There is nothing quite like watching your little one smash sweet potatoes all over her face—and your entire kitchen—for the very first time. But starting solids can also come with lots of questions, especially for a first-time mama. From thinking about the best time to start to the right types of foods to offer, navigating this transition can be tricky. (And messy. Did we mention messy? Very, very messy. 🤣)
So, other than investing in a supersized box of baby wipes and the biggest bottle of laundry detergent you can fit in your Target shopping cart, what exactly will you need to take the plunge into the world of starting solids? We’re here to tell you, mamas.
From sippy cups to splash mats, here are our can’t-live-without products that will make starting solids easy as pie.
Best Bibs For Baby
Changing your baby’s clothes sixteen times a day is fun and all, but if you want to keep mealtime mess to a minimum, a waterproof, easy wipe bib is essential. Here are some of our top-rated faves.
After trying many, many different options, we keep coming back to BABYBJÖRN because, well… they are just that awesome. They’re made from a BPA-free, food-safe plastic meaning that you don’t have to toss them in the wash after every meal (win!)—just wipe them down (or pop in the dishwasher) and save yourself a few loads of laundry.
They feature a soft, adjustable neckband, a deep front pocket that catches spills. Plus it holds its shape so the mess doesn’t squeeze out. They’re also stain- and odor-resistant. 🙌
OXO makes some of the most innovative tools and gadgets on the market—and these clever bibs are no exception. The perfect hybrid of traditional fabric bibs and practical silicone catch-all designs, they feature soft poly up top to keep baby comfortable while the food-safe pocket collects whatever drops. They’re also super convenient when you’re on the go. Just tuck utensils into the pocket, roll it up and stash it in your diaper bag.
Honestly, who hasn’t fed a baby and thought, “Next time I’m covering this kid with a tarp.” Invented by a UK mom of twins who literally cut up an old umbrella to solve the mealtime messes, Bibado cover-all bibs are basically the baby tarp you’ve been dreaming of. Available in short and long sleeves, the innovative design is made from wipeable stain and water-proof fabric which fastens directly to the highchair to keep your little one (and your floor) 100% mess-free. Seriously, why didn’t we think of this?
Best Baby Food Maker + Storage
Making your own baby food doesn’t have to be a giant pain. We’ve found the most convenient, easy-to-use baby food maker and containers that work in the fridge and on-the-go.
Although definitely not a must, lots of mamas choose to experiment with making their own baby food somewhere along their feeding journey. Although a steamer and a blender will certainly do the trick, if you’re a mom who’s intimidated by cooking or looking for a quick, all-in-one meal solution, we can’t say enough good things about the Beaba Babycook .
It’s a true one stop shop for all things baby food. It makes taking fresh fruit, veggies, meat or fish from raw to any stage of baby or toddler food super simple in only 15 minutes. It can even be operated completely one-handed—a definite mom bonus!
The Babycook has a slim footprint so it won’t hog your precious counter space, but the bowl holds up to 4.7 cups of liquid or food so it’s easy to make a few bathes at once. And with several colors and styles to choose from, you’ll be whipping up baby culinary masterpieces in no time.
If DIY baby food isn’t something you have the time or patience for, you could also leave everything to the pros. Yes, we’re talking baby food subscription, mama. One of our faves? Yumi. Their fresh made baby foods can be delivered on your schedule to completely dissolve the stress of planning of baby’s meals. There’s a variety of stages and flavors to choose from and you can rest assured everything is organic and free of preservatives.
New subscribers can get $50 off their first order by entering the code 50OFF at checkout!
Ekobo containers are our favorite storage solution when starting solids. For one thing, they’re made from FSC-certified bamboo fiber with a food-grade silicone lid that stays attached when storing or feeding on the go. (Consider the lost lid struggle over!) They’re also free of nasty chemicals and feature a leak-proof silicone seal that keeps them completely airtight (and applesauce off the bottom of your diaper bag.) Price is for a set of two.
If you’re cranking out the purees, this highly-rated set of glass baby food containers from Wee Sprout is a great investment. Freezer, microwave and dishwasher-safe, they can store up to four ounces of food with a stackable and leak-proof screw on lid. They also come with a dry erase marker to help you keep track of dates and contents! Price is for a set of 12.
If you’re like us, you probably always feel a twinge of guilt tossing those pre-made baby food squeezy packs. Skip the guilt (and keep the convenience) by filling your own reusable pouches from Squooshi. These charming pouches are BPA-, lead-, phthlate- and PVC-free, and you can use them again and again. Plus, they’re more cost-effective so your wallet will thank you too. Pro tip: The pouches are dishwasher safe on the top rack, just rinse before you pop them in your dishwasher. Price is for a set of six.
Best Baby Plates, Cups and Utensils
Inspired by nature and designed to be baby’s first self-feeding spoon, the Olababy Training Spoon features a flexible, leaf-shaped tip that flexes to scoop, cut and slice from any angle. It’s also ergonomically designed for little hands, and the wide base allows the spoon to rest upright to avoid germs. (Meaning it’s perfect for baby’s first time eating in public!) And because the spoon is made from BPA-silicone and features a super flexible design, it also doubles perfectly as a teether for those tiny little gums!
The award-winning, doctor recommended GOOtensils from Num Num are pretty stinkin’ brilliant. Designed to help foster independence, these better-than-spoons require no scooping, balancing or holding flat to get the job done. Just a dip into their yogurt or puree and out comes a baby-sized bite that won’t plop off the second they try to get it in their mouth. They’re perfectly sized for little hands and can also help soothe teething gums.
Starting solids is also the perfect time to introduce your little one to a straw cup—but if watching your little one get frustrated isn’t top on your list of fun things to do, you’re going to need a cup that is easy to drink out of STAT. Enter the Lollacup . This (adorable) straw cup features a flexible, valve-free straw, making it easy for little ones to learn to drink. The straw also has a weighted end that anchors it in the liquid to help your babe drink effectively, even when the cup is tilted.
The cup has minimal parts and is easy to clean, so it’s frustration-free for you too, mama. And it comes with a straw-cleaning brush so you can get *really* into those gunky crevices.
On the other hand, learning to drink from a cup without the aid of a straw or sippy top is an important developmental milestone–a practice you can start as early as four months. (Get ready for some WET clothes.) Open cup drinking not only supports oral and speech development, but some suggest it can even help with the transition off the bottle. ezpz’s aptly named Tiny Cup is ideal for those early learning months given its perfect size and squishy silicone construction. The weighted base keeps it from toppling too easily and the interior angle provides an even flow.
If you’re tired of wiping down big, bulky high chair trays (or every inch of your kitchen table) or trying to intercept flying bowls, these genius mats are for you. A placemat + plate + bowl all in one, ezpz mats are the perfect solution for new eaters. The mat suctions directly to the table, making it nearly impossible for little hands to tip it over.
The mats are made from 100% silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC and phthalate free, and they are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. They come in a huge array of sizes and colors, and are stackable for easy storage.
You could also save yourself some time and scoop up everything you need all in one fell swoop! The super stylish silicone feeding set from Lalo comes with all the mealtime essentials: Two bibs, a suction bowl and plate, a two-handled straw cup (which can be used with or without the lid) and two spoons. Everything is perfectly designed with tiny ones in mind and dishwasher safe (because you’re important too.😉)
Best Baby High Chairs + Accessories
Like a tiny throne that’s going to get smeared with more food than your baby actually eats, we’re partial to high chairs that are easy to clean and not a total eyesore. (After all, it’s your kingdom too…)
The brilliant Oribel Cocoon High Chair comes in handy even before they’re munching on solids. Three different recline positions and six different heights help your little one transition from drinking bottles, trying food for the first time, to then drinking from a sippy cup and practicing eating solo. The design is also super thoughtful as the foam pad is both comfortable for baby and easy for parents to clean. If you rather have fabric on the chair you can purchase a separate insert to go with it. But best of all, it can easily fold in two for storage and the tight footprint keeps you from stubbing your toe every time you walk past it.
If you’re short on space, table mounted high chairs are always a solid option. With the highly-rated Inglesina Fast table chair, your little one can sit with the rest of the family, right at the table–any table. And if you’re traveling or just headed around the corner to grandma’s, it’s super easy to transport, weighs only 4.2 pounds, and collapses into 3.5-inch thick for easy storage. It also comes in a variety of great colors with a self-contained carry bag that can lay flat in a suitcase!
If you feel like a lot of the effort of starting solids is around preventing messes… you may be onto something, mama 😉 This must-have is a favorite not only as a splash mat, but as an all-around awesome, stunningly simple (but incredibly useful) innovation. Gathre mats are made from a soft bonded leather and are water impermeable and easy to wipe clean. They’re perfect for (stylishly) containing a mess under your high chair, but also for so much more—a sand-free spot at the beach, a picnic blanket, a clean spot for a diaper change, a craft mat…the list goes on and on.
And have we mentioned that these mats are absolutely gorgeous ? They come in a swoon-worthy assortment of modern colors + prints. We.want.them.allll.