Even for experienced parents, gathering up the amount of stuff needed for a newborn can be overwhelming. For whatever reason, the tiniest babies seem to require the most stuff. So how many bibs do you actually need to own for those messy little eaters? The answer depends on your own family's needs.
For most newborns, a handful of bibs should be plenty. Although it may seem a bit excessive to put a bib on kids who aren't eating solid foods yet, those little ones can still make quite the mess. For starters, if you have a baby who drools a lot, it's easier to change a bib than an entire outfit, as noted in Billy Bibs. Having a few extra bibs on hand just might prevent you from needing to change the baby's entire outfit after every feeding. Anything that cuts back on laundry helps, right?
Also, there's the whole issue of spit up with very young babies. A common occurrence in healthy babies, spitting up occurs when a baby's stomach contents flow back up through their mouth, often helped along by a burp, as explained by the Mayo Clinic. This generally happens because a baby's muscle between the esophagus and stomach isn't yet mature, and it's super common, as further explained by the Mayo Clinic. But for parents, dealing with that messy spit-up can be quite the chore, so a solid stash of bibs can help.
Again, the exact numbers vary from family to family. For newborns who only have some occasional drool or spit up, five bibs may be enough to last the week. For babies who really crank out the drool or spit up, though, you might go through five bibs a day. Basically, you'll figure out how many bibs your newborn needs as your little one continues to grow and develop and drool.
Most kids really need a bib when they start eating solid foods, because that's just a messy process all around. Some of my friends who are mothers go through about three bibs a day during this time, but others can power through seven or more bibs in a single day. If your kid's a messy eater who also drools and spits up randomly throughout the day, then it's easy to cycle through a ton of bibs. Depending on how often you do laundry, it isn't unreasonable to have a stash of 30 or more bibs on hand.
That said, there are ways to cut back on bib use. There are now waterproof, silicone bibs that can be rinsed off in the sink after every use, as noted in Epicurious. When it comes to bibs that are specifically used for mealtimes, these seem like a fan favorite among parents. It's an easy way to keep your baby, baby clothes, and even floors a little cleaner while cutting down on the laundry load at the same time.
Whether you can get by with a small stack of bibs, or you have a baby who uses up a dozen or more in a day, the perfect amount of bibs will vary from family to family. Just remember that this phase doesn't last forever, and soon enough your kid will make it through an entire meal without wearing most of the entree. Until then, though, bibs are your friend.