To get started with solid foods for your baby you really don’t need much: high chair, bibs, spoons, sippy cup, lunch box. Here are my favorites, details below:
High chair: It’s recommended that when buying a high chair you take your baby with you and actually try them out in the display models in the store — advice I was given by a friend who runs a baby club/website. Other questions to ask yourself: Is it important that the high chair is easy to store because you have limited space? Do you want the high chair to pull up to the table or have its own tray? Do you care if it matches your kitchen? I had researched a bunch of different high chairs and we ended up with the Peg-Perego Siesta. It was a splurge, but we figure it’ll be used 3+ times a day for years and for several kids so it was worth the $300 price tag. We also loved that it collapses, saves us space by fitting right next to the refrigerator. We also found when Archer was still a bit small for the high chair the Bumbo with tray worked well — a great option for anyone starting solids from 4-6 months.
Waterproof bibs: You’ll ask yourself why you need waterproof bibs, but trust me, you do. Baby food at the start is very watery and certain foods stain cotton. We were recommended Bumkins Waterproof Superbibs and they’re awesome! The pocket at the bottom catches any drips and the nice large size covers the entire front of the baby. They also sell some that have sleeves, which is also great for when your baby starts eating with their hands. Note the bibs with sleeves are bigger and won’t fit most 6-8 month old babies.
Spoons: We were recommended two brands of spoons to try: Playtex Baby Mealtime Infant Spoon and OXO Tot Feeding Spoon. Both have pros and cons, but in the end I prefer the OXO Tot Feeding Spoon. My friend who recommended them said she bought several types as well, but always defaults to this spoon — I found the same thing. It’s great because the end of the spoon is squared so you can get every last bite out of a jar and no matter what we’ve fed Archer nothing has stained the silicon tip! The Playtex spoons are fine, a bit smaller if you have a young baby with a tiny mouth and very light, but they do stain from certain foods.
Sippy cup: The typical sippy cup that first comes to mind for most of us is actually not recommended. Reason being it doesn’t help your baby’s mouth muscles develop and can cause speech issues down the road. It’s recommended that you get your baby drinking out of cups and straws. I bought 6 different cups to try them all out, these are all good:
- Zoli Bot Straw Sippy Cup: this is the best! Doesn’t leak/spill proof and the fancy design ensures your baby never is sucking up air — the end of the straw is weighted. The friend who recommended this cup has said it has a cult following in LA, I can see why.
- Playtex Baby First Lil Gripper Straw Trainer Cup: to teach your baby to drink from a straw you need a cup like this. The cup itself flexes so you can squeeze the bottom to help liquid come through the straw. This teaches your little one that there’s liquid inside! They will eventually learn how to suck the liquid through the straw. Archer finally has mastered this, but it took a few weeks.
- OXO Tot Training Cup: great cup that can grow with your baby. It has a clear top that helps restrict how much liquid can come out of the cup. Archer loves this cup and drinks well from it. It’s not spill proof.
- Philips Avent Natural Drinking Cup: spill/leak proof but hard for a baby to drink from without assistance holding down the sealed lid. I like this cup, but think it’ll be better when he’s older.
If you plan to make your own food:
Food Processor: manual or automatic, here are some that came recommended by friends.
- Baby Bullet: friend of mine says storage is easy bc mixing containers also act as storage containers.
- Boon Mush Manual Food Processor: I use this for any soft fruit or cooked veggie. I prefer manual so I can take it on the road with me easily. (see pics below)
- Dr. Browns Hand Blender: you can use any brand, but many moms says they use a hand blender and find it easiest to just blend the food they just steamed right in the same pot.
- Baby Breeza Baby Food Maker: definitely the top of the line option for moms who want one appliance to both steam and puree your baby’s food. With one touch of a button this machine steams and purees. Awesome.
Storage Containers: when storying baby food it’s important to store in individual serving sizes. You can’t refreeze baby food after it’s thawed so you better just be able to take out a single frozen serving at a time. You can either buy an ice cube tray styled storage solution or individual canisters. I recommend buying both. The ice cube try (with lid) is great to use while at home, just pop out a cube of food, and the individual canisters are great for on the go.
Steamer: most people already have a vegetable steamer, but if you don’t here is a simple steaming basket that fits in most standard pots: Trudeau Stainless Steel Vegetable Steamer.