Baby Led Weaning is a very simple process for introducing solid foods into your baby’s diet. The beauty of baby led weaning is that there aren’t too many supplies you need to have in order to be successful.
That being said, the few weaning items you do need can make a HUGE difference in how easy (and messy!) the baby led weaning experience may be for you, your baby and family. So let’s talk about the best essentials for baby led weaning!
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What Do I Need to Get Started With Baby Led Weaning?
Feeding baby can often be seen as something stressful and difficult and time consuming.
A common struggle is
With baby-led weaning EVERYONE in your family can enjoy the journey of watching your baby explore new foods and have FUN in the process.
Feeding time becomes fun family time with baby-led weaning.
Even with BLW feeding your little one solid food for the first time can be something you tend to worry about.
Which food to introduce first? What order is best?
Baby-led weaning makes the first foods super easy to figure out!
Even though introducing solids with BLW is VERY simple, some of us type-a hardcore planning moms like to have a game plan when it comes to every area of our lives, including introducing solids. It can feel stressful to NOT have a plan to follow!
Feeling a bit overwhelmed about introducing solid food into your baby’s diet while making meals the whole family will enjoy?
Be sure to check out this awesome, super simple, four week baby led weaning family meal plan! Easy ideas the whole family will enjoy around the dinner table – including your newest solid food eater 😉
The Best Supplies for Baby Led Weaning
I’ve done baby led weaning now with three babies and have found these items to be my absolute must haves and I highly recommend these supplies to all moms who are beginning the baby led weaning journey!
Books to Read for Introducing Solids
I am a HUGE advocate of READING THE BOOK.
Especially with something like baby-led weaning where the advice and wisdom and reasoning in the book is important and valuable information.
There are also additional Baby-Led Weaning cookbooks and reading materials you may find helpful:
High Chair for BLW
The best and most crucial tool when it comes to baby led weaning, in my opinion, is the high chair.
Baby eats from it every meal.
Mommy (or Daddy!) cleans it every meal.
You want something easy to use and easy to clean!
Hint… it might surprise you that my favorite high chair is NOT the Ikea Antilop Highchair
You Can Shop the Three High Chairs I’ve Used with BLW Here:
Baby Led Weaning Supplies: Best Booster Seat
You do NOT need a booster seat when you first start with baby-led weaning.
I never use a booster seat until I have a toddler or older child. Usually after age 2 is when I feel they are ready to transition into sitting at the table with the family for meal times.
No, it doesn’t have any straps or anything.
But at the age when they are able to sit in a booster
Best Baby Led Weaning Supplies: Bibs
Other than a high chair a good quality bib is also crucial when it comes to keeping the self-feeding mess to a minimum.
I am passionate about my bibs.
I know that sounds a bit hardcore but truly, I LOVE the bibs I use for my babies!
The bibs are awesome for multiple reasons.
They are very east to put on and take off with the velcro closures.
I love that they have a pocket. When a baby feeds himself he will naturally drop foods and they will often end up in the little pocket which makes it easy to find the pieces!
Most of all though? I love how EASY the bibs are TO CLEAN.
I rinse them in the sink. I turn the pock inside out and spray it all down.
Then I simply hang it over my sink faucet to dry before the next mealtime.
Then (get ready to have your mind BLOWN)…once a week I THROW THEM IN THE WASHER.
Yes. I wash them with my normal laundry once a week.
Just turn that pocket inside out, throw in the wash, and hang to dry.
They come super clean and they are so well made that I still have bibs my first baby wore over 10 YEARS ago that look brand new and that I use regularly with my last baby!
Favorite Baby Led Weaning Sippy Cups
When babies first start eating solids they are still breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding.
However, it’s important to introduce the sippy cup to help baby learn to use it and like to drink from it when the time comes to wean from the breast or bottle and to the cup full time.
I personally introduce water in a sippy cup during meal times when my baby’s start eating solids at 6 months old.
I have two favorite sippy cups.
The first I used for my first three kids and I liked them because they are very cheap and they were the easiest to hold and drink from for my kids.
With new babies come new, fun baby products.
For my fourth baby I thought I’d give a new sippy cup a try and I’ve been extremely happy with it.
With the Take and Toss
My new favorite cup doesn’t spill NEARLY as much when tossed and is just really cool looking. Like I still don’t get exactly how it works so baby can drink from it! Ha!
All the parts can be thrown in the dishwasher for easy cleaning and it only has three pieces that are super simple to take apart and put back together.
We travel often and I also love that these training cups also have an option to purchase travel lids!
Do You Still Need Utensils with BLW?
Baby-led weaning is about self-exploration for the baby with food but it doesn’t mean they eat in a barbaric way forever 😉
I like to introduce spoons with my babies early on in the eating experience.
When I give them anything that I’d eat using a spoon, I give one to my baby.
Again, I remain hands-off and let them learn how to use on their spoon.
Over time they eventually “get it” and will use it on their own and use it correctly.
I mean do we, as adults, even always use our cutlery “correctly”? 😉
At that point I will then start also giving a fork for them to use.
Does My Baby Eat from a Plate and Bowl with Baby Led Weaning?
You could have your baby use a plate or bowl for eating… but I never have and never will.
When it comes to babies and high chairs they love to THROW THINGS.
Throwing the sippy cup.
Throwing the utensils.
Throwing the food.
Why add one more thing to potentially throw? To have to discipline them for?
My goal in mealtime is for it to be a fun time. A happy time. An enjoyable experience for us all.
So for our family, we put the baby’s food directly on their high chair try rather than on a plate or in a bowl!
I know there are suction plates and suction bowls and I’m just not a fan. I’ve tried them and have found that my children can still get them off the tray and feel like it’s just one more thing to clean that I’d rather not mess with.
Wipes, Wipes, Wipes
Yes, baby-led weaning is MESSY.
Your baby will get messy. Your kitchen will get messy. YOU will also probably get messy!
Baby wipes are your very best buddy when it comes to cleaning up.
Depending on how messy things get I pull my baby’s high chair over to the sink and do a lot of clean-up right there and use baby wipes for my final wipe down of everything 🙂
My recommendation is to get a cute wipes storage case to keep sitting out on your kitchen counter for easy and quick access.
I also recommend buying the cheapest wipes you can find that still work well for you. Once you find one you like, buy them in bulk!
As far as the best wipes go, I tend to really like these wipes from Target.
Target often has baby deals so I stock up frequently!
Baby Led Weaning Supplies: Floor Mat
My mother in law is hardcore about putting something under the high chairs at her house when feeding the babies.
And it’s smart to have a BLW mat. It really does keep the floors from getting messy and makes clean-up much faster after a messier meal!
I tend not to use one on an everyday basis. I like to be able to move our high chair around the room.
Sometimes my baby eats in the kitchen, sometimes next to the dinner table. It all just depends on where everyone else is sitting and what’s going on.
So I just deal with the floor messes as they come!
When I DO use a floor mat under the high chair I have really found this one to get the job done nicely.
I also use it as a splat mat whenever my kids have art projects they are working on!
Best Items for Feeding on the Go
A beautiful benefit of baby-led weaning is that it allows you to travel and eat out easily with your baby!
They can eat what you eat and there isn’t a need to pack certain baby food items for them.
When it comes to traveling I have several favorite baby led weaning accessories!
Travel High Chair:
My favorite travel high chair I actually bought from a yard sale and have since ordered several of them for friends.
I also love that it does NOT attach to a table. It stands on its own.
We’ve owned some of those travel seats that attach to a table and it can be an issue when vacationing. It often won’t work with the table at the location and can make things tricky.
This is a great travel high chair and super easy to clean:
Silicone Suction Placemat:
I love how easy it is to roll up for transporting and how it suctions to the tables at restaurants.
When we eat out we can just wipe it down and then put it in the dishwasher when we get home and it cleans up great!
High Chair Cover:
Often eating out means some pretty icky high chair options.
I love having an easy high chair cover to put over the restaurant ones!
We try to stall our babies to wait until OUR food arrives before we feed THEM so that way we can all enjoy our meal.
Having toys to keep them happily distracted is genius in order to help them hold off from eating.
Of course the high chair cover also doubles as a shopping cart cover for those grocery story visits too!