I feel like I have been weaning forever. It doesn’t feel like that long ago since I was steaming and pureeing all manner of veg for Dexter and now here we are, with 2 more children and it’s Bridget turn to explore food. I love this stage. there’s so much fun and exploration involved. Not to mention the funny messy faces and the brilliant expressions that come from trying new flavours.
We’ve done purees and spoon feeding, we’ve combined purees and baby led weaning and now with Bridget, we are doing solely BLW so I feel like I should definitely use my experience for good and let you in on some of my weaning favourites. So here are what I feel are some of the best products for when you start to wean your baby
*Some of the links I have included below are affiliate links, which means, if you were to purchase them, I could earn a very little bit of commission but it costs you absolutely nothing more than what you would have originally paid – it just helps keep my blog running, sometimes pays for my tea bags and lets me turn a light on occasionally – and that’s nice, right?*
Probably one of the biggest purchases you will make is a highchair.
Each of our three have had a different one. And each have had their pros and cons.
With Dexter, we had a chair and table that you could combine to make a higher high chair or have separate to have a chair with a table this was great at the time as we didn’t have a dining table so we sat on the cushions on the floor around our coffee table and his chair was around the same height. As he got older, He was able to sit at his table to do drawing and crafts and playing with his toys. But then he outgrew it so we got rid of it. IT was quite bulky and took up a lot of space.
For Paisley, we had the white IKEA antilop chair and tray that cost around £15-20 and it’s been brilliant. It’s very easy to clean doesn’t take up much space, very simple to assemble and it’s cheap!
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We still use it even now with Bridget however, she does also have her own which is a Safety1st wooden Timba highchair. This one requires a little more assembly (as in Liam had to do it), it cleans easily and takes up less floor space. The tray is removable and it is also suitable from six months to 10 years as it transforms into a junior seat. Safety 1st brings you a range of hassle-free products designed to support your baby’s development at every stage and make exploring safe and fun. The Timba Highchair retails at around £60 which is a mere fraction of the cost of a very similar Stokke Tripp Trapp version which retails at around the £200+ mark.
We love our plastic, rainbow coloured IKEA plates which are very cheap, very bright and take up very little space in your cupboard. There are matching bowls, cups and cutlery available and they are great for picnics, too. We used these with Dexter and with Paisley and we still do.
However, we have recently discovered the EasyTots Easy Mats. These are by far my favourite weaning products. Again, they are very easy to clean, they suction on to the high chair trays so the entire plate isn’t thrown across the room. The portion sizes are suitable for up to age 5. They are durable, free from chemicals, save for oven, dishwasher and freezer and whats more, it has a cute little happy face design.
They come in two sizes and the mini one comes with a lid and a pouch so that you can even take it out with you. The suction sticks to most surfaces so we’ve even taken our out to a restaurant so that Bridget could join us at dinner and we didn’t have to worry about her making a mess or dropping plates. I honestly can’t rave about these enough. We actually have 3 already and I’ve considered getting a couple more in different colours.
You can check out the array of colours here and if you purchase and use the code ‘messyblog’ you will also receive 10%off just for being one of my readers! *Check out my giveaway here for a chance to win one!*
In the almost 5 years that I’ve been a parent, we have seen and used and stained a LOT of bibs. From the cheap-plastic-backed-tie-on plain ones to the type that cover all arms and frontage and even have bucket section for catching food. My favourite happens to be a cute Elmer one that my sister in law bought from Sainsbury’s. Not because if its function… Just because it’s Elmer.
However, in terms of fit and function, this one that we were kindly sent from SillyBillyz is really great. A lot of these types of bibs can really drown babies and they end up with the sleeves over their hands making it difficult for them to eat. I like the sizing of these and the fact that it is wipeable, it can go in the washing machine but also has that all-important food catcher.
They also sent us one of their messy eater bibs which is a lot bigger but is actually perfect for Paisley!
If you didn’t want an all over bib but still wanted a food catcher, then I would suggest this one from Bibetta. Made of the same stuff as wetsuits, it is definitely washable but waterproof meaning food spillages down the front, aren’t going to soak through. They are lovely and soft and available in lots of colours and designs.
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Our other weaning favourites
One of my favourite baby products ever has got to be the LapBaby. I’ve reviewed it before with Paisley and have used it again and again with my sisters’ children and with Bridget. A simple belt that allows your baby to sit on your lap but keeps your hands free so that you can eat, you can help them to eat, you can work or if you are a parent in a wheelchair, you are still able to get around with your baby.
When helping your baby first discover foods, they will feel much more comfortable on your lap and safe with you whilst they get to grips with whats in from of them. Even if they are not ready to eat, sitting with you while you eat will expose them to the process and show them what happens a meal times. It has a pullout cover to prevent spills on your/your baby’s lap and even has a toy string to stop your baby losing their toy or dummy.
Bibetta Place Mat.
Like the bib I mentioned above, the Bibetta placemat is made of neoprene so is a great material for the mess involved with weaning. It has a large surface area suitable for plates and cups etc and has a rubber non-slip backing meaning it won’t just glide about the table. The placemat folds into itself trapping food and mess, meaning it’s easily transportable if you happen to be out for meal times. It’s a great item to just keep in your changing bag and if doing baby led weaning, finger food can be placed on top of the amt without a need for a tray.
And what wouldn’t I buy?
Well, it wouldn’t be a very good post if I didn’t help you to avoid wasting money on something.
And that something for me is the Oxo Tot Mashmaker baby food mill. We were sent this when we were weaning Paisley and we just did not rate it at all. You can mash food with a fork a whole lot easier and with far less mess. It is awkward to clean and just seems a bit pointless.
Don’t get me wrong, OxoTot does some fantastic products for weaning... This sadly is not one of them.