This month my adorable baby boy turns 6 months! Can you believe it? After 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding, we will be moving onto weaning. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been researching about how and when to wean your baby, as well as buying my weaning essentials so we will be all ready for our warning journey.!
Like most mothers, I am nervous about weaning, especially baby-led weaning. Everything I’ve read tells me that baby-led weaning is a great way for your baby to explore food at their own pace. As well as use their own feeding cues to control their appetite, as opposed to spoon-feeding where the parent controls how much a baby Is eating.
The thing that scares me the most is choking. I’ve read a lot about how to prepare food correctly to minimise this risk. I’ve also read the difference between choking and gagging. A baby’s gagging reflex is really sensitive and is designed to prevent choking. It’s normal for them to gag and spit food out, then just carry on eating like it’s nothing. Choking the scary one! I’ve watched videos about what to do if Leo does choke. I know how to help him get that food up if he does but I am praying it won’t happen. I watched this video from the British Red Cross. It was quite distressing to watch as it got me thinking what if it happens. I am sure I’ll be traumatised!
Anyway, enough about that. Let’s talk about my baby led weaning essentials I’ve bought my little ones weaning journey!
Out of all the weaning essentials, this one is probably the most important. I decided on the famous IKEA highchair. The Antilop Ikea highchair is only £12. It’s made of white plastic so it’s easy to clean. Delivery cost me £4 which I didn’t mind paying as the chair itself wasn’t expensive. I’ve previously paid much more for an Ikea delivery. £4 is worth it as our nearest Ikea is 35 miles away from where we live.
The best thing about his highchair is you can customise it. You can buy cushion inserts, footrests, leg wraps and tray mats to completely change how it looks. You can spend as much or little as you want on these things.
Another good, cheap highchair is the one you can get from Asda.
I wanted a footrest because I read that it can be uncomfortable for babies to eat with their legs dangling. Imagine being sat on a tall bar stool with no footrest – it’s just not fun, is it? So the first thing I did was log onto Etsy and get myself a wooden footrest.
This is the one I got, but you can get lots of different ones. You can get ones that have your babies name on them. They are adjustable so you can lower them as your baby grows.
Another thing I knew I wanted was a cushion insert. Especially as Leo can’t sit without support at the moment. l wanted him to be comfortable. I got this lovely sage leaf cushion insert. It’s an inflatable bag with a cover and you can wipe it down if it gets food on it.
My Mum bought Leo this zebra highchair toy for Christmas. It suctions to the highchair tray. We’ve been putting Leo in his highchair every day to get used to it. I usually put him in while I’m doing the pots or cleaning the kitchen and he plays with his highchair toy. I also attach other clip-on toys from his jungle gym to the red handle for a bit of variety! He has a preference for his cow toy and crinkly fox book. I attach them for him and sometimes put a teether on the tray too.
There are lots of weaning books out there, the best thing to do is read the description of each book and see which one you think is for you. How you decide to wean your baby is up to you, you can start with purees, single veg or even just jump right in with a full meal! There are theories behind each method and it comes down to personal choice. You should wait until 6 months to start your baby on solids unless you have spoken to your GP/health vistor. Some babies wean early due to reflux.
I think I want to do 10 days of single veg finger food with a puree of that same veg! To start with, I know he’ll spit most of it out but it’s all about exploring tastes, textures and learning to move food around his mouth. This is supposed to help him get used to bitter and savoury tastes.
Regardless of what method you decide to use, these books can help you find some recipes to try. Most of them are recipes you can eat too. My end goal is that Leo eats the same foods as us. As long as foods are cut appropriately for a baby, they can basically eat anything. You just need to avoid honey and added salt.
The rest is down to how you prepare it, for example, you wouldn’t give a baby a whole nut or grape! You want to offer food in fingers so they can grab it and cook veg until it’s smushy so it will collapse in their mouths.
Again, I’m not a medical professional or nutritionist, so check out some books and go with the method you believe is right for you.
Here are the books.
The best weaning books for 2021
Bamboo elephant suction plate.
I love the bamboo animal plates! I decided to get this elephant one with 3 sections, but you can get lots of different animals and shapes., you can even get ones with your baby’s name on them! I just thought it was cute to put some meals on for Leo!
It has a suction on the bottom to stop it from ending up on the floor.
Bamboo plate and bowl set.
I got this set as it came with a plate and bowl with suction and two spoons. I thought it was practical and wasn’t a dearly price compared with the elephant one for what you get.
I’m hoping this is enough for us, we wash up regularly so there’s no reason he would need more than that!
Of course, you can get cheaper plates and bowls if you don’t want to spend that much on the bamboo ones!
This is an angled open cup that slants towards your baby helping them learn how to use a normal cup. This is going to be interesting getting Leo to use this when I offer him water with his food. I wonder how much will be on the floor! Get a Doidy Cup here.
I bought this two-pack of Tommee Tippee sippy cups, but I am not sure if I’ll use them right now as I’ve read breastfeed babies end up just trying to suck them! These could come in handy when he’s a bit older and if we’re out.
Ice lolly mould.
I wrote about these in my breastfeeding essentials post – these are good to make ice lollies with out of my breast milk to help when he is teaeting and I can also make fresh fruit/smoothie lollies in the summer.
I’ve read this is the best bib for weaning as it covers the highchair, then after you just take it off and your babies clothes aren’t covered in food! I will need more of these when he’s eating a bit more but for now, I just wanted to see if I like it!
I’ve not bought this yet, but I’m going to get this little set of food cutouts so I can make cute shapes like stars and hearts out of fruit, veg and other food! Very excited about this!
I’m really excited and nervous to start our baby-led weaning journey and I hope you enjoyed this post of our essential weaning products! I’ll update you in a few months of we are getting on, and if we’ve needed anything else!
Check out my other mother and baby essentials posts: