Minimizing the Mess with Baby-Led Weaning

baby covered in food with the title Minimizing the Mess

How to stay clean while letting your baby self-feed

Letting babies self-feed has a number of amazing benefits in the short and long term. But staying clean is not one of them! Baby-led weaning is M-E-S-S-Y no matter which way you do it.

That said, there are a few things you can do to minimize the mess in the early days:

Cover your floors with waterproof splat mats. Use more than one!

Put baby in footed pajamas and cover with a bib. Then just unzip!

baby in footed pajamas and a bib sitting in a highchair

Order a ton of baby washcloths. Nothing works better!

Use a pitcher filled with warm water to wash hands, arms, feet and lower legs after each meal.

Kalani, 12 months, washes her hands and arms in a plastic container.
Amelia, 10 months, washes her hands in a cup.

Don’t rely on suction plates or bowls to keep clean.

(But do use these fabulous products to help your baby self-feed.)

Adie, 18 months, lifts her suction plate off the table.
Max, 19 months, tips his bowl upside down.

Use both a straw cup and open cup at each meal.

At the beginning of the meal, start with the open cup with just a little bit of milk/formula/breastmilk in it. Then as the meal wears on, switch to a straw cup. (The end of the meal is when babies are most likely to throw things.)

Mina, 8 months, plays with a straw up.

Get a dog. Or two.

(Seriously though, be careful with what your dog eats and if baby starts to feed dog a lot, put your dog in another room during mealtime so it doesn’t become a game. xo)

Return to Blog