Because it’s Nutrition & Hydration Week, we thought it’s the perfect time to give you the lowdown on everything baby needs to begin weaning.
It’s such an important milestone in your baby’s life, and you may be feeling a little unsure where to start. But planning ahead and ensuring you have everything you need allows the process to go as smoothly as possible – but we can’t guarantee it won’t get messy!
To help you get started, we’ve jotted down some of the key essentials. Be sure to arm yourself with the right tools depending on what works best for parent and baby, but remember not to put too much pressure on yourself – you’ll learn as you go!
First things first
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a weaning baby is the high chair, as they need to be able to safely sit upright while they eat.
And when it comes to high chairs, there are lots of things to consider, but ultimately you’re looking for something your baby finds comfortable, yet something parents will find easy to clean (as you’ll be cleaning it A LOT!). If it has cushions, can they be removed and cleaned easily? Are there any nooks and crannies where dirt could build up?
You should also consider a highchair that has a foot rest, as it can help baby feel more comfortable and able to focus on their food. Mummy Cooks explains more in her blog.
Once your baby is happy with their highchair, you may want to think about putting them in a bib to keep them clean as they wean! At Nuby, we have a fantastic variety of bibs to choose from – whether you’re looking for a silicone bib to catch all of your dinner debris or our cute coverall bibs with long sleeves for those extra messy mealtimes!
Whatever you choose, a waterproof bib that you simply wipe clean can make things much easier for you.
Setting the table
The tableware is central to your weaning adventure, and how you decide to approach weaning can affect the type of plates, bowls, spoons and cups that you’d choose.
If you want to go down the baby-led weaning route, where you allow your baby to feed themselves, our brilliant Suregrip range gives babies real confidence in getting to know their food.
The Frog Feeding Mat is perfect for laying out those first few finger foods, and just like the Suregrip Suction Bowl, the suction pads on the bottom allow babies to get their fill without their food running away from them!
Your baby can even start learning to spoon feed themselves with the Suregrip Dippy Self-Feeding Spoons, which come with a ton of handy features to help them develop their utensil skills.
And of course there is the option of starting your weaning journey with spoon-fed purées – and that’s also perfectly fine! You’ll find that each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, purées allow you to get creative in the warmer months and make some fruity ice pops using our Fruitsicles ice pop tray
Purées are also a popular option for babies who are ready to start weaning ahead of the 6 month mark. Many parents love spooning purées into our EZ Squee-Z Weaning Feeder as a less messy way of introducing those first tastes if they’re not quite ready for finger foods.
No matter what you decide, you want tableware that is light, yet durable, and you can pop in the microwave. It also helps if it’s stimulating to look at, using bright colours and designs to capture your little one’s attention - such as our eco-friendly rice husk tableware range, which comes in an adorable Fergus the frog design!
The rice husk range is a great choice for parents looking to try out different methods of eating and drinking, whether you go with purées or finger foods, tumblers or beakers. And the rice husk material is 100% biodegradable, so when you’re done with it, you could even put it on your compost heap!
On the subject of tumblers and beakers, another question is how you want to start introducing water to your baby’s meals. It’s advised to introduce a cup of water to your baby’s mealtimes when they start eating solid foods as it helps to ease the digestive process, which is all new to their little bodies.
There is a lot of choice out there, from soft spout sippy cups to get babies used to those first few sips, to free-flow beakers that encourage them to start developing their motor skills. Some even choose to give their little ones an open tumbler with their meals straight away, although this can get messy. That’s why our no-spill 360 trainer cups are such a big hit with parents!
We have lots more advice on drinking, cups and beakers on our blog.
Food on the go
You may not always have the luxury of feeding baby at home, so it’s always good to be prepared to take out some ready-made food with you as you’re out and about.
Food storage containers are an essential for any weaning baby. Even if you’re planning to eat most of your meals at home, it can even save you time in the long run to prep your meals in advance and store them in the freezer.
Our Store & Go Food Pots are a great choice for little eaters on the move, or even portioning out meal prep to store for later. Baby can be fed straight out of the pot, or you could opt for our Easy Go Feeding Bowls that come with a trusty travel lid to prevent any accidents.
Speaking of accidents… you can always take your baby bib out with you too, but if you’re looking to minimise your mess with little fuss, our biodegradable bibs are a fantastic eco-friendly option for a disposable bib to keep baby clean on the go!
You may also want something that keeps your baby’s food fresher for longer if you’re going to be out all day. Our Insulated Thermos Food Jar is a great choice for parents, and comes with its own Spork attached.
That should cover the basics to get you started on your weaning journey. But by now, you’ll have worked out that it’s all a learning process – and, together with baby, your family will discover what tools, tips and tricks work best for you.