Getting started with baby-led weaning? Find out the best baby led weaning supplies to help you get started with solids foods, the baby-led weaning way.
Baby-led weaning (BLW) is a way to feed your baby that has gained momentum and popularity over the last several years. This method skips the baby purees and goes straight to table food. Many parents have seen the benefits of baby-led weaning.
Sure, there are pros and cons to both methods and I’ve highlighted those in my Baby-led Weaning vs purees post.
We personally loved BLW when introducing solids to our daughter. I’ve asked my friend Heather, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, to help me come up with the baby-led weaning supplies you must have when starting out with baby-led weaning.
When starting to feed your baby solid foods, you may realize that there are numerous amounts of feeding supplies on the market. How can something so little need so many things? Let’s talk about what you really need to start feeding your baby.
What is Needed for Baby-Led Weaning?
The great thing about baby-led weaning is that you really don’t need that many supplies in order to use this method of feeding. The real essentials include a highchair and age appropriate foods.
However, there are some items that will make feeding your baby easier and more convenient. These include:
- Bowls and plates
I’ll share my favorites for each of these categories below.
Baby-Led Weaning High Chair
Choking is one of the main concerns many parents have when starting baby-led weaning.
Having the right highchair is so important to make sure your baby is properly supported and has less risk of choking.
There are some key features that you want to have with a highchair. The best highchairs for baby-led weaning will include:
Make sure the high chair has a backrest that allows baby to sit at a 90° angle. This allows your baby to sit upright. We don’t want babies to be leaning backward while trying to eat.
You want your baby to be able to rest their feet so he has stability while he eats.
Fits at the Dinner Table
Get a highchair that you can pull right up to the dinner table in order to include your baby as part of the family meal.
Grows with your Child
This is not a must, but it is nice to have a highchair that can transition as your child grows.
Best Baby Utensils for Baby-Led Weaning
It’s so helpful to have a few baby utensils ready when your infant starts eating solids.
Infant utensils are great when they are the appropriate size relative to your baby’s hands, easy to grasp, and will enable food to stay put (especially before your baby has developed the finer motor skills for utensil use).
Here are some of my favorite baby utensils for baby-led weaning.
These spoons and forks are great because they are small and chunky, which make it easy for little hands to grasp.
They come with the shield that prevents your baby from choking on the utensil by accidentally shoving it too far into their mouth. These utensils are available in plastic or silicone.
These are similar to the Grabease design, but have a smaller scoop on the spoon. These are a less expensive alternative that could work great as well.
These utensils are soft and flexible and have a spoon design with open holes on the scoop of the spoon to help thicker purees and mixture stay attached to the spoon.
This is so nice for your baby to start feeding themself oatmeal and not have the food fling all over the house!
When Should I Introduce Utensils to Baby with BLW?
Infants can be given utensils to use as soon as you start baby-led weaning. However, most 6 month old babies will not be skilled at using utensils to scoop food to their mouth, but they could grasp and hold a pre-loaded spoon and learn to make its way to their mouth eventually.
By 10-12 months, most babies will independently use utensils to feed themselves. But before this age, feel free to encourage utensil use with the pre-loaded spoon.
It’s helpful to have foods that won’t easily slide off the spoon. See the baby-led weaning first foods we recommend.
Best Bibs for Baby-Led Weaning
Bibs are a must have in my opinion because baby-led weaning can get very messy.
In the early days of baby-led weaning, I would often strip my baby down to her diaper for super easy clean up. But this is not always practical. There are two categories of bibs that I have recommendations for: silicone and fabric or waterproof bibs.
Silicone bibs are helpful as they are super easy to clean off, and they catch some of the mess with their built in pocket. However, they can be heavy and get in the way of the baby eating. For the best silicone bibs try:
Mushie—These bibs are soft and easy to clean. They are high-quality and don’t irritate baby’s skin.
Happy Healthy Parent Silicone Bibs—These are very similar to the Mushie bibs and come in bright colors.
OXO Tot Roll Up Bib—This bib is like a hybrid between a plastic waterproof fabric on top with a silicone pocket at the bottom. It still makes for easy clean up and is perhaps easier to clasp around your baby’s neck and not as heavy as the 100% silicone bibs.
For non-silicone bibs, I look for ones that are waterproof and can be easily washed. Try these bibs for ease:
Bapron Bibs—Waterproof bib that can be washed off, dried, and reused the same day. These bibs are great as they tie around the back so your infant or toddler can’t pull it off!
This bib is also longer than the typical bib, so it will grow with your child. It would make a great apron when helping cook or bake in the kitchen. They also have the cutest designs, which may be one of the main reasons I love them!
Bumkins Sleeved Bib—These bibs are so nice because they offer the option of full coverage of your baby’s chest and arms, with long sleeves! They easily wash off and clean. And they come with a catch pocket at the bottom of the bib as well.
What Plates are Best for Baby-Led Weaning?
When my husband and I were using baby-led weaning to feed our daughter, we would often put her food directly on her highchair tray. Eventually, it made sense to introduce using a plate during meal times.
I love using plates and bowls that stick to the highchair tray or table. This is especially nice when first starting to use them. This saves me from trying to catch thrown plates and bowls during every meal time.
Here’s some of my favorite plate sets:
These plates have a strong suction that keeps them attached to the highchair tray or table during meal times. The silicone makes them easy to clean but they can also go in the freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher!
These plates are adorable, designed in cute animal shapes (they also have plain options too)! They stick to smooth surfaces and offer flexible and soft silicone for less mess and no breaking.
For a more inexpensive option, these plates and bowls offer similar suction and a nice hard side for easy scooping for little hands.
You can make feeding your baby beneficial and fun with baby-led weaning. There is no one perfect way to do baby-led weaning. Remember, you do not need to have the perfect baby-led weaning supplies for your baby’s love of food to grow!
Do you have other products that you have loved? Share your favorite baby-led weaning supplies with us in the comments below and I can add them to this list.