Product Type: Tommee Tippee kids equipment
Newest Review: ... but I found my grandchildren were very quick to pull the fabric bibs off and so bought these plastic ones in the hope they would stay on a... more
Member Name: sandemp
Tomme Tipppee Comfi-Neck Catch-All Bib
Advantages: Protects front of clothes, durable, easy to clean
Disadvantages: Doesn't cover all the clothes, doesn't roll up
While fabric bibs are brilliant when baby is only drinking milk and perfectly adequate for the first stage of weaning, there comes a point when baby starts feeding himself and a little more coverage is required. As a mum of five I've tried plenty of different types of bib out and the one I keep coming back to is the Tommee Tippee Catch All Bib. The design of the catch all bib has changed very little in the last twenty years, with the only slight tweak being that the words comfi-neck have been added into it's name.
Available in three colours, rather than being made of fabric the Catch All bib is made from semi rigid plastic. Completely free from BPA the bib has an adjustable neck fastening, but the real selling point of this bib is the 'drip tray' at the bottom. Although the standard selling price for this bib is £2.29, I managed to pick a couple up at the local pound shop at just £1 each which is a complete bargain, if you ask me. We've been using these bibs in conjunction with a Boots roll-up catch all bib (that cost a smidge over £2) for the last four months now, so this review will not only reflect our experiences of using these bibs but will also compare it with the Boots one.
The Tommee Tippee bib is available in three different colours, pink, blue and green. As my baby is a boy and only the blue and pink bibs were available in the pound shop, I obviously bought the blue. From memory the Boots bibs were only available in blue and pink so, so far one up to Tommee Tippee for an ever so slightly larger range of colours. The Tommee Tippee bib is made of fairly rigid plastic and fastens behind the neck using a peg and hole style system, there are four different holes which give a fairly good range of fits, fitting children from about six to eighteen months. While the bib will fit the majority of babies, those at the very lowest edge of the spectrum may find it a little loose.
Something that has appeared over the years is a softer edge around the neck, that I'm assuming gives the bib it's new comfi-neck moniker. Now I'm not absolutely convinced as to how much more comfortable this edging makes the bib, but it does completely eliminate any sharp edges that may chaff a baby's neck. While being BPA-free the plastic this bib is made of is fairly stiff especially when compared to the bib from Boots. This does mean that there are times when my Little Man does look just a touch uncomfortable, especially as the bib is just slightly too long and doesn't quite hang freely between the Little Man's neck and his highchair tray. Oh and at nearly a year and on the 75th centile for height, the Little Man is no shrimp (unlike his Mum), so I would imagine that this would be far more of a problem with shorter than average babies.
It's when babies are start feeding themselves that these bibs really come into their own. As any parent will tell you, feeding yourself is an art that can take a while to master, first the baby needs to learn to pick food up (whether it's with hands or a spoon) and then transfer that food to their mouth. My Little Man definitely prefers to use his hands, no matter what he's eating, and there are plenty of times that he doesn't quite manage to find his mouth in time. While wearing these bibs any food he drops falls straight into the fairly large drip tray, meaning that it doesn't end up all over the floor (well not as much does). This not only protects the Little Man's clothes and the floor but also gives him a chance to have a delve into the tray to have another try at eating anything he's dropped. This means there's actually a little less food wasted at each meal time, and that he's a little less frustrated. While this works brilliantly for fairly solid food, it can mean that when eating foods such as baked beans there's actually a little more mess as he gets his hands covered in bean juice.
While these bibs are fantastic for protecting the front of Little Man's clothes while eating, they do have a few drawbacks. The first of these is that they're not the most practical of bibs for the messy drinker (of which category my little man definitely fits). Any dribbled fluids will quickly fill the drip tray which then leaves the risk of juice going everywhere. Being an experienced parent who had already experienced this problem, I was fully prepared. And I would recommend everyone to do as I do and be ready with some kitchen roll to mop up the liquid in the bib before it starts leaking and definitely before removing the bib. Another slight drawback is that this is not a coverall bib, meaning that Little Man's arms are not covered and his sleeves can still get messy. Again this doesn't actually bother me too much, I simply roll his sleeves up, but it is something to be aware of. My final gripe is that this bib simply takes up a lot of space in the changing bag. As it's semi-rigid it doesn't roll up, and as we do like to take little man out to eat, this bib just isn't really as suitable as it could be (unlike the Boots bib that does roll up).
Once meal time is over the bib is very easy to clean, being made of plastic, it's just a case of removing it from the child, emptying any collected food and then washing it. Not having a dishwasher, I can't comment on whether it's dishwasher safe (but I would imagine it is), but I have sterilised one on occasion (using cold water sterilisation) without it coming to any harm. Being made of plastic this bib is virtually impossible to stain, I won't say impossible, but so far ours haven't picked up the colour of any of the brightly coloured foods Little Man has eaten, including carrot and baked beans. Although the colour has slightly faded and the Tommee Tippee worn a little, the bibs look virtually as good as new even after being used (and washed up) three times a day for the last few months. But this is exactly as I expected, having previously used these bibs with my older children and having those bibs last from the start of independent feeding up to about eighteen months of age.
If any parent of a baby who was starting to feed themselves were to ask advice on which bibs to get, I'd still have no hesitation in recommending that they buy one or more of these for use at home. While they're still perfectly suitable for use while out and about, they're not actually the best for this purpose, so I would also recommend getting a roll-up catch all bib for trips. But even after twenty years, I do think these are the best bibs for learner feeders, they are durable, do not stain or absorb liquid, are easy to clean and allow the child a second chance when they drop the food. But as I've said they are not perfect, if you're worried that your child is going to ruin their £100 designer outfit, then this isn't the bib for you (get a coverall bib or cheaper clothes). There's also not the best bibs for liquids, (but a bit of kitchen does mop up juice very easily) and they're not particularly easy to pack in the changing bag. But all things considered, I am going to give these bibs four stars out of five, because they are the original and best catch-all bib.
Summary: The original catch-all bib's been updated (but not by much)