So your baby is sending you cues that they want to start solids….they are watching you eat with a wishful look in their eye, opening their mouth every time you go to take a bite and trying to steal your spoon out of your hand. Before you start, you’ll need to go shopping! Check out this list of helpful equipment to help you get prepared:
- High chair – babies grow rapidly, so choose a high chair that can be modified as your baby grows. If your baby is still learning to hold their head up themselves, choose a high chair that has some padding around their neck to support them when their head gets tired. You may also like to choose a high chair that converts to a ground level chair so they can climb in themselves once they can walk.
- A mess mat – unfortunately food doesn’t stay in the high chair, so invest in (a couple of large) mats so that you can throw them in the washing machine after each meal
- Smocks – once your baby starts self-feeding, a small bib just won’t do the job. Instead opt for smocks with sleeves that cover your baby’s whole outfit. Again choose options that you can throw in the wash after each meal, and be warned, you’ll need more than you think.
- Suction plates – suction plates and bowls that stick to the table are a great choice so that your baby doesn’t pick up their plate of food and throw it on the ground (well, until they learn how to undo the suction!). Look for options that are BPA free.
- Sippy cup – once your baby has started solids, they can also start drinking boiled, cooled water out of a sippy cup. Start good habits now by encouraging your little one to take sips of water between meals, after their meal and between meals. And don’t forget to lead by example and take a sip from your water bottle at the same time!
- Baby cutlery – look for baby cutlery that is easy for them to hold, soft enough that they won’t hurt themselves, but firm enough that they can have control over getting the food into their mouth.
- Ice cube tray – or small containers for freezing small portions of foods.
- Blender – for pureeing food
- Insulated containers or lunchbox – for taking snacks on the road.
- Cleaning equipment – when your baby starts solids, you’ll do more cleaning in a day than you used to do in a week. So, ensure that you have plenty of washing powder, dishwashing detergent and wipes available to keep your little one’s eating area clean and hygienic.
Although it may feel a little scary and overwhelming, introducing solids is such a special time for you and your baby. It’s incredible to watch them grow and develop and just like adults, meal times are always a special time for socialising and sharing. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!