12 must-buys to make starting solids easier

You’ve read the how-to books, bought the ingredients, and even found a recipe or two. Now comes the fun part: starting your baby on solids

But, hold your horses, mama! There are a few accessories that you’ll need to pick up, too, to help your babe eat, contain the impending mess, and just save your goddamn precious sanity. So, here’s our guide to 12 must-buys to make starting solids easier.

A grippy suction bowl, plate, or dish

Sometimes babies get so excited about their food they – well, they can pick their bowl, plate, or dish and throw it around. (This can also be a sign that they’re done eating, too.) 

The solution? A bowl, plate, or dish that suctions to the table or your little one’s high chair tray. We love Bumkins’ Silicone Grip Toddler dish. It’s said to be so sturdy and grippy that it’ll withstand even the most energetic of children, is divided into tiny sections for serving out different foods, and comes in a range of colors and patterns (including a faux marble look if you’re a fancy girl). 

Buy it here

Source: Bed, Bath & Beyond

Age-appropriate self-feeding cutlery 

If you’re following the baby-led weaning approach to starting solids or if you’ve got a fiercely independent babe, there might be less spoon-feeding and more self-feeding happening. If this is the case, eZtotZ’s Little Dippers Spoons are a must. 

  • They’re the perfect shape and size for itty bitty hands. 
  • They have “food channels” instead of a regular spoon head, which makes it easier for your little one to grab food and helps food stay on the spoon, too.
  • They’re uniquely shaped to avoid gagging and choking.
  • They’re BPA-free and made from 100 per cent food-grade silicone. 
  • You can also use them as a teether toy (who knew?!).

Buy it here.

Source: Walmart 

Safe cutlery for spoon-feeding

If you’re following a traditional spoon-feeding approach to starting solids, it can be a guessing game working out if your baby’s puree or food is too hot (you don’t want to be burning their little mouth!). 

Enter Munchkin’s White Hot Infant Spoons that have a color-changing tip – they turn white if your baby’s food is too hot (approximately 110 degrees F or 43.3 degrees C and above, according to the brand). So easy.  

They also feature a tapered, soft design that’s comfy and gentle for little mouths, a long handle for ease of feeding, they’re dishwasher-safe (YES), and are BPA-and-phthalate-free. 

Buy it here.

Source: Munchkin

A bib that’ll catch food

Until your baby gets the hang of taking or putting food in their mouth, chewing, and swallowing (trust us, it seems easy to us, but your babe’s gotta learn), the food that goes in might just, well, fall right back out. 

One way to minimize the mess? Popping a bib onto your little one that’s designed to catch food! This one from Mushie is made from food-grade silicone, is BPA-and-phthalate-free, has a snug neck fastener, and yes, a deep front pocket for catching food. Plus, they’re simply adorable – you can purchase options covered in designs like confetti, rocket ships, and dinosaurs, or simply in the most vibrant colors if preferred. 

Buy it here

Source: Mushie

A splat mat for the floor

Mama, we’re sorry to say it: starting solids can be freaking messy. So if the mess isn’t your thing (and you don’t have a dog that’s going to hoover up rogue food), a splat mat for the floor is for you. 

What’s a splat mat? Well, it’s a large piece of fabric that you pop under your baby’s high chair to (hopefully) catch all the food that’s not going in their gob (which can be a lot, if we’re being honest). 

We vibe this offering from Gathre. It’s boujee, but it’s made from bonded leather, meaning it’s likely going to last you longer than the standard plastic mats on the market (which are also a good option, too!). In addition, it’s wipeable and water-resistant, folds into a compact size, is free of toxins, and can be used as a playmat too! Plus, it just looks so damn gorgeous. 

Buy it here

Source: Gathre

A long-sleeved smock or two

When starting solids, foods can get everywhere. And that includes all over your babe’s clothes. 

If you aren’t into doing load after load of laundry (like most moms, really!), a long-sleeved smock is going to save you. 

We love Little Bai’s ‘Bestie Bib’ – it’s got long, elasticated sleeves, a long body, a food-catching pocket, easy-to-do-up stud buttons at the back, and you can wipe it clean or throw it in the machine. There’s a reason it’s called the ‘Bestie Bib’ – and that’s because we can guarantee it’ll soon become your mealtime BFF. 

Buy it here

Source: Little Bai

A leak-proof sippy cup

Around the time your babe starts solids is when they’ll begin to drink water too. How cute!

Now, there are sippy cups, and then there are sippy cups. And believe us when we say that this is the sippy cup. B.box’s sippy cup:

  • Has a weighted straw that moves with the water, meaning your baby can drink at any angle they wish.
  • Has a two-way valve that ensures zero leaks.
  • Features easy-to-grip handles and a simple flip-top lid.

Plus, it comes in a range of beautiful colors. 

Buy it here.

Source: B.box 

A squeezy, portable food spoon

Another way of avoiding the mess that can come with starting solids? A squeezy spoon. 

They feature a handle that you fill with food (we’re talking puree, not a steak n’ veg type of thing) and a feeding tip that you squeeze the food onto. They’re also excellent for feeding on the go – this version from Munchkin has a cap meaning you can pop the whole thing in your purse or diaper bag. 

Buy it here

Source: Munchkin

Solid AF insulated food jars

Picture this: you’ve got a food that is best served warm or needs to be kept cold, but wherever you’re going, it doesn’t have a fridge or microwave. So what’s a mama to do? This is where insulated food jars come in handy! They keep food whatever temperature you need, and for hours at a time. 

You might be familiar with Thermos (the myth, the legend, the brand, the product!). Well, they make a kid-sized jar that’s sturdy, easy to carry, simple to open, comes with a folding spoon, and is available in a range of colors. It’s also perfectly sized for school lunchboxes when the time comes. 

Buy it here.

Source: Thermos

An easy-to-wipe high chair

Right, if you’re starting solids, you’re likely going to need a high chair (your babe’s not big enough for an adult seat at the table just yet!). 

Our advice? Get one that’s easy AF to clean because you’re probably going to be wiping that damn thing down after each meal. 

Stokke’s Clikk High Chair fits the brief and is stylish too. Plus, it includes everything you need to get started (the chair itself, a tray, and a harness), is ergonomic, features an adjustable footrest, and can be used from six months to three years. 

Buy it here.

Source: Stokke

Adorable little freezer trays

The transition from breast-or-bottle-feeding to solids can feel overwhelming. Like, your baby is a whole other person to cook for, and at first, they have special dietary requirements (that’s without factoring in allergies). 

Mama – batch cooking and freezing food is going to be your go-to. But, because babies have tiny tummies, they only eat a little at a time. Meaning if you freeze whatever you’ve cooked in a normal-sized container, you’d potentially be wasting a lot of food when you defrost it. So pick up a freezer tray, which allows you to freeze food into baby-sized portions. You simply pop out a frozen food ‘nug and defrost when it’s mealtime! 

This tray from We Might Be Tiny is as functional as it is adorable – you can use it to freeze food, but you can also use it as a baking tray. 

Buy it here

Source: We Might Be Tiny

A do-it-all baby food maker

These are kitchen gadgets that do things like steam, blend, defrost, and reheat food. And while they can be a bit of a splurge and they’re not really a necessity, they can make the starting solids adventure easier (particularly if cooking isn’t your jam). 

Now, certain baby food makers do just some of the actions above. Others, like Beaba’s Babycook Solo, do them all, and all while looking cute as heck on your kitchen counter, too. We also love that you can use Beaba’s offering one-handed (because there’s likely going to be a baby in the other, girl). 

Buy it here.

Source: Beaba 

Now you’re well and truly sorted to start solids, mama. And if there any other starting solids must-buys you’ve seen? Share or save them in Mumli!

Read next: Choking vs. gagging at meal times: what you need to know

Pregnancy, Birth & Baby, When can babies drink water?

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