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 nine can't-live-without products that will make starting solids easy as pie.
Raised Real takes the guesswork out of introducing a variety of solids by delivering nutritionist-approved, professionally prepped ingredients you simply steam, blend, and serve (or skip the blending for toddlers who are ready for finger foods)—that's why they're one of our favorite healthy meal hacks for kids. You can get 12 meals for $65.88 or 24 meals for $119.76.
[In partnership with Raised Real]
A waterproof bib
A waterproof, easy wipe bib is essential. After trying many, many different options, we keep coming back to Bumkins because, well...they are just that awesome. They're made from a lightweight, waterproof fabric, meaning that you don't have to toss them in the wash after every meal (win!)—just wipe them down and save yourself a few loads of laundry.
They feature a Velcro closure for a quick, adjustable fit, a front pocket for catching spills, and are stain and odor resistant. And they come in a huge selection of sizes and designs. We truly could not love them more.
A classic high chair
We realize there are lots of choices for high chairs out there and that choosing the right one for your needs will probably depend on space + budget. But if we had to pick, we have a big-time baby gear crush on the Stokke Tripp Trapp.
This Scandinavian seat has been around for over 40 years, and for good reason. Its iconic look compliments just about any style, and its brilliant ergonomic design grows with your child, providing a safe, comfy seat at any age. (Truly—it can hold a full-grown adult. We know; we've tried.) It's also easy to clean and durable enough to hold up to many years of wear and tear.
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 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 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 wayyy 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 storage solution
Now that you've made all of this delicious food, where are you going to store it? Wean Green containers are our favorite storage solution when starting solids. (And beyond!) They're made from the purest, most natural recyclable material-glass, making them five times stronger than regular glass so you won't have to worry when your baby hurls them on the floor 🤣
They're free of nasty chemicals, won't stain, and feature a silicone seal that prevents leaks and keeps the containers completely airtight. They're even safe for the microwave and the freezer, making it simple to freeze a big batch of food to use when needed.
You might also like:
- 6 sleek + modern high chairs that don't sacrifice on style
- 54% of parents start babies on solids 'too early,' researchers say
- Looking for the best natural baby wipes? Here are our top 7
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