Reduce your laundry by feeding toddlers topless

I'm always looking for ways to avoid laundry. Here's Amber's eminently logical suggestion:

Being a single mom of toddler twins, I always have too much laundry and never enough time! Instead of messing with bibs that never stay on due to grabby hands and instead of funding the makers of Spray N Wash singlehandedly [I hear ya. — Ed.], if we are eating something messy, such a yogurt or pasta, the shirts come off and they eat topless! When they are all done, a thorough wipe down is all that is needed and the shirts go back on. Saves a lot of time, laundry and hassle!

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  1. mamaloo says

    We did this, too. My son would not even allow us to put a bib on him when he was baby. After enough dirty shirts, offf came the tops and out came the washcloths.

  2. christie says

    We did this too (twins now three years old). My kids eventually started taking off their OWN shirts when they heard the word “ravioli.” :) (I learned this trick when working with 1-yr-old daycare kids. It’s an AWESOME trick.)

  3. momma2mingbu says

    Yup…we did this too. My kids hated wearing bibs and it was just easier to let them eat topless and then, if necessary, have bathtime right after a messy meal!

  4. Jill says

    Mine have never had a popsicle while wearing a shirt- they know the routine! When I have someone else’s child in a potentially messy situation, (especially if they’re slightly older and might be uncomfortable getting stripped) I have them put their shirt on inside out. At least then the stains won’t show if their parents can’t get them out.

  5. Gail Reed says

    For those times when you’d rather your child was not topless, you can use a pelican bib. They’re made of plastic that’s firm but soft (like rubber) and have a crumb catching tray built in. They get wiped off and are ready for use again. You can see them at
    (I have no commercial connection to this product, I just wish I did.)

  6. stacey says

    this is a great idea! the only thing i would worry about was serving something hot that they could drop/spill on themselves and get burned. but i guess if anything is THAT hot i shouldn’t be serving it anyway!

  7. dutch from sweet juniper says

    In our house, we have taken this one step further. everybody dines topless!

    we did get some funny stares at that fancy french restaurant last week, probably because everyone was shocked that a lady with such great tits would ever procreate with a flabby guy with a beer gut such as myself.

  8. Parent Hacks Editor says

    Sicko, Dutch. We only dine topless at home, when potlucking with neighbors.

    Oh, and the Pelican bib? I used the Baby Bjorn model when my son was little — a lifesaver! Thanks for reminding me, Gail. I’ve added it to “Things We Like.”

  9. Charisse says

    My folks used to take this one step further when cherries were in season–naked (or when older, bathing suits) with a bowlful in the bathtub. Hosedown immediately following.

  10. Larry Wright says

    When our youngest was first eating solid foods, we would use a bib that could be wiped off after each use (saves on the laundry). The disposable bibs are handy for dining out though (not that we do that too much these days…).

    As for dining topless, we do that on spaghetti night, and then it’s straight off to the bathtub. Doesn’t keep them from getting it in their hair/eyes/ears though.

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