Before You Start Solids, Read This
Just when you have your sustenance routine with your baby down pat, it's time to cut back on nursing sessions or reduce bottle feedings in favor of introducing solid foods. It's a fun, but messy process that requires planning, a sense of humor, a little research, and a second round of baby gear to help ease your little one into this new phase of babyhood.
First, there is the food itself. While there is nothing wrong with buying pre-made baby food, if you think you may want to try making some of your own, there is no need for a commercial kitchen or even a large blender.
A Babymoov Nutribaby is a great way to simplify home-cooked meals for little ones. It has a double-decker steamer attached to a small blender and doesn't take up all that much counter space. It has a large cooking capacity for parents who prefer to make several meals at once, but it's also capable of making small portions for one meal at a time.
Use it to steam carrots and broccoli for baby's first meals, then move up to these delicious and simple recipes. For times you aren't cooking, the Babymoov Nutribaby can also be used as an efficient bottle or baby food jar warmer.
After baby's food is made, you can feed it to him right away, or if you are cooking a larger batch, store it for later. There are a few options that make storing baby-sized options easy. Mastrad Babypod makes dividing portions of steamed veggies or your little one's favorites a cinch.
Simply pop off the lid, and a perfectly sized portion slips out. Or use a Babypod with four sections, store meals with variety, and pop one in the microwave or right on the table when it's feeding time!
When making your own baby food, there will be a lot of mixing, measuring, and washing. The Nest 100 from Joseph Joseph packs a lot into a really small package.
I have found that having a neat stack of measuring cups, colanders, and mixing bowls makes preparing baby food just that much easier. I also love the non-slip bases for when I'm preparing food while holding my baby. I love the stainless steel, but this set is also available in bright, cheery colors as well.
As a bonus, I've found that my baby loves banging on these bowls and stacking the measuring cups.
No time to make baby food? If you are feeding baby right from your plate, you may be spending a lot of time cutting up your food into bite-sized pieces. This can take a long time, and it's hard to do if your baby wants to be held.
Since discovering mealtime scissors from Mixed Pears, I have used them almost daily to quickly cut up food for my baby into little pieces. These are really easy to use with one hand, cut food quickly, and the little blue dot in the middle isn't just for decoration — it's the recommended size for bite-sized food for babies, so I'm always sure I give my little one small enough pieces.
A good bib is a must for feeding babies at home (at least until they start pulling it off). After feeding four babies, I've come to appreciate bibs that just wipe clean rather than needing to be washed.
I love the Silibib from Silikids because it is so easy to clean and even has a little pocket to help catch any crumbs before they hit the floor.
Ever have one of those times when your little one is more interested in grabbing the spoon and bowl than eating? Or one of those lunches that no matter what you do there is a huge mess everywhere and you dread the next meal?
Not yet? You will.
And when it happens, you would be lucky to have The Original Squeeze on hand. Just fill it with your puree, applesauce, yogurt, etc. for relatively mess-free eating. The only way your baby is eating is through the spill-proof nipple.
Baby will need somewhere to sit while eating those purees! After four kids, I've found that I want a high chair that is as easy to clean as possible. I've also found that a highchair that is simple (I prefer white) means it will blend with your decor.
Another good feature is a high chair that can fold when you need a little extra space. This one from Baby Bjorn meets all of my criteria. Plus, it has some extra padding and a foot rest for baby's comfort. Oh, and did I mention it's easy to clean?
Make food fun! Everyone knows that (some) kids will open their mouths for the airplane when it wants to make a landing in their mouth. Go beyond the airplane and make food fun. I like storing my purees in Tovolo novelty ice trays that come in fun shapes and are the perfect size for baby food portions.
Babies learning how to eat for the first time don't have a lot of teeth. Protect those sensitive gums by using small, soft spoons. I like Silispoons that are made of silicone and have textured handles that babies like to touch.
Word to the wise: get a few spoons so that baby will have one or two to hold while you are feeding him.
A super-absorbent rag and lots of paper towels! This probably sounds like a joke, but trust me — your life will be easier if you are prepared and able to clean up easily. Approach feeding time prepared for a mess, and the process will be a lot less stressful for you and your baby!