The time has come to start introducing solid foods to your little one. I remember this stage so vividly. Browsing the feeding aisles of baby stores, wondering which spoon or bib would make my little guy a champion eater. Turns out it’s not quite so simple. But, as a pediatric dietitian and mom of two I’ve learned that not all high chairs, sippy cups and spoons are created equal.
Which is why I wanted to share my favourite feeding things. I’m a big fan of keeping it simple when it comes to baby things, but there are also a few items I wished I had just invested in from the start.
- Mally Bibs.This was one of those items I wished I had splurged on with my first son. I discovered them the second time around with baby #2, and loved the durability of these leather bibs. They honestly last forever and can withstand some serious abuse. If you’re in need of a new baby gift, these bibs make a great one!
- Num Num Pre-Spoon GOOtensil. I love this spoon for those first few months of solids, and even a month or two prior to starting foods for babies to chew on to help lessen the gag reflex. What makes this spoon so ideal for newbie eaters? Its short and graspable handle makes it ideal for tiny hands with little dexterity. Parents can even pre-dip the spoon into a thick yogurt, oatmeal or soup and allow baby to practice self-feeding.
- Boon Spoon. For parents going the purée route, this spoon makes an excellent choice for feeding. The key to a great spoon if you’re feeding purées is to find one with a longer handle for you to maneuver, and a small, relatively flat tip for an itty bitty mouth. Another bonus: it has two ends with different textures (metal and silicone), so you may find your baby prefers one over the other. Not sure if you should be starting with purées or finger foods à la Baby-Led Weaning? Take the Starting Solids & Baby-Led Weaning Class to learn all about the best way to get your baby started on solid foods.
- Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair. Again, another item I wished I had invested in from Day 1. This classic high chair grows with the baby which avoids you having to buy another chair or booster once they enter toddlerhood. Another advantage to this chair over many others is the solid foot rest it provides to your baby, which aids in the fine motor development needed to self-feed. Not cheap, but often times these can be found second hand. Another great option is the Keekaroo Height Right High Chair.
- Splash mat. To go with that high chair, I recommend something like this splash mat (or you can even make your own if you’re crafty) to avoid stains in your plush sheepskin rug. I joke, but I’ve learned some parents are seriously unprepared for the mess these tiny humans can make. I urge parents in both my baby and toddler/preschooler feeding classes to embrace the mess and allow their little ones to really explore their food. They are tactile learners after all.
- Vitamin D drops. This is a must for all partially and exclusively breastfed babies to ensure they meet their needs for this vitamin. Infants 0-12 months need 400 IUs of vitamin D every day. It’s easy to forget to give it to your baby every day, so I recommend that parents try to keep it somewhere visible and build it into their little one’s daily routine (we do it before brushing teeth in the evening) so that it’s easier to remember.
- Kids Konserve stainless steel containers: We love the U Konserve line of food storage containers for snacks and mini meals on the go. Ours have been in regular use for a few years now and are still going strong.
- Born Free Grow with Me Training Straw Cup. I’m often asked by parents which sippy cup I recommend. While we know that the “gold standard” for introducing water to babies (which should coincide with introducing solids, around 6 months) is an open cup, sometimes it’s just not practical, particularly when you’re on the go. A short-strawed cup with the straw at a slight angle like this one is your next best option. Why not use a hard-spouted sippy? You can read more here from SLP feeding therapist Melanie Potock.
- Infant CPR course: Ok so not quite a “thing”, but I highly recommend that all parents and caregivers take an infant CPR course prior to starting their little one on solid foods. My husband and I did, and it gave us a lot more confidence in knowing what to do in the event that our child was choking, as well as ways to prevent it from happening.
- And of course, the Wee Nourish Starting Solids & Baby-Led Weaning Class, which is now offered online. This class covers the When, What and How of Starting Solids & Baby-Led Weaning plus bonuses like a mini recipe eBook to get you started with meal ideas for new eaters.