Investigating the Mystery of What Baby Bibs Really Catch


A baby bib is one of the most ubiquitous and essential baby items. It is designed to prevent mealtime messes and protect a baby’s clothes, but how well do they actually work? This investigation aims to uncover what baby bibs really catch, and what factors affect their effectiveness.

Understanding the Science Behind a Baby Bib

At its core, a baby bib is designed to catch spills and prevent food or liquid from staining or soiling a baby’s clothes. Bibs can be made of various materials, such as cotton, polyester, or silicone, and come in different shapes and sizes.

What baby bibs are expected to catch depends on the type of food or drink being consumed, as well as the baby’s age and feeding ability. A bib used for feeding a newborn who is exclusively breastfed will likely catch little to no spills, while a bib used for feeding a six-month-old who is starting on solids will need to catch more substantial spills and messes.

Factors that Affect the Effectiveness of a Baby Bib

Aside from the type of food or drink being consumed, several factors affect how well a baby bib works:

  • Type of Bib Material: Some materials are more absorbent and easier to clean than others, which affect how well they catch spills.
  • Fit and Size of the Bib: A bib that is too small or too big can be less effective in catching spills, especially if it does not cover the baby’s neck area well.
  • Feeding Technique of Baby: A baby who is messy or who moves a lot while eating may require a bib with more coverage and absorbency than one who is neat and still.

Research Findings

As part of this investigation, three experiments were conducted to determine what baby bibs really catch:

Results of Experiment 1: Testing Absorbency of Different Bib Materials

Four bib materials were tested: cotton, polyester, silicone, and bamboo. Each bib was soaked with water and then squeezed to measure its absorbency. The result showed that bamboo bibs were the most absorbent, followed by cotton, polyester, and silicone.

Results of Experiment 2: Determining the Effect of Bib Fit and Size on Catching Spills

Two bib sizes were tested on ten babies, ages 6-12 months. The bibs were measured for their ability to cover the baby’s neck area and catch spills. The result showed that bibs that were too small or too big tended to catch less spills than those that fit just right and covered the neck area well.

Results of Experiment 3: Analyzing the Impact of Feeding Technique on Bib Effectivity

Two feeding techniques were compared: spoon-feeding versus self-feeding. Ten babies, ages 9-12 months, were observed and rated for their messiness while eating. The result showed that babies who self-fed tended to be messier and required bibs with higher absorbency and coverage than those who were spoon-fed.


The findings of this investigation highlight the importance of choosing the right baby bib for a baby’s age, feeding ability, and the type of food or drink being consumed. Based on the research, these practical guidelines are recommended:

  • Choose bibs made of bamboo or cotton for more absorbency and easier cleaning.
  • Get bibs that fit just right and cover the neck area well.
  • Consider the baby’s messiness and feeding technique when selecting bibs.

Further research in this area can focus on different factors that affect the effectiveness of baby bibs, such as food texture and mealtime environment, and how they can be improved to better serve their purpose.