Weaning is a wonderful experience for both Baby and Parents, it can however be very daunting. How do you know when your baby is “ready” to start weaning? How do you know what equipment to buy? Baby-Led or Purée?
Before Florence was even born we started to buy equipment for our weaning journey. Here are some of the things that Chris and I have found to be essential;
It is best to steam all baby food as it preserves all of the natural nutrients. You can of course buy an electric steamer but we just use a tiered steamer on the cooker top. When we made all of Florence’s purées we also used our microwave to steam, we had them all on the go!
We were kindly gifted a Tommee Tippee Explora Baby Food Blender and used it for Florence’s first batch of purée. I was excited to use it but we haven’t used it since. Unfortunately, it’s very small which means you can only purée a small amount of food at one time. We found ourselves having to blend each vegetable twice because it didn’t all fit into the container. It also leaked through the bottom and made a big mess on the work surface. We now use a Kenwood Hand Blender which seems to be working much better and means that we can make larger quantities in less time!
Ice Cube Trays
Ice cube trays are excellent for freezing small portions of purée. We made up all of Florence’s fruit and vegetables and froze them in silicone ice cube trays, purchased from Amazon. When the purées had frozen we popped them out of the tray into ziplock freezer bags and labelled them with the contents and the date they were made (once purées are frozen they should be used within six weeks). Another good thing about using ice cube trays is you can mix and match the purées to make new flavours, for example you could defrost a cube of Carrot and a cube of Swede to make a carrot and Swede purée!
Florence’s feeding bowls are from John Lewis. They come in a pack of five and are brightly coloured to make meal times fun! I really like these bowls as they are deep, easy to clean, stackable, and have removable lids meaning we can use them as lunch boxes too! They are also suitable for freezing and microwave use so we can freeze and defrost her food in them when she’s eating larger portion. The bowls are BPA free so they are perfect for little mouths!
Her spoons are also from John Lewis and match her bowl set. Again, the spoons are brightly coloured and BPA free. The tips are soft so they are very gentle on Florence’s gums and they are small enough to fit into her mouth. They are fairly shallow which makes the transition from sucking to taking a spoon a little easier!
We use the IKEA Antilop Highchair with the Support Cushion insert. I done a lot of research on highchairs and this type seemed to come out on top every time. It’s easy to clean, compact, has a large tray, and at £13 it is an absolute bargain! I was a little worried that it didn’t have a five point harness but we’ve never strapped Florence in because the insert really supports her (oops, naughty Mother!) It’s quite small in height too which means Florence can sit with us at the table at dinner time which she loves! To keep her entertained for longer periods we put some of her favourite toys on the tray, she has a lovely Highchair suction toy too!
Weaning can be a very messy process for everyone involved so I was on the look out for a bib that would cover most of Florence while she eats! While searching online I came across something called a “Bapron.” It’s an apron bib that ties around the back of the baby so there’s no way they can pull it off! Florence’s Bapron is a beautiful oil cloth Strawberry pattern that I found on Etsy.
The Doidy Cup is designed at a slant that helps young children learn how to drink from a cup. Fingers crossed it will also mean that there will be less water spilt! I haven’t introduced the Doidy Cup to Florence yet but I am excited to! She currently takes her water from a small Dr Brown’s bottle while she is learning how to eat from a spoon. I didn’t want to put too much onto her too soon!
The following products aren't essential for weaning, but they are lovely to have!
Nuby Fruitsicles Purée Mould
When I saw these on offer in Waitrose I just had to have them! The Nuby Fruitsicle Purée Moulds are perfect for making frozen purée or yoghurt lollies and are small enough to fit into our little one’s hands. The weather is getting warmer and Florence’s gums are getting more poorly by the day so I am hoping they will help soothe the heat and teething problems!
Munchkin Lil Apple Plates
These Munchkin Lil Apple plates are a bright and vibrant way to make meal times fun. I can’t wait to start using these plates when Florence starts having finger food in a couple of months. The small sections mean that she can have a variety of food on the plate that she is clearly able to see and grab!
Fill ‘N’ Squeeze
The Fill ‘n’Squeeze allows you to transfer your home cooked purées into food pouches so that you can take them on the go without having to buy branded food pouches. The pouches are reusable, and can be used in the dishwasher, freezer, and microwave! This product means that I can still give Florence a homemade, healthy meal whilst we are out and about.
So these are my weaning essentials!
Do you every day essentials that you'd like to share with me?