In advocating for how much I love baby-led weaning, I do realize it can be pretty messy letting babies feed themselves. Want to try baby-led weaning but don’t want to spend half your day cleaning the kitchen? Totally possible! Here are 5 tips to help.

  1. Eat over a hard surface. It’s of course so much easier to clean up food from hard surfaces than from carpet. I will say, for hard surfaces or for carpeted, this floor mat for under the high chair is incredibly helpful. You can just pick the whole thing up and shake it outside or in the trash – even just once a day (some days). It can also be used for arts and crafts and fun things later on, because really this messy eating stage doesn’t last much longer after their first birthday.
a table with a bowl, plate, and spoon on it
  1. Small Investments Make a Big Difference. The right products can help both with baby learning how to feed himself and with controlling the mess at meal time. The items we used every day to begin with were: the no mess mat for under the high chair, ezpz plates on top of a place mat, and my personal favorite – the scoop bib. We invested in a high chair that he can sit at the table with us. I know it seems like a large investment, but it lasts until they are grown. Plus it’s no more than a stroller, and do you use that 3-5 times a day forever? Just saying! For a full list of recommendations, check out our Favorite Products page.
  1. Eat Outside. When the weather is nice, nothing beats eating al fresco. Don’t you feel fancier already? Whether it’s putting the high chair on the deck, in the backyard, at the end of a picnic table, or popping up this little cutie right onto the ground, however your family likes to eat outside is so great because the food goes right to the ground, not to your floor. It doesn’t always look perfect, but it felt so much easier to me:
  1. Let the dog in! I’m only kind of kidding. There is literally nothing cuter than watching the relationship between our little one and our dog develop and this really helps. Russell thinks it is SO funny when he lets Maria eat from his hand. And she used to be kind of scared to go near him, I mean this tiny, loud being just appeared in our house out of nowhere, it took some adjusting for her. Now she’s happy to clean up his eating area for him. Check out which human foods are healthy for dogs.
  1. Remind Yourself: You’re Going to Miss This. Feeding baby all the time can be daunting and draining- it is a lot of work – there’s prep, cleaning, thinking, caring, researching, shopping, buying, ordering. And then doing it all over again the next day. Sometimes healthier food and choices can be harder and messier in the short term, but instead of choosing convenience foods that will cost us in the long term, just cue Trace Adkins “You’re going to miss this.”

    To me that helps embrace the moment, embrace the mess, and embrace what a joy and good fortune it is to have a healthy baby in front of us that is eating, breathing, smiling, testing us, loving us. Coming back to a better feeling thought helps us enjoy our days and surrounds our baby with positive, calm energy. And remember! The hard road usually ends up being the easy road, and the easy road usually turns into the hard road. A little mess now saves you a lot of time later on, when baby becomes an independent eater of all the freshest, healthiest foods. You got this!

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