8 Top Tips for Eco-friendly Weaning
6 February 2023 | Admin
Starting to wean your baby is such an exciting time. Watching your child as they take their first tastes of food and their reaction is a key milestone for any parent. And whether you choose the 'baby rice and purees' route, or baby led weaning, one thing we can guarantee you is that it will be messy!
If you're trying to be more mindful of your choices when it comes to raising your child, it's possible to avoid the mound of wet wipes and plastic containers or food which can generate so much waste. Having raised 4 children, here's our 8 top tips for eco-friendly products and weaning:
One weaning essential that everyone needs is a high-chair. Being able to sit up comfortably, unaided is a prerequisite for weaning. High chairs come in many shapes and forms, but they don't have to be bulky steel and plastic monstrosities.
The Stokke Tripp Trapp is a design classic - for a reason. Made from wood, this high-chair also converts to a chair which can hold an adult, meaning it is truly multi-purpose. It allows your child to sit right at the table along with the rest of the family and is super easy to clean too.
They aren't cheap, however personally, we used ours for all 4 children and then sold it on. For us, this longevity of use is excellent from a sustainability point of view in terms of the resources saved. Sometimes, the old adage 'buy cheap, buy twice' is absolutely true!
Choosing tableware for your little one is also an area of sustainable weaning where you don't have to go down the multi-coloured plastic route. There's lots of gorgeous bamboo kids cutlery and matching plate and bowl sets available now and they even come as sippy cups too.
Alternatively, try old fashioned melamine bowls. They're shatterproof and practically indesctructible, so if you don't buy them in 'kiddy' colours or designs, they can be used for years afterwards too. Ours are still in use as dip bowls when we have guests come over and taken on picnics too!
If you haven't already considered reusable wipes for your child, or you're poo-squeamish, when you get to weaning having washable baby wipes is a godsend! Not just for your baby's hands & face but for cleaning the high chair, table, walls and anything else needing cleaning.
Cheeky Wipes are the original plastic-free wipes since 2008. They offer a reusable wipes kit especially for sticky hands and faces, both at home and out and about which contains everything you need to make switching to reusable wipes EASY! It contains:
- fresh wipes box for clean wipes, ready to use
- soaking wipes solution so your wipes smell great
- 25 cloth baby wipes
- out and about travel bags - clean and dirty
Switching to cloth wipes is environmentally friendly because instead of chucking lots of wipes into landfill, you just pop your cloth wipes in the washing machine, wash and reuse!
When your LO starts on solids, you'll have so much fun finding snacks for them to eat when out and about. Instead of using disposable cling film, try reusable snack bags which come in two different sizes.
Mini - 13 cm x 16.5 cm - great for veg sticks, grapes, crackers, mini breadsticks etc.
Small - 16.5cm x 18cm - perfect for sandwiches or larger snacks
Weaning is an area where we think it's a great idea to invest in multi-purpose items which can be used and used over and over again. You'll also be considering weaning essentials such as a mess mat and bibs etc. However by choosing wisely, you can buy a few multi-purpose items which can be used in many ways aside from weaning.
Don't waste money on bibs. Instead buy a pack (or two) of muslins which can be used for so many purposes. Muslins are brilliant at mealtimes because they cover so much more of your little one than just the bib area. And then, once used, you can use them for cleaning up baby food afterwards.
Of course, muslins can also be used as a burp cloth and breast-feeding cover. They even make a cracking reusable nappy insert when folded.
And one of the BEST tips I ever had from a health visitor was to use a muslin as a comforter for my baby. They get used to going to sleep holding onto one but unlike a special bunny etc, you'll have LOTS of them so no drama if one goes astray.
As we've already said, weaning is a messy business and generally it's not a bad idea to protect the floor underneath your baby's high-chair.
Rather than a large mess mat, consider an extra large portable changing mat. This can simply be washed when messy, but it's also great for changing nappies when out and about or on holiday.
The Cheeky Change mat is sized at 90cm x 72cm and folds and poppers closed, making it perfect to pop in your changing bag for days out.
I found these Kitchencraft Ice Cube Easy Release Trays to be an absolute godsend. They're BPA free, make a decent size of food cube and you just twist for the ice cubes to easily come out. They're amazing and cheap as chips. You don't need expensive silicone ones! Plus you'll use them forever after too as they're the perfect size ice-cube for a decent gin and tonic!
Obviously, it's SO much more sustainable to prepare your own baby food rather than bought plastic food pouches. Plus you know exactly what you're giving to your precious little one.
Don't be afraid to use frozen veg for your purees. Obviously there is plastic packaging to consider, however, the flipside is that there's NO foodwaste at all, so we believe this is the more sustainable option. Plus, they make it SO much quicker and easier to prepare and because of the way frozen veg is harvested, it often contains more nutrients. Life is too short to peel butternut squash when there's a better alternative!
We hope you enjoyed this article and are looking forward to starting your weaning journey. If you're looking for some related articles, you may also enjoy these:
About the author: Helen Rankin is founder of Cheeky Wipes, the original environmentally sustainable reusable baby wipes kit, founded in 2008. The Cheeky Team pride themselves on helping people make the switch to reusables EASY, with a range of eco friendly products including period pants and cloth sanitary pads. Cheeky Wipes were awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise for their sustainable development goals in 2021.