It’s amazing how quickly the time goes. From bringing your new bundle home to watching them coo and smile, and before you know it, they are ready to start trying solid food. A baby’s progression in self-feeding takes years. Learning the fine motor skills to hold a spoon and use it correctly will take time and practice (and plenty of messy clean up!). In order to start your journey off right, make sure to have these seven tools on hand.
By far the first defense against messy eaters. When looking for an everyday bib, find one that has a bucket that extends out to catch food. The bibs with a sewn in pouch that lays flat in the drawer will do just that, LAY FLAT. Trust me, they don’t work. Get a bib that is sturdy and doesn’t lose it’s shape. If you buy for quality, you will use this bib for multiple children (mine has gone through three boys now!) A great one to consider is the Bucket-Bib. It’s made of food-grade silicone and is free of BPA and other harsh chemicals.
When looking for silverware make sure the handle is rounded, so it fits well in tiny hands. Also, a softer tip for spoons and forks won’t hurt sensitive gums. The BÉABA First Stage Silicone Spoons are a great first spoon thanks to the silicone tip.
Divided Plate that Stays Put
I have yet to meet a baby that hasn’t tried to chuck his or her plate onto the floor. Finding a plate that can house a few separate foods while staying put on the table is essential. Look for suction cups much like the ezpz Happy Mat. This mat suctions right to the table or high chair surface, which means no more tipping. Messes stay mostly on the plate, and on the mat, for easy cleaning once meals are done.
Suction Cup Bowl
Along the same lines as a stay-put plate is a stay-put bowl. From applesauce to cereal, having a bowl that suction cups to the table or high chair will keep kids from dumping that milk all over. My personal favorite that I have used with all three of my boys is the Catch Bowl Toddler Bowl from Boon, which has a built-in spill catcher to do just that. It extends out toward your child, creating a ramp to catch runaway food.
There are TONS of sippy cups on the market, and I have tried most of them. Look for spill- AND leak-proof. This cup is going to be left upside in the diaper bag or tipped over on your couch. Also, make sure it’s BPA-free and is made of food-grade materials. Those cute cups from the dollar bin can leach chemicals into the water when heated up and usually aren’t dishwasher safe. Which leads me to my next point, make sure it’s not only dishwasher-safe but doesn’t have a ton of parts to remove and put back together. One of my favorites is the ZoLi Bot, which has a straw that moves in any direction the cup is tilted. Genius for the baby learning to drink from a straw.
On-the-Go Snack Cups
Let’s face it, your baby will get hungry while out and about and having easy snacks on hand can mean the difference between a crying little one in the checkout line to a happy content baby cooing at the employee ringing you up. Make sure to have some spill-proof snack containers, like this one from Ubbi, that keep snacks in but still allows little hands to reach in and grab some puffs.
Preparing for the Next Stage
As little ones graduate into stage 2 feeding, a cute matching set lets them have a plate, bowl, sippy and utensils of their very own! The giggle Apple & Carrot Gift Sets are an ideal, sturdy and dishwasher-safe choice that will encourage little ones to eat their fruits and veggies.
By Kate Wilkinson