What is baby-led weaning?
Weaning your baby onto solids can be an exciting and daunting time in equal measures. There are two main methods of weaning: parent led which is predominantly spoon feeding baby mashed and puréed food for baby to swallow and then baby led which involves your baby choosing, handling, sucking and chewing various food items. At around 6 months your baby may start to reach out for food- 6 months is also the age that mothers are encouraged to begin weaning. By six months old, your little one will developmentally be able to feed themselves. So if having your baby eat with you: at the same time, round the table and eating the same food then baby-led weaning will work well for you and your little one. It can be confusing and messy so we’ve but together 10 items that we think will help support you and your family through the baby-led weaning process.
For tips on which foods are great for first time baby weaners click here
10 Essential Items to Make Baby-Led Weaning Easier For Mum and Baby
If you do decide to try baby-led weaning you’ll likely be overwhelmed with information, advice, ideas and recipes from websites, social media and your mum friends. The volume of support may be handy a few months down the line but initially getting yourself a guidebook can help to focus on the facts and key information surrounding baby-led weaning. With Annabel Karmel’s book on Weaning you’ll be receiving guidance from the best selling baby and child nutrition author. Kernel gives advice on when to start, what foods to start with and how to prepare foods safely for your baby. The book also contains over 60 recipes and 4 nutritionally balanced meal planners.
A highchair is always going to be needed no matter how you wean your baby. Experts advise that before you start weaning- have your baby join you round the table at mealtimes to familiarise them with process and allow them to see your enjoyment whilst eating to help create healthy and positive connotations around eating food. This highchair is fabulous for such a process as it has a newborn seat then changes into a highchair meaning that your little one can join you safely around the table from day 1. The new-born element is suitable from birth up to 9 kg. Its backrest can be adjusted into lying position and the play arch can be used to entertain or removed to reduce stimulation. It also has a harness to keep your little one safe while you enjoy your meal. The highchair attachment is suitable from 6 months until your baby is 15kg. It’s comfy backrest and footrest can be adjusted along with the frame to ensure optimal comfort as your child grows and develops.
- Grow-along - this highchair is suitable right from birth thanks to its new-born attachment and later, the Highchair attachment with large tray can be used The large basket beneath, as well as the wheels are also very practical
- From 0 months - the new-born element is suitable From 0 months up to 9 kg Its backrest can be adjusted into lying position and the play arch turned aside or removed completel; for Safety, it comes with a three-point harness
- Highchair - the highchair attachment is suitable from 6 months up to 15 kg; its comfy backrest and footrest can be adjusted just like the food table with cup molding; the five-point harness helps keep your child safe
- Height-adjustable - the highchair's frame can be adjusted in six different heights, from 38 cm to 63 cm; this way, your little treasure will always be at eye-level, no matter at which table, Simply ingenious
3. Baby-led weaning plate
This baby-led weaning bamboo plate with suction base would be the perfect first plate for your little one. The bamboo material eliminates exposure to BPA whilst also being lightweight and stain resistant. The strong suction base reduce the risk of the whole plate of food being flipped over as your baby’s muscle coordination and depth perception develop. The different sections of the plate allow you to offer your little one a variety of foods and give them the choice of what to eat and when. The suction plate can easily be released once baby has finished their meal and can be removed altogether for when your toddler is ready to progress onto their next stage.
ALL NATURAL BAMBOO PLATE and food-grade silicone protect your child from BPA, phthalates and other toxins
POWERFUL SUCTION BASE grips the high chair tray or kiddie table to prevent spills, flips and throws
COOL-TOUCH bamboo deters burns to baby's delicate fingers if they reach out for it during feeding
REMOVABLE SUCTION BOTTOM lets you transition plates to regular use when your child outgrows them
4. Plastic mat
This suction plate helps to encourage independent feeding with less mess. The mats are really easy to clean and can even be put in the dishwasher which is ideal after a potentially messy dinner time! The mat contains 4 suction pads, one in each corner, which means they stick to all surfaces preventing food getting underneath the mat and onto your highchair or table. Like with bamboo plate, this mat is BPA free and contains sections to allow for a variety of foods to be presented to your little one. The mat has been designed for the popular Ikea Antilop highchair but can be used on other high chairs and surfaces.
- Perfect fit for Ikea Antilop High chair tray
- Suctions to the tray with 4 large strong suction cups. The perfect fit design means edges and rims are harder to pull by babies meaning its now even harder to throw plates to the floor.
- Contemporary Alpine Range colours
- 100% LFGB EU standard and tested silicone. BPA Free. Dishwasher and Oven Safe.
Baby-led weaning primarily involves using hands to explore the different textures and temperature of the food before taking it to (or at least near!) their mouths. However, the process of touching the different foods can sometimes be a barrier in baby-led weaning and that’s where this cutlery set may come in handy. If and when you feel ready to introduce cutlery to part of your little one’s feeding then the Grabease cutlery set is an excellent first choice. This set is one of the safest ways for babies and toddlers to start feeding: ergonomically designed, choke barriers and BPA free. The cutlery set is designed to give toddlers the opportunity to eat independently whilst also develop their finger strength development and helping to develop good eating habits and routines from day 1 of your weaning process.
- Excellent cutlery set of spoon and fork for babies & toddlers;
- Ergonomically designed handle - more natural self-feeding motion;
- Choke protection barrier safe for baby self-feeding to promote confidence in independent eating;
- Excellent first cutlery set for babies in their baby led weaning stage to toddler eating;
There are two main benefits of this miracle cup: firstly it reduces mess with its 360-degree drinking edge to eliminate spills completely and automatically seals when your little one stops feeding; secondly, the design supports your child’s dental development meaning it can be used as their first cup right through to when they are a toddler. The handles are easy for little hands to hold, it is easy to clean and comes in a variety of colours. A fabulous product to promote independent drinking at mealtimes.
- BPA free 2 pack toddler training cup with dentist-recommended, spoutless design
- 360-degree drinking edge eliminates spills completely
- Cup automatically seals when child stops drinking
- Handles are easy for little hands to hold
7. Reusable food storage bags
These snack bags are an excellent aid to healthy and fresh baby-led weaning outside the home. You could place veg sticks or fruit pieces into the packs or even distribute pre-made snacks such as cereal bars or crisps to limit and monitor portion control when weaning outside the house. These bags can be easily washed or placed in the dishwasher and used again the next day. They are an eco-friendly alternative to single use bags or cling film.
- BPA FREE, High Quality, strong snack pouches for kids, Dishwasher safe & Freezer safe
- Each bag measures 135mm x 120mm - the perfect size for a child snack portion and Baby led weaning finger foods like carrot sticks, apple slices etc
- The opening has a strong but easy to open zipper and a wide base so the pouch can stand up on it's own
- Fun design makes healthy snacks more fun, Great for toddler snacks, nursery snacks or school snacks. More convenient than snack pots - no lids to lose!
8. Long sleeve bib
Baby-led weaning will get messy! Sometimes you may embrace and even encourage the mess… most of the time you’ll want to make life easier with a stain resistant sleeved bib. The Snazzy Kid sleeved bibs look great and are completely waterproof which can easily be wiped clean and also machine washed. They are perfect for helping you to keep your baby clean and comfortable while they explore and enjoy their food. Unlike other bibs, these have long sleeves with elastic aged cuffs to help protect your little one’s clothes. As a little bonus, these bibs come with two milestone cards for those Instagram moments and a handy travel bag to aid baby weaning when out and about.
- This product comes with two baby milestone cards and a handy travel bag
- Our fabric is breathable, soft and lightweight so your child will not feel uncomfortable while wearing
- Specialist Stain and odor resistant material ,wipe clean, machine washable and hang dry
- Long sleeves with elasticated cuffs to protect clothing against stains and spills and front pocket to catch spills and crumbs for easy clean up
9. Floor mat
So we’ve established baby-led weaning will get messy but you can limit the mess without limiting your baby’s experience with new foods. This may can be placed under your baby’s highchair or feeding area to catch spills and dropped food items. The material is easy to wipe clean and the mat itself can be stored away quickly and easily. The mat can be cut to a smaller size if this suits you setup better. An excellent product to help keep dinnertimes a less messy experience.
- Floor mat ideal for placement under highchair
- Catches spills and dropped pieces of food
- Easy wipe clean surface
- Can be stored away quickly and easily
10. Progress Tracker
Tracker- a final product that you may want to invest in your weaning journey is the Tiddler and Nipper baby weaning journal. This lovely product is a wonderful way to help you track your baby’s transition from milk to solids. The journal helps you to stay organised and in control during this huge transition as you can also track your baby’s sleeping patterns and nappy changes as well as key milestones. Compact in size, you can take this journal with you to keep your notes throughout the day. The completed journal may bring reassurance and guidance for baby number two or even be kept as a detailed memento from your baby’s early days.
- Unique daily baby weaning journal, for tracking your little one's transition from milk to solids, as well as recording daily sleeping, nappy changing and expressing patterns, plus key milestones and achievements. Use the Tiddler Weaning Tracker to identify patterns and build routine... Stay organised and in control!
- Clever design and functional format help clearly divide activities into 6 key sections. Daily totals are simple to calculate and easy to record
- Date agnostic and designed to be used through the full weaning phase (e.g. 6 months +)
- 186 quality tracking pages in hardback binding and available in a variety of 7 stylish cover designs