So you read my introduction to Baby Led Weaning (BLW) and now you want to get started! Below are some tools that will make this adventure of starting solids a little easier, although they are not absolutely necessary. All you truly need is a baby and food! But read on to see what we use! (After adding the photos, I noticed there is a color scheme going on, which was totally unintentional hehe)
From leather seats to removable trays, there are soo many options out there for high chairs. While it is easy to feel overwhelmed, you want to focus on certain features and functions. Is the high chair comfortable for your little one? Is it easy to clean? Is it bulky and heavy? We wanted a high chair that had a smaller footprint, easy to store, and easy to clean. The best thing about our Joovy Nook high chair is that you can swing open the tray one-handed! This makes it so easy while we’re holding Remy or hot plates and we don’t have to remove any dishes to operate the tray. Plus, when we need to store it, the Joovy Nook folds like a lawn chair and stores flat.
Bibs and/or smocks (yes, we’ve used both at the same time before hehe) help keep your babe clean(er). We like bibs with the little pocket in front to catch anything they will drop. It’s so cute when your little ones start to realize that food is in the pocket and starts eating from there. The bibs we use are also silicone, so they are easy to wipe clean and dry.
We also like to use smocks for those messier meals, such as yogurt and oatmeal or spaghetti and meatballs. The smock has sleeves so it protects the whole front of your baby. The only downside to smocks is that since most are one-size, it may be a bit big in the beginning. You can find such smocks on Amazon, but we actually got our stash of five from Ikea for $5 each!
A splat mat is a must-have, ESPECIALLY if you have carpet. It goes under your high chair and helps protect your floors from your messy eater. We got this one because it is cute and pretty easy to clean by wiping or in the washer and dries in minutes. You can always use a plain shower curtain as a splat mat as well!
When you start BLW, your babe might not be adept at using utensils yet. Rather, they may think of it as another toy and bang it against the tray or wave it in the air. BUT! We started offering preloaded spoons to Remy and he has started getting the hang of it. Yes, it will be messy. Very messy. However, your little one will eventually start getting better at it. Just keep offering the preloaded utensil and be patient.
Next, we come to the wavy chopper! Not only is it fun to say, but the wavy chopper is probably our favorite BLW essential. Have you ever tried grabbing an apple slice with your fingers, but it seems to be suctioned to your plate? Try doing that with stubby fingers that are still working on coordination! Thus, the wavy chopper is great because it adds texture to anything, making it easy for your baby to grab onto.
A placemat is not a true essential for BLW, but it makes it easier to separate foods and possibly keep messes contained. We use the EZPZ placemats and they are suctioned to the tray, so there is no slipping and sliding or tipped dishes.
That rounds up our list of BLW essentials! Which one of these is a must-have for your family? Is there anything you would add? I would love to hear from you!
You might like these other articles on baby-led weaning!