If you’ve already started baby-led weaning, you know about the mess.
My Instagram may show the fun finished product, but my husband will attest that the kitchen is in shambles 90% of the time.
I have two set-ups in our kitchen/family room, depending on what and when she’s eating and how messy I know it’s going to get. There are so many options for baby bowls out there, and I highly recommend using one rather than putting food on the tray. Since babies don’t develop their pincer grasp until month 9-10, they need something to push their food up against.
Maya eats the majority of her meals in this setup, sitting on top of the kitchen island. I love this chair because it’s almost impossible for her to move around in (though I always stand very close by) and the whole thing comes apart and can go straight into the sink to be hosed down. We took this chair on vacation and it was perfect. The Goobie Baby bowls are miraculously strong enough that she can’t break the suction from the tray. I portion the food out in the bowl but she always mixes it up anyway and doesn’t seem to mind things comingling. The bibs are great at catching the 65% of food that doesn’t make into her mouth. They’re very easy to clean. I recommend having two bowls and two bibs, at least.
Maya rarely sits over here unless we are all eating breakfast together or she’s having a relatively “clean” snack, like puffs. This chair is great in theory but much harder to clean and dry out. In order for her to have a footrest, we’ve sacrificed a dining chair to the cause so she can stand on it, rather than have her legs dangling. The mat sticks some of the time, but recently she’s been able to peel it off and throw it like a frisbee, food ‘n all, to the patiently waiting dog. As she gets older and (hopefully) less acrobatic at meals, this will probably be a great option.
A note on spoons: While spoon-feeding your baby directly is not the goal of BLW, pre-loading a spoon and handing it to her or setting it down in the bowl for her to grasp is a great way to help her learn how to serve herself.