There are an awful lot of products for weaning babies these days and knowing what you need to buy can get confusing and not to mention expensive if you end up buying everything (been there). I have just started weaning my 3rd baby and I’ll be honest, she gets the bare minimum in the way of new things bought for her, It’s not that she’s not as important as my other 2 it’s just that I’ve come to realise that babies don’t need as much stuff as the shops and magazines would have you believe. Here are my baby led weaning essentials that we use everyday and would recommend to others.
The Only Baby Led Weaning Essentials You Need
Forget all the fancy highchairs that cost a small fortune, the £13 IKEA highchair is my absolute favourite and definitely my number one when it comes to baby led weaning essentials. Having bought said expensive highchair in the first instance I soon realised I had made a big mistake. As nice and comfy as the fancy ones may look they are an absolute bugger to clean, the second any tomato based sauce touches them it is game over. Baby led weaning is a messy affair which is why I love the IKEA chair so much, as it is all plastic it is so easy to clean. If your baby is a little on the skinny side I would suggest buying the padded insert to go inside, we didn’t with Ava and found she tended to lean and slouch in it in the early days, Pops on the other hand is a bit of a chunk so she sits nicely in it without the support.
Messy Mat and large bibs
Whatever method of weaning you chose to do it’s going to be messy, baby led weaning just ups the messiness factor a bit. If you want to save your flooring from food stains and save yourself time cleaning up, putting a mat underneath the highchair is essential. Our dining table is in our carpeted lounge so we use this Messy Mat from Messy Me as it is made from oilcloth it is so easy to clean and large enough to catch any rogue food being dropped and when it come to baby led weaning, a LOT of food is going to end up on the floor. As for bibs, the bigger the better. I like the ones with sleeves in, which I normally pick up from Sainsburys. At teatime though I just strip them off and then stick them straight in the bath.
The best thing about baby led weaning is you don’t need any plates or bowls, not to begin with anyway, I just pop the food directly onto the highchair. This does mean however that the highchair tray is going to get dirty pretty quickly after each meal. I love using this 3 in 1 antibacterial spray from Milton to clean Poppy’s highchair. It cleans and disinfects killing 99.9% germs, leaves a lovely fresh fragrance behind and most importantly for me it contains no bleach or alcohol which is something I look out for seeing as its cleaning something that Poppy is eating off. When we are dining out I always pack a packet of the Milton wipes, restaurant highchairs can be pretty grimy but with a quick wipe I know it will be safe for Pops to eat off. I love the fact that Milton are a British company too and a brand that has been used in my family for years.
If you are considering doing baby led weaning but have no clue where to start or what to do this book is a must read! When weaning Ava I had no intention of doing baby led but when the sassy little madam point blank refused to be spoon fed I had to look at alternative methods. I had seen people doing baby led on Instagram but I was completely clueless on this form of weaning so I purchased this book off amazon. There is sooo much information in this book on why,how,when, that it put my mind at ease and gave me the confidence to give baby led a go. We have made so many of the recipes out of this book, all are fairly simple, yummy and go down a treat with little ones. I have been going through it again this week to refresh my memory and make a meal plan for Poppy.
Did I mention how messy it was? Honestly you will not believe how much mess one small person can make, to the point where you wonder if hosing them down might be the better option. As pressure washing your child is highly frowned upon I suggest you stock up on wipes or flannels. Flannels are much better option for the environment not to mention much cheaper than wipes. If you prefer to use wipes though, which I have to say I do, choosing biodegradable wipes such as the mum and you ones, are a really great option.
Finally something new for Poppy! When weaning Ava, by the time I came across Doidy cup I had already bought a million other cups so decided against it. When BickiePegs, the makers of Doidy Cup got in touch and offered to send us one I jumped at the chance to try it out. If you are unfamiliar, it is a two-handled open topped cup. Which sounds like a crazy thing to give a baby but thanks to the way it has been scientifically designed with a unique slant, it encourages babies to drink from the rim rather than use a spout or teat. The sloping design helps babies naturally learn to handle and drink from the cup. The Doidy Cup is recommended from as early as 3 months and is great option for breast fed babies that won’t take a bottle. For piece of mind, it is made in the UK and conforms to EN14350 and is made of food safe plastic, it is also Phthalate and PVC free. Pops has been giving the cup a go these last few weeks with a small amount of water in and slowly but surely she is getting the hang of it.
I really enjoy doing baby led weaning and I hope you have found this baby led weaning essentials post helpful. I will be documenting Poppy’s weaning journey so look out for more baby led weaning posts in the near future.