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Recently updated on September 8th, 2023 at 08:16 am
It’s no secret that raising a baby is tough. One of the toughest parts, in my opinion, is feeding them. It can be exhausting to constantly make and carry around bottles of milk or formula for your little ones when they grow out of theirs at an alarming rate. The good news is that there are plenty of options out there to help you with this task!
Today we’re going to talk about one option in particular – Baby Led Weaning Equipment!
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) allows babies as young as six months old to explore their food through sight, smell, taste, and touch while developing motor skills at the same time. According to many studies, one of many benefits of BLW is to give infants a more varied diet.
How to start Baby-led weaning series
- How to start baby-led weaning? | Introduction to BLW
- 10 Benefits of Baby Led Weaning | Pros & Cons of BLW
- Baby-Led Weaning Essentials – products you really need (this one)
- Best First Foods for Baby Led Weaning
- 49 Easy Baby Led Weaning Recipes
- Baby-Led Weaning Essentials
- Baby Led Weaning Highchairs
- Bibs for baby-led weaning
- How to choose an ideal bib?
- Plates, bowls, or mats for baby-led weaning
- BLW Splat mat
- Utensils for baby-led weaning
- Tips for choosing baby cutlery
- BLW drinking cups
- Specifications to look for when looking for a drinking cup
- Best tools for cooking for baby-led weaning
- Steamers for BLW
- Fruit & Veggie Slicers
- Muffin tray
- Best BLW tools and equipment when going out or traveling
- Best books for baby-led weaning
- Wrapping things up
Baby-Led Weaning Essentials
I know how hard it can be to choose the right products, therefore, here’s a list of the baby-led weaning must-haves, in my opinion, that will make your life a lot easier.
- High chair – make sure your baby is safe and secure.
- Towels and washcloths for wiping hands and spills from faces, bodies, clothes, and tables.
- Bibs that will catch food particles without being too difficult to clean off when they’re covered in food. And make sure it has an easy fastener like velcro so it won’t fall apart while your child is eating.
- Plates, bowls, and mats – these are optional, especially for BLW, but if you are like me and don’t want to put food straight on the table, these can be very handy.
- Splat mat – is a must – it’ll protect your floors and cleaning after meals will be much easier.
- Drinking cups
- Baby cutlery
- Food steamer
- Fruit and veggie slicers
- Muffin tray
- Books for BLW
Baby Led Weaning Highchairs
Between the sleek, modern designs and those that will make you feel like a queen while your baby enjoys their mealtime—the decision to buy is not an easy one. The variety of options can be overwhelming at times; so much research goes into making sure it’s the right one for you! When considering what type of chair to purchase there are some things worth keeping in mind before taking action:
- price tags from $150-$400+,
- space requirements of 18-24″ wide by 24″ deep without side panels on upholstered chairs (check dimensions),
- table height,
- weight limit which is at least 20 pounds but adjustable depending on chair type;
- many options are rated for children aged 6 months+ or 3 years+.
- has it been recalled? Check out recalls at www.recalls.gov to see! If there has not been any activity with this product in 10 years or more chances are good for its safety.
- Does it come apart easily so the baby can be washed after messy meals and snacks? This is especially important if they’re eating lots of fruits and vegetables as these foods contain natural bugs which could lead to sicknesses such as Salmonella poisoning.
- easy to clean
- without too many cracks and crannies which will make the cleaning process a lot harder
- relatively easy to move around your home
- you might want to consider portability, and I know the Ikea one is popular for its portability
- safe for your baby – one that has 5 point harness – your child can’t fall out of the chair.
- it grows with your baby
Having all these in mind, here are some popular highchairs:
- Stokke Tripp Trapp
- Ikea Antilop High Chair
- Evenflo 4in1 Eat & Grow Convertible High Chair (similar to the Ikea one)
- Polly Progress from Chicco (this is the one we had and I wrote a review for it)
Bibs for baby-led weaning
You should know that when you do BLW, the food is messy and it will continually need a clean bib. So if you want to avoid having extra laundry on your hands, I would recommend preparing accordingly by bringing at least one or two with you in case of emergencies.
How to choose an ideal bib?
Bibs are a necessary item for any baby. How can you choose the perfect one?
The bib should be of good quality and fit comfortably around your child’s neck without being so tight that it restricts breathing or movement, but not too loose as to fall off easily either. A cloth-type material is best because plastic ones may hurt the skin if they become damp due to drool from feeding time or spit up after meals.
My recommendations for a BLW bib:
- long sleeve
- has a pocket to catch food
Related article: 10 Benefits of Baby Led Weaning | Pros & Cons of BLW
Plates, bowls, or mats for baby-led weaning
We had the Munchkin bowls (which I loved) and the silicone plates with suction, which we both loved and used daily. You won’t have to worry about any food spillage. Another alternative is a mat that comes with a built-in plate.
A few things to keep in mind when choosing your plates and bowls:
- have suction which will help avoid food spillage
- multiple dividers – especially for BLW – it’ll help you keep the portions low and diversified
- high walls that help the baby grab the food.
BLW Splat mat
With BLW having a splat mat underneath the high chair is a must! In those early days that sometimes turn into months, your child is exploring food, which means it can end up on floors. It’s easier to clean up and a fantastic way to protect your floors.
Utensils for baby-led weaning
You don’t necessarily need these from the very beginning of your baby-led weaning journey. However, it’s good to have some supplies at home just in case you need them. This silicone spoon & fork set is perfect for self-feeding.
Tips for choosing baby cutlery
- easy to grab and handle by tiny hands
- designed for self-feeding
BLW drinking cups
We tried quite a few drinking cups and bottles and didn’t find one that worked for us until I learned about the 360 cups from Munchkin. You could also consider introducing a straw, especially when offering soups.
Specifications to look for when looking for a drinking cup
- doesn’t spill
- easy to clean
- doesn’t have a lot of cracks and crannies which make the bottle difficult to clean thoroughly
- teaches your child how to drink – I feel like the 360 cups mimic this very well – it’s almost like you’re drinking from a regular cup, but has a lid on it to prevent spillages
- easy to grab and handle by little hands
Best tools for cooking for baby-led weaning
When it comes to baby-led weaning, the best thing is that you don’t have to batch cook or spend a lot of time pureeing food. We started traditional diversification with my son at around six months but transitioned to baby-led weaning when he was seven months. It’s been a massive switch for us. I was amazed at how simple it was to prepare food for him and how easy it was to eat out.
Steamers for BLW
Probably many of you may prefer an electric steamer, but I am an old-school gal and loved the traditional ones. I used two types, and I equally love and use them, depending on what I am preparing. If you want something simple, that won’t take too much space. This Stainless Steel Steamer is the perfect option. Alternatively, you could use a Steamer pot set, and we had something similar to this one.
Fruit & Veggie Slicers
I remember how much time I spent cutting food into thin slices for my son. Therefore I think a slicer will save you tons of time. Here’s one that works for cucumbers and carrots and one for apples, pears, and other fruits.
Another tool that’s very useful after a while is a muffin tray. I used to make my son omelet muffins with veggies, which is excellent for breakfast or snacks.
Best BLW tools and equipment when going out or traveling
Going out or traveling is A LOT easier with baby-led weaning. There’s no need to carry a lot of things with you, plus no pots with food that can easily be spilled all over your diaper bag.
Here are a few essentials when it comes to traveling when practicing BLW:
- silicone placemat – I love this because it’s foldable, easy to clean, and catches food – fantastic when traveling
- seat harness – it’s always a good idea to have one – you never know when you don’t find an available highchair wherever you go.
- wipes – another must-have, especially when going out or traveling. We love using these ones.
Best books for baby-led weaning
If you are just starting on the baby-led weaning journey, books and blogs are your best friend. I learned everything I know as I practiced it. Here’s a list of some of my favorite baby-led weaning books:
Wrapping things up
Thank you for reading! I hope this post was helpful in showing you some of my favorite and most used supplies to make BLW successful. If there are any other must-haves or preferences, please share them below so I can chat about them. I’d love to hear from you 🙂
Happy baby-led weaning!
Looking for traditional weaning equipment? Take a look here.