So you’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of baby-led weaning. Welcome!
5 Must Have Items for Baby-Led Weaning
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Contrary to the way it sounds, baby-led weaning is actually baby led feeding.
(Thank you, British English for confusing us even more! LOL) Rather than starting baby on purees and what we’ve come to think of as “traditional baby food”, proponents of baby led weaning (aka “BLW”) give baby essentially what they are eating (with the exception, of course, of things like popcorn–a choking hazard for children under 4– and honey–not until age 1–because of the risk of botulism). Round foods, like blueberries, grapes, and hot dogs should be squished first (blueberries), cut lengthwise (grapes), or cut into quarters (hot dogs). For more information, read about why BLW is awesome sauce.
Of course, as with all things parenting related, research, research, research and do what works best for your family.
When Hubs and I started BLW with Nugget, we discovered a few things that made the process go smoother:
1. A versatile high chair
I absolutely LOVE this high chair. Rule #1 for BLW: Baby must be able to sit unassisted. When baby is eating, s/he should either be sitting in caregiver’s lap or in a high chair. Safety first!
Things I love about this high chair:
- It truly lives up to its name! (Fisher-Price SpaceSaver High Chair) It’s not a big, bulky thing that takes up half of your dining room. It buckles to the back and bottom of any chair/barstool, is lightweight, and very portable. Because of its portability, this high chair has gone with us to friends’ houses when we were invited for dinner and restaurants (Yes, we are THOSE people who bring our own high chair, LOL!). Seriously, when you start BLW, you might consider bringing your high chair with you…restaurant high chairs usually don’t come with trays and are way too low, in my opinion. Nugget’s head barely cleared the table!
- It’s easy to clean. The fabric cover is removable and machine washable and the tray is easy to wipe down.
- It’s reasonably priced.
- It is adjustable. The back tilts, so you can adjust baby’s angle!
If you have the space, this next high chair is AMAZING! It has 6 different settings (infant, baby, baby booster, toddler booster, youth…or two kids at once…what?!) and is height adjustable. The leather pads are removable and machine washable and the seat reclines and has a foot rest to accommodate a growing baby. It’s the ultimate high chair!
BLW HACK #1: If you don’t have a dog to help with clean up, place a shower curtain or plastic table cloth underneath the high chair. Makes for easier clean up!
2. Plastic bibs with pockets
Trust me when I tell you that BLW is MESSY. So messy you’re going to think a food truck exploded in your house. Nope! Just your little one learning and having fun to her heart’s content! Still…be prepared to do LOTS of laundry! These bibs will hopefully help cut down the amount.
Want bibs that aren’t just for eating? Check out my favorite bibs.
BLW hack #2: Blue dawn + cold water + sunlight will get out most stains. You’re welcome.
3. A crinkle cutter
This is perhaps my *favorite* item of all. Who doesn’t love food that’s squiggly?! One of the tenets of BLW is to cut food into finger length pieces so baby can grab. Crinkle cut foods are perfect for little fingers. Genius!
4. Bowls with suction
In the beginning, I just put food directly onto Nugget’s high chair tray. Eventually, once she got into the swing of things, I started putting things into bowls. These are great because they have a suction cup on the bottom! Less chance of spillage!
5. Kiddie silverware
To be perfectly honest, Nugget prefers regular adult silverware (but she’s 22 months old now). In the beginning of our journey, we used kiddie silverware to get her accustomed to holding and maneuvering a utensil. Now she uses them like a champ!
I’m excited to report that we’ve begun our baby-led weaning journey with Peanut! Can’t wait to see the look on her face as she discovers all the yummies there are to eat. Hope this helps you and your little one on your BLW journey!
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