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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

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]

$65.88

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.

$8.99

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.

$249

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.

$40

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.

$23

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.

$17.49

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!

$14.95

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.

$15.95

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.

$149.95

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.

$15.43

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If you're already feeling a bit of cabin fever, it's time to get outside for some fresh air, mama. Whether you've planned your days around homeschooling activities or have decided on taking a more laid-back approach, there's always one thing that everyone in the family can agree on: playing outside!

From playhouses to tree swings, we've found 12 of the best outdoor toys to keep your little ones busy in the backyard during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Gardening tools

kids gardening tools

Even the smallest of gardeners need the right tools to get the job done! These wooden + metal gardening tools look (and work) just like the real thing, and are crafted from natural materials and without toxic paints or finishes. Your little one will love getting their hands dirty while also developing their motor skills.

$27.99

2. Sidewalk chalk

kids washable chalk bucket

Get the kids outside to create sidewalk drawings (and positive messages for neighbors!). This giant bucket is filled with 50 washable chalk sticks, providing hours of outdoor fun.

$11.92

3. Water beads

kids water beads

Simply put, water beads are just so much fun! These smooth, squishy beads create an awesome tactile experience and are prefect for sensory play in a water table or any type of small container. You can even use them to practice color recognition, sorting, counting and so much more.

$10.99

4. Picnic + sensory table

picnic and sensory kids table

Sensory tables are a staple in any preschool classroom—and can be in your own home, too. They're perfect for stimulating your little one's senses and facilitating play, creativity and exploration. This beautiful table has a built-in sandpit that can hold up to 50 lbs of play sand or nearly 3 gallons of water. Plus, it doubles as a place to paint, color or draw.

$116.99

5. Web swing

kids outdoor web swing

This swing will take you back to simpler times and long, warm summer days spent swinging outside. With more than 1,000 great reviews, this is a bestseller for a reason. It holds up to 600 lbs so multiple kids can hop on (even parents can join in!), and the tree straps are built to be durable.

$69.99

6. Pool

mini inflatable pool

There's really not much to say here other than WE COULD NOT BE MORE OBSESSED WITH THIS POOL! Measuring 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, it's big enough for you and the kiddos (ummm or just you?) to stay cool. And have we mentioned all the fun designs? Swoon. 😍

$45

7. Scooter

kids radio flyer scooter

Whether you're zipping through city streets or riding up and down your suburban driveway, a good scooter is a must have for outdoor fun. It's a great way for little ones to improve their balance and coordination while also having a blast!

$22.88

8. Sprinkler

kids giant sprinkler

Nothing says summer like a giant inflatable cactus sprinkler in your backyard 🤣 This playful sprinkler stands almost 6 feet high and is the perfect way for kids to cool off during those hot days. (Shh, we won't tell if you want to join in on the fun, too!)

$58.99

9. Jumper

kids junior jumper

If you're looking for a jumping toy but don't want a full trampoline, this jumper is the perfect solution. It's super bouncy, super safe and really fun! This one is sized perfectly for smaller jumpers, and can handle multiple kiddos at once.

$169.95

10. Wheelbarrow

Radio Flyer kids wheelbarrow

If your kids are going to play outside, they might as well pitch in with the yard work 🤷🏽♀️. This classic wheelbarrow looks just like the real thing—just a lot smaller! Little ones will love filling it up, pushing it around, dumping it out, and then doing it alllll over again and again.

$39.99

11. Oceanbound tide pool set

For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their bath toys and use them in a new way outside. With this tide pool set, there are so many opportunities for fun sensory play, whether it's in a sandbox, a rice sensory bin or just good old fashioned dirt. We especially love that these toys are made from 100% recycled plastic and that they come in their own adorable storage bag that can also be used for play.

$19.99

12. Wooden playhouse

Kids playhouse

This one is spendy for sure, but a sturdy, beautiful playhouse is an investment that will pay off in years of imaginative play for everyone from young toddlers to school-aged kiddos. This one is large enough for several children yet compact enough to work in even tiny backyard spaces. It's made from 100% cedar wood and features several large built-in windows, flower boxes, a working door + doorbell, and even a chalkboard.

$289

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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If you had to only choose one product to toss in your bag, what would it be? Our guess is you're looking for something that's easy-to-use, affordable, clean and multi-tasks for you—something that'll simplify your routine because you have other things to worry about than what beauty product to grab (like making that Zoom meeting in time while you're working from home).

Enter: Arrow Beauty—a clean beauty brand created by Birchbox with products designed to save you time.

I had the chance to try out the entire product line and, let's just say I've made sure to toss one everywhere—in my bag, on my desk, in the bathroom. And during this pandemic, it's made getting ready (okay, looking presentable for video calls) in the mornings so much simpler.

Each product is created to be something you grab and go when you're in a rush. Everything is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and mineral oil, vegan and cruelty-free so you can still give your littles all the snuggles and kisses without stressing about transferring any bad ingredients over. And, they're designed to travel well. Birchbox made sure Arrow Beauty featured leak-proof and carry-on friendly items. Did we mention everything is under $25?

Here's what is in their first launch:

Nourishing lip oil

birchbox arrow lip oil

This one might be my favorite from the collection. A lip oil that leaves a high-shine finish that isn't sticky (!!!) and keeps your lips moisturized for hours. It comes in clear, perfect to top off your favorite shade, or color enhancing pink that reacts to the pH level of your skin, making a unique shade for you.

$16

Radiant skin moisturizer

birchbox arrow skin moisturizer

Have no time in the morning? Massage this into your skin for the ultimate pick-me-up. It has a subtle sheen that illuminates and nourishing ingredients—hyaluronic acid and aloe—that hydrates and gives you a glow.

$24

Color enhancing lip balm

birchbox arrow lip balm

The Birchbox team listened to customer feedback to reformulate their OG tinted balm and it's *so* good. There are three shades—berry, coral and blush—that look incredible on all skin tones because it reacts to the pH in your skin to enhance your natural color. Even better? It's buildable!

$15

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This is the #yearofthemother.

And this is the pregnancy book women deserve, from the experts at Motherly.

This is an unprecedented time to embark on the journey of motherhood. You are part of a new generation of women elevating empowerment in all its forms.

Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, whether you're still deciding about pregnancy or already have a baby on the way, becoming mama involves your body, mind, emotions, lifestyle, relationships, schedule, spirituality, worldview—and most of all, your heart.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama celebrates the wonder of your new baby and honors you through this profound life transformation.Inclusive, holistic, and evidence-based, this book was made for you—a loving and supportive embrace of your unique motherhood journey in all its power, complexity and beauty.

Peek inside here!

the_motherly_guide


Praise for The Motherly Guide

"Mothers around the world deserve the guidance that this book offers: unconditional support and access to expert-backed, non-judgmental information. This book is the first of its kind to support the whole woman through the whole journey from getting pregnant, to birth, postpartum, and beyond. The maternal wellness revolution has arrived." —Christy Turlington Burns, founder, Every Mother Counts

"Motherly is leading the conversation about how pregnancy, birth, and postpartum transforms a woman's world―and The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is their greatest contribution yet. Women deserve all the support as their bodies, minds, and lives transform, and this book delivers it with so much heart."—Katrina Scott, cofounder, Tone It Up

"The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is like having an entire birth team on your nightstand...it offers grace, empowerment, and support for however and wherever you find yourself on the becoming mama journey."—Anthonia Akitunde, founder and editor-in-chief, mater mea

"THE essential guide to pregnancy and birth has finally arrived. The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is the only book you need to get you through this adventure. It's woman-centered, warm, and informative . . . it's the book I wish I would've had, and the one I'm so excited for you to have."—Natalie Gordon, founder and CEO of Babylist

"This epic book is a cross between an encyclopedia and a wise aunt. In this thorough and comprehensive resource, the Motherly team offers equal doses of wisdom, love, and cold hard facts so that each new mother can develop the confidence that she desperately needs on her pregnancy and motherhood journey. A soulful and dependable guide for all women."—Kimberly Ann Johnson, author of The Fourth Trimester

Pre-order your copy ofThe Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, and join us as we redefine motherhood, together.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on so many people's lives, and mamas everywhere are feeling it especially hard. The outbreak has been an especially scary time for pregnant women who worry about getting the support they need during this already challenging time.

At Motherly, nothing is more important to us than helping mamas everywhere feel supported and empowered from the very beginning of their motherhood journey. That's why we took two major steps toward helping pregnant women everywhere feel more confident right now:

First, we wrote the pregnancy + birth book you deserve.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama provides evidence-based, women-centered support for every stage of your journey, from trying to conceive to caring for your sweet new baby.


We wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama to ensure that every person has access to high-quality, nurturing pregnancy and birth guidance. It is the pregnancy book you deserve. And we would be honored if you would consider pre-ordering it now.

You can pre-order The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama at your favorite retailer, and it will be on its way to you when it releases on April 14th:

During this difficult time, please consider ordering from Barnes and Noble or an independent bookstore as they are greatly impacted by COVID-19. (Also, please note delivery times from various outlets may vary or be delayed due to the virus.)

Second, we're making our Becoming Mama™ Online Birth Class absolutely free.

For the thousands of women who are unable to attend their birth class due to the virus, our class, taught by Diana Spalding, Motherly's Digital Education Editor, certified nurse-midwife, and writer of The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, is the nurturing, empowering resource you need to have your best, most supported birth no matter what.


This class will prepare you for your birth, while the book is about the entire journey—from trying to conceive, to pregnancy wellness, birth, postpartum and caring for your sweet new baby.

More than 7000 women have joined Motherly's FREE online birth class

Pregnancy and birth are some of the biggest moments of life—it can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Going through this process during a transformative world event—a pandemic—can make it feel so daunting. We want you to know that we are here for you.

You deserve to experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.

As founder of mater mea, Anthonia Akitunde said, The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama "is like having a whole birth team on your nightstand."Because you deserve to experience it all with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.


To sign up for our free online class, please fill out this info, and we'll email you access to the class (within 24 hours) and sign you up for our newsletter.


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