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From Brolly to Bib - How Bibado Founder, Rachel, created the ultimate weaning solution for parents
When former military dentist and mum to twins, Rachel Wood, couldn’t find a weaning bib fit for purpose, she invented one herself, and now it’s received a King’s Enterprise Award for Innovation!
The Bibado Coverall Weaning Bib was initially conceived to solve a messy problem experienced by Rachel Wood, the inventor and founder of the company. The Eureka moment for the concept came to her in 2014 while enjoying a messy meal of spaghetti bolognese with her 6-month-old twin daughters. Rachel noticed that existing silicone bibs and plastic baby bibs on the market were uncomfortable to wear for the child and failed to contain the mess . They neither kept her daughters nor the highchair clean or prevented food from falling onto the floor.
Rachel realised that her daughters were restricted and uncomfortable in their bibs, which often resulted in their refusal to wear them, meaning even more mess. Rachel herself was exasperated, especially when faced with the clean-up process, which would routinely involve a complete outfit change and an ever-growing washing pile! With three meal times a day multiplied by two, she estimated that she was spending at least one hour per day on just the clean-up operation. This was not only time-consuming and stressful but fuelled the parental guilt of dreading mealtimes because of the mammoth size of the task.
Rachel scoured the market looking for an alternative, but it didn't exist! She sought out every bib brand and product available, road-testing them at home with her daughters and ranking them on product attributes according to stringent performance criteria. Nothing fit the bill or even came close. She knew that she couldn't be the only parent feeling this way, so she got to work with an old umbrella, a pair of scissors, a sewing machine and lots of optimism.
The key innovative feature which has resulted in the "game-changing" benefit of the Bibado Coverall is the unique and patented adjustable straps. These were inspired by the elasticated cuffs on ski salopettes and enabled the bib to be attached directly to the highchair tray, thereby sealing the gap between the tray and the baby.
The result of attaching the Coverall bib to the highchair is that a "well" is formed by the 100% waterproof fabric, which catches everything dropped or spilt by a baby at mealtimes (a frequent activity). Rachel could see that the Bibado Coverall Weaning Bib would address a real pain point for parents – how to prevent food from coming into contact with clothes and staining them, getting lodged into the highchair or being dropped onto the floor (bad news for dogs and other pets!). All of these scenarios present a clean-up challenge for parents that can lead to less relaxed mealtimes and an aversion to letting their little ones discover and explore their food.
It also promotes a healthier approach to food waste. If the food ends up on the Bibado Coverall, it can be safely reintroduced to baby during that mealtime if the parent chooses to do so.
Naturally, there was a clear desire to make all these benefits accessible to as many families as possible. A 'universal fit' was high on the agenda for the development of the Coverall, so it needed to fit on the vast majority of existing highchairs on the market.
Rachel took inspiration from other industry sectors, borrowing the concept of a "spray-deck" from the sport of kayaking to fine-tune her invention. This allowed Rachel to develop the unique method of attaching the bib to the highchair tray. It also happened to be a market first! Using an impregnated elastic strap, Rachel was able to establish a friction fit against the highchair tray, holding it securely in place while in use. It is also easily released with convenient Velcro tabs to ensure safety for the child and ease of use for parents. And so was born the very first Bibado prototype!
Rachel’s frustration was replaced by hope as she put her early model to the test, validating the idea on her daughters - the perfect in-house product testers! She was enthused by early results and motivated to progress her invention. She sought the opinion of fellow mums and used this early market research to probe and prove her theory. They confirmed that It saved time and reduced mess significantly, empowering them to encourage their babies to explore food more fully without worrying about the messy aftermath. They were delighted with the developmental benefits they witnessed.
Rachel felt strongly that parents everywhere deserved happier, less stressful mealtimes. What's more, she knew that the Bibado Coverall could deliver it.
A further two years of development went into perfecting the materials to construct the Bibado Coverall but now this game-changing baby bib needed a name! Rachel credits her mum with the brand name who suggested it should be a combination of the product itself and a gobbledygook baby sound to lend a sense of personality. Enter the Bibado Coverall!
The Bibado Coverall was released onto the market in 2017. At this point baby-led weaning was fast becoming one of the most popular methods for introducing solid food to babies due to its curiosity-led, developmentally supportive ethos. Baby-led weaning is innately messy, and Rachel knew she was onto something with her "must have" weaning product to support parents and babies on their taste and texture adventures.
The Bibado Coverall Weaning Bib changed the rules of weaning engagement overnight! Its unique features and genuinely innovative design marked it out from anything else on the market and immediately set it apart from other brands. The growing band of mummy influencers and social media stars wanted in on the secret to less stressful, happier mealtimes and before long we were the natural choice of baby bib for parents starting their weaning journeys. Before long the brand had developed notoriety and was being stocked in Next, Amazon and John Lewis and being recognised with industry awards and accolades from Mother and Baby, Made for Mums, Bizzie Babies and The Independent.
Loved by more than 500,000 parents
The feedback and testimonials Bibado receives daily speak volumes of the Coverall’s performance. Professionals, nutritionists and experts in the weaning and childcare development spaces love the Coverall.
Customers talk widely of the benefits of saving time, reducing mess, and minimising stress at mealtimes,and how they've enabled them to fully support their child's curiosity and development by actively encouraging food exploration.
Here’s just some of the wonderful testimonials about the award-winning Bibado Coverall:
"Bibado is the game-changer at mealtimes every parent needs. Messy, happy baby, clean clothes, less washing. What more could you want or need?" @mumoftwoboys_
"Exploring at mealtimes has never been better - We can get super messy with no worries about spoiling clothing when wearing our Bibado" @feeding_our_girls
"We use our Bibado coverall daily, for both meals and snacks! I take it out and about on trips, and I couldn't do without it now! It saves all the mess and can be cleaned in just minutes. What more could you ask for?" @scarlettzeisser
"Amazing! It saves a lot of mess and time! I'm a new mum and was freaking out about the mess as it eats into precious times, but not with this bib! It washes great, lovely design. I just love and have told all my mummy friends it's a must-have!" Louise P
"Game changer! A weaning product that is an absolute necessity. I'm not scared to dress my little one in her finest at mealtimes anymore" @cfsdoris