If you’re just starting out with baby led weaning, the actual process of preparing the food, setting up the meal for the baby, cleaning up, and all of that can be a little bit confusing. It took a long time here, but we finally figured out a system that works for us!
I want to share that system with you. I don’t have a set schedule for my baby. But when I decide we should have a meal, here is how it goes!
1. Prepare the food.
Since my baby is mobile now, this can be tricky. I stick leftovers in the oven with a timer going. But if I’m cooking, I have to monitor the baby every minute or so (he loves climbing the couch these days). If he is really getting into “trouble”, I hold him while I cook. I do not cook things that can pop and hurt him (like, I wouldn’t fry bacon on the stove while holding him).
2. Put together baby’s tray.
Once the food is ready, I put together Alexander’s tray so it can cool down a little. Then I take a picture of his tray, for the blog. And I set it aside.
3. Make my own plate and drink.
Alexander’s tray is set aside, and I make my plate and drink. I leave it in the kitchen. If I put it on the table, he will likely go and mess with it!
4. Set up the baby station.
We don’t currently have a dining room table. So I sit at the coffee table, and Alexander sits in a booster seat on the floor next to me! I lay down a big blanket to catch food that is tossed around. I put the booster seat on the floor. Then I sit Alexander down and pop his tray in place.
5. Get my plate.
Once Alexander is “restrained”, I grab my own food and have a seat. I leave him unattended for about 5 seconds. He doesn’t normally eat at first anyway; he just checks out what is on his tray.
6. Clean up my plate.
I always finish eating before Alexander. I take my plate and glass to the kitchen, while he is still “restrained”.
7. Clean off Alexander.
Alexander is a mess. He usually doesn’t have on any clothes (except for a diaper). I pick him up, leaving his seat and tray, and I clean him off in the kitchen sink. Then I use a rag (or paper towel) to dry his hands and mouth.
8. Pick up food crumbs that are not on the blanket. Grab the seat, tray, and bunched-up blanket and clean up all of that.
I clean and dry the tray, wipe down his seat, and just shake the blanket off in the sink.
If you’re new to it, that process may be really helpful! Once we move (next week!), I may have a new system in place because we will have a REAL TABLE (!!) and a high chair (!!). But the basic idea will stay the same: Make baby’s plate then my plate…clean my plate then baby’s plate.
Let me know if you’ve got questions! Leave a comment below OR send me an email (check out the CONTACT page at the top).
Here’s a recap: