Accessories for BLW, or how to control the mess
How to simplify BLW and make the mess smaller? It takes just a few items to feed your baby with less cleaning and less frequent washing of clothes. These accessories are especially useful at the beginning of expanding the diet.
Mess is probably one of the main factors that discourages the use of BLW method. If you've ever watched the movies of children eating BLW way - for example, eating spaghetti sauce with almost all their body - you probably laughed hard. Unfortunately, when it affects us personally, we do not find so much to laugh about. In particular, the severe cases of pedants, who will not pass by the piece of fluff on the floor neutrally, but they will immediately pick it up to the rubbish (or vacuum the entire floor immediately). Just like me, not long ago :-)
Especially the beginnings are difficult in terms of mess. Learning how to eat independently is after all great fun, involving not only the control of hand-face movements, but also:
- the study of the consistency of meals (splat! I wonder how flat it gets when I keep hitting it with my hand?)
- checking gravity (bum! oh, how nice it fell to the floor! I wonder if the next piece will fall the same?)
- checking the range of water from the cup (splash! I have to wave it harder - maybe then it will splash around more?)
- testing the patience of the feeding :-)
Our daugther has already tested probably all possible physical phenomena on various foods, but anyway they are still on the agenda. There are also other interesting ideas that add variety to our meals. Recently, it is stretching one of the legs on the table and touching slippers, socks, or finally bare feet with dirty hands :-)
Fortunately, all kinds of accessories come with help. In shops we can also find a lot of completely useless things (at least in my opinion), and only a little is enough to make cleaning the "area of destruction" and the child easier.
Highchair for feedingThe basic thing is a place where we'll safely place a child. In stores you will find a whole range of feeding chairs in various price ranges. However, I will not be original and recommend the IKEA Antilop chair, probably one of the most popular. They are very simple and quite cheap. The tray of the chair is easy to disassemble (in one move) so you can clean it separately. If the chair requires intensive cleaning - you can easily put it under the shower. You can buy the tray separately, so if for any reason you want to replace it - all you have to do is buy a new one.
IKEA Antilop chair
At BLW, in my opinion, high-end chairs do not make any sense. Moving past a children's shop, I noticed feeding chairs at the exhibition. My attention was first drawn to the beautiful, material covers, secondly - prices oscillating far beyond the limits of common sense. Then I wondered why anyone would spend a lot of money on something so impractical. I couldn't imagine cleaning and washing these beautiful materials, impressionistically painted with tomatoes, raspberries or avocados, every day several times. But as it turns out, there are plenty of customers interested in such products - especially when it comes to buying gifts for young parents. For me, this is something that not only would not work with BLW (unless you remove all materials), and also with the wallet of people who do not like to overpay.
BibsI am postulating a Nobel Peace Prize for the inventor of the soother, and not less merits for the "constructor" of bib! :-) Though maybe it is not such a "big deal" invention, because if you do not have a bib it is enough to use even a towelling nappy tied around the neck. In any case, it is a must have, whether the child feeds itself or you feed with a spoon. Unless you want to get your child changed after every meal and clean up stains from clothes.
Bibs worked well for us from the very beginning - Maja drank milk from the bottle and the bibs helped to control the "leaky beard", milk spills and possible returns. When we started to introduce solid foods, we changed to bibs with oilcloth on one side - and I recommend them at BLW.
In addition to traditional bibs, such as those presented above, we still have a choice:
- Bibs with a pocket - bibs equipped with a trap for crumbs and pieces that never reached the mouth. Personally, I did not check their effectiveness, because before I discovered it, I came up with my own idea for a pocket from a nappy, as later.
- Bibs with sleeves - for extremely messy babies and for those who do not want to deal with a single dirty spot on clothes. I also have not tested this type of bibs. I solve the issue of dirty sleeves leaving the child only in a short sleeve for feeding time.
Towelling nappiesNappies. Universal multi-purpose product. Almost like the "Thneed" from the tale by Dr. Seuss about the forest guard, Lorax. There are never too much nappies with a small child around. They are suitable also for feeding. You have already secured the baby's top with a bib, but what about the bottom? In the end, shorts and socks are also not stain resistant. What can you do with a nappy? Once you've put a bib on your child - you take a nappy and grab the corners of the longest side. Then you can tie the nappy on the baby in the waist or a little higher and you spread material over the legs. In this way, the food falls not directly on the clothes, but stops on the diaper. After finishing the meal, untie the diaper, wrap the crumbs inside and then throw them into the bin. If you wash the nappies along with the clothes - first you have to get rid of stuck crumbs and check if there are any places especially filthy (for example with some sauce), soak them with water and lightly wash away.
And this is my toddler ready to eat:
These are my three foundations of BLW feeding :-)
What else saves the situation?
- Vacuum cleaner
It is a must have when we serve something that crumbles heavily or when the child is simply very messy. Unfortunately, it does not always work right away - after all, we give not only dry, but also wet meals - like cooked rice, vegetables, etc. I do not recommend vacuuming wet food. Before the leftovers get into the bag, they can stick somewhere along the way to tube and in some time it may just start to stink, because of the residual leftovers. I deal with wet "rejects" in such a way that I collect them from the floor with a kitchen towel or toilet paper. Only after such preliminary cleaning, when the floor no longer has any spilled water or sticky leftovers, the vacuum cleaner enters the game. Then I wipe the floor with a wet cloth if the situation (strongly) requires it.
A bit jokingly, but all in all quite seriously. I do not have a dog myself, but it seems to me that this would be the perfect soultion for BLW mess :-)
- Oilcloth under the chair
You can spread the oilcloth under the feeding chair. Oilcloth is especially useful at the beginning when food falls on the floor in an uncontrolled way. Thanks to the fact that the food falls on the oilcloth, we can simply rinse it and put it back on the table. Personally, I never used it, because for me, the time to clean the oilcloth is equal to the time of cleaning the floor. And at least I do not have anything hanging around in the shower every day (in the end the oilchloth must dry out for the next meal).
- No clothes
That's right! :-) If you are in the middle of summer and it is so hot that it is best to walk without clothes - let the child eat without clothes. In this way, we do not worry about stains on clothes, and we can just wash the child after a meal. For me, luckily the beginnings of the BLW came in the summer, which in addition to fresh vegetables and fruits, also had the plus that Maja could eat sitting only in the diaper.
And you? What ideas and accessories do you use to make BLW easier? Share them in the comments :-)