This week is National Weaning Week (4th May – 8th May) and it just so happens to fall the week before Layla turns six months old which is when we plan to start winding down our breastfeeding journey and start our very own weaning journey. Despite having done this twice before with the boys I still feel very nervous, as well as a tad excited, about the whole weaning process and so I’m trying to get myself organised in advance. One of the ways I am getting ready is by having a look at a few simple recipes, reading up on the differences between “standard” weaning and “baby led” weaning and purchasing all the weaning essentials that I might need so that I feel prepared and ready to go.
Having done my research and spoken to a paediatrician about how to start weaning and having weaned two children already, here is a list of of my weaning essentials that I believe all families will benefit from when they start their weaning journeys with their little ones.
I hope you find it useful.
My Top Weaning Essentials
The highchair market is vast and there is so much choice and it really does depend on what you want and like as well as need. When choosing a high chair really consider the space you have available, do you wan to have it up all the time or does it need to fold up to be put away? Do you want a cushioned one for comfort, a wood one that matches your furniture or an easy clean plastic one? Would you like it to stand alone or attach to a pre existing chair or even the table? You will also need to consider your budget as they can range from around £20 to over £100! We have opted for a Chicco travel chair that is small, can be folded away and attaches to a chair, it was £20 from amazon.
Regardless of whether you are opting for homemade pureed food, jars, pre made organic food or baby led weaning, chances are your little one is going to get messy as they explore all the new foods, textures and flavours so bibs are a must.
If you are choosing to pre prep your babies meals then small containers are perfect. This allows you to bulk cook and freeze meals in advance, this will not only save time but also prevent food waste. Just remember to label the posts so you know what is in them and when they were prepared as once foods have been through a blender it can be hard to tell the difference between mash potato and pureed apple and lets face it, who wants potato for pudding?
These store and wean pots by vital baby are perfect, they come in a pack of 6 and can contain 60ml of food which is ideal for those first few months. Each pot also has a soft base and sides which makes it easy to remove the frozen food and the best bit is they are microwave and dishwasher safe.
If you are weaning a baby that has been exclusively breast fed then chances are your baby has not had any water yet but as you introduce food it is important to also introduce water to help them digest the food and stay hydrated as you reduce their milk intake. The Dr. Browns options+ 2-in-1 transition bottle is great as it comes with two teats so they can drink using the teat they are familiar with and then transition to the super soft, 100% silicone sippy spout.
These mini baby cups are perfect for helping children become independent drinkers and go hand in hand with the baby led weaning method as it allows them to discover liquids for themselves. These cups have been recommended by dentists and orthodontists to encourage sipping and are best for teeth. They are also 100% Recyclable.
Child friendly dinner set
As your child starts to explore food more, especially if you are doing baby led weaning, then it is important that they have their own diner set, one that is child friendly and can withhold some wear and tear and being dropped from the high chair repeatedly!
This biobased dinner gift set from Dantoy has everything you need from the minute you start to introduce foods to when they want to start feeding themselves. It comes with a plate that can be sued to separate the foods into different sections or it can have the included bowl and sippy cup inserted into those areas. It also includes a knife, fork and spoon to help your child get used to cutlery and improve fine motor skills. The whole set is microwave and dishwasher safe, 100% sustainable and 100% recyclable too.
Reusable snack bags
Once you start weaning your baby they will be watching with anticipation every time they see you eat meaning you wont want to get caught short whilst out and about with no snacks suitable for baby, which is why these tummy grumbles reusable snack bags by Dr.Browns are weaning on the go essential. They come in a pack of 3, all in different sizes and can be used for a whole host of different snacks from fruits and vegetables to home made goodies like these no added sugar muffins.
The unexpected weaning essentials
Regardless of whether your baby has any teeth yet it is advised to introduce a toothbrush once they start eating food if you haven’t already. This will help them to get used to the brushing action and good oral health and will also help with the teething process. A good baby tooth brush is the infant-to-toddler toothbrush by Dr Browns, available in pink or blue. It is specially designed for those aged 0-3 and comes in the shape of an elephant with a super soft brush and flexible body as well as a comfort-grip handle that is easy for baby to hold.
I hope you enjoy weaning your baby and I would love to hear if you have any other suggestions for weaning essentials or favourite recipes that you think we should check out.
Layla is now 10 months old and if you are planning on using pre made meals, maybe along side your own cooking or as the only meals you will offer then I can highly recommend Little Tummy and Piccolo baby food.