We’re coming up on Baby Stroller’s 10 month birthday and have been doing BLW for over four months now. I don’t think there’s anything Baby Stroller hasn’t tried, and of those things very few he hasn’t loved. We’ve got this whole eating thing down!
While the eating and food prep part of BLW has been a piece of cake (oatmeal applesauce cake, no sugar, of course) mastering which gear worked best took a little trial and error… with an emphasis on error. I love baby gear, especially beautiful baby gear. But Baby Led Weaning is celebrated as an easier way to introduce solids to baby and I’ve learned that being able to keep it simple (and inexpensive) in the gear department is just another one of its benefits. Here’s what’s worked – and what hasn’t – for us.
Before Baby S was born I registered for a beautiful Keekaroo Right Height highchair with a cute teal cushion. It matched our dining room furniture and looked so great in photos! And it was great; Baby S could sit up early because of the contour of the cushion. He sat in it playing with his toys when he was 3 months old while I was working in the kitchen. But then we started to actually use it for eating and while it was decent, more food than I’d like to admit fell at his sides because there was so little lip on the tray. And there were holes in the cushion that the food would fall into and become a pain to clean. It was ok and I liked it, but I did not $260 love it.
We only used the chair a few times before heading off to Mamie and PawPaw Stroller’s house for the summer where they had a $25 Fisher Price booster – the kind that straps to the seat of an existing dining room chair. I quickly discovered that it was the perfect BLW chair — so easy to clean and a high lip around the tray for maneuvering and grabbing food! Baby Stroller thrived at BLW in his cheap, plastic chair.
When we returned home it only took one meal in the gorgeous, expensive highchair for me to pack it up and ship it off. We replaced it with a Fisher Price booster the weekend we returned. We were able to buy a convertible car seat – a true necessity – with the savings. My advice: don’t spend the college fund on a highchair.
We went through several bibs – homemade ones, Bjorn bibs, plastic bibs, cloth bibs, before discovering Dex Baby Big Mouth bibs with a snap-up pocket. It’s long enough that it doesn’t interfere with his arms or drag on the tray (problem with the Bjorn), it wipes clean, and the pocket catches falling food.
One spoon, one fork. It’s all you need. We’ve donated a gazillion spoons to Goodwill.
Splat Mat – optional
We use the one I made from oil cloth occasionally, but most days I just wipe up the floor – or let the dog do the clean-up.
Baby Stroller doesn’t always eat everything I prepare for him, so I often have several containers of half-eaten food in the fridge (I don’t save what he doesn’t eat off his tray; I save what I haven’t offered yet.) Small Gladware containers do the trick for us – they take up less space in the fridge and are top-rack dishwasher safe. Just don’t heat baby’s food in the microwave in them or in any plastic container; use ceramic or glass.
We use un-paper towels in our kitchen in lieu of paper towels. But even if you’re not an un-paper towel household, having cloth towels or washcloths in the kitchen for post-meal cleanup is helpful. I use a wet towel to wipe Baby S’s hands, then his face (if I do his face first, he will, without fail, rub his eyes with a food-covered hand), take the tray off his seat, remove his bib and he’s good to go!
That’s it. Very little and very simple prevail! What is your essential BLW gear fave?
Baby Led Weaning part 2 of 111. Baby-Led Weaning by Food
2. BLW Gear Faves & Fails by Mrs. Stroller
3. BLW - The First Few Months by Mrs. Stroller
4. Getting Started With Baby Led Weaning by Mrs. Superhero
5. Baby Led Weaning by Mrs. Superhero
6. Getting Started with Solids, Purees, and Baby-led Weaning by Mrs. Bee
7. Time for Big-Boy Food by Mrs. Yoyo
8. My Modified Baby-Led Weaning Approach by Mrs. Pen
9. Little Tea Cup versus the spoon - part 2 - favourite first finger foods by Mrs. Tea
10. Starting Solids with Baby Led Weaning: A Conservative Approach by Mrs. Markers
11. Starting Baby Led Weaning by Mrs. Chipmunk