Faye has just turned 6 months and as such round two of weaning begins. With Aiden we accidently fell into babyled weaning and it was one of the most wonderful, accidental parenting ‘trends’ we have done. Before he was born I had this image in my head, from what you see on TV, in books, and when you are out and about I guess, of Aiden being spoon fed purees when he started solids. We had all the bits and bobs bought to pre-make yummy squashed meals for him. We had the special spoons and little tubs that can be microwaved as well as stacked in the freezer. We were about to buy an all singing all dancing baby food blender but then I read an article. Keith always thinks there will be trouble when I start a sentence with “so I read this article…” and I do declare this probably 2-10 times a day. When you’re breastfeeding a hungry newborn through the night you real a LOT of articles!
One of those articles I had read on my phone at 3am was discussing the positives of babyled weaning. What surprised me most (other than the very existence of it as babyled weaning wasn’t something that had even been on my radar) was the impressively substantial list of positives side effects this style of weaning has been linked to.
To name but a few:
- Less fussy eaters
- Faster speech development
- Fine motor skills practiced
- Develops child’s independence
- Develops child’s confidence
- Promotes a healthier and more understood diet from the child’s perspective
- Arguably makes family meal times much easier to both prepare and eat
After the first article I was intrigued. I read more articles and testimonials. I messaged a babyled weaning Facebook group at 4am and the Mum who ran it was up breastfeeding too so by the time Keith woke at 7am I was all about the babyled weaning and Keith was absolutely bombarded with everything I had gleamed during my midnight fact finding mission. Lucky for me, and sensible for him, Keith was totally on board.
Now with babyled weaning you don’t need much in terms of fancy gadgets because quite simply put, they eat what you eat (I wouldn’t even bother with a plate for them initially – less to throw!) Whilst we didn’t need to go shop for all new weaning products, we did discover pretty early on when weaning Aiden that the biggest nuisance was cleaning up the highchair and I should have done a LOT more research before we bought ours. Unsurprisingly, babyled weaning can be (read: IS) pretty messy to say the least and now with two children to look after any time saved cleaning up is a real life saver. Having loved the other aspects of babyled weaning the first time round and with the wonder that is hindsight, this time I am researching the heck out of the chair.
The hunt for the perfect highchair for babyled weaning has begun. I knew from our experiences with Aiden’s chair that there are a few absolute no no’s. Highchairs with fabric on them? Big no no even if it claims to be easy to wipe down (ha!) Highchairs with lots of joins and nooks and crannies for food to get squished into? Another no no. Highchairs that you can’t remove the tray from but need to fold it down in order to get the baby out? What exactly were the design team thinking?! It was with great excitement then that I learnt the Baby Bjorn people were sending me their highchair to trial and having read up on it, I was elated to discover the chair has none of those useless ‘features’ on my no no list. Looking online at other parents’ opinions regarding the best highchair on the market for babyled weaning, I discovered the Baby Bjorn one always featured high up, often in the top three spots if not in first place. They must be doing something right I thought as parents are a pretty critical lot to please.
So last week the highchair arrived. It is going to take me a few weeks and some good really challenging dishes (I’m thinking spaghetti with really red sauce here) in order for me to really take her out for a good test drive and report back to you on how she holds up. But for now I thought I’d share with you my initial observations.
Packaging wise (this might not be important to everyone but I order a lot online due to our location and I absolutely loath the use of boxes that are too big, contain excess plastic, or poorly packaged items) Baby Bjorn got this spot on perfect. The box holds everything in wonderfully engineered place with no wriggle room so nothing can roll about and damage anything else. All packaging is cardboard except a tiny plastic bag to keep the chair surface from any damage. Another plus; you can unpack the whole thing without the use of scissors (or chainsaw as sometimes seems called for these days) which is always leaves me a lot calmer and with less injuries to myself!
Once inside the box I saw the relatively large instruction booklet and thought oh great here we go. I resigned myself to losing an hour at least of nap time (the kids not me cheeky!) to building the chair and promptly tweeted Baby Bjorn to tell them construction had commenced. Well less than five minutes later (and it would have been less still had I not been photographing the process as the diligent blogger I am) I was back on Twitter to let them know that was is all assembled and ready for dinner time.
The chair was so easy and quick to assemble because it’s design is so very sleek and simple. The seat and tray are together as one piece and then the four legs simply click in to place, no tools required at all. The structure takes up a surprisingly small floor footprint. Looking at it first built I thought it was too small and I had missed something but put it next to a table and it is the perfect hight to slide the tray under the table if you happen to want your child to eat directly at the table with you. So far we have stuck with using the tray on the chair because the top bit comes off with one click and makes cleaning so so simple it would have been silly not to.
Despite it’s petite appearance I have discovered you can adjust the tray position to accommodate your child’s growth. Faye sits in it comfortably on the tightest setting currently so still has plenty of growing space left. Also for a neat and small chair, the Baby Bjorn is surprisingly robust and sturdy. No worries about this chair ever tipping up, Faye has bounced around in it and even Aiden hanging off it pretending it was a hot air balloon (don’t ask) has not seen it even wobble.
Faye is enjoying using the chair so much as she can be part of meal times now. The high back and the ergonomic shape of the seat are excellent at supporting a small slightly unbalanced child. I had worried before using this chair how it would work with no straps (the tray holds the child snuggly in place) but the design team behind this chair are actual geniuses as it works perfectly. The amount of times I have seen lovely highchairs with absolutely filthy straps but always thought well what is the alternative? Well the alternative is the Baby Bjorn highchair and it is a pretty amazing alternative at that.
Check back in a few weeks for our full review of the Baby Bjorn highchair once we have thrown all we’ve got at it and then some!
Disclaimer: Baby Bjorn sent me their highchair for the purpose of an honest review. As always, all opinions are mine.