How Messy Is Baby Led Weaning Really?

Baby Led Weaning is a lot of fun, but it can also get very messy. How messy? Well here is a selection of photos from other parents where they have recorded some of the messiest meal times. Of course not every meal has to be messy and I have suggestions of some low mess food here and ideas for less mess when baby led weaning but for most children exploring food is a messy business.

How messy  is baby led weaning really?

I hope you enjoy looking at these photos of baby led weaning in action.

Any tomato based foods are a lot of fun, and a lot of mess. The smallest smear of tomato looks impressive on their face. Fortunately it's easy to clean up and if there are stains they will fade in sun light (sun light also works on poo stains and anything without artificial colourings).

A baby in a padded highchair, pink overall and yellow bib eating a tomato rice dish with their hands
Photo credit

A baby eating spaghetti in a tomato based sauce with her hands
Is that spaghetti bolognese I spy? Photo credit:Https://

A baby making a mess of his clothes while BLW Baby Led Weaning
Why do their sleeves never stay rolled up?

You can always try and cover everything up, but sometimes it is easiest just to take their clothes off, feed them and stick them in the bath afterwards.

A baby covered up in a large long sleeve bib which covers the edge of the high chair too. Food is smeared everywhere
You can have a bib that is so big they cover most of the mess. Photo credit:

A eating yoghurt from the wrong end of a spoon out of a bowl making a lot of BLW mess
Or no bib at all! Photo credit:

A baby sticking her tongue out with a face covered in food thanks to baby led weaning. She is sitting in the bath
Straight in the bath to clean up after another mess from BLWing

You are often left wondering "how on earth did you get food there?"

The back of a baby's head with hardly any hair with orange food mess smeared
Food smeared into the back of a baby's head

I'm sure this blackberry lolly was far more tastier than if it was made with melon or a paler fruit!

A baby reaching out towards the camera with food on her hands and face and bib from baby led weaning
Choose the colour of foods carefully to minimise mess. Photo credit:

Why do they always need a cuddle when they are at their messiest? You can't even get near them without getting covered too.

a baby covered in lasagne, sitting in an IKEA highchair in just a nappy and small bib
Yummy baby led weaning lasagne mess

A baby covered in porridge grabbing on to a woman's arm and covering her in porridge
Keep your distance!

Pasta can be a fun early food and is easy to pick up, but it can also stick in places you wouldn't expect.

A baby sitting in a high chair eating spaghetti some is on his head and some sucked up on in his house
From spaghetti...(photo credit:

A baby with pasta letters stuck to her face from eating messily pasta letters

I've generally found bowls, even suction bowls, are just something else to play with.

A baby focusing very hard on eating noodles with peas with an upside down bowl on their highchair
Who needs a bowl anyway?

Babies can start using spoons pretty early in their weaning journey. It opens up new foods, but they can also help create even more mess!

A baby covered in food with a bowl and spoon in front of her
Photo credit:

As is weaning one child wasn't messy enough can you imagine cleaning up after twins? These two don't look any trouble though.

twins sitting in ikea antiplop highchairs with coverall bibs and scoop bibs covered in mess. One has a spoon in their mouth
Baby led weaning mess with twins (photo credit:
At least the mess makes for cute photographs you'll love to look back on. It's surprising how show the messy eating stage is, well my children still manage to get food all over the floor, but not so much on themselves any more.

A baby pulling a face into the camera eating a cream cheese sandwich
Photo credit:

Baby eating a cottage pie with their hands and making a mess
Photo credit:

Baby in IKEA antilop highchair eating mince and avocado baby led weaning style
What are you looking at? Can't a baby eat without having a photo taken round here?

Thank you to everyone who contributed photographs to this post.

How messy is baby led weaning really? Real photos of babies eating

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