bibs as a parent? The short answer is that it depends on several factors. Bibs serve the important purpose of protecting your baby’s clothing from getting stained by food and dribble. So having enough bibs on hand for mealtimes and frequent changing is key. However, you may not need a huge bib collection either. Consider how many bibs you’ll realistically use per day based on feeding frequency, how often you do laundry, and your baby’s habits. Outfit changes and bib preferences as your baby grows can help determine ideal bib quantities too. With some thoughtfulness, you can likely find the right bib amount for your family’s needs.

How Many Bibs Do Babies Go Through Per Day?

Babies can go through quite a few bibs in a day! Here are some guidelines:

– Newborns: At least 5-10 bibs per day. They tend to dribble and spit up frequently.

– 3-6 months: Around 5-8 bibs per day. Babies are eating solids and becoming more mobile at this age.

– 6-12 months: An average of 3-5 bibs per day. Their coordination typically improves at mealtimes.

– Toddlers: 2-3 bibs per day on average. Messiness depends on the toddler!

So in the baby and young toddler stage, plan for needing at least 3-10 bibs per day. The frequency of bib changes will depend on your child’s habits and the types of food they eat. More changes may be needed during phases like teething or learning to self-feed.

How Often Do You Do Laundry?

Laundry frequency can help gauge your bib needs. Do you do laundry every 2-3 days or weekly? Frequent laundry means you can get by with fewer bibs. Infrequent laundry means having more bibs to last between wash cycles.

Here are some estimates based on laundry frequency:

– Laundry every 2-3 days: At least 8-12 bibs

– Weekly laundry: Plan for 15-20 bibs

– Laundry every 10-14 days: Aim for 25-30 bibs

Adjust bib quantities as needed if your laundry schedule changes. And keep in mind other factors like how quickly bibs get dirty and your daily bib use.

Planning for at least 3 days’ worth of bibs between laundry is a good rule of thumb. That helps ensure you don’t run out before the next wash.

Consider Your Baby’s Habits

Your individual child’s habits can determine how many bibs you need too. Here are some things to consider:

– How messy of an eater are they? Big droolers and frequent spitters will go through more bib changes.

– Are they prone to blowouts or frequent outfit changes? More bibs will be handy.

– Do they tolerate wearing bibs well? Babies who don’t like bibs may lead you to change them more frequently.

– What’s their motor skill development like? The messier self-feeding gets, the more bibs you may use.

– How often do they dirty their bibs? Quickly soaked bibs mean rotating through more.

Pay attention to your baby’s personal habits and make bib adjustments accordingly. Their tendencies can change a lot even week to week.

Account for Outfit Changes

As babies grow, their clothing and bib needs change too. Here’s how:

– Newborns: Focus on bodysuits and sleepers. Bibs are less crucial.

– 3-6 months: Outfit changes increase. Bibs become more useful.

– 6-12 months: Frequent outfit rotations are common. More bibs needed.

– Toddlers: Bibs used mainly for meals and art. Fewer outfit changes.

Aim for bib numbers that make sense with your baby’s typical outfit changes. For infants, 5 bibs can work for sporadic use. For busy toddlers, 20 bibs enables you to have one with every outfit.

Consider Bib Preferences

Bib preferences emerge as babies develop. Here are some common ones:

– Absorbency: Drool-prone babies need ultra-absorbent bibs.

– Coverage: Bibs with chest coverage help during messy eating phases.

– Fastening: Babies who hate bib ties may prefer Velcro or snap closures.

– Fabric: Sensitive skin may dictate cloth versus vinyl bibs.

– Style: Cute designs or colors may appeal as babies get older.

Having bib variety makes it easier to accommodate preferences. Rotate different bibs until you learn which types your baby tolerates best.

Estimate Your Daily Bib Use

Tallying up your baby’s typical daily bib use can help estimate needs:

– Breakfast bib: 1

– Morning bottle bib: 1

– Lunch bib: 1

– Afternoon bottle bib: 1

– Dinner bib: 1

– Snack bibs: 1-2

– Drool/dribble bibs: 1-2

– Outfit change bibs: 0-2

That’s a daily range of 8-12 bibs for a young baby. Increase quantities if your totals are consistently higher.

Buy Multiple Packs of Bibs

Given how quickly bibs can get dirty, buy them in multi-packs. Here are some tips:

– For newborns, a pack of 10-20 basic bibs is sufficient.

– As eating frequency increases, buy packs of 15-30 bibs.

– Having 50+ bibs helps during messy self-feeding phases.

– For variety, buy packs with different fabrics, closures, and absorbency levels.

– If your baby prefers a certain bib, buy multiples in that specific style.

Multi-packs give you bibs for laundry rotation and make it easy to find replacements if bibs get stained or worn out.

Keep Bibs in Key Locations

To avoid bib hunts at mealtimes, keep them in strategic places:

– Highchair: Stash 2-3 bibs in or around the highchair.

– Diaper station: Keep 5-10 bibs with diapering supplies.

– Car: Put 2-3 bibs in the diaper bag.

– Kitchen: Designate a bib drawer for easy access during feedings.

– Bathroom: Hang a handful on towel hooks for bath time.

– Bedroom: Place 2-3 on a changing table for post-nap bibbing.

Having bibs within reach wherever you need them reduces waste hunting for a clean one.

Get Opinions from Other Parents

Fellow parents can provide insight on ideal bib quantities too:

– Ask friends how many bibs they used with babies at various ages.

– Poll parenting forums or groups for daily bib recommendations.

– Read blogs or ask influencers on social media about the bib numbers that worked for their kids.

– Look for product reviews that mention how many bibs reviewers purchased.

Getting quantity feedback from others who’ve been there can help you gauge suitable bib amounts. Keep note of numbers that align with your own baby’s habits.

Factor In Bib Laundering

To ensure you have enough clean bibs, factor in laundering time:

– Machine wash bibs separately or with baby items on gentle cycle.

– Occasionally bleach or disinfect bibs that get heavily soiled.

– Air dry or tumble dry on low if bibs are durable enough.

– Designate a laundry basket or bin just for dirty bibs.

– Check bibs for stains after washing and treat or replace as needed.

– Fold and put away clean bibs so they are ready for next use.

Streamlining bib laundering makes it easier to maintain ample clean bibs in circulation.

Buy Bibs Gradually Over Time

You don’t have to buy all your bibs at once. Build your collection gradually:

– Start with multi-packs of 10-20 basic bibs.

– Add 5-10 more if you find yourself needing more.

– Replace stained or damaged bibs as needed.

– Buy speciality bibs for developmental stages like teething or self-feeding.

– Phase out bibs as your baby transitions away from needing them as much.

– Pass down bibs in good condition to younger siblings, friends, or donate to charity.

Pacing bib purchases allows you to meet needs as they emerge and maximize use of each bib you acquire.

Consider Reusable vs. Disposable

Both reusable and disposable bib options exist:

– Reusable: Made from fabric and designed for multiple wears between washes. More economical long-term.

– Disposable: Typically made from paper or plastic. Used for one meal then thrown away. More convenient but pricier over time.

– Hybrid: Reusable bib with disposable absorbent insert. Allows customizable absorbency.

Factor in whether the upfront cost of reusable bibs or ongoing cost of disposables better fits your budget. Hybrids give a potential middle ground option too.

Aim for At Least a Dozen Bibs

As a general rule of thumb, aim to have at least a dozen bibs on hand:

– 12 bibs is a reasonable minimum to get started.

– Allows for at least 2-3 wears between washes if you do laundry frequently.

– Gives you extras so some can be in the wash while others are in use.

– Dozen packs of bibs are commonly sold for convenience.

– Easy to supplement with additional packs or speciality bibs as needed.

For most babies, a dozen bibs is a safe starting point to cover basic needs. Make adjustments from there based on your baby’s habits and phases.

Consider Bib Alternatives

You may be able to rely on some bib alternatives to reduce bib laundry:

– Burp cloths: Use for dribble catching between meals.

– Washcloths: Work for quick clean-ups and wiping faces.

– Towels: Drape over baby during mealtime in lieu of a bib.

– Napkins: Use cloth napkins for an older baby learning to self-feed.

– Smocks: Wear over clothes for messy art or sensory play.

– Splash mats: Contain spills during bath time or water play.

Improvising with household items when possible can supplement your core supply of bibs.

Plan for Growth Spurts and Milestones

Bib needs often increase around these milestones:

– Starting solids: 5-10 more bibs as food gets everywhere.

– Teething: Drool protection bibs help keep clothes dry.

– Learning to self-feed: Bibs a must for constant cleaning up.

– Switching to more textured foods: Bibs shield against bigger messes.

– Starting daycare or school: A few extra to leave there daily.

Watch baby’s development and have extras or backups during notoriously messy phases.

Stock Up During Sales

Keep costs down by buying bibs on sale:

– Check stores for discounted multi-packs. Stock up on essentials.

– Buy bibs off-season when not in high demand.

– Look for promos like “buy 2, get 1 free” to get more bang for your buck.

– Shop consignment sales for cheap, gently used lots.

– Buy personalized bibs on sale as keepsake gifts from relatives.

– Use coupons or loyalty rewards when available.

Sales help you cost-effectively amass all the bibs your baby could need.

Consider Cloth Diaper Service

Cloth diaper cleaning services often provide bib laundry too. Benefits include:

– Dropping off and getting deliveries of fresh, clean bibs weekly or bi-weekly.

– Reduces laundering time and hassle at home.

– Appropriate sanitizing for heavily soiled baby items.

– Allows for owning fewer bibs since you get clean batches regularly.

– May be cheaper than constantly buying disposable bibs.

Check if any diaper services in your area offer bib cleaning add-ons. The convenience may be worthwhile.

Maximize Adjustable Bibs

Bibs with adjustable closures are smart buys:

– Expandable neck openings grow with baby from infant to toddler stage.

– Closures like Velcro, snaps, or ties help achieve a custom fit.

– Allows bibs to be gently tightened to help keep clean and catch drips.

– Can be loosened as needed for comfort when less mess is expected.

– Gets more mileage out of each bib as baby grows.

Seeking out adjustable bib styles helps ensure they’ll fit your baby well for longer.


Determining how many bibs you need depends on your baby’s age, eating habits, laundry frequency, and your own preferences. Most babies need at least a dozen bibs for mealtimes, but active droolers and messy eaters may require more. Check in periodically on your bib supply as your baby’s development and needs change. With the right amount of bibs on hand, you’ll be equipped to minimize messes keeping those adorable outfits spotless.

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