Today I’m talking more about our baby led weaning journey so far and sharing my must-have gear! The list of my favorite items is below. Enjoy!
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We started baby led weaning (BLW) with Isaac about a month ago and so far, we are all loving it! For those of you who are asking, “What the heck is baby led weaning?”, well, it’s really just a fancy term for giving baby solid foods that you’re eating which encourages baby to self-feed. Basically, you give baby whatever you’re having for dinner, except cut into finger-sized pieces. For example, if we’re having grilled chicken, Isaac gets it cut into strips so he can easily pick it up and feed himself. Same goes for any veggies! It’s really very simple. No purees or baby food! Baby does not have to have teeth to start baby led weaning, as most babies can gum through pretty much any solid food. Baby led weaning has tons of benefits including:
- Baby is able to join in with family mealtimes
- BLW babies eat a wide range of family foods early on which can make them less picky later on in life. They get to experience lots of different flavors and textures, therefore they are more open to trying and accepting new foods.
- BLW is a natural extension of breastfeeding and nutritional self-regulation. BLW helps babies understand when they’re full and when to stop eating when they’ve had enough.
- It saves mama tons of time without having to worry about making purees or baby food! Just give baby whatever is on the dinner menu for the night and be done with it!
Sweet potatoes fries, avocado, and green apples for dinner! He mainly just chowed down on the apples.
Caught him mid-bite!
BLW has really been so easy and painless for us. Yes, we did worry like crazy people the first few times he tried solids because we were so worried he would choke! But, BLW helps them learn to navigate how to chew and swallow food. Gagging is a normal part of the process. BLW babies WILL gag as it is their way of learning how to handle solid food. We still get a little freaked out when Isaac bites off a big chunk of food but so far (knock on wood) we’ve been amazed at his ability to work it out if it’s too much for him to chew and swallow!
There are several products that have really been lifesavers for us in our BLW journey so far and I wanted to share my favorites with you!
We love this high chair! I did a lot of research on different high chairs and all of the BLW mamas out there seem to love this one and now I know why! It is so super easy to clean. There’s no fabric (Unless you get the cushion that comes with it. We did get this since Isaac is still small and it gives him more support. It is super easy to clean as well, though.) and you can literally just wipe it down after every meal. No weird nooks and crannies for food to fall into and never be found again.
2. Quality, Easy to Clean Bibs
There are a couple of bibs I found that are really awesome. These from IKEA are amazing (and cheap, $2.99 for a 2 pack). We also love this weird polyester shirt bib thing from IKEA (Like my unofficial name for it?). It’s so funny looking but it keeps Isaac from getting food all over his clothes. My favorite bibs are these from Amazon which are silicon, easy to clean, and have a little thing at the bottom that catches food (less floor cleanup).
These plates are so cool! They’re silicone so they are super easy to clean up but the best part is they suction to the high chair tray! Baby cannot pick these up and throw these on the floor (Isaac’s favorite activity lately). There’s also another mat like this made by ezpz which I plan on getting soon.
These cups are awesome for helping baby learn how to use a sippy cup. They essentially “bite” down on the edge and suck for water (or milk) to come out. The best part is, there are no spills when baby drops it on the floor or flips it upside down. It automatically seals when baby stops drinking. It really is a miracle cup! Isaac hasn’t quite gotten the hang of it yet but I hear you should keep offering a sippy cup of some sort at every meal once they hit the six-month mark and they will eventually pick it up. Feel free to tell me if this is not how the whole learning to use a sippy cup thing works. But we like this sippy cup regardless!
5. Instant Pot
You have an Instant Pot, right? Please say you do. This is one of the best inventions ever. This is probably random to have on a list of BLW must haves but it just makes it so easy to steam veggies for dinner. I normally make a big batch of baby carrots, steam sweet potatoes, or I’ll steam white potatoes and make mashed potatoes. We make chicken for the week in this quite a bit too. You can make frozen chicken breasts in like fifteen minutes with this bad boy! Life. Saver. Get. One.
A few extras that are nice to have but not required for BLW:
- Our dogs, Penny and Cooper, are loving this baby stage. They get all of Isaac’s scraps. It makes it super easy for clean up too since they take care of most of the floor clean up for me! Win-win. Check my Instagram for a video of Isaac when he learned how to feed Cooper just today. Cutest thing ever. My heart melted!
- I use these to wipe down Isaac’s high chair after dinner every night. I use Lysol Wipes for literally everything else, too, but I thought they deserved an honorable mention here.
Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater
- If you’re a nerd like me and you want to read up on everything baby led weaning, this is written by the queen of baby led weaning herself, Gill Rapley. She started the whole BLW party so she’s got all the information you could want in her book.
The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: Delicious Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat Solid Foods―and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy
- This is a cookbook co-authored by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett. There are some pretty good recipes in here! They tell you how to cook certain things to make them BLW appropriate, such as oatmeal.
- This isn’t an item per say but definitely a wonderful resource! I have asked these ladies tons of questions regarding BLW and someone is always able to give me an answer and help me out. I couldn’t do it without this group! I highly recommend joining if you are wanting to start BLW.
Those are my favorite items for baby led weaning! I hope it helps you along in your BLW journey! Feel free to email me or comment with any questions, I’m happy to help. I plan to post an update on our BLW journey as we get a little further down the road so stay tuned!
Have a wonderful day!