Every picture I see of babies feeding themselves, they (and everything around them) are covered in food! I have been reading up on other blogs and forums on what is working for other parents to reduce the crazy mess. Conclusion? Dogs! It seems that at least half of the parents said that their dogs help with the cleaning. Our poor furry babies have really been neglected since Dino has come along, so this could be a good way of making amends :)
Other great ideas for keeping floor clean: newspaper, table cloths, shower curtains, reusable "splat mats", and burp cloths. One mom said she would clean floor really well prior to eating and then when something fell in the floor, baby could still eat it instead of it getting wasted. I think using newspaper would be a great way to recycle and one mom even suggested throwing it in with the compost pile. We have used a plastic shower curtain for naked time- for easy clean up- and it works pretty well for that purpose, so I feel like it would be a good (inexpensive) option for when we want to cover the floor. Our house has hardwood and tile, so I think we will try the dog method first and see how that goes!
I just recently added this Fisher-Price booster seat to my wish list on Amazon. It has really good reviews stating how easy it is to clean as well as taking with you for eating away from home. I love that it has separate trays. There is a feeding tray (the middle one) that can be washed in dishwasher and then another (the top one) to cover it and keep it clean. We have a high chair now that he loves, but it is covered in fabric so we may soon be ordering this one to use instead.
Another thing that will be important to consider is how to protect little Dino from the mess. We received several bibs at his baby showers, but if he looks like other babies I have seen eating, I just don't think they are going to do the job. I came across these from Ikea which I can order on Amazon. Plus they are very reasonably priced! I plan to order these today :)
Plates, spoons, bowls? Most BLW parents suggest just offering food to your little one directly onto their tray rather than plates and bowls (which will just get turned upside down and thrown around). We will not be feeding him with a spoon, but as he gets older, we will fill a spoon and allow him to practice using utensils.
Other items? I have ordered "The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook" by Gill Rapley. I have heard really great things about this book as a reference and for ideas of foods the entire family can eat together.