Starting your weaning journey is an exciting adventure. As with everything when it comes to babies and parenting, there are a lot of gadgets on the market. The excitement about entering a new phase often makes us buy all of them - only to realise a few months later that they haven’t been used. Introducing solids is no exception but we have put together a list of essentials - and nice-to-haves to make sure you have everything you need to get started.
Highchair: A comfortable and preferably washable highchair is a good investment before you start. Make sure there is a footrest so your little one is comfortable while trying their first foods. Some more expensive models will grow with your child but a very simple plastic version will do just as well. You can find really good second-hand highchairs online, which helps avoid waste and saves you money.
Bibs: They come in various shapes and sizes. Stock up on one or two which cover arms and chest for when mealtimes at home and a few smaller ones for when you go out and about.
Spoons: Shallow plastic spoons with a long handle and a soft tip are ideal in the beginning as they protect your little one’s gums. Babies often enjoy holding their own spoon whilst being fed. This also helps them to acquire cutlery skills from early on.
Sippy cup: Offer water from a free flowing cup or a sippy cup once you are on three meals per day. This skill often takes time and patience, so try to stay with one cup rather than switching between models.
Bowls/plates: Have a set made from plastic, wood or bamboo ready, as not only food will be flying in the first months of weaning.
A hand blender: It will help you finely puree foods in the first weeks of weaning. You can alternatively mash the steamed food with a fork and add water as needed.
Ice cube trays to store prepared foods: Especially in the beginning, your little one will only eat small amounts of food, so it can be helpful to batch cook purees and freeze them in ice cube trays. Silicone ones make it easier to remove the cubes later on.
In addition, there are a few things which might come in handy but aren’t absolute essentials:
- Storage pots to take meals and snacks out and about.
- A placemat to protect your floor from dropped food.
- A steamer which helps you prepare your food temperature-controlled. If you want to save money and space in the cupboard, you can just steam your vegetables in a pot.