Feeding your baby solids can be intimidating. Things are just starting to feel under control and then your baby turns 6 months old and it’s (likely) time to add another activity to your daily schedule. Are you going to do baby-led weaning? Or, strictly purees?
I started out with purees; I was attempting to avoid baby jars given the recent news articles that our multiple aunts sent us about heavy metals in baby food; I now know that this was probably futile because they found them in homemade baby food as well but alas, that was my incorrect thinking at the time. Then, I moved toward baby-led weaning, which if you haven’t heard about BLW, this article can give you the low-down. Basically, it’s feeding your baby regular foods instead of “baby” ones and letting them feed themselves. None of that, “here comes the airplane,” from our childhood. I found BLW easier on me because I could just open the fridge and ask, “What do I have here that I can get rid of by way of Spencer?” (To be fair, Spencer is a human garbage disposal and eats it all, so I’ve had it easy.)
No matter what direction you go, here’s what you need to know. It’s not as scary as it initially seems. And it’s going to be a huge mess. Embrace it. And, stock up on these items to make it at least semi-bearable on a daily basis. And may I recommend doing it today? Why? If you haven’t heard, today is the start of Prime Big Deal Days, which is a 2-day sale event, and some of these items may be on sale. (Is it different than regular Prime Day? Unclear. Does it matter? Not at all.) Here is my list of the must-have items to start your little one on solids.
I knew very little about feeding a baby when I was pregnant, but I knew enough to put a high chair on my baby registry. This one is easy to clean, adjusts so it can last into toddlerhood, and as far as high chairs go, isn’t an eyesore.
I’m truly confused about how our parents used cloth bibs for so long. These ones by Bella Tunno are easy to clean, do a good job of catching some of the dropped food (and for Spencer, a place to save food for later), and are a bit sturdier than other silicone bibs we’ve tried.
Pick your poison; if you like cleaning food off your baby, go with the above bibs. If you prefer to keep your baby clothed for meal times, this bib protects their clothes and most of their body from the mess. You just take it off, wipe it down, and luckily, it’s washing machine-safe.
While you may have thought using straws or sippy cups was the way to go, the sooner you can get them drinking out of an open cup, the better. It takes a couple of spills but eventually, your baby will be holding these cups with ease.
If you find you are having too many spills with open cups, this may be a better route to take. I initially did not understand how Spencer would learn to use this and on the first try, he couldn’t. But after I made a fishy face and sucked up so hard I got a headache, he soon understood he was to do the same on the straw (minus the getting a headache part).
There is no need (IMO) to get any baby-specific blending device. I’ve had this pre-baby and it came in handy for those initial purees, as well as for making hummus and other dips that I can spread onto bread for Spencer.
If you’re better than I am and like food prepping, this silicone tray makes it super simple. You can portion out your puree, freeze it here, and then pop out an individual serving to quickly microwave when you want them to eat it. Because of my initial puree week, I still have a few cubes of sweet potato, some berry mixture, and what I believe is homemade apple sauce, all frozen for those super busy days.
We tried out a bunch of different spoons when we first started feeding Spencer solids, and these were by far the best. He was able to grasp them and they allowed for more food to make its way into Spencer’s mouth.
My dog is already overweight so it’s time to put an end to Spencer and him splitting Spencer’s meals 50/50. This is actually en route to my house now, but I’ve heard tons of reviews that say it’s super helpful. They also make versions for other types of high chairs, like for the Lalo.
I find preparing and giving Spencer meats and proteins the most challenging, so I was happy to find these pouches that unlike most, are not fruits and veggies but rather meats and herbs. Yes, it sounds gross, and yes, it kind of is if you really think about it, but the pouch is convenient and it gives your baby those vitamins and minerals they may not be getting elsewhere. The brand, which is all organic, also has these dairy-free smoothie baby food pouches, if the idea of meat in a pouch doesn’t do it for you.
If you like to take your baby out to eat with you, you’ll find those standard restaurant high chairs don’t really work well given that they often don’t have a tray. This seat is travel-friendly, easy to use, and simple to clean.
One last tip: be sure to download the Solid Starts app – their free database is beyond helpful, showing you just how to prepare tons of foods based on your baby’s age.