Burp Cloths

Stock up on these, you're going to need them for all those unexpected outbursts. Since burp cloths are so close to your baby's face, it's especially important for them to be chemical-free. They're great because not only do they protect your clothes, they also protect your baby from the chemicals in your clothes. We've also heard that they make excellent dusting cloths when your baby is done with them. Someone once told us that he used ours to polish his Harley!

Features to look for:

  • Design - Shop for thick burp cloths made with layers of fabric that will absorb easily and dry quickly. Also look for generous sizing to provide maximum coverage from drool, spit-up, or whatever other surprises come your way.

  • Materials- Burp cloths made with conventional cotton often contain artificial fibers, dyes, and chemicals that are harmful for a baby's sensitive skin and development. Be sure to choose burp cloths made with organic cotton and materials, the healthiest option for your baby and the environment.

At first, you won't be needing bibs much at all. Meal time will be simple and (relatively) mess-free. Cue six months later, and you're crying to the heavens as you attempt to scrub sweet potato puree out of your baby's brand new "Mommy's #1" t-shirt.

This is where bibs come in handy.

There's a wide variety of bibs to choose from, so try out one or two styles you think you'll like before you invest. Here is a list of styles:

  • Drool bibs- When babies start teething, the increased amounts of drool that come with it can leave their fronts soaked. Drool bibs are usually smaller sized cloth bibs that protect your baby's chest from this waterfall until the tiny teeth come out and they're ready for solid foods.

  • Standard cloth bibs- These are your run-of-the-mill, everyday bibs that protect your baby from neck to tummy during the craziness that is mealtime.

  • Sleeved bibs- These bibs are great because they provide the most coverage, protecting fronts, sides and sleeves.

  • Plastic bibs- There is a wide range of plastic bibs. Some are laminated on one or both sides for easy cleanup. There are also molded plastic bibs, which fit your baby's shape so spills are contained well; although they may not be the most comfortable. They provide the ultimate protection because they stay in place, and liquids slide right off of them instead of being absorbed. And of course, there are disposable bibs (to be used sparingly) for babies at restaurants or on the move.

  • Plastic bibs are the easiest to clean-- rinse and wipe, and you're done. Just be sure that they don't contain PVC or BPA, materials found in plastics that have been shown to have harmful effects on humans.

The breakdown: What you want to consider and features to look for

  • Washability- Good quality bibs are ones that will stand the test of time. Since you will be washing them over and over again, you'll want them to be durable and made of sturdy materials. Cloth should be machine washable, and other materials should either be easy to wipe clean or dishwasher safe.

  • Easy to secure- Bibs come with various closures, including ties, snaps, Velcro, hook-and-loop fasteners, and magnets. Any of these work fine, but easy on and off is a must.

  • Crumb catcher pocket- Some bibs come with a tray or pocket on the bottom for catching drips, spills and stray crumbs. They can either be attached or removable for easy cleaning, just make sure that they are big enough to be effective.

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