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Manifesto for mess

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Long Sleeved Baby Bib

It was 8pm on a dark winter’s night. I stood in front of my utility room sink, surrounded by clothes in various states of the wash cycle; some in the washing machine, others hanging on the airier, more optimistically waiting to be ironed. I was scrubbing stains off my baby’s clothes after a ‘successful’ meal. She had enjoyed her food but as usual, the bib had let me down. I was feeling tired and harassed and thinking, “WHY DON’T BIBS WORK?”

That day my daughter, Emily had been wearing a white cardigan. “Madness!” I hear you cry.  I would normally have taken it off her but it was cold and the meal I’d cooked didn’t include anything messy. However, it turned out that she wasn’t a fan of my pea omelette that evening so I looked in the fridge for alternatives and we progressed to tomatoes, yoghurt and strawberries….oops. She picked up a strawberry, raised her fist above her head and squeezed. Red juice ran down her arm, bypassing the sleeve of the bib and onto the white woollen cuff. Before I could stop myself, I frowned and let out a disappointed ‘oh Emily’. She immediately looked up at me and connected my response to her squishing the strawberry, as if she’d done something wrong. This isn’t what I wanted! I tried to recover it, with smiles and encouragement but it felt like the damage was done and she’d associated the negative connection and it bothered me that I hadn’t controlled my feelings.

Fuelled by frustration, that very same evening whilst scrubbing said red stain on the white cardigan, I designed the ‘perfect’ bib in my head. Basically, it needed to cover everything and be adjustable so that it fit a baby from six months to about 18 months so that the bib actually helped out during the messy weaning stages. I thought about some kind of shower cap concoction for the head but decided that was perhaps, a step too far!  I dug out my sewing machine and over the coming days and weeks started cutting and sewing bibs whilst Emily napped during the day and then test-drove them on her at meal times. The first bib worked, it wasn’t pretty and it was perfecting it for sale that took a while, but much to my delight, I had come up with a bib that really worked!

I truly believe that letting your kids get messy is essential to their learning and development. The process of weaning your baby should be fun for both you and your child. They should be able to squish, smear and splat their food, and you shouldn’t have to pay for it with ruined clothes and hours of scrubbing at stains.

So this is our manifesto for mess. We love mess.  We want to create an environment where parents and carers are able to relax while their kids are enjoying eating and playing.

Our bibs work. Join us in our fight against cuff-scrubbing.

Find out more about our Long Sleeved Weaning Bib


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