Weaning Essentials and Baby Led Weaning Products for a Mess-Free and Easy Weaning Journey!
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When the time comes to start weaning your baby it can be really exciting! But it can also be incredibly overwhelming knowing where to start and what to buy. There’s so many different plates, bowls, spoons, books on the market and WHAT ABOUT THE MESS?!?!
We had our son nearly 9 months ago and have been weaning for a few months now (alongside our breastfeeding journey) and we are well in the swing of things. I love it, my son loves it and honestly mealtimes are one of the highlights of my day.
So I’ve put together a list of my weaning essentials to hopefully help you kick start your weaning journey…as mess-free and stress-free as possible! Here are some of my top rated products and the clever inventions I’ve found that have helped make our baby led weaning journey a successful and very fun one.
I’ve also put together a little condensed list of the absolute basic bits that I recommend you start with in the blue box at the bottom of this post if you just wanted to skip to that!
Prefer to Watch?
Take a look at my Baby Led Weaning Essentials Video on Youtube
Baby Led Weaning Essentials:
Reducing The Mess!
If you’re going to buy one thing for your weaning journey from this list, make it a Bibado…or two!
These are the only bibs that even come close to containing the mess baby led weaning brings and they have saved multiple outfits for us. They are basically a giant coverall bib that goes over your baby from the front (like a gown you wear at the hairdressers!) and attaches round the tray of your highchair to make a barrier between baby and food!
No more food tumbling into laps, no more messy spills down the front of that cute little outfit. Everything just catches in the Bibado and can be whipped away at the end mess free. They have a load of designs and their new bibs come with poppers at the neck which make them so much easier. The strap can also stretch a long way and be adjusted so it will wrap around any high chair and you can buy short or long sleeves depending on your preference.
Honestly, these are HANDS DOWN the best weaning product I’ve found and I have a nice stash at home now so there’s always a fresh Bibado on hand. At the end of the day I simply chuck them in the wash and hang up to dry and they’re ready to go again the next day – but having a few really does make life a lot easier.
Check out the Bibado range here
…and grab 20% off your order with my code XAMELIAX
Microfibre Cloths – we don’t use wipes for food clean-up as there is a LOT of mess in this house! So a pack of soft and absorbent microfibre cloths do the job perfectly. Again I just use one at each mealtime throughout the day and throw them all in the wash with our bibs at the end ready for tomorrow.
BLW Plates & Bowls
Plates and bowls are another big one and there is SO much choice! They all have their pros and cons and honestly you could easily get away with serving a lot of food straight on the high chair tray. But my personal favourite are bamboo suction plates for weaning. The OG in BLW plates! Although they’re harder to clean as they have to be done by hand, they don’t leave that rubbery taste you can sometimes get over time with silicone, there’s loads of different shapes and sizes…and they look adorable!
I’ve tried bamboo blw plates from a few places and these are my favourites:
Nohla – That adorable Lion Plate in my photos is from here and for me they are the best I’ve tried. The finish is beautiful, they wash REALLY well and the suction is great.
If you’re looking for some more affordable bamboo plates (some of them are PRICEY!) then these from Tiny Dining are fab. I’ve found the suction isn’t as good as Nohla, but they still stick well and they have some great bundles with different shapes and sizes to choose from.
Hands down the best baby led weaning bowl I’ve found is this one from Bibado. It’s perfectly designed as it sits low to the tray so baby can see into it (some of them are really high sided) and it’s also a long shape which helps with scooping. The suction is also crazy strong on this – it gets stuck to everything! Really well designed product, love it. (Again don’t forget you can get 20% off with code XAMELIAX)
Sectional or Open Plate?
You can do your own research on that one but in short, having a mix of both is handy. I find I tend to reach for the more open plates a lot of the time and just contain runnier items like yoghurt or the sweeter things in the smaller sections. But honestly? It all just gets mushed together anyway…this boy is not afraid of some weird and wonderful taste combos!
Baby Led Weaning Essentials:
Weaning Spoons & Cutlery
Our cutlery drawer these days is just half baby spoons and forks in all shapes and sizes! And honestly again with this one it’s just a ‘try them and see’ approach. Your baby might show a preference for one or change their mind further down the line, but these are a few I’ve found to be quite useful.
Short baby led weaning spoon: This one I would say is a favourite in this house. It’s just the perfect size for baby hands and it has a stopper at the end to prevent them from shoving it in too far and gagging (happens a lot!). A brilliant starter spoon.
The Double Ended Dippit Spoon: Another great product from Bibado here with their dippit spoon. Spoon on one end and dipping tool on the other for wetter foods. It’s oval handle design makes it super easy to pick up and I like the fact that the spoon itself is small and thin which makes it the perfect size and allows for more precision I think. Really like this one.
Another handy spoon for baby led weaning is this slotted spoon. It’s really helpful for wetter foods like soup, purees and yoghurt as it ‘holds’ the food if it’s tipped up. With a normal spoon your food is going to slid off unless you hold it perfectly level…which most babies can’t do straight away! This one holds onto some of that food in it’s holes which enables some to still reach it’s destination! They’re also double ended so again no matter which way you pick it up, you’ll probably still be able to get some food from it.
And last but not least we have this clever attachable cutlery that clips onto the sleeves of your Bibado so when your tiny human discovers they can throw things, they don’t end up on the floor!
We gave little man a spoon to hold and play with from about 4 months and he just learnt to put it in his mouth and curl his adorable fingers around it. I think that helped when weaning came around as he was already used to the feel of holding cutlery….even if he hasn’t quite mastered scooping yet and prefers to mostly just go hands (or face!) first! Gotta love him.
Baby Led Weaning Essentials:
Best Weaning Cups for Baby
The next big thing is finding the right cup to help transition from teated bottles and teach them how to drink from both a straw and an open cup.
The NHS recommends drinking from an open cup which is it’s a tricky skill to master! But this clever invention makes learning a breeze! Their dinky cup is a tiny little open cup that’s weighted at the bottom to avoid big spills, has knobbly sides to help grip and is the perfect size for little hands. It holds just 50ml which means when it inevitably gets completely poured down their front, it’s not a huge amount…and your Bibado will catch it all anyway! It’s just the perfect product and I really rate it.
Our favourite straw cup is this one from TumTum Tots. It has a flip top lid which makes it handy to carry around and the bottom of the straw inside the beaker is weighted so no matter which way it’s held, it can always suck up the liquid! Another genius invention. This is blooming fab, we have two. It’s adorable as well which gets an extra point!
Baby Led Weaning Essentials:
I’m not really sure what to call these – Fruit feeders? Dummy feeders? Teething Lollies? But they’re basically holders for harder to eat things and can also help relieve teething pain.
This Dummy Fruit Feeder is something we use every single day for fruits and veggies that can be a choking risk at this age but we still want to enjoy the taste of. Simply chop up the fruit and place inside the teat which has little holes in to enable your baby to chomp down and suck out the flavour safely! I think you can also freeze them with things inside to help with teething but for that I have a better solution…
These little Teething Ice Lolly Moulds are just amazing for giving a little frozen treat but also for relieving teething pain. I put breastmilk in them or make little smashed fruit yoghurt ones.
Both are the perfect size for tiny hands and are so SO useful.
Helpful Kitchen Items for Baby Led Weaning
Tupperware. Tupperware. Tupperware.
Your fridge is about to be full of these tiny little pots with leftover food! They’re perfect though – just the right size and easily stackable. Buy two packs, trust me, you will use them all!
I also found silicone Ice Cube Trays super useful especially at the start of our weaning journey. Any leftover purees put them in here and when they’re frozen, pop them out and put into a freezer bag for an easy to grab (and quick to defrost) shot of veggie goodness! I do this a lot with spinach for omelettes and the veggies we don’t cook a lot of but I still want him to eat (like blended kale, swede, parsnip etc).
Something I forgot to mention in my video above is a BLW Mat or splash mat as they’re sometimes called. Look, it’s not going to catch everything – these babies have got some launch power! But it can help to contain things a little especially if you have a non-wipeable floor. Also handy for crafty/paint projects in the future too.
Also handy is this crinkle vegetable cutter for making slippy foods like avocado, mango etc a lot easier to pick up. So simple but actually really helpful!
Baby Led Weaning…On The Go!
You’re not always going to be at home when your little one needs to eat so here are a few items I use when I need to pack up and do the whole BLW thing on the go!
A suction bowl with a lid like the one above from TumTum Tots. Super handy to pop your food in, cover it up and transport it, and then it can be used as your bowl/plate when you arrive.
However if you’re looking for a real all in one solution, let me introduce you to this GENIUS invention from EasyTots…
I bought it to use on holiday and it’s blooming brilliant! It’s a suction plate with a lid so you can put your food inside, take it where it needs to go and then simply remove the lid and eat! The suction is really good too. It comes with it’s own waterproof bag so you can fold everything up and slip it back inside when you’re done to clean up at home. As you can see ours has had a lot of use!
A small cool bag with compartments – we have this one. It’s perfect for carrying a lunch for one and all the paraphernalia that comes along with it like your Bib, spoons, wipes etc. Both sections are insulated so with a slim little ice block you can keep things cool and it wipes clean easily once you’ve put a dirty bib back in there. Stylish too…bonus points.
Baby Led Weaning Books I Recommend
And last but not least in my weaning essentials list – some books! I don’t tend to use recipe books for us as I get our food recipes from all over the place. But having a dedicated baby led weaning recipe book that you can just grab off the shelf and sift through is very handy…because you run out of ideas real quick! Here’s the two I rate the most…
How to Wean Your Baby: This book gives you a sample first 30 days of introducing food to your baby and it was invaluable to me when I started and felt completely overwhelmed with what to do first. It walks you step by step through introducing some first taste foods and the major allergens and it also has a load of easy to follow (and tasty) recipes in there too. I recommend it to everyone starting baby led weaning. Fab.
The other baby led weaning book I like is What Mummy Makes. There’s loads of tasty recipes in here that you can make for the whole family but that are baby friendly so you don’t have to cook twice. As with all totally baby safe food some things can be a little bland. But we just add a bit of extra spice and salt to our portions and you’re good to go. This is a fab second book once you’ve got to grips with weaning in the first instance.
Baby Led Weaning First Steps Shopping List:
The weaning products I recommend to kick start your baby led weaning journey
So there you have it, my weaning essentials from one parent to another! Hopefully this has been helpful in some way and made these first steps along your weaning journey a bit easier.
I share a lot of my baby’s food on Instagram – so if you’d like some BLW ideas and inspiration then you can find me over @xameliax!