Our weaning guide would not be complete without a list of recommended items and tools to make things go more smoothly, so below you’ll find some ideas about how to start weaning with the right kit at hand.
Look for a high chair created for babies, as many are designed with toddlers in mind. Positioning is important so an adjustable footrest and seat, and support behind the shoulders, are all good features to have. Try out a few highchairs and choose one which means that your baby’s ankles, knees and waist are all at a 90 degree angle to their upper body to help with their core stability.
You’ll probably want your baby to enjoy the full sensory experience of their first weaning foods, but this will mean that things get messy! Having at two bibs will be necessary : one for wearing and one for washing to prevent using a dirty bib and avoid potential food poisoning from old food. Machine washable bibs should be considered so they can be washed in high enough temperature to kill off bacteria.
These have a shallower bowl than metal spoons, which makes them easier for your baby to take food from. Plastic or silicone are also warmer materials and therefore more comfortable on delicate young gums. It’s useful to have several available at mealtimes – one for each of your baby’s hands and one for you to feed with.
It makes sense to choose one type of cup and stick with it, so that your baby only has one new drinking technique to master.
It’s important to serve food from a bowl rather than directly from a pouch or jar. Decant a small portion into the bowl and feed your baby from there.
You’ll need all the usual equipment for preparing food, such as knives, a chopping board, a peeler and a tin-opener. An electric hand blender is helpful if you’re making food purees, however, a sieve and the back of a spoon will do the same job! To steam food, you can buy an electric steamer, or simply use a sieve over a pan of boiling water with a lid. You’ll also need a potato ricer because you can’t easily puree potato – it goes too gloopy and can be a choking risk, while a standard masher often leaves lumps.
Small storage containers, or large ice cube trays with lids, are handy for freezing little portions of food when you’re batch cooking. Lids are essential to prevent freezer burn.
Having a mat to go under your high chair and protect floors can be invaluable! A machine-washable fleece blanket dries quickly, or you could use a cheap plastic shower curtain.
These are great devices for keeping food warm or cold, when you and your little one are out and about.