What do I need to buy for weaning?

Guide to the 4 essential feeding equipment buys and 7 other useful products for starting your baby on solids - plus we reveal mums' recommendations

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Your checklist for weaning equipment buys

ESSENTIALS

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  • High chair: You need somewhere safe for your baby to sit, where he can be sitting upright. Find out which highchair is best for your baby and you
  • Weaning spoons: Whether you’re giving puress or doing baby led weaning (where you start your baby on soft solid food rather than purees and let your baby feed himself), you’ll need plastic spoons for self-feeding
  • Bowls: If your baby is a bowl-dropper, you can buy ones with suction pads – but your baby may soon learn how to pull that off!
  • Bibs: An absolute must – otherwise you’ll wear your washing machine out

YOU MAY ALSO WANT…

  • First cup: At 6 months, you’ll be starting to wean your baby off the bottle on to a cup or beaker, to protect their teeth
  • Blender: If you’re making purees, a blender can speed up the process. But remember, you won’t be pureeing for that long
  • Freezer portion trays: Brilliant for batch making purees giving you easy storage in the freezer
  • Lidded storage pots: Great for freezing food in early weaning, then for taking mashed meals and snacks out and about
  • Freezer bags: Transfer your ice cubed purees to freezer bags, to free up freezer space and ice cube trays for more purees!
  • Splash mat: Whatever type of weaning you’re doing, splash mats can save your sanity and your kitchen floor
  • Travel or portable high chair or booster seat: Great for feeding away from home. Find out which travel high chair or booster seat is best for your baby

How much does weaning equipment typically cost?

  • High chairs can range from £14 to £350
  • Spoons from £2.99 for 6
  • Bowls from £2.99 for 3
  • Hand and baby blenders from £16 to £90

Do I need to buy a blender to begin weaning?

A blender is a very useful piece of equipment when it comes to preparing your own home-cooked food for your baby, if you’re doing spoon-feeding.

But it’s not necessary to buy an expensive model, as you’ll be moving on from purees within a couple of months.

A ‘stick’ or hand blender will do the job if you want to make batches of purees and freeze them, and for when you’re adding meat.

Or, a special ‘baby’ blender will allow you to prepare smaller quantities easily. A ricer or masher will blend soft fruits or vegetables.

Do I need to sterilise my weaning equipment?

You should sterilise your weaning bowls, spoons, cups and storage pots if:

  • Your baby is under 6 months old
  • Your weaning equipment has had any contact with milk (either breast or formula)

If your baby is 6 months or older and the weaning equipment has not been in contact with milk products, a thorough wash in very hot water or a dishwasher is adequate.

Mums recommendation – what you need to buy for starting solids

Lots of mums are offering good advice in our forums on which weaning basics to buy and how to use them…

EnglebertW_nckface treated the highchair-buying business as an investment, sharing: 

“When my LO needed a highchair when we bought two Stokke Tripp Trapps. They are in a totally different league.

“You can adjust every bit of them so your lo is sitting properly, not slumped or uncomfortable, and they will adjust to fit all the way up to adulthood.

“That was part of the reason we bought 2, we intend to use them as spare adult chairs when the lo’s are grown up. They are well made, sturdy and really easy to adjust, the only thing we’ve found to fault them at all is that they are a bit pricey.”

MaxsMummy says keep it simple: “A hand blender is a must – I just got a cheapy from Argos, think it was £8.99. 

“Apart from that just got some BPA-free bowls and spoons from IKEA (3 of each), 2 ice cube trays to freeze left over purées, and 2 bibs with sleeves that can be rinsed and dry super quick (also from IKEA).”

While icklechick adds: I second long-sleeve bibs especially if you’re doing BLW! Have you got a highchair yet?

“We have a Tripp Trapp and it’s fab but if you get the type that pushes up to the dining table rather than having its own tray, I heartily recommend an oil cloth to save your table!

“Not sure how old your LO is, but Snack Traps are great for when they’re nibbling on the go, and I also have tons of little plastic Tupperware type pots for freezing portions of food once they’re eating more than just an ice cube or two each meal.”

And jodie-lou made some practical purchases: “Brother max do some great little storage pots for freezing food or for taking out with you.

“They have a push up button on the base so its easy to pop out frozen food. They also come in different sizes depending on what stage of weaning you are at.

“Soft flexible spoons were a good idea at the start and its handy to have a few as they seemed to end up everywhere  for me.

“Another item I would recommend is some sort of splash mat to try and catch the food that ends up on the floor!”

One mum’s weaning shopping list, by MFM forum mum ThinkWeiss…

  • Vital Baby do great soft tipped spoons, perfect for weaning
  • Vital Baby spoon heads that fit onto baby food pouches for when you are out and about.
  • A mini blender from Sainsbury’s (£10 a couple of years ago). Fantastic for whizzing up purees, no need for big fancy ones
  • Baby food ricer is handy (I got an OXO one on sale for £5 this year). Good for making lumpier textures and I also use it for when I’m making mash and other dishes for the family
  • Brother Max freezer pots – brilliant
  • Vital Baby Unbelievabowl has a suction cup that locks into place on a flat surface so your LO cannot move it when eating. Great for when you are doing a combo of baby led weaning and traditional methods and for when they are a little older
  • Mess mat comes in handy. Just pop it under the high chair to save carpets and floors from flying food and spillage
  • IKEA Antilop highchair. I bought it 3yrs ago and used it for both my LOs. It will do my next one too as it’s in great condition. Cheap, sturdy, doesn’t take up too much space and great if you are on a budget
  • Wipe clean bibs with arms. A must if you’re doing baby led weaning. Saves a lot of laundry!

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