profile picture of

Less Mess, More Fun: How To Feed Baby Her First Solid Foods

Learn how to transition from milk or formula to the solid stuff with these smart tricks and mom-tested helpers.

In a dream world...

Baby just can’t wait to get off a liquid diet, so you quickly whip up five different fruit and veggie purees. After trying and loving every single one, she can’t quite figure out how she can get them into her mouth any faster. All she has to do is see that full spoon coming her way and she opens wide.

In reality...

More food is covering her bib (and her face...and your floor…) than is going into her mouth. And what she does swallow, she doesn’t seem to like very much. You seriously wonder if you’ll end up sending her to college with a bottle—who knew mashed sweet potato could be so offensive?

Make this milestone easier

Start slowly
It’s tempting to jump right into exciting new foods, like fruits and veggies, but baby’s more likely to go for something with a familiar flavor. Make her first taste of solids baby cereal mixed with breast milk or formula, and then work your way up from there.

Try and try again
Since every single flavor is new and unusual, it’s normal for baby to resist eating at first—the trick is to keep offering him a spoonful of food several times a day to help baby get accustomed to it until he hopefully bites. Research shows that the more often babies are exposed to a flavor, the more likely they are to eventually accept it.

Keep your menu varied
Once “the light goes on” and baby is successfully starting to eat solids, offer her a variety of healthy flavors and textures to encourage a lifelong willingness to try new foods—she’ll get a more nutritionally balanced diet that way.

Mom-tested helpers

Because heading to a million different stores is the last thing you have time for right now, all of the sanity-saving products below are available at Walmart.

1. Earth's Best Organic Whole Grain Rice Cereal
You can spend hours researching great first solids online (you know, in your free time), or you can just toss this in your cart: It’s organic, made from whole grains and contains no genetically engineered ingredients, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, salt or sugar.

2. Baby Bullet Baby Food Maker, 20-Piece Set
So you want to make your own baby food—good for you! Step 1: Throw last night’s steamed veggies into the Baby Bullet and whip up purees in minutes. Step 2: Store them in the six included refrigerator-and freezer-friendly containers. Step 3: Look like SuperMom without spending an entire afternoon in the kitche

3. Tommee Tippee Explora Easi-Roll Bibs
Stop mega-sized messes in their tracks with these genius bibs! The extra roomy crumb catcher keeps food from hitting the floor, and the lightweight material rinses right off in the sink when mealtime is through.

4. Gerber 1st Foods, Bananas
These containers of all-natural, unsweetened goodness taste as fresh as if you’d mashed up the fruit yourself. Plus, the lids snap back on to save leftovers when she’s had enough—literally or figuratively.

5.& 6. Gerber Graduates Kiddy Cutlery Spoons and Graduates Tri Suction Bowls
Baby will easily be able grip the fat handles on these spoons. Since his attitude may be more “big boy” than his coordination, suction cups keep the bowls from toppling over when he insists on feeding himself (without your help, thank you very much).

The Bump teamed up with Walmart to bring you Real-Life Milestone Moments, a sponsored series full of solutions for the big, sometimes bumpy, journey through parenthood. With sanity-saving products and services like same-day pickup and stores open 24/7, Walmart is all about making life easier for new moms.

PHOTO: Shutterstock