A Durham mum who grew frustrated with the mess made during her baby daughter’s mealtimes has seen her new creation attract global attention.

Just weeks after launching MessyLittleThing.com, Dawn Elizabeth Howe’s revolutionary new long sleeved weaning bib has started to generate interest from as far afield as the United States, South Africa and Europe.

Dawn says she was inspired to start the business after being inundated with requests from friends after they’d seen the weaning bib she had created for her daughter, Emily.

The specially designed bib, which is made from lightweight water repellent materials, fits snugly around the baby’s wrists, neck and legs and offers full coverage against spills and stains.

And having started just making a handful, she’s now receiving a growing stream of orders from across the UK and has even had orders from Germany, the US and a distribution request to South Africa.

The 39-year-old, who’s day job is Head of Marketing at Sunderland-based online bingo operators tombola.co.uk, has now launched her own online business at MessyLittleThing.com, where she retails not only the Long Sleeved Weaning Bib, but a range of products to help keep mealtimes clean for babies, toddlers and additional needs children. Since setting up the website last summer, orders have grown month-on-month.

She explained: “I wanted my daughter to enjoy her food at the weaning stage; explore textures, squish it if she wanted and watch it dribble down her sleeve without me fussing about keeping everything clean.

“I couldn’t find a suitable or comfortable bib that covered all her clothes that also fastened snugly around her neck as well as her wrists and legs. So I created my own. It didn’t take much for my friends to start requesting the bib and it’s grown from there. I sourced a local manufacturer and set up the website. The response has been fantastic.”

Dawn, from Sherburn House, admits her own early efforts at making the bibs weren’t up to scratch, but since locating a manufacturer in Northumberland, she has had the confidence to start retailing the products from the website, with promising early feedback.

“A lot of great ideas are borne from personal experiences. I was convinced I wasn’t the only one experiencing these frustrations, so it’s affirming to see that other parents have some very positive things to say,” she said.

Dawn’s website and associated social media feeds are gaining in popularity and feature additional tips, advice and recipes for weaning babies, toddlers and children.

She has also started networking across the Seaham and Peterlee area to raise the profile of her business.