how to wean your baby
Your little one's getting ready to enter the wonderful world of food. With lots of yummy new flavours and textures to try, it's best to go slowly. Six months is a good age to start, but all babies are different. You can find out more about when to start weaning and how to start weaning in our guide. If your baby is chomping at the bit (quite literally), here's what you'll need to get started.
If your baby starts weaning early (before six months), it's worth using a steriliser to make sure bowls, spoons and storage containers are totally germ-free. Their little immune systems are still developing, but careful hand-washing is fine after six months.
These teach baby how to sip drinks like fruit juice and water. If you're using them for milk you might want to sterilise the lids, as they can be really fiddly to clean properly. It's good to do this until at least 12 months.
bowls and plates
Your highchair tray might be clean enough to eat off of, but that doesn't mean your baby has to. Their meals should be really soft and mushy until around ten months, so you'll need more bowls than plates at first.
Essential for spoon-feeding your baby purées and mashes. Soft plastic spoons are nice and gentle on sensitive gums, and won't get hot like metal cutlery can so little mouths won't get burnt. Brightly coloured spoons will keep your baby's attention, so that they stay interested in their food.
If messy eating was an Olympic event, we reckon a weaning toddler would bring home the gold. You can do a bit of damage limitation by popping a cute bib on to catch most of the drips and dribbles. No changes after dinner, just throw the bib in the wash.
Pop a splash mat underneath the highchair to protect your floor from your baby's enthusiastic splashing and experiments with gravity. It's not essential, but will save you bringing out the hoover and mop after dinner. This gives you more time to concentrate on quality time with baby.
highchair and harness
A highchair is a safe place for your baby to sit up comfortably while enjoying their culinary adventures. They usually have a tray for food and a soft cushion to sit on. Our highchair buying guide has lots of tips and advice for choosing the right one.
food storage containers
Whipping up big batches of home-made baby food will save you lots of time. Babies only have small tummies, so you'll need a few lidded containers to keep leftovers in. Let warm food cool for up to two hours, and then keep in the fridge for up to two days.
blender or food processor
Until your little darling has a full set of gnashers, most of their meals will be mashed or puréed. You can squidge up boiled fruits and veggies with a potato masher, but a food prep machine will save you lots of time (and elbow grease).
wipes and tissues
Did we mention this is going to be messy? Keep some baby wipes handy for cleaning up after dinner (take a few funny snaps for the family photo album before the clean-up though).