You don’t really need to buy anything fancy to wean your baby. Whether you’re going to feed your baby purees or are embarking on baby led weaning (BLW), you just need some sort of cooking equipment (preferably a steamer as this is the best way to retain nutrients when cooking) and a bib.
If you’re going down the puree route instead of BLW then a blender (hand-held or food processor) and soft spoon are also essential.
Here is my list of essentials, plus a few things that can make life easier… (and take a look at this piece if you want advice on highchairs)
To get you started…
Bib, spoons and bowls are not all created equally! All the items I recommend are BPA free which is really important for weaning equipment to minimize the number of chemicals your baby is exposed to at this vulnerable time. To stay safe, I would recommend the Tommee Tippee range.
Tommee Tippee’s Heat Sensing spoons are really soft and flexible so great for sensitive gums and they change colour if the food is hot so you can easily see whether the food is the right temperature for your baby. Don’t be drawn in by the high-tech glossy look of others weaning spoons. These are too hard for a baby’s sensitive gums.
Tommee Tippee’s Roll n Go bibs are also great: easy to clean, come with a crumb catcher and they are also softer than others on the market which is very important because a hard bib (yes they do exist bizarrely!) can really irritate a baby’s neck when it’s already been battered by dribble.
I’ve tried and tested a huge number of beakers on the market- mainly because my children always seem to prefer other children’s drinks to their own! Again I have found that Tommee Tippee’s beakers are the best because they don’t leak and their flip top is easy for a baby to open themselves. Their Basic First Cup is the best for when your baby is making the transition from bottle to cup. A great feature is that it has a millilitre marker so you can fill it with formula really easily.
The Tommee Tippee Explora Feeding bowl with lid and spoon is really handy for when you’re out and about.
Nice to have…
The following are great to have in the kitchen but no means essential – you can easily use a food processor and ice cube trays for example
The BEABA Babycook is a compact steamer and blender in one so is very practical and saves on washing up which is always a plus in my book. Be aware though that the Babycook Original only allows you to steam a small amount of food at any one time.
This may not work for you if (as I’d recommend) you want to cook your baby’s purees in big batches to be frozen in small portions. BEABA does make a Babycook Duo, which is double the size of the Original so addresses this problem but then you’re also looking at almost double the price…
Icecube trays or freezer packs
You can use normal ice cube trays or BEABA Babycook Multi Portions, flower-shape silicone freezer packs which have just the right sized compartments for a baby’s meal. Don’t bother buying the smaller ice-cube sized weaning pots as you can just fill these silicone flowers half way for the first couple of weeks of weaning and then increase as your baby eats more. These also have the benefit of being really flexible so it’s easy to pop out one portion of puree at a time. The same can’t be said for all weaning pots.
Not absolutely necessary by any means but if you’re a gadget lover then Fill ‘n Squeeze is one to consider. It allows you to convert your homemade purees into transportable, squeezable, convenience food. Otherwise Koko BPA-free baby food pouches with a zip achieve the same result using less equipment and with pouches that appear to be easier to clean.
- Mary is a qualified nutritional therapist who runs weaning classes for Lulubaby. For more information visit her website.