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. 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!
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.
Don’t rely on suction plates or bowls to keep clean.
(But do use these fabulous products to help your baby self-feed.)
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.)
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)