10 Must-Haves for Starting Solid Foods With Baby
One of the most exciting milestones for parents and babies alike is starting solid foods. Baby might already be showing interest, swiping at your plate or trying to “feed” you. Food is a lifelong journey, and you should enjoy every moment of introducing them to their new favorites. Whether you choose to start with purees or jump into baby-led weaning, you can set the stage—and the table—with the right gear to make the transition easy. We pulled together our top picks to make meals simple, fun and hopefully a little less messy. From top to bottom (literally, your floor is gonna need some help), here are our picks for starting solids with baby.
Picking out baby’s first table setting is even more fun than shopping for fancy china—and you’ll use it way more often, we promise. Tableware from ezpz is a parent favorite for a reason. It’s actually a fully sectioned silicone plate and placemat in one, with a wide base that keeps it adhered to the table. Each section is designed to measure portions (2 oz and 4 oz), and if you have multiples, the trays stack for easy carrying. The Mini Cup from ezpz is just as thoughtfully designed. The bottom suctions to the table to prevent spills, but is sized just right for little hands to hold. A child-friendly training straw helps strengthen facial muscles and encourages speech development. Buy it: ezpz Mini Mat, $23; ezpzFun.com and ezpz mini cup + straw, $18; ezpzFun.com
You might not think of ergonomics when it comes to feeding baby, but how they’re positioned during mealtimes makes a big difference in terms of safety and comfort. Thankfully, Stokke has a lineup of three award-winning high chairs that offer excellent ergonomics and smart design features that adjust as baby grows. They’re ideal for infant development and ultra-comfy for toddlers, too, making little ones much more likely to, y’know, actually stay in the chair when they’d rather be running around.
The Clikk is designed to be lightweight and all-in-one, with a wide base and comfortable seat for ages 6 months to 3 years. Bonus: it requires no tools for assembly and has an optional traveling bag for on-the-go. If you want maximum versatility, check out the Steps. Its adjustable, modular design features adjustable back and foot rests and works with an optional bouncer that can be used separately or attached to the chair to serve as a seat for newborns. And if you’re planning long-term, you’ll want the Tripp Trapp. Unlike any other children’s chair on the market, this one is designed to last a lifetime. You read that right—the chair converts to comfortably seat a newborn, toddler or fully grown adult up to 300 lbs. Lastly, the Nomi chair, which has similar functionalities as the Tripp Trapp, offers a unique design for those with a modern style.
Buy it (from left to right):
Stokke Clikk highchair, $299; stokke.com
Stokke Steps highchair, $309; stokke.com
Tripp Trapp highchair, $299; stokke.com
NOMI highchair, $299; stokke.com
If the thought of feeding baby solids has you cringing internally at the mess, this bib-apron hybrid is a must-have. It’s longer than a bib and ties comfortably in the back (where little hands can’t yank it off). The fabric is waterproof and quick drying and machine washable, for anything a quick rinse can’t handle. The extra-long fabric “scoops” up in your kiddo’s lap, catching any food or splatters that miss the mark.
Buy it: BapronBaby bib apron, $23; BabronBaby.com
Want to make your own baby purees? The NutriBullet food prep system is an (admittedly adorable) all-in-one way to start. Store your epicurean inventions in single-serve containers or in a silicone tray. The blender itself disassembles, so it’s easy to clean—and the storage cups are dishwasher safe. Plus, this little baby blender is going to look super cute on your counter.
Buy it: NutriBullet baby food prep system, $70; NutriBullet.com
Baby food pouches are genius. You can toss ’em in your bag for on-the-go feedings, or pack them up for day care—and they’re a great size for little hands. Whether you’re making your own baby food or portioning out your kid’s favorite snacks, like yogurt or applesauce, this neat pouch-filling station makes things easy to prep. Its bottom is nonskid rubber, so you can stuff with confidence (or one-handed). When you’re done, all the parts nest inside the base, so it’s perfect for staying organized, even in small spaces.
Buy it: Infantino squeeze pouch filling station, $25; Infantino.com
Wanna try letting baby self-feed, but also cut down on the mess? Try these silicone feeders from Boon. You can fill them with any soft foods, like fruit or avocado. Because of the soft silicone, they make awesome teethers, too. Just pop them in the freezer or chill the food before filling. You can also attach the handle to a tether, so you won’t have to wonder where that half-melted frozen banana ended up.
Buy it: Boon Pulp silicone feeder, $11 for two; US.Tomy.com
Truly designed with developing hands in mind, there’s really no wrong way to hold these baby-friendly utensils. Kids don’t have to scoop foods up or keep the spoon upright to get them in their mouths, so you can let them taste and explore. Meant to build confidence, independence and motor skills, these ergonomic utensils work great for purees or baby-led weaning.
Buy it: NumNum GOOtensils baby spoons, $14 for two; NumNumBaby.us
You’re not gonna believe this is made for baby—the Splat Mat is gorgeous. It comes in six different styles: all wipeable, all reversible and all vegan leather. With a generous splat zone of 47” x 47”, this mat will protect your floors from just about anything baby can (literally) throw at it. It’s designed to go under a high chair, but is comfortable and durable enough to withstand playtime too.
Buy it: Lalo splat mat, $89; MeetLalo.com
You’ll quickly discover that infant portion sizes are significantly smaller than you’d imagined. Rather than toss out the leftovers, stash them for snack time in these cute, super tiny storage containers. The company offers a choice between BPA-free plastic or eco-friendly glass. You can write contents and dates directly on the containers. And when your little one isn’t so little, they’ll be perfect for snacks on the go.
Buy it: Babymoov leak-proof storage containers, $44 for 24; Amazon.com
Is there anything cuter than baby’s expressions when trying new foods for the first time? Absolutely not—but this printable checklist comes close. Offered as a digital download on Etsy, this colorful sheet keeps track of over 100 first foods. The checklist helps you make sure you’re covering a variety of foods and textures, and makes a sweet keepsake when they’re bigger. And if you don’t see it on the list? There’s even a blank space where you can write in your little foodie’s favorites.
Buy it: Baby’s first 100 foods checklist, $7; Etsy.com
Ready to help baby dig in? Stokke’s high chairs are designed with ergonomic support for infants and beyond, making mealtimes easier from their first foods through childhood. Find out more at Stokke.com.