SLIDER

Our Baby Led Weaning essentials


As you'll know if you've read my blog over the past few months, we've ventured into the world of Baby Led Weaning (BLW) and with that comes the need for a few essential items. I thought it'd be good to share with you what our must have items have been in the past 5 months; maybe if you're planning on doing BLW you might want to add them to your shopping list.

One of the benefits of BLW is that you really don't need to prepare food specially for the baby; they eat what you eat. In my opinion (and BLW guidelines) there's no need for pureeing machines, net feeders, pouches and all the other gadgets companies have designed to make you think you need them. But, that being said.. there are some handy items that make meal times a little easier (and less messy!)


Plates and utensils

Nuby suction plates- We've got two of these plates and they work wonders! The suction is tough enough to keep Aria from throwing her plate across the floor and they are a good size to hold a full meal. The only down side is that they do keep the food warm in them so I usually cool her food down on a normal plate then transfer to this once its okay for little hands to get stuck into.

Ikea Borja spoon set- Although spoon use is still rare the shorter spoon in this pack is perfect for little hands; Aria practices using it with her yogurt and is kind of getting there.. but thats to be expected as she's only 11 months!

Ikea Kalas children bowls- We find these bowls handy to have in the kitchen for heating food up in the microwave,serving up yogurt and fruit in and we sometimes use them for finger painting too. Cheap, easy to clean and just the right size for her.



Kitchen prep bits

Lolly moulds- We always have lollies made up in the freezer for quick puddings; I make ours with greek yogurt and any fruit we have in the house at the time. Usually strawberries and blueberries. Aria tends to get frustrated trying to break bits off the lolly so I cut the frozen yogurt off the mould and she then picks up the pieces instead of licking it.

Muffin moulds- Perfect for making mini egg muffins in to take out for snacks. I find the silicone ones best as I don't need to grease them before hand and the muffins pop out without any chance of them sticking to the tray like they do when I use normal muffin tins.


Bibs
Ikea Kladdig bib- Cheap and does the job.. but we found that the Ikea bibs did get a bit smelly after about a month or so of being washed and wiped down so we tend to use this one just for when we are eating out as it means it doesn't get used as much.
Close pop in cover all bib- We bought this recently and as well as it being pretty it keeps her clothes clean, stays on well with poppers rather than tie ups and is easy to wipe off. It also washes well and we're yet to notice it smelling iffy like the Ikea ones do.


Highchair

Ikea Antilop- I joined a BLW Facebook group and everyone was raving about the ikea highchair so thought we should get one..although we love that it has the tray and can be dismantled easily for trips away we find it a bit of a faff to clean so we bought a second highchair for using at home; the Roba Sit up III.

I like the Roba Sit Up as it has a footrest, pulls right up to the table and has the second level down so if Aria drops her beloved watermelon its usually caught on this bit and I can rescue it for her!



Cleaning stuff

Vital Baby sanitising water- This stuff is perfect for the messy clean up's after each meal.. its basically water with an added natural acid that is completely safe to use on skin from birth. I usually spray a bit of this on a cloth or baby wipe and then go in for the cleaning attack. Aria HATES getting cleaned up after each meal and cries every time but using this water helps to speed the process up a bit and get the ordeal over and done with! The sanitising water can also be used to clean toys too.. when I get round to it.

Vax Blade Cordless vaccuum cleaner  - I was sent this vacuum cleaner a few months ago to do an independent review for a website... it came just at the right time really as it means we can quickly clean up after dinner without having to haul the big hoover out of the cupboard. Its wireless making it easy to manoeuvre around the highchair and under the table and it keeps its charge for around 45 minutes so if I have the chance during the day I run it around the kitchen floor after cooking too.

Method anti-bac spray- I mainly use this to clean the table before and after each meal time so Aria can eat bits off the table if she decides to fling her plate on the floor.  Method products are formulated from naturally derived ingredients and although a little more expensive than the usual big brands you see in supermarkets they seem to last a lot longer.

Bio-D laundry clothing bleach- A must have in my opinion.. I quite often fear an outfit is ruined after dinner only to put it in the wash with our non bio tablet and 2 teaspoons of this powder and the stains disappear. One box of this powder has lasted us about 5 months and its only £2.50 per box.

Aldi Mamia Fragrance free wipes- We tend to use wipes to clean Aria up after mealtimes so we do get through a lot of these each month. But they are cheap, fragrance free and gentle on her skin so they work for us. I'm trying to move more towards producing less rubbish from our household though so although I've put these as an essential you could just use a cloth instead.


Cups

Tommee Tippee sippy cups- Aria has been using these sip cups since 6 months and finds them easy to handle and we find them handy for taking in pack lunch boxes as you can fold the spout down. The only downside is that she loves turning them upside down for her own little bit of water play at the table and quite often soaks herself! The sippy cups are cheap (around £2.50) easy to clean and suitable from 6 months.
Munchkin Miracle 360 cup- We use this cup mainly when we are out with the pram as it means she can't chuck water all over herself like she does when using the Tommee Tippee ones.




Lunch boxes

A couple of times a week we'll either head out to the park or go to friends houses and take snacks or sandwiches along with us; I find it really handy having a small cool bag with an icepack ( we got this Fit-Fresh bag from Tk Maxx) and lunch box to pack up with fruit and snacks for the babe. I like this Sistema box we picked up in TK Maxx a couple of months ago as it has different sections; in the large compartment at the bottom I put sarnies then in the smaller sections on the top I put watermelon, breadsticks and grated carrot.

So, there you have it.. not a ton of stuff but some great products that have helped us get through mealtimes without tears and too much mess. I'm sure as time goes by I'll be able to add to our essentials list and hopefully the clean up process will get easier too!

What are your top BLW essentials?

XOXO

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