Highchairs, Bibs and cutlery
I used the Tommee Tippee spoons, starting with the 4m+ spoons that were really rubbery and super bendy. I liked these ones because they weren’t stiff at all so if he really clamped down it wouldn't hurt his gums in anyway it would just bend flat. They also have a really long handle so are great for learning how to hold a spoon and for passing over. I think a good trick is to have two spoons per meal so that you can entice them to drop the first spoon by holding another spoon full. This makes meal times more pleasant as you aren’t snatching spoons out their hand the whole time and theres less chance of them flailing the spoon around which will lead to it being dropped (ie. less mess) as the spoons are in constant flow. We then moved to the 7m+ spoons once he had mastered using a spoon. (NHS expect children to be able to independently use a spoon by 2 years old). At 8 months we’ve now recently started using a fork and he’s taken a few mouthfuls so far from it! I wanted to wait until I knew he knew what he was doing and wasn’t going to ram it in his mouth and hurt himself!
For bibs I love the Tommee Tippee learning bibs as they have a huge lip to catch food that drops. I only recently found it and it has been amazing at saving the spillages on his trousers! Saves a WHOLE outfit change… I also like the £3 Sainsbury’s fabric bibs for meals like Spaghetti Bolognese or something you know is going to make a huge mess so you can just throw it in the washing machine afterwards!
We have the IKEA Antilop highchair which for us has been perfect. It comes with straps but it is advised for BLW not to use straps incase of emergency and you need to get the baby out the highchair to give them back blows if they are choking! Its really easy to clean, the tray comes off and fits in the sink perfectly and then I use one of those amazing scrubbing brushes that your pour the fairy liquid down the handle! I make sure I wash it as soon as we’re finished as not only does that obviously avoid mess but it’s easier to clean when liquids are wet rather than dried and stuck to the chair. I read about the chair not being perfect as it doesn't have a foot support, so babies can have the blood rush to their toes and can get fussy because they’re uncomfortable so I tie a muslin around the front two legs to create a little ledge for him to rest on. We bought the highchair with the cushion that comes with and it has been perfect but found it really frustrating to clean as it’s fabric and isn’t that convenient to keep putting in the wash. Luckily, I saw a really great hack online that said sellotape sandwich bags on the arms of the cushion so that it can be a wipe-clean job! Now that his legs are bigger he doesn’t need the sides of the cushions to wedge him in, so I put the cushion upside down so that he can still use the back of the cushion to prevent him from hitting his head on the back of the chair if he launches himself back!
We have wooden flooring which has made the mess and clean up a lot more bearable but if you have carpet a great hack I’ve read about is to buy a shower curtain and put it under the highchair for easy wipe clean or spray down outside job. The mess was something in the early days that was so outrageous but I knew this was the fastest way for him to learn and to just relax about it. I didn’t feed him meals in public for a long time as he was so messy! And also didn’t bother making anything with my heart and soul as I knew it would just end up on the floor. He now still makes a little bit of mess which is expected but the way he eats is so fascinating and amazing the way he has improved it has all been totally worth it!
My favourite meals are the Annabel Karmel oven/microwave ones (I always oven cook as they come out nicer). They are great portion sizes and also a great place to start as there’s lots of meals that have a mash potato topping or a sauce which aren’t too lumpy if you're nervous about big chunks. I also like the ‘Little dish’ toddler meals. I use these as part of a meal alongside vegetables if I haven't cooked something for myself that I would want to give him. For me, I eat a lot of bread - I’m happy to have two slices of toast for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, but it’s advised to not have more than two pieces for little ones so these meals are a great way of him getting a good lunch while I just have a sandwich!
Oscars first foods: Grapefruit, Melon, Spaghetti, Banana, Baby Sweetcorn, Cantaloupe, Porridge, Breadsticks and Philadelphia, Watermelon, Corn on the cob, Crusty white bread, Orange, Strawberries, Greek Yoghurt, Bagel, Broccoli...
Head over to my Pinterest page to have a look at the BLW recipes I've pinned! My favourite has to be the Banana and Blueberry oat muffins as they are SO easy to make, healthy and easy for babe to eat. (this is my third batch and I added strawberries... don't add strawberries! Stick to the recipe!! http://www.wingsandroots.co.uk/sugar-free-blueberry-banana-and-oat-muffins/ )
These are great to cook in bulk. I have to admit it does look impressive but I could not have cooked all this without my parents both watching Oscar while I was destroying their kitchen for four hours! I was brand new to all the recipes so could probably half that time next time!
A great reason to choose BLW is how easy it is to simply make what you're making and feed it to your baby! Here are a few ideas of meals I've eaten over the past few weeks and how I've made a smaller portion and cut into fingers for Oscar!
Some quick and easy favourites...
Baby led weaning for us has been so much fun and it's incredible to watch how Oscar now eats. I hope this post has been some help as it can be a little daunting! Watch out for salt content, a baby can have 1g of salt a day so when buying readymeals just check the salt content is 0.0.... and you should be fine! I have tried the microwave meals that are in the baby food aisle and they are all a bit watery and truthfully if I wouldn't eat it I wouldn't give it to Oscar! The frozen meals are really tasty! Since we also got the blood test results back I have been giving Oscar spinach, apple and broccoli purees cold just served like I would yoghurt so that I know he's getting plenty of iron in his diet. I don't think purees are anything to be feared or looked down upon as I originally thought and if you're worried about intake it doesn't mean you can't do BLW.