It’s crazy how quickly things change when dealing with baby trends. Nine years ago when my first child was about six months, we started with the traditional mix of different purees spaced three days apart to rule out any food allergies. Two years later when my second child was born we did pretty much the same thing as the first time around. Now that we’re going down the feeding road again with my third child, the term “Baby Led Weaning” is all over the place. We’re still learning the ropes but here are a few of the Baby Led Weaning Essentials that have totally been helpful!
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Ok, before I start with my essentials list, you may be wondering what exactly “baby led weaning” is. For us, practicing baby led weaning means cutting and softening foods to the point where my daughter can feed herself. Since we’re not feeding her purees with a spoon, she needs a few items that help her feed herself. There is tons of information on the internet about BLW but my favorite site has been Feeding Littles. They’ve got tons of practical information to get you started and beyond! (I’m not associated with them, just love the info and courses!)
One of the things I love about BLW is just how easy it makes feeding your little one. We pretty much just make a modified version of what the rest of the family is eating for that meal. For example, the other morning we made avocado toast that were topped with eggs, sprouts, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Sounds delicious, right? Emilia had the BLW equivalent with a thin layer of avocado on bread that was cut in long sticks that were easier for her to grab. She also had some sliced strawberries and egg on the side. She did a little bit of gagging with the egg but that just comes with the BLW territory. (Read more about gagging and BLW over at Feeding Littles!)
As for the essentials necessary for BLW, you don’t actually need to buy anything. I just found these Baby Led Weaning Essentials to be super helpful. Plus, all of them will be used throughout toddlerhood so they’ll definitely get their money worth! Here are some of the basic items we’ve used for the last three months:
- Mini Mat in Coral (ezpz) – In full disclosure, I received a Mini Mat from ezpz as part of their affiliate program but since then, I’ve also bought a Happy Mat in gray (the larger portions are for when she’s a little bigger) and a Mini Bowl in lime (perfect size to keep in our diaper bag for restaurants!)
- Gootensils (NumNum) – Since we’re vegetarians, we all eat a ton of yogurt in our house. This funnel-shaped bowl and beginner spoons has been helpful with teaching baby Emilia how to feed herself with utensils. She’s still getting the hang of it but definitely loves to chew on them anyway!
- Miracle 360 Trainer Cup (Munchkin) – We usually just use open small glass mason jars for water with our kids but occasionally a non-spill cup is totally handy! This cup comes recommended by my best friend who is a speech therapist. It’s not 100% leak-proof but it does the job!
- Waterproof Sleeved Bib (Bumkins) – One of the biggest differences with going the BLW route has been the mess factor. It’s inevitable that if you let babies feed themselves, that food will go everywhere! You’re going to need some full coverage bibs like this one or you’ll have to change your baby every single time they eat. Trust me!
- Baby Splat Mat (Kenley) – This is also related to the huge mess factor that just comes along with Baby Led Weaning. Unless you’re ok with cleaning the floors after every feeding, I highly suggest a splat mat (or dogs!)
- 3-in-1 Soap for Kids (Everyone) – Have I made it clear just how messy BLW can be? Occasionally, you can try to contain the mess but sometimes it gets the best of you and bathtime is a MUST. I absolutely love the Everyone brand of soaps because they’re made with organic plant extract and are parabin-free/cruelty-free as well. Plus their lavender scent is perfect for the bedtime routine!
Well, that’s my Baby Led Weaning Essentials list! My daughter is only 8 months old so I’m sure this list will have to be updated as we continue on our BLW journey. I’ll make sure to come back to this post and update you on what did and didn’t work. Hope this post helps and feel free to comment with any questions you have!