Let’s talk about bibs.
First of all, let’s talk about why adults don’t wear bibs. Seriously, why is it only socially acceptable to wear a bib when eating lobster? There are plenty of foods messier than lobster, and all of them have ended up on my shirt. I don’t buy white t-shirts anymore. The last time I bought a white t-shirt, it was a Pernice Brothers t-shirt with a picture of a sandwich on it. The first time I wore it, I had spicy Vietnamese beef soup for lunch. That was also the last time I wore it. I guess if I had spilled mayonnaise from a banh mi on it, that would have been poetic.
It’s not like I’m a total klutz, although now that I say that, it reminds me that the other day I was getting out of a car and started to slip on something on the grass. I looked down, fearing dog poop, and saw that it was an actual banana peel.
Anyway, there are many makers of baby bibs out there, and one is clearly bald head and tiny shoulders above the rest: Bumkins Waterproof Super Bib. They’re also cheap: here’s one web site selling them for $5 each. Be forewarned that Bumkins makes a dozen models of bib and it’s only the Waterproof Super Bib I’m talking about.
Bumkins are the best because they’re made of thin but nonporous plastic. Lots of bibs are made of cloth or have a terrycloth backing. I guess the idea is that this will absorb spills, but the downside is that it will absorb spills. It won’t keep spills off the shirt, but it will keep sending you to the laundry. The Bumkins, on the other hand, wash up in one minute at the sink and–more important–dry fast. They’re also extremely durable: we have three bibs and use two of them in a typical day, and they’ve lasted over a year with no sign of wear.
Bumkins also makes a smock bib. It costs a lot more, but it adds arm protection. (I’m starting to feel like we’re talking about Kevlar vests.) We tried one of these, but the time when Iris most needed it was also the time was most allergic to putting on sleeves of any kind, and the bib had very small wrist holes. Worth a shot, if somehow you’ve drawn a baby who is blasé about sleeves.