A quick post on the items that I have found essential to baby-led weaning.
- Ikea Antilop highchair – I see this recommended time and time again on parenting forums and baby-led weaning Facebook groups. It’s acclaim is well-deserved in my opinion. It is easy to clean as it’s just a plastic seat and tray (no silly fabric padding etc) and it comes apart so you can chuck it in the dishwasher (without the legs). For Seth, we used the additional inflatable insert as he didn’t sit unaided until 7.5 months and even then, was still wobbly, so this gave him extra support. For Max, we ditched it after a couple of weeks as he’s been reliably sitting from 26 weeks.
- Tesco weaning spoons – I know a lot of people favour the Tommy Tippee ones but they just don’t work for me. I’ve used them with the boys and they just seem too big for their mouths. Weird. I picked up these long weaning spoons in Tesco and they are much smaller, although with a longer handle which neither of the boys have struggled with. We do pre-loaded spoons a lot. Seth moved on to normal teaspoons at around a year so we don’t use them for long. (the website says that they are no longer available but I’ve definitely seen them in store recently so hopefully that’s just an online issue).
- Sainsbury’s shower curtains – yes, a shower curtain. A proper splash mat can set you back £5-£10 but a Sainsbury’s shower curtain from their Basics range is £2.50. It’s huge, so cut it in half and you’ve got yourself two splash mats costing £1.25 each. We shake excess food off and wipe down in between meals and then chuck in the washing machine as necessary. Simple.
- Bibs – you NEED a decent long-sleeved bib with baby-led weaning, no two ways about it. I bought cheap ones from supermarkets initially and they were fine but the velcro at the back of the neck curled and lots it’s stick quite quickly (I used food bag clips to do them up now as the bib itself is still fine) but the Mothercare ones I bought have lasted much better. We recently got some from Ikea which I really like but they’re huge on Max and not elasticated at the cuffs (like the Mothercare ones) so we just use them for Seth at the moment.
- Sippy cup – the boys are always offered water with their meals and I’m keen that whatever cup they use is free-flowing. The cheapy Tommy Tippee one works just fine. I’ve found that the trick is to actually fill it up a lot to make it easier for them to get some out. When I filled it with just a little water (to keep it light), they couldn’t get the hang of tilting it enough to get any out. If it’s filled almost to the top, they can still lift it but they don’t need to tilt it anywhere near the same to get some out so it’s actually easier for them.
- Cloths – I used baby wipes for a while for clean ups but it’s sooooo wasteful. We use cloth nappies and cloth wipes for bums in this house so I decided to go the washable route for hands and faces too. At first, I cut up old flannels for them and they worked fine but I don’t own a sewing machine and couldn’t be bothered to hem them even if I did. I saw a recommendation online for Poundland baby wash cloths and they’re great! You get 6 for £1, they’ve been in use for over a year and still look fine and they are so thin that they come out of the washing machine practically dry! Seriously, even if you don’t do the whole cloth bum thing, look in to buying these.
Has anyone got any other great buys for making life easier when baby-led weaning? I’d love to hear them!