Weaning is an important part in the life of your little human being. So no matter if you’re excited and cannot wait to start or a bit stressed due to all the dangers that seem to lie ahead, there is some preparation you need to make. And we don’t mean only deciding on what sort of approach you will have on weaning (if it’s classic, BLW, both altogether and very personalized according to you and your baby’s expectations) and what vegetables and fruits you should first approach. You will also need to buy some stuff, while ignoring some other, as it is really unnecessary and represents money thrown out the window.
So let’s see what a must is first:
- A basic high chair – because your kid does not need something very fancy or expensive. If you plan to practice or at least try baby led weaning, make sure to buy one that has a tray that can be easily cleaned and which the baby can reach from day 1 of weaning. Also, no matter what chair you buy make sure you can get the baby out fast and easy in case he has gagging issues, so try to use a chair that fits from the first day and avoid using straps.
- A large mess mat if you don’t have tiles or another easy-to-wash floor in the kitchen. This way, all the mess with go to the mess mat, which is easier to clean than a fancy carpet which has cost you lots and which may be full of stains in just a couple of days of weaning of a playful child who finds it funny to throw everything on the floor.
- A set of spoon and fork for babies, BPA free. It’s not that the regular spoons and forks are not good enough for your baby, but the fact is he could get hurt with them. How? Well, he will love to play with whatever’s in front of him, and he may be to “wild” in sticking the cutlery in his mouth. This plus the sore gums equals disaster. Better safe than sorry. Also, BPA in combination with heat from the warm veggies may lead to BPA releases into the child’s food. Bisphenol A being an endocrine disruptor may mess with your baby’s healthy development.
- Lots of bibs, especially if you’re not starting in the summer, when the baby can be left in his diapers and moved straight to the shower after eating. Cloth, plastic, silicone, whatever bibs you have, the more, the merrier and the less the mess. Bibs with sleeves are great too as you can simply dress the baby in them and remove them when no longer needed, while the baby’s clothes stay (hopefully) perfectly clean underneath.
- BPA free stay-put suction bowl. Because the baby will want not only to play with the food and throw it from the tray, but also with the bowl. So make sure the bowl is very well attached to the tray. And in case the baby manages to snatch it at least he cannot break it and get hurt.
- A trainer cup – and in case your child drinks formula, make sure you buy the same brand as his bottles, as the teats may be highly similar, making it easy for him to get used to drinking water.
What shouldn’t you spend on?
- A high chair with sleeping positions. Do you, as an adult, sleep at the table? If the answer is no, the same applies to your baby. Not to mention it would not be very hygienic leaving the baby all messy and dirty for hours after eating.
- A high chair that can be used until late (7 years old – more or less) – these are usually very expensive and cool, but do you imagine a 7 year old eating from a baby high chair? Right…
- Frozen food storage products – these ARE in fact very helpful, but it’s recommended to cook fresh in the first couple of months. Of course, if you plan to travel or you’re on the run they may prove helpful, but otherwise, these shouldn’t make it to your weaning short list.
- Steamer – you can easily steam all you need with a strainer and a normal pot. For a couple of months of use, throwing away hundreds of dollars is not necessary.
- Blender – useful if you plan to transform all the vegetables in soft creams with the same texture. A regular fork is as good as anything for the small quantity of food you need mashed for your baby.
Of course, the market is invaded by gadgets, objects and tools that promise you the moon and the stars, a hungry baby and 100% success from the first day of weaning. However, the basics are few and cheap, and other than those you only need the baby (but of course) and courage to start.