LITTLES | Essentials for Starting Solids: Helpful Products for Baby-Led Weaning

helpful-products-for-starting-solids-with-baby-led-weaning-amanda-macy-hallAt 5 months old, MJ started to join us at the dinner table. She was so interested in watching us eat and it was so fun to have her sit with us! We gave her a baby spoon {our favorites listed below} and she had fun bringing it to her mouth and chewing on it while we ate actual food.

At 6 months, this little girl’s world changed when we traded that empty spoon for slices of cantaloupe, avocado, lentil quesadillas and grilled chicken. She’s had such fun exploring TONS of different foods and we quickly found that the Baby Led Weaning (BLW) approach worked best for her interests and our lifestyle. Highly recommend!

Here is a list of the essentials that have helped us explore food together and take this show on the road –
Note: one of the TOP TOP reasons that we went the BLW route was because it is simple! You just need the food you normally eat + a baby! So all of this “stuff” is really just helpful! But not non-negotiables!

LITTLES
Helpful Products for Starting Solids
With the Baby-Led Weaning Approach

RESEARCH

Baby-Led Weaning Book :
A must-read if you’re interested in baby led weaning! {BLW: essentially skipping oatmeals and purees and going straight for table food} You’ll learn about how to prepare food, how to cut it for different stages, what to expect {gagging!}, and so much more about baby’s development through food.

What to Feed Your Baby Book :
This is a newer book that outlines some essential foods that your baby needs to include in their diet. It is not BLW focused, but still contains great information on little one nutrition, including sample meal plans.

Feeding Finn Pinterest Boards :
Love this girl and her SO SIMPLE recipes and food ideas! We have fun with her idea for baby fritters and pancakes.

ESSENTIALS

NumNum Pre-Spoons & OlaSprout Training Spoons :
Easy to hold, short enough so little ones can reach their mouths, and holds onto food no matter how you dip, scoop, or smash. We have a couple of sets of the NumNums and one set of the OlaSprouts – they inevitably end up on the floor during meal time, so it’s nice to not be running back and forth to the sink.

OXO Tot Roll Up Bibs :
Honestly, my child is extremely distracted by bibs so we hardly ever wear them. But these ones are the best – I love that they roll up for travel {I always keep one in my purse} and are super easy to rinse off and clean. The pouch sure does it’s job… when my child isn’t chewing on it….. eye roll.

EZPZ Mini Mat :
Perfect size, love the color (can you tell?), love the material. Right now MJ still eats directly off of her highchair chair mostly {she’s 9 months old}, but I see us using these as her plates as she grows. We also put them on the floor for snack time sometimes since she can’t pick it up. The extra material surrounding the plate part is wonderful. Mini is much better than the regular size….

IKEA Antilop Highchair  :
Best $20 I’ve ever spent. It surprisingly doesn’t take up much space at all, the tray is nice and big and the entire thing can be hosed off or wiped down. We have also brought it with us to the beach and lake, it breaks down easily and the parts can fit in one of those college laundry bags. {Make it cute with Yeah Baby on Etsy!} {More favorite IKEA baby products here>}

IKEA Highchair Hack : Keep baby’s eating essentials with you at the table! A Command Hook + Shower Caddy Bag is perfect for holding all of her spoons, bibs, and a pack of wipes.

STORAGE

Green Sprouts Unbreakable 4 oz Cubes :
Don’t waste your time with the 2 oz cubes – go straight to the 4 oz. We have two sets of these and use them like crazy! They are wonderful for mixing oatmeal, defrosting single-serve homemade purees, storing leftovers, and meal prepping breakfasts and lunches for the week. MJ has her own drawer in the fridge where we keep her food nice and organized with these.
Oatmeal Tip : In the morning put dry oatmeal into the cube and top with a frozen serving of puree. By the time you need the food for breakfast, lunch, etc. the puree has defrosted and you have fruity oatmeal! We did this with prunes once a week to ward off tummy troubles. Thanks Shelby for the tip!

LifeFactory Storage Containers :
I don’t like microwaving plastic and I am fearful of giving my crazy little one a glass dish. LifeFactory to the rescue! These silicone covered glass storage containers are microwave, dishwasher, oven and baby safe  + totally cute. I love the 1 cup size for snack time.

Ubbi Tweat Snack Container :
First- love the punny name. Second – We don’t go anywhere without puffs. This adorable puffy holder is nice and durable and one day, hopefully, will prevent giant puff explosions wherever we go. For now, I just reach in and give her one or two at a time.

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ON THE GO

Travel Disposable Placemats :
Now these don’t stick to every table, but when they do they eliminate the need for a breakable, throwable restaurant plate – YAY! I keep a package in my purse at all times. They also fit the IKEA highchair well for craft projects!

Clorox Wipes On the Go :
Because babies find a way to leave traces of their food everywhere. Sorry restaurants… Plus, I try to remember to wipe down public highchairs before plopping MJ in one. These travel much better than those highchair covers in my opinion. I try to grab a pack each time I’m at Target – they are super cheap in the travel section! We also keep a pack in our stroller and our cars.

PUREES & OATMEAL

Kid Simple Baby Food Freezer Storage Trays :
Turns out, this kid wasn’t much for being spoon fed, so we only made a batch of purees once or twice. But these trays were wonderful! They are pretty thin and stack on top of each other  – great for tiny freezers like ours. The purees slip right out once frozen and you can put them all in a big gallon sized freezer bag making it super simple to grab one at a time.

Happy Bellies Organic Super Cereals :
We used this oatmeal and loved it! I tried to always mix it with a fruit puree or some spices {pumpkin pie spice for the fall!} to keep it flavorful and interesting.

NUK Mash and Serve Bowl :
This handy little bowl and masher was nice for when our girl was eating handfuls of food {before the pincer grip was established} – we would smash whatever we were eating to make it easier for her chew and/or put into a quesadilla.

Let me know some of your favorites! + recipes for littles!

Happy Dining!
//  Amanda Macy

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