While we can’t guarantee a mess-free experience (sorry!), these eight products will help you foster a miniature foodie from your baby’s first nibbles to those big kid bites.

1. For busy moms with great taste: Raised Real Membership

Sure, you love the idea of making your own baby food. But finding the time to buy, prep, and cook nutritious food for every meal is hard if, you know, you want to do anything else with your day—until now. Meet Raised Real, the homemade baby food company that delivers organically sourced, fresh, and pre-portioned meals to your home every two weeks. Every meal contains whole ingredients like sweet potato and mango or broccoli and kale. Better yet, they’re tested and optimized by co-founder Dr. Michelle Davenport, a registered dietitian with a PhD in nutrition, to make sure each bite nourishes your baby as much as possible. Raised Real even helps you do the work of blending and steaming with their all-in-one Meal Maker (free with membership), which means less cleaning post-mealtime. And because the ingredients are all raw, diced, and plant-based, you can customize the steaming and blending to serve as puree or finger food as your little one grows.


Pro tip: What if you have questions? Your membership also gives you access to Raised Real’s Baby Food Hotline. Simply text your concerns to receive answers, tips, and even encouragement for first feeders.


2. For quicker cleanups: Bumkins Waterproof Bibs

While we can’t guarantee that every first foods session won’t result in a full laundry basket, we can offer one less thing you’ll need to scrub down: your baby’s bib! These waterproof bibs from Bumkins are made from a waterproof fabric and designed to be comfortable and durable. There’s even a pocket to catch spills—meaning you might get to skip mopping the floor. (Here’s hoping!)

Pro tip: When you do need to wash the bib (like after baby’s first time trying blueberries, for example), they’re safe to throw in the washing machine, but be sure to hang dry to protect the waterproof fabric.


3. For a smoother scoop: Olababy Training Spoon

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!)

Pro tip: The BPA-free material and flexible design also make this spoon great for teething babies—especially when those molars start to come in.


4. To prevent foodie flinging: Munchkin Stay-Put Suction Bowls

The hardest part of first feedings? That first time your baby inevitably chucks his bowl onto the floor. (Don’t worry, mama—it happens to the best of us!) Or, you could skip that moment entirely with a bowl that knows how to hold its ground. We love the Stay-Put Suction Bowls from Munchkin, which cling to almost any surface for fewer spills. When mealtime is over, simply pull the quick-release tab on the suction base for easy parent removal.

Pro tip: Ready to un-stick? Place dirty bowls into the dishwasher to clean, and then get back to playtime.


5. For drip-free sips: LollaCup Straw Sippy Cup

Ah, the sippy cup. It seems like no one has been able to design one just right yet… or at least that’s how we felt until we discovered Lollaland’s Lollacup. Featured on Shark Tank, this genius little cup features a weighted straw for easy sips, even when the cup is tilted. It’s also valve-free, meaning your child won’t struggle to suck and you won’t struggle to clean hard-to-reach corners. Plus, that cute little bird face top? Totally adorable.

Pro tip: No more fighting to fit your baby’s cup into the cup holder—this cup’s handles detach with a single twist for a perfect fit almost every time.


6. To catch any extra spills: EzPz Happy Mats

Skip the bowl entirely in favor of a sectioned placemat that won’t slip or slide during mealtime. Happy Mats from EzPz are made from 100 percent food-grade silicone and offer three portioned compartments that are four or ten ounces each. They’re also dishwasher-, microwave-, and oven safe up to 350 degrees—hello, fewer dishes!

Pro tip: Feeding a crowd? Three to four Happy Mats can be stacked and carried with food for quicker serving.


7. For little leftovers: Bluelans Silicone Weaning Baby Food Freezer Tray

We’ll admit, not every new food is going to be a hit the first time your baby tries it. If you can only get your little one to eat a few bites (or you make more than you need to fill that little belly) save the leftovers in the freezer to try another day. We love this silicone freezer tray from Bluelans, with seven BPA- and PVC-free compartments. When it’s time to eat, simply pop out one of the scoops to defrost—dinner is served!

Pro tip: Each tray is stain-resistant and dishwasher safe for an easy clean up.


8. For cooler snacking: Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder

If serving those first few bites has you feeling nervous about your baby choking, consider a Fresh Food Feeder from Munchkin to get things started. The mesh feeder keeps bigger food chunks in place until your baby can gum them down to size, and it’s BPA-free for safe sucking. The colorful mesh also resists stains during snack time.

Pro tip: Teething baby? Place a piece of frozen fruit in the feeder for some soothing chewing.


Brought to you by Motherly in partnership with Raised Real. For more info on our advertising guidelines, click here. We only include products we’ve tested and loved in MotherlyLoves. Through affiliate programs, we may receive a revenue percentage if you purchase through our website.

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.


The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.

As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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