Introducing Your Baby to Solids – What You Really Need …

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At four months you’re finally getting the hang of it.

Colic and reflux have – hopefully – gone. Baby is sleeping. You’re feeling ever so slightly less crazy.

Then suddenly everyone’s talking about the when, what and how of weaning and exactly what kind of latest super stylish, incredibly whizzy high chair they’re going to buy.

Help! Yet another topic on which you are meant to master over night expertise!

The first bit of good news is that the food bit can be great fun – check out the great links at the bottom of this post in which other mummy bloggers share their experience and advice.

The second bit of good news is that although there are loads of products out there – you only actually need a few essentials and these need not cost a fortune. I’ve listed below the 7 things you REALLY need followed by 15 others that may be nice to have but absolutely not essential!



7 Things You Need When Introducing Solids

1. A Great High Chair

Stokke Tripp Trapp

They can cost anything from $50 to £1,000 but a great chair – which needn’t be expensive – can make a massive difference to how well those first tastes of solids go!

If your child hates the chair they won’t enjoy eating. 

Most have trays but some let baby eat at the table with the family & a few – which is great – do both.

You want your child to be happy in the chair for as long as possible so you don’t end up buying replacements, boosters seats etc. Some of the chairs that look very comfy when they are 6 months are far too constraining by the time they are over a year.

I really recommend one that turns into a proper chair when they are older such as  Tripp Trapp,  Keekaroo, and East Coast.  These aren’t the cheapest but you can usually get them in good condition second hand and they will save you money in the long run as you won’t need anything else.

Do check out how much floor space different chairs take up – some are monsters if you’ve little space.

We had a tiny kitchen, with no table when we started on solids and so wanted something small with a tray but the flexibility to use at the table once we’d moved. We are still using our East Coast chair with my daughter who is 3 and a half – not just at meal times but for any cooking or craft we do at the kitchen table. 

Having used a Tripp Trapp chair as well quite extensively, I do prefer the strapping on the Tripp Trapp when they are young but over all the price, size, flexibility and comfort of the East Coast has been a winner for us.

If you can – try out lots of different ones in restaurants and at friends when baby is about 5 months so you get a feel for what they like and what your baby is comfortable in.

2. A Free Flow Cup

As you introduce solids you will be reducing milk and introducing more water so you need a great cup.

A super simple first cup
We tried all sorts of fancy “no spill” cups with valves – disasters! – and the doidy cup (which has no lid, and which I quite like), but the absolute winner – that we still use now – is a really simple free flow cup from Tommee Tippee. It’s a big best seller in the UK but doesn’t seem to be available in the USA.
The key test of a first cup is whether you can drink out of it easily – I couldn’t get any water out of some of the “no spill” cups so how a 6 month old was meant to, I don’t know. “No spill” seemed to equal “no drink”!

Unfortunately, most stores aren’t keen on letting you try them out so be prepared to acquire a small collection of sippy cups before you find one your child happily takes water from.

3. A Basic Hand Blender

I’m a big fan of baby led weaning where babies feed themselves with nice chunky bits of food.  But I do think there are times when baby is tired, teething or just wants some one on one attention that they like some mushy stuff off a spoon.

Even if you’ve got a big, stand up blender – I did – a cheap hand blender with which you can quickly mush up what you’re eating or small amounts of puree is a god send. I had one from Kenwood but you can also get good cheap ones for under $30 from Proctor, Cuisinart and Hamilton Beach.
4. Microwavable, Dishwashable, BPA Free Plastic Bowls

You could survive without these but you do need something that can go on the floor and not get broken.
You can get ones with handles and suction pads from for example, Brother Max– but I was never really convinced. They still ended up on the floor.If you’re going to be taking food out with you, it is handy to have one with a lid on.

5. Feeding Spoons


If you’re doing baby led weaning, baby will do most of their first feeding with their hands but they will still need to learn to get the food off the spoon and to wield it for themselves.We had these ones from Vital Baby which we loved. If you’re willing to pay a bit more you can also get some from Tommee Tippee that are heat sensitive which is quite handy for detecting hot spots but certainly not essential.

6. Bibs


Initially I would recommend some cheap washable or wipeable cover alls as food will go everywhere. But watch out for the sizing – lots of them meant for 6 month old babies are enormous and so hopeless.In the end our faves were from the pound shop after a tip off from a friend.
Once past the very messy stage, we loved simple plastic roll up ones from Tommee Tippee – they’re comfy, catch stuff, are easy to wipe down and go anywhere with you. Great!

7. Ice Cube Tray

If you’re doing any purees at all – rather than just baby led – these are incredibly handy for making small amounts which you can then put into bags once frozen. I had some special tubs but the tray was much more useful.

Other Stuff You Might Like

There are loads and loads of other products that you can buy – we had quite a lot of them and whilst most were helpful, they’re really not essential …
  1. Removable high chair insert for when they are very small
  2. Travel high chair – come in various formats e.g. attachable to table like this one from Phil and Ted , but lugging them around, even if you are in the car, can be a pain in the neck
  3. “Pocket” high chair like this one from My Little Seat– made of fabric they fold up in your bag & can be handy when you’re out
  4. Booster seat – if you don’t get a chair that can be used directly at the able, you will need one of these so they can sit on an ordinary chair to reach the table
  5. Travel booster seat – you can get some booster seats, such as this one from Polar Gear, which are designed to take out with you but they can be cumbersome
  6. Safe Feeder – lets babies eat pieces of food without risk of choking but lots of people not convinced
  7. Table mat – if you’ve got an at table chair you may want a mat or something to protect table
  8. Splash mat – essential if feeding in room with carpet, but unless you must don’t 🙂
  9. Steamer – you can get fancy baby steamers e.g. Beaba Babycook and Baby Brezza, but they are expensive, a veg steamer on top of a pan will do and all the products get some dubious reviews
  10. Rice & pasta cooker – can get attachments to baby steamers for doing small amounts but v. pricey
  11. Hand masher / mincer – lets you mush up food when out. We didn’t have one but a friend swore by hers You can for example get a cheap masher from Annabel Karmel or a mill from Green Sprouts
  12. Snack tubs – tubs with squidgy tops that babies can get snacks out of, without stuff falling out – not an essential item but they are very handy. Munchkin and Made for Mom do versions
  13. Cool bag – allows you to carry baby food around – another plus of baby led weaning is you don’t. have to cart separate food around for your child when out. Lots of baby bags have built in pockets.
  14. Ice pack – if you are carrying food around, need one of these if cool bag doesn’t have one.
  15. Re-usable food warmer – heats food without need for batteries. We had one of these and hardly used it. If you do need to heat something when out, you can always ask for a cup of hot water.
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Hello, I'm Luci, Editor of Mums Make Lists. MML is full of creative tips I’ve put together to bring calm and balance to the lives of busy mums and their families.

7 thoughts on “Introducing Your Baby to Solids – What You Really Need …”

  1. Fab tips! Tommy Tippee cups and bibs a must. We’ve loved using a bowl with a suction base. Need to watch the little one, who can up-end it, but at least she can get bits out of it without it moving around everywhere.
    We use a cheap Ikea high chair with an inflatable insert in it. All for under £20. So easy to clean afterwards, and simple to assemble/take apart if you want to take it on trips to family.
    Baby led weaning has been fabulous for our girl – she loves to eat what we do, has never had any problems with textures etc. Though most foods do end up in her hair… Do you think beef casserole could be a good conditioner?

  2. I know I seem to feature every post you write at the moment but they are always so good and have such a lot of useful info for parents. So once again this is going to be featured on the Sunday Parenting Party this sunday

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