Around the 6-month mark, babies generally start to be introduced to solid foods. Your little one must be able to keep their head up and straight alone and shows interest in the food you that you would be eating in front of them. These queues will help you identify when it is the right time to start introducing purees to your bundle of joy. When the time comes, you should be ready with your weaning essentials. Together with a little help from @babyledweaning2021, we have come up with a list of weaning essentials. So let's see what you will need and enjoy the mess that ensures :):
1. High Chair
There are several variations for high chairs on the market, all having different prices and different features. Find one which could be used long term by your little one in order to avoid having to buy another one in the future.
Your little one will start his/her weaning journey with steamed vegetables. It is recommended to start off with a potato. Then change the vegetable after 2 or 3 days. The vegetables need to be steamed, in order for them to be very soft so that they could easily be blended. It is recommeded to have a steamer for this purpose. As your child gets older, make the food more interesting and entertaining by using different shapes. A silicone steamer with shapes which includes a lid is ideal for this, and can even be given to the child at a childcare centre.
Your baby's food needs to be purees and hence, a blender in a weaning essential. There are some machines which combine a steamer and a blender, but in all honesty, any normal blender will do. Just make sure that your baby's food is as smooth as it can be, without any pieces which could be a choking hazard.
4. Baby Food Tray
In order to be more efficient and more cost-friendly, you can batch cook for 3 days. Pureed food can easily be stored in baby food trays, which are perfectly portioned for your baby’s first feedings and come with a clear, silicone lid which keeps food covered and fresh. This allows you to stack multiple trays and other items in the freezer. This could also be used to make frozen pureed fruit ice lollies for when your baby is teething.
5. Baby food storage system
As your baby starts eating abit more, you would need need a good food storage system. There are various systems as a glass weaning start-up package or plastic storage systems as well as silicone ones. Whichever you use, make use that these can be fitted easily in both your fridge and your freezer and are not made from any harmful products.
At first, you will only require a spoon but as the baby grows older you would require also a fork and a knife. Make sure you buy a travelling cutlery set which you could easily take with you when you are on the go.
Weaning is super messy but hey, that's part of the fun. Make sure you have the snap and go bibs which are a life-saver for mamas. These could be easily rolled up to avoid additional messes after the feeding finishes. There are also the food-catcher bibs with are ideal to catch any spillages from the baby's mouth.
8. Bowls and plates
Silicone bowls with suction underneath are a must as these will help avoid messes. As the baby grows older, you should start offering different foods at the same time. In this regard, sectioned bowls are ideal. The same goes for plates. Sectioned plates, where the food could be seperated, are a definate must have.
A platemat will reduce the cleaning trauma after every meal. Silicone platemats can be easily washed in the sink, all hassle free. Platemats come in different sizes and the one you buy depends largely on the size of your high-chair table.
Once your little one starts weaning, you should start offering some water after the meal. Introduce a beaker at this stage. There are many different types of beakers, including ones which could be used in the longer-term given that they could be easily transformed into a sippy cup.
11. Muslin Cloths
Your baby is bound to get dirty after meals and hence, have at hand, organic muslin cloths which could be used as reusable wipes. Wash after each meal in order to avoid stains.
12. Insulated stainless steel food jar
An insulated stainless steel food jar is necessary when you are out and about. Such jars has vacuum insulated walls to keep meals hot or cold for hours, while its durable exterior will remain cool to the touch.
13. Insulated bag
Insulated bags help in maintain your little ones' food or bottle-feeds at the right temperature when you are out. These are essentials, especially in very warm or very cold weather.
There you have it - a guide to the weaning essentials. Good luck!