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5 Essentials for Starting Solids

It’s the stuff of dreams. Your mom-style dreams, anyway. You’re counting down the days until you get to see your little one’s face smeared with sweet potato puree. (It is a pretty cute look.)

The good news is you don’t need a lot of stuff when it comes to feeding baby. Especially at first, it’s a pretty straightforward, low-maintenance gig. (Note we didn’t say “low mess.”) But, still, there are definitely a few must-have items that we’ve loved on and leaned on over the years that have helped make it more fun. So as you get ready to start introducing solids, we thought we’d share some of our favorite feeding essentials with you.

Plastic items listed below are all BPA-free and dishwasher safe; see individual product specs for microwave and freezer suitability.

1) Baby Food Maker

Beaba Babycook is an all-in-one baby-food cooking goddess that can steam and puree, and  it won’t hurt your eyes (there’s even a rose gold option, you guys.). We love that you can operate it with one hand — meaning that while you are holding baby you can steam, puree, reheat or defrost food – which may not be private chef-level amazing, but is still really helpful. The motor is quiet so baby won’t freak. And you will feel pretty darn Martha Stewart-esque having the option to make baby’s first foods right in your kitchen.

 

Baby Bullet– Surely you’ve seen those delightful Magic Bullet infomercials? This is the baby version: a cute little blender that comes with a nice, compact set of coordinated storage thingies so your brain won’t explode. The “Date-Dial Storage Cups” make it easy to throw things in the fridge or freezer and keep track of when you did so, which is particularly helpful *just in case* you have baby-brain. There’s also a flexible batch tray for the freezer. So now instead of making vodka ice cubes, you’re freezing small, pop-out portions of baby food. That’s #adulting.

2) Utensils

BEABA Silicone Spoon Set – The shallow scoop means you can’t overpile food, and the soft tips are easy on baby’s gums.

 

Oxo Tot Feeding Spoon Set – A little pricier than your average baby spoon, but worth the splurge. These high-quality stainless steel spoons have a soft silicone coating over the heads and a contoured handle, so as baby gets a little older and starts taking the reins at mealtime, he can grip his little mitts around these comfortably.

 

Munchkin Soft-Tip Infant Spoon – Rainbow happiness! These are another good option as baby gets a little older since the scoop is firmer and holds more food. The nice long stem means you can scoop down into jars and containers easily. Or ice cream cartons, just in case you happen to find yourself using one yourself.

3) Bibs

You know those cute fabric bibs you wore as a babe that your mom’s been saving the past 25 years for when you finally had a baby? Super sweet for sentimental value, but those #oldskool ones have since been replaced by all kinds of bibs that are easy to put on, take off, and clean. The silicone “catcher” ones with big pockets are great in theory, but we’ve always found those pockets too small to actually catch anything – plus they’re hard to store and not machine washable. Our two recs:

Bumkins Bibs– waterproof and machine washable – but FYI they do need to air-dry.

Remember SMOCKS from art class back in elementary school? This wearable bib from Bumkin is just that. Same material as their standard bib but more coverage for those eaters who are the full-contact type.

(Of course, if it’s not the dead of winter there’s always good ol’ nakedness, too. Just sayin’.)

4) Storage Containers

Wean Green– Glass that’s freezable and microwaveable – and not just airtight but watertight so you can pack salad dressings, purees, and other drippy business still tote it around. Neat freaks and germaphobe types can rejoice because the seals are removable which means bacteria won’t build up.

 

Oxo Tot Baby Blocks -the plastic versions thereof. So, if a certain someone happens to knock it off the table, NBD.

5) Snack Cups

 

Munchkin Snack Catcher  -This is what saves your car and stroller and… well… sanity. Every single puff and Cheddar Bunny will stay contained, and baby’s gotta work and put her fingers in. Consider it a fine-motor skills exercise gear and feeding apparatus in one.

6) Bowls/plates

The OXO Tot brand makes great quality non-slip tableware. We really like their wide bowls, bowls with lids, divided plates and plates with removable training ring, which keeps food contained as baby’s still learning.

A great, basic set of plastic bowls without suction or non-skid bottoms are Munchkin’s stackable bowls.

And, finally, a nice bamboo alternative are these Bobo & Boo Bamboo stackable snack bowls. Suuuper pretty pastels, eco-friendly – and wallet-friendly too. Just be aware they are not recommended for microwave.

Bon appetit! And: let the games begin.