I shared about our baby led weaning journey and the what, why and how of baby led weaning here. I wasn’t sure what to expect with baby led weaning whenever I was registering so I had to basically start from scratch whenever the girls hit six months. Below is what we ended up using in our baby led weaning journey. I have also added some things that have served us well in the toddler years as we continue to foster independence with eating.
For our high chair we had Phil & Ted Lobster clip on high chairs, which we loved! We had them set up at our dining room table so that everyone can sit together around the table just as if the girls were sitting in a regular chair. The idea of the girls actively participating in family meals is very important to us and baby led weaning.
We also have two Summer Infant Pop & Go chairs, which are another baby item favorite for outdoor bbqs, eating over a friend’s house (even if yours are, not everyone’s tables are compatible with the clamp on high chairs) or camping.
Plan B would have been a Tripp Trapp chair, which are great for fostering independence because a toddler / older kid can climb into them themselves and sit at the table, but they also come with baby seat add-ons for the first year and a half. But at $250 they are a little pricey.
Instead, I found these simple Ingenuity booster seats on sale for $25 on Amazon for when the girls graduated from the lobster chairs at a year and a half. I like the modern, neutral look. We have stools throughout the house to help them climb up into the chairs/boosters among other things on their own (because they are shorties lol).
We serve meals to the girls on EZPZ Mini Mats set on the table just like our plates. I would suggest always offering a spoon or fork with your meal where appropriate. When there are certain foods that “need” a utensil to be eaten (I put need into quotation marks because my girls have perfected using their hands to eat everything including chili, yogurt and oatmeal), pre-load your spoon with the food and set it down in front of baby so that they have that stick to grasp. It’ll be awhile before they can use their fork or spoon appropriately, but always offering it and modeling it is the best place to start. At six months we started with these baby forks and spoons similar to these. They aren’t my favorite, but they served their purpose. By fifteen months the girls insisted on using our silverware.
The other big component of weaning is learning to drink from a cup. We have transitioned through several cups, which I will detail below:
MAM Starter Cups: We started with these cups at 6 months because their size makes it easy to teach babies to tip them.
Munckin 360 Cups: We transitioned to these cups at about 9 months once the girls could adequately tip the MAM starter cups. They are like regular cups except with a silicone top that only lets liquid out when lips are pressed on it. We have a mix between handled and non-handled ones. We started with handled and swapped to non-handled after they got the hang of them. Now We like that these are advertised as the dentist-approved option and help with transitioning to regular cups because that is what they mimic.
Stainless Steel Kids Cups: Our girls started using these at one and a half. I like these because I am trying to steer away from plastic, hence the stainless steel, but I like the silicone grippers for their small hands. They are also the perfect size for tiny hands. So far they have done really good with them! I credit the 360 cups with making the transition easier. They can tip and drink from them no problem and are learning to be careful about carrying them upright and setting them down gently.
Contigo Kids Water Bottles: We like these kids water bottles for long car trip, hikes, and outdoor activities. These are going to take a bit for your kiddo to figure out (like one and a half), but our girls still use them at three and a half anytime we go out somewhere.
The other thing that is extremely helpful with baby led weaning is full-sleeved bibs. We really liked the ones from Bumkins. Baby led weaning is very messy at first. Our girls became so good at eating with their hands that they shunned silverware for a while, which was quite a sight with the messier meals. At one and half our girls finally started using the silverware more than their hands, and we don’t have to worry about using these anymore.
Another think that Bumkins makes that is great for messiness, is a splat mat for under the table. This can save a lot of sweeping and mopping time!
Other than these items, you don’t really need anything else for baby led weaning. You literally give your baby what you are eating so you don’t need anything special to prepare or serve the food.
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