I get questions about food-related baby products all the time. I am NO expert at this and have only slightly successfully transitioned one baby from milk to real foods.
But, even though I’m no expert, I still learned some lessons along the way and found some products I like.
Cups and transitioning from the bottle
I read somewhere the best transition for babies is first an open cup, then a straw cup, and then a sippy cup. I can’t remember where I heard it or the science behind it, but that’s what we followed.
First Cup: Open Cup
When I started introducing solids I would put 1-2 oz of water in this ezpz cup after Miles ate and let him drink from it. He was already naturally grabbing for our cups so he understood the concept. At first, I’d encourage him to hold it but would have to also steady it. Eventually, he could do it on his own (but mind you, 80% of the water still ended up on the floor).
Second Cup: Small Rubber Straw Cup
Once Miles mastered the open cup, I introduced this oxo cup. It had easy handles and a rubber straw similar to the nipple of a bottle. It also required that he bite down for the water to come out so it prevented him from taking too much at once. He took to this cup almost immediately and we used it pretty exclusively until he was about 12-11 months.
I also used this cup to transition some bottle feeds. I started with his morning bottle and just replaced it with this cup filled with milk and he didn’t seem to care at all. It was a really great transition cup.
Now that Miles is in “toddlerhood” we use the 360 Miracle Cups and then two straw cups. In general, I do milk in the 360 cups and water in the straw cups. Not necessarily for any reason, just for consistency.
360 Miracle Cups – These were a pretty easy transition for Miles after using his oxo cup because it was the same concept to bite down for fluid to come out. It probably took him only a week or so to master. We use these cups for all milk now. If you’re planning to travel with them at all in the diaper bag or to daycare, I highlllyyy suggest the tops that go with them. I also just bought him the WildLove ones (SO CUTE). And in a month or two, I plan to transition him to the stainless steel ones without the handles because he really doesn’t need the handles anymore.
Straw Cups – We have the Secura strainless steel straw cup and it’s our go-to for water. I wash it every night and fill it with water in the am. It’s great for on the go and since it’s stainless steel I don’t feel as weird about his water sitting it in all day like I would with plastic. We also have the Contigo straw cup. It claims to be spill-proof but trust me, the little guy can figure it out if he wants. I use it for more at home drinking.
Products for First Introducing Solids
Let me first say the last thing I’m ever going to do is push a WAY to feed your child. Formula, breastfeeding, BLW, purees, McDonald’s…guys whatever works for you. Feeding babies is hard.
But, for the context of my products, I’ll tell you what we did. At 6 months we started solids and I did a mix of purees and BLW (which is baby-led weaning if you’re not familiar). I took the Feeding Littles class and really liked it but just didn’t feel up to the challenge of 100% BLW. My husband was nervous about it and I like the convenience of purees for daycare, on-the-go, etc. So, we did a mix and it worked well for us. We did BLW with foods we felt comfortable with and added in some purees as well.
Ya’ll I researched highchairs like I was buying a damn car. I’m not sure why but it really caught me up. Also, at the time we started solids, our dining room table was bar height so I did look high and low for an adjustable high chair that would good bar height and table height (doesn’t exist). We ended up going for the Abbie Beyond highchair. I liked that it was easy to adjust and grew from baby to toddlerhood and offered an adjustable footrest. It appeared easy to clean (and I’d say after 9 months of use it’s pretty easy…I mean as easy as cleaning the utter mess than a baby can make eating is.) It’s quick to put together and take apart. I like that we can use it at the table and standalone. But, I honestly have nothing to compare it to. I can’t tell you 100% if it’s worth the price tag (it’s not the most expensive highchair by any means, but not cheap either).
This is our FAVORITE bib. We have some of the other silicon ones, but this one covers more of Miles’ shirt and it’s so lightweight it’s not distracting to him. He gets easily distracted while eating… It’s super great for on the go and washes right in the laundry.
Starter Spoons– These are little spoons that kinda have a textured hole in the center. They are a transition spoon that helps little hands scoop. I’d say if you have a little one who shows a big interest in utensils but struggles with mastering a normal spoon shape, they are amazing. If your little one doesn’t really care for utensils, then you might be able to skip this and go straight for a regular toddler spoon (like the next one on this list)
Grabease Utensils – These are the spoon/fork Miles uses the most. The handle is super easy for him to grab and I find he’s most likely to use these than any others. Most utensils have handles too long. They are also great for on-the-go.
Ezpz Plate – This plate was a cult favorite so I just assumed I HAD to have it. But it has kinda been an “eh” product for us. It’s supposed to be designed to stick to the table so little ones can’t pull it up. But Miles became so obsessed with picking it up it was more just of a distraction. We still use this plate every day because we didn’t buy another, but I’ll just say it doesn’t really “stick” like I thought it would.
On The Go Eating
Disposable Place Mats – I keep a pack in the diaper bag and they are clutch for eating at any restaurant. Pop them down, let the baby make a mess, then pull up and go.
Mini Tupperware – I bought these baby-specific ones just because they were the right size (and glass which I prefer). I never had a need for mini Tupperware before Miles but they are great for packing snacks.
ChooMee Pouch Tops – If you feed your child pouches you NEED THESE TOPS. I don’t like saying you NEED something but you NEED these. They pop ontop of almost any brand pouch and make it unable for your little one to squeeze the pouch out (meaning when they squeeze it, nothing comes out, if they bite down and suck, the puree comes out.) It’s brilliant and has saved us from SO MANY messes. ChooMee also makes reusable pouches that we use all the time too. I make Miles some of my smoothies and will pop it in there. Also great for oatmeal to send to daycare so they don’t have to worry about hand-feeding him.
Travel Highchair – This could be dependent on your lifestyle, but having an on-the-go chair for us has been very helpful. I just keep ours right in the car. It’s great for eating on the go or even just having a place to pop the baby when you’re out and about. We opted for a clip-on chair. It is super convenient in the sense that we can clip it to just about any table. It also works great at bar-height counters like if you have a kitchen island. That being said, you do NEED a table for this to work. So, in some instances, I wish I had gone for a pop-up chair and tray like this one from Summer Infant. This is kind of nice because it can be used on the ground if you’re on a picnic or at the beach since it has its own tray, but it also can be clipped onto a chair if you’re at a restaurant. They both definitely have their pros and cons, so you really have to pick what’s right for your lifestyle.