Bib is a strange word that comes from an old English word which means drink and in turn this verb is derived from a Latin word which translates as spillage.
Spillage is what the bib is designed to deal with and although we associate it with babies and very young children, many years ago they were worn by adults as well. At the court of Henry the Eighth bibs were worn by all the people at court. This was because mealtimes in those days were very messy affairs where huge meals of many courses were consumed with gusto as chicken and pig and all other meats were ripped apart by hand and slobbered over.
Today we only associate bibs with youngsters and they are worn primarily to soak up the saliva which dribbles from their mouths. As the baby grows and starts to eat solid food there is a continuing need for baby bibs as the youngsters discover the joys of spitting out whatever food the parent is trying to feed it.
Mealtimes for the very young can be very trying for the parent as each spoonful is a potential disaster about to fall into the lap. Just like dogs the child uses the mouth to experiment with taste and texture of just about everything. Once the child has achieved eye and hand coordination then anything in reach is picked up and immediately put to the mouth.
Years later this habit may continue into adulthood when one chews the end of a pencil or biro when writing. The natural and instinctive habit of a baby putting all sorts of rubbish in the mouth is a way of building an immune system for later life. Excessive cleanliness is now considered unhealthy for the natural development of the child’s growth and can lead to health problems later.
Baby bibs are an essential piece of clothing for all babies and toddlers unless of course you are lucky enough to live in a very hot climate where there is no need for the baby to have any clothing. The bib is an item of clothing with the sole purpose of protecting the clothes worn beneath. As such the bib should be very absorbent and able to collect not only the huge amount of daily saliva but also the food and drink which baby loves to squeeze back out through closed mouth.
The mouth is just about the most sensitive part of the body and for a child a great deal of what it feels is through this part of his or her anatomy. Later in life when the baby has become a teenager the thrill of a kiss of lips on lips is a reminder of the baby years.
If you have a friend with a new baby and want to buy some small present then you could do no worse than buy a dozen funky colourful bibs.