Seeing your kids start solids is an exciting time for parents. It is fun to see their faces and how they will react to their first bites of real food. However, not all babies are thrilled about mealtime. Some will decline to try new food, which can be challenging. But one thing you can expect is that meal times will be messy.
If this is your first experience feeding a baby, we’ll help you get through it. We’ll talk about the telltale signs to know if your kids are ready for solid food, and list some of the best baby feeding accessories to encourage your child to self-feed.
When Is It Safe To Transition Kids to Solids?
Every baby develops at their own rate. In the first six months, doctors recommend that their food and nutrition come from breast milk. Incorporating different food after the sixth month is fine while ensuring that most of their nutrition still comes from breast milk.
Other kids will show great interest in food, which is a good sign that they’re ready to try solids. But you should also consider their physical capabilities. Here are other signs to look for before introducing solids to your kids:
They can independently hold their head and neck upright.
They can sit alone or without any support.
They can open their mouths big enough for a spoon.
They know how to swallow.
They can bring food to their mouths.
When introducing solid food, remember to pace yourself. You’ll be understandably excited, but don’t force your kids to try food they don’t want. This can only lead to choking hazards and other untoward accidents.
7 Helpful Baby Feeding Product Must-Haves
Eating solids is a delicate task, so make sure everything is baby-safe, from the food itself to the gadgets you use. Several feeding gadgets can help you prepare your kid’s journey into solid foods. Here are some feeding tools you can consider for purchase.
Most babies will start learning to eat food by using their hands. It’s perfectly alright to let them eat with bare hands. However, getting them baby spoons is a must. At first, you can guide your kids with using their spoons, but as they grow older, you can let them eat on their own.
You can purchase several types of baby spoons for your kids. Food-grade silicone is the best choice because it’s non-toxic, soft on the gums, and easy to use. Bamboo baby spoons are also a great choice if you want something more organic. It’s safe, not too hard, and can double as a teether.
Baby Plates and Bowls
Inclusion is essential during mealtime. Giving your kids their own set of plates and bowls will make them feel included and excited about eating. Of course, adult plates and bowls are not suited for your kids. There’s a high chance they’ll break these types of plates.
Baby plates are made from lightweight and unbreakable materials, making them safer. There are also baby bowls with suction cups to prevent your kids from spilling their food. It is also best to find options with covers. Always expect that your kids will have leftovers, and covers give extra convenience for storage.
Kids are messy eaters. That’s a fact. You don’t want food stains on their clothes because it means double the work. Baby bibs are a must-have for mealtime, especially when your kids enjoy finger foods and are yet to master holding a spoon. Silicone bibs are an excellent choice since you can easily wipe them clean.
You can also consider bibs with food catchers at the bottom to prevent further messes. Plastic bibs are also available. They are easy to clean but less durable than silicone ones. Cloth bibs are also an option. These are lightweight and comfortable, but you’ll need extra effort to clean them since they can absorb residue from food.
High Chairs and Booster Seats
You need a high chair to complete your feeding set. Standard high chairs are the most straightforward choice. It elevates your kids, keeps them in place, and gives them a tray where they can eat. Your kids will be too small to sit in a regular chair and eat comfortably, and high chairs allow them to eat with ease and safety.
You can also consider a booster seat for your kids. These are elevated chairs you can put on top of dining chairs to give your kids enough height to eat comfortably on the table. Booster seats are small and easier to store. This is the best if you have a small space.
Once your kids are old enough, you can give them drinks other than milk. Bottle feeding is one thing, but learning how to drink liquids from a cup is a more challenging and messier business. Sippy cups are a great way to introduce new drinks to babies and teach them how to drink from cups.
You can consider soft spout cups for your kids, so transitioning them won’t be a shock. A hard spout sippy cup is best when you want your kids to leave the sucking behind since they’ll need to tilt the cup to drink Once they’ve learned how to control the liquids inside, there are open-mouthed sippy cups made from plastic or silicone, which are flexible and unbreakable for kids to use safely.
Baby Food Maker
It’s exciting to introduce new food for your kids. But sometimes, finding what kind of food and flavors your kids will like requires trial and error. A food maker will help you make different food combinations for your kid’s meals.
Baby purees are a staple when transitioning to solid foods. You can combine different fruits and vegetables and instantly have a stock of baby food. This is convenient for busy parents who can’t always cook because they have other matters to attend to.
Starting solids is a messy business. Food crumbs will be scattered around your table and your kids will get extremely sticky eating purees. Sometimes, your kids can’t help but play on the table, and a whole lot of food will land on the floor. Though you can’t stop the mess, you can control it for easier cleaning.
Splash mats are a parent’s best friend for these kinds of messes. These mats can be spread on the floor, so any mess your kids make can be caught. When they are done eating, all you need to do is pick the mat up, throw any crumbs away, and wipe it down. These mats are waterproof, so they will be ready again for the next meal.