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 an 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.
A floor saver
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.
A waterproof bib
A waterproof, easy wipe bib is essential. 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. 🙌
A safe start
Early introduction of food allergens is important for a lifetime of healthy eating. But many parents are still uncertain how and when to introduce allergens. Inspired Start takes out the guesswork. Their certified organic fruit pouches introduce eight of the most common food allergens (peanut, egg, soy, tree nuts, wheat, sesame, shellfish and fish) to babies, starting from just four months of age.
Each box contains two days worth of four different allergens, so parents can serve two days of peanuts, then two days of eggs, and so on before moving to the next box. After each allergen has been introduced, the Variety Pack box lets you continue exposure until your child is ready to eat the foods in solid form. Still worried? Talk to your pediatrician if your child has a family history of food allergy.
A mess-free mat
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.
A minimalist high chair
Sleek, smart and designed to shrink as your kiddo grows, the Lalo highchair is a minimalist dream come true. This high chair and play chair combo comes with two sets of legs so that it can be used long after they grow out of the baby phase. With a modern style that's easy to clean, it fits your decor without taking over.
A flexible 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!) 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!
A simple straw cup
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.
An all-in-one meal solve
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.
A consultation with a pro
Transitioning to solid foods can be an overwhelming process. From learning about potential allergies to introducing new foods in a way that raises an adventurous eater, getting help from an expert can make it easier. This 20 minute consultation from Tot Squad connects you with a pediatric nutrition expert for a video consultation you can conveniently do right at home. Easiest appointment ever.
A storage solution
Now that you've made all of this delicious food, where are you going to store it? Ekobo containers are our favorite storage solution when starting solids. (And beyond!) 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 free of nasty chemicals and feature a silicone seal that prevents leaks and keeps the containers completely airtight and goldfish crackers off the bottom of your diaper bag.
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