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After much anticipation, we started feeding our five month old solids last week (!!). It was a momentous occasion for sure -- there’s nothing quite as sweet as a little babe trying spoonfuls of mashed up squash for the first time. Believe it or not, even though your baby is only eating a teaspoon or so (if you’re lucky), feeding littles requires a lot of preparation and…you guessed it, gear. Here are a few of my must-have products to have on hand when preparing for those first bites.
Make It Yourself…
Making homemade baby food is by no means a requirement, but it is something I love to do. After all, cooking is my love language. With my older daughter Ellie, I would spend hours in the kitchen steaming fruits and veggies on the stove, then waiting for them to cool down before transferring them over to the blender. Though worth the effort, the process was extremely tiring. This time around, I grabbed the BEABA BabyCook Neo ($250), and it has changed my life. It steam cooks and blends raw fruit, veggies, meat & fish all in the same machine, meaning you literally don’t have to use any pots, pans or blenders. The machine is super easy to use (there is only one button) and is practically foolproof. After using it for the first time, I literally ran to my husband: “you have to come see how this works…it’s unbelievable!”
The machine is super easy to use (there is only one button) and is practically foolproof. After using it for the first time, I literally ran to my husband: “you have to come see how this works…it’s unbelievable!”
If making homemade food isn’t in the cards for your family, thankfully there are great prepared baby food options on the market today. Yumi (from $4/meal) is the obvious favorite, offering fresh organic and nutritious options from Stage 1 purees (6+ months) to Stage 7 finger foods (11+ months). The recipes are rooted in science, combining unique flavors and ingredients to ensure baby is getting the maximum nutritional content available and help you expose your baby to a multitude of flavors from day one. And let’s not forget the convenience factor… the meals are prepared fresh and delivered to your door -- what more could a busy parent ask for?
The Seating Arrangement
Once you’ve figured out what to feed your little, they’re going to need somewhere to sit! The AAP recommends encouraging family meals from the first feeding, and it’s so great for babies to feel like there is a place for them at the table. I love Lalo’s The Chair ($215) for it’s sleek profile, non-toxic materials, and functional design. It pulls right up to the table and is comfy enough for baby to really sit up and participate in the meal. With 5 colors to choose from, there’s something for everything (spoiler alert, I chose white). For travel or temporary seating, I also love this Inglesina Table Chair ($79), which we’re currently using until I have time to pull out the Lalo Chair.
Spoons, Cups & Bowls, Oh My
Another great Lalo find is the brand’s First Bites Kit ($68), which pretty much includes all the tableware you need for solids. Everything is non-toxic, dishwasher safe, and made with BPA-free silicone so you don’t have to worry about weird chemicals getting into your baby’s food. I especially love the Little Spoon ($10) -- it’s the perfect size for tiny mouths and is short enough for babies to practice feeding themselves.
Once you’ve started solids, you’ll also need to teach your baby how to drink from an open cup, a big developmental milestone! EZPZ’s Tiny Cup ($10) is our favorite. It’s designed to fit even the smallest of hands and the weighted base prevents it from toppling over. Last but not least, mess is inevitable but made much cuter with Mushie’s Silicone Bib ($13), which comes in a ton of muted colors and patterns and features a deep front pocket perfect for catching food that doesn’t quite make it into the mouth.
Keeping Leftovers Fresh
Since babies only eat a teaspoon or so when they’re first starting out, you’ll definitely want a great storage solution for leftovers. Tiny containers are a must and these pastel WeeSprout Glass Storage Containers ($30) are great. I love that they’re glass so I don’t have to worry about plastic chemicals leaching into the food. Since I choose to make my own food, I also have a few of these Marcus & Marcus Food Cube Trays ($18) to freeze and label extra puree ( I may or may not also use these to make big cocktail cubes as well…).
In parenthood, preparation is the name of the game, and I’m all about setting myself up for success. These products have been key in helping our family get organized and feel confident in getting our baby ready to take her first bites!