Possibly my favourite thing about baby led weaning has to be the fact that the essentials don’t really extend further than the food itself. In other words, there is no need to rush out and buy yet another pile of ‘stuff’ to add to the baby-related clutter already in your home.

Of course, there are a few valuable extras that can make the process simpler, and while they may not be essential, they’re certainly recommendable. Here are a few examples that have helped us out with our daughter:

  • High chair

Why do I put this first on the list? Well, because we were getting by just fine without one for the first few months until we realised that our daughter was never actually sitting down and eating. Instead, she was grabbing a handful of whatever was within range while crawling around the living room, half eating and half mushing food in to the floorboards. A Baby Led Weaninghigh chair, in my opinion, helps to define eating time as eating time.

That said, though, we used a Bumbo seat on a purpose-bought changing mat for a while and that was at least a bit easier to clean than using nothing at all.

Also, on a recent camping trip we put down the mat and put our food on it, letting her crawl around on the grass – no clean-up required.

  • Crockery and cutlery

For the first few months, certainly, these don’t really belong anywhere on an essentials list. The easiest thing for you will be to put bits of food on the high chair tray or similar, and let baby pick it up and go from there. In our case, putting food on a bowl or plate invariable means the bowl is tipped over so that all the food lands all over and it (the bowl) is then chewed on. You can buy suction cups to attach bowls to the table, but I never felt that to be all that important. I read about the factors that help suction cups to sgltick online. It’s far easier for Ameli to see the food, pick it up and figure it out when it’s not in a bowl.

Before we realised this, however, we bought two beautiful bamboo bowls from Bambu. Made with safe materials and decorated with safe paints, they are beautiful, sturdy and should be around for many years.

We also bought a set of two forks and two spoons from Bambu made beautifully from smooth, soft bamboo. They are perfectly baby sized and gentle on those growing teeth.

Of course it was only later that we realised she wouldn’t be able to actually use it successfully for a while, although she does just about manage to get it to her mouth, but normally without any food still on it.

  • Cups

As Ameli has started drinking less and less milk during the day, I have been conscious of her hydration, especially on hot days. As a result I’ve had to introduce water to her diet, which has been difficult as she doesn’t take to a bottle particularly well. Initially, at a loss as to how to get water in to her I filled a straw and transferred little amounts in to her mouth, an effective but less than ideal solution.

I then acquired a Doidy cup , but found that just as with the bowl, the cup soon found itself empty of contents and became a chew toy. It has taken a few trial runs, but she has finally got the hang of it and although a vast majority of the water does find its way on to her clothing, she is taking in enough water.

Obviously I can’t always have her wet and practising though, so we also use the Baby Born Free sippy cups. They come with two different spouts adaptable to your child’s ability and are quite free flow. These are ideal for when we’re out and about.

  • Wet wipes / flannels

Out and about I use Jackson Reece Herbal wipes as they contain none of the ‘bad stuff’ and Ameli actually allows me to wash her face with them. At home however, a quick warmed facecloth is a good way to clean her.

  • Bibs

Anyone who has ever done a day of BLW will tell you about the mess. There’s no avoiding it. But I’m told that it gets better. I guess this one depends on how sensitive you are to mess, and how attached you are to your baby’s clothes. There are some great bibs about though. I’ve seen some that cover the length of the baby’s body, some wider than the baby, some with arms and even full body bibs, legs and all. I quite like the idea of bibs with a catchment area, although we don’t actually have any of those.

Aside from these five useful aids that should improve your chances of stress-free baby led weaning, the most important thing you’ll need is simply patience. Be prepared for meals to sometimes take more than half an hour, and for the majority of the food to go everywhere but in your child’s mouth. But always remember that while you may have been practising this eating business at least three times a day for many years, to them it’s all completely new and yet another skill to be developed. In the end, though, isn’t that the whole point?

So, is there anything else that you can think of that makes baby led weaning a little easier in your home? Or have you been considering BLW and have questions to ask? Leave your comments below!


Essential Equipment for Baby Led Weaning

  1. This post is so bril I don’t know why there aren’t more comments. I discovered you when voting on the BMB awards… I voted for you.

    BLW question… Aaron was 6 months 15th December… what foods are ideal to start with???
    I am as nervous as hell 🙁

    Really enjoy your writing style.

    Liska x

    1. @Liska, Hi Liska! Thanks so much for the vote 🙂 I really appreciate it!

      Easy foods to start with are courgette, baby corn, pumpkin, sweet potato, potato (although a bit bland!) bread, broccoli, cauliflower etc – all cooked, of course, so they’re soft enough to ‘chew’ with the gums.

      Raw, bananas were great, as are soft peaches (take out the pip!), pears etc.

      To be honest, from the start, we just cooked our meals as per usual, and I would give Kyra one or two bites to ‘play’ with while we ate and her main nutrition came from breastmilk till she was about one – a little over really and some days, still!

      The main thing is to make sure it’ll break down easy enough – like pasta is a great start (although some people say watch out for wheat, but that wasn’t a problem for us.)

      Follow the ‘food is fun till one’ philosphy, and Aaron will be able to explore food until such a time as he has enough teeth to really eat. Don’t worry about it ‘teaching them to play with their food’. We all had to learn somewhere!

      Let me know how you get on!

  2. Great post. My son is 23 months now and we’ve moved him to the table because he is doing very well as far as messes are concerned. I used to hate messes so much, so I really had to learn to relax with BLW. I would say that as long as your baby can handle it, introduce the eating utensils early. My son was using a fork and actually getting food into his mouth with it at 9 months (though usually, and still, he would just stab it and then pick it off with his fingers to eat it!). I think I waited too long with the spoon and still don’t give him enough chances to use it. It’s very messy, but they will learn sooner if you let them. I would have started with a cup sooner, but it took a long time to find some small enough for him. Look for cups with small mouths so the water doesn’t splash all over their face. I had to go to the thrift store to find some, and then I found some stainless steel espresso mugs that work, too. I second your comment about the high chair. Ours was a hand-me-down and had way too many places for food to get stuck. I just took it apart it was so disgusting that I put it outside. We got a smock with arms to protect his clothes and that helped me relax about messy food. Now he just uses a big, some of the time. BLW is so much fun, but it is messy in the beginning!
    .-= Lisa C´s last blog ..Outdoor Monday: Catch Up =-.

  3. You guys are all so funny.If for no other reason at all the blogg and comments are a must read. They bring joy to an otherwise sad heart and laughter where there is a drought. A dog …… if it (the dog) is dewormed you can do away with the warm face cloth to LOL. Write on Luschka….

  4. We find having a dog quite handy! He cleans up all her mess. Though I think his walks will need upping again, to get rid of the extra fat he’s putting on!

    We rarely use a bib; stained clothes are fine.

    To those who haven’t bought a high chair yet, get one that has very little surface area to wipe – and especially without lots of little crevices for food to hide. We unfortunately have a bad one in these terms and really wish we’d got something better.
    .-= Tasha (Coding Mamma)´s last blog ..The Help by Kathryn Stockett =-.

  5. I love those bigs with the catch-space at the bottom! I have one and not only is it quite large (it will comfortably protect my 5yo’s shirt if she’d wear it) I can just wipe it clean. LOVE it!
    .-= Rebekah C´s last blog ..Monday Munchables: Ceviche! =-.

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