Thursday, 23 September 2010


A new stage in life provides a new reason to shop. When I got married, I spent hours buying stationery, fabric and flowers. When I was pregnant, I scoured the high street for the perfect-fit elasticated jean and non-wired bra. And now it's time to shop for weaning.

Clearly a six-month-old baby feeding herself is going to be messy. In fact one of the mums at the recent BLW talk said it was "insanely messy". Embrace the mess, advises Gill Rapley, and get tooled up with a few BLW essentials - high chair, bibs and cloths.

So to the high chair (yes, I'm actually blogging about moulded plastic). My mother-in-law, Trisha, lent us her Ikea number to try for size and it's a winner - with a large tray, compact shape and cheap price tag of £10.99 for the basic chair, it's a veritable design classic. I've spotted the Antilop in many a restaurant including the stylish Canteen.

Then to the threads. Most of the bibs I've seen around look insubstantial and not up to the challenge of an overexcited baby let loose with solids, like using a hand towel to dry off after a shower. I want the bath sheet. And in Bibetta bibs, I think I've found it. I saw these in Waitrose in Cambridge when we were visiting my sister Amy and they are the bees. Neoprene body and plastic sleeves are surely the stuff of BLW dreams. Worried about stained clothes? Bring on the Ultrabib with sleeves.

And the last item on the shopping list is definitely unglamorous but infinitely essential - floor cloths. Realistically the kitchen floor is where the party will be at for the first few weeks. Squished tomatoes, regurgitated pasta and half-chewed rice cakes will be mingling like unwanted guests on our wooden floorboards. But I'm not going to be anal about it. Just wipe up and move on. 

A hot tip from Gill's book 'Baby-led Weaning' suggests a fresh cloth for each clean-up. You start with the baby's mouth and hands, move on to the high chair and then wipe up the mess on the floor. The food goes in the bin and the cloth goes in the wash. I bought two packs of basic white dish cloths from Morrisons.

So there we have it, plastic seats, bibs and floor cloths. Shopping ain't what it used to be.

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