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Baby led weaning is an approach to food introduction that gives a baby the opportunity to learn to feed themselves.
Your baby will pick up and bring food to their own mouths, decide how much to eat, and decide when to stop. This process gives your child more independence at a younger age, and teaches them important skills they will have to learn later anyway.
Baby led weaning comes with loads of benefits, but it’s not always easy. It can be super messy, takes some serious patience, and it will require some food prep.
We’ve compiled the top list of baby led weaning products that make the process easier. The easier baby led weaning is for you and baby, the more likely you’ll stick with it so your child can enjoy the benefits.
While no baby led weaning products are necessarily required except for your baby and the right foods, these items will help make baby led weaning efficient and fun!
If you’re just getting started learning about baby led weaning, check out the Ultimate Guide to Baby Led Weaning to learn when to start, how it works, and what foods are best to work with.
Baby Led Weaning Benefits
- Saves time. Instead of making entirely different food just for baby, you can give them what you are eating with slight adjustments to make the food items safe in size and texture.
- Saves money. Baby led weaning is usually a cheaper approach to baby food. You can skip the expensive baby food products at the store and buy regular groceries instead.
- Gives parents freedom. Baby led weaning means you don’t have to be glued to baby spoon feeding them during meal times. Instead, you can multitask in the kitchen close by.
- Helps baby learn. This food introduction process helps baby with hand eye coordination, chewing skills, and dexterity.
- Creates less picky eaters. Many parents of baby led weaning kids report that they are less picky as they get older because they were exposed to a larger variety of foods at a young age.
- Promotes self regulation. Baby led weaning gives your child the control to eat as much, or as little as they want. They are bringing the food to their mouth, so there is no guessing how to feed them.
- Builds trust. Because baby has control of how much they want to eat, parents are forced to trust their child to learn recognize their own needs
- Leads to healthier weights. Like breastfeeding, baby is self regulating their intake. Some studies show that baby led weaning leads to healthier BMIs because parents are overfeeding their children without knowing when to stop.
- Makes eating fun. Baby led weaning creates an exciting learning environment for baby that makes mealtime fun. It’s easier to avoid dinnertime stress and negotiations if you trust your child to make the right decisions for themselves.
Baby Led Weaning Products
There are a plethora of baby led weaning products that will make your life easier. Teaching baby to feed themselves can be messy, and require a lot of patience.
These products will help keep you and baby happy throughout the baby led weaning process.
Baby Led Weaning Books
There are several baby led weaning books that may be helpful to read before you start. You don’t technically need any information you can’t find doing a quick search online (check out Baby Led Weaning: Beginner’s Guide for more info), but reading the original Baby Led Weaning book may help you understand the mentality behind the movement.
The original Baby Led Weaning book by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett covers the origin of the baby led weaning parenting phenomenon.
The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook gives you 130 recipes that are perfect for the whole family during food introduction phases.
And the Baby-Led Weaning Family Cookbook includes over 99 new recipes if you get bored with the original 130.
Baby Led Weaning Bibs
Another baby led weaning product that will make your journey easier is a large, non-fabric bib with pockets. Baby led weaning is messy. The more coverage you can give your kiddo, the easier it is to get them cleaned up. Non-fabric bibs make washing bibs easier and allow you to avoid a constant laundry cycle.
Getting a bib with a pouch, or pocket, at the bottom helps catch food that baby will most certainly drop. You can also regularly empty out the pouch back on to their tray to waste less food throughout meal time.
These Bumkin brand bibs are a super popular affordable option. They come in a variety of color schemes and patterns, and have a convenient pouch to catch falling food.
An alternative Bumpkin option is this similar style that offers a little more coverage with sleeves. Finding a bib with sleeves can help prevent staining on baby clothing.
If you really want to go crazy, you can get bibs that are a full blown shirt, like the Momloves waterproof bib, which comes in a variety of style options.
Bibs are one of the baby led weaning products you definitely don’t want to skip.
Baby Led Weaning Food Prep Tools
You should be able to prep any baby led weaning foods in the kitchen with utensils you already have, but again, this guide is about making things easier.
These baby led weaning food preparation tools will help you get foods ready and most importantly, safe, for baby.
This crinkle cutter will help you cut foods into the appropriate stick sizes while giving foods extra texture. A lot of foods can get slippery for baby to grab. Having the extra ridges will help them succeed faster and keep their frustration level low.
This cool OXO Tot Grape Cutter makes slicing hazardous foods like grapes and cherry tomatoes safe without having to painstakingly slicing each one individually.
Homemade fresh frozen popsicles will feel great for teething babies. This Nuby Garden fresh fruitsicle frozen pop tray is the perfect setup for baby to hold themselves while they get relief.
If you baby isn’t quite ready to grasp slippery food items on their own yet, you can start out with the Boon Pulp Silicone Feeder. You can cook or put mashable items in the feeder, like bananas, and then baby holds the feeder and squeezes them out with their mouth.
Some baby led weaning products like the Boon Pulp Feeder are helpful when baby isn’t quite ready to grasp food on their own but they’d still like to assert control over their meal.
You’ll need to steam quite a few food items to get them soft enough for baby. Having a quick steamer on hand, like the Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer, will help get the job done efficiently. Plus you may enjoy this cool tool for regular cooking too.
Baby Led Weaning Food Storage Containers
Whether you’re making an item in bulk for the week, or heading out to a restaurant, you should grab a few food storage options to keep yourself organized and prepared.
This food storage container set is perfect for storing extra food. The clear cases make it easy to see what’s inside, and the varying sizes help maximize fridge storage space.
The WeeSprout baby food storage containers are perfect for travel-sized portions you might take on the go. They are small enough to easily fit in the diaper bag, and their bright colors make them easy to find.
If you’re sending baby to a daycare or school program you’ll probably need some baby led-weaning products that can keep items cold or hot. We love the OmieBox bento box style lunchbox. It comes in a bunch of bright colors and has several layout options depending on what you pack. It’s even suitable for older kids or adults, so baby can keep using it as they get older.
Lastly, you should invest in a few stasher bags. They give you all the convenience of a plastic baggie, without killing the environment. They’re washable, leakproof, and come in a variety of colors.
Baby Led Weaning High Chairs
The biggest investment you’ll make for baby led weaning products is a great high chair. The best type of baby led weaning high chair is one with non-fabric that’s easy to clean. If you can find a design that incorporates well into your kitchen, even better. You’ll want baby to be present and participating at meals so it’s crucial to find a design you can live with.
The Oribel Cocoon 3-Stage High Chair is our absolute favorite. This option is super easy to clean and has a clean modern look that fits nicely with most kitchens. There aren’t many nooks and crannies for food to get stuck, and it turns into a regular chair once baby graduates from needed a tray.
If you’re looking for a total budget addition, check out this IKEA ANTILOP high chair with tray. It’s literally a steal at $22.99. It’s narrow design also makes it ideal for small living spaces.
Baby Led Weaning Feeding Supplies
And don’t forget the baby led weaning products specifically for baby.
Silicone placemats will help baby grasp food without it sliding away, and help you organize food options too. There are a TON of these mats on the marketplace. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and functionality, from totally flat mats, to mats with bowls and dividers.
We love this one from TLHOME because it has a neat little groove on the edge to catch dropped food.
Disposable baby placemats make it WAY easier and safer to eat out. These Dwelling Place disposable placemats stick right to a restaurant table so baby can participate in the meal.
Your kiddo will start the baby led weaning process with their hands, but learning how to use utensils is important too. Pick up a set and allow them to play as they eat. It’s amazing what they will pick up from watching you and older siblings at mealtime. There are countless baby cutlery options on the market, but we like this BEABA set for their ergonomic size and cute design.
Your baby is going to throw a ton of food on the floors. Protect those hardwood floors with this Bumkins splat mat. These are handy for cleaning up, and you can actually bring and use them anywhere for more than just mealtime.
We want baby led weaning to be as easy and fun as possible. It’s a special time to bond with baby while helping them learn and gain independence. Nothing is more exciting than watching your baby learn and master a new skill that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Grab a couple of these baby led weaning products to help you and your kiddo along the journey.
Want to learn more about just how amazing baby led weaning can be for your child? Check out the ultimate baby led weaning beginner’s guide for everything you need to know.