Starting Solids- The Essentials

Starting Solids with your little one is such an exciting time! One of the most asked questions when preparing for solids is: WHAT DO I NEED?!

To be honest, you really don’t need much! A few simple products for food prep, cleaning, and feeding and you are good to go – as long as your little one has met all the “Signs of Readiness for Solids”.

You can learn more about Starting Solids here.

There are some products that are essentail to making the jouney easier on the adults and less messy for everyone involved!

  1. These bibs with sleeves from Bumkins are waterproof and machine washable making them EVERY PARENTS DREAM! Seriously, no more ruined outfits. And after, you can just throw it in the washing machine. AMAZING. These come in a variety of patterns.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my full disclosure here.


2. Another amazing evolution in bibs are these that have the pocket to catch dropped food. How ingenious! No finding half of your babies food in the seat aftwards. It all (most) is caught in the bib. Which is much easier for you little one to see and grab to continue eating.


3. The “signature plate” that we use in our Instagram posts is very similar to this plate from Bumkins besides for one important difference. This plate suctions to the table (the one we use does not). Most parents prefer to start with suction plates to keep things from being thrown. These come in a variety of colors!

4. Preloaded utensils are the backbone of feeding infants! They allow you to have the ability to let your baby self feed softer foods like purees, yogurt, or hummus. These Gootensils are soft and safe for babies even without any teeth.


5. Our favorite self feeding utensils are these from EzTotz. They have a “choke guard” that prevents self feeding babies from putting the spoon or fork too deep into their mouth. Sticking the utensil too far back can cause gagging, and while gagging is a normal part of the process, reducing this as much as possible can make meal more enjoyable.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my full disclosure here.

6. Some babies have more sensitive gag reflexes than others. These gagging experiences occasionally can lead to babies become upset and not enjoying meals. To prevent that, allowing your baby to safely chew on items like this Nuk brush actually helps reduce their gag reflex!


7. Many foods, such as avocado, can be slippery in little hands. Using a product like this crinkle cutter can make long, thin pieces (baby led weaning approved) have more grip. This makes holding onto it a little easier!

8. Having a safe place to eat is important for letting babies eat! This is the exact highchair we used with Jax. It transitions to a booster seat as they get older. I love products that “grow with kids” so you don’t end up buying a million different products.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my full disclosure here.


9. Open cups are really great for startng solids! They allow your baby to practice taking small sips of water while honing their hand-eye coordination. It takes some time but learning to use an open cup can start at 6 months old.


10. If you have carpeted floors in your eating area, this one is for you! Seriously, save yourself the headache and purchase a couple of these Splat Mats to catch whatever does make it to the floor. These are also machine washable!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my full disclosure here.

11. Many of the foods you will want to feed your little one need to be cooked before offering like carrots, sweet potatoes, or broccoli. One of the best and healthiest ways to cook for babies is by steaming foods. This steamer helps to simify that process (less than $20) for you but just a basket over a pot of water will also do!

12. Learning to drink water is very important part of learning to eat solids. The physical difference in being “hungry” and “thirsty”. While learning the difference in these two needs can take time, it is important to offer small sips of water from the beginning with meal times. This straw cup has a weight on the end so that no matter what way it is turned the straw stays in the liquid. This was the cup that Jax started with.


13. Learning to use a straw cup takes some time too. The lip pursing and “sucking” motion that a straw requires takes time and practice. In order to help your baby learn, you can use these honey bear cups which allow the adult to gently squeeze the bear and push liquid up to the babies mouth. After time, the baby will begin to grasp the concept.


14. The messes are inevitable when feeding a baby but it does NOT have to stay that way. When Jax first began eating this all purpose cleaner was the ONLY thing I felt safe using around his highchair. Once you have a baby you really start to notice the things in your enviorment and the impact that they have. Using a safe cleaning product was ESSENTIAL to me. You can find more clean product recommendatoin for cleaning product here.

Expect and Accept the Mess

Feeding babies is never perfect especially when we step back and let them learn to feed themselves. Prepare yourself to embrace the process and to “expect and accept” the mess however these products can make the processes alot easier on everyone.

A few products to keep the mess to a minimum, some tools to make cooking easier, and whole, real foods are what you need in order to start cooking for your little one.

Feeding your baby real foods can be fun, nutritious, and most importantly simple!


Published by snackswithjax

Sarah is the creator and mom behind "Snacks with Jax", a social media community of over 85,000 parents/caregivers, where she shares her son's meals, nutrition information, and evidence-based tips for feeding children. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition emphasizing in Wellness from Texas Woman's University and years of experience as a culinary instructor working with ages 2+. She has coached hundreds of parents & caregivers through the journey introducing solids to babies and also navigating picky eating with toddlers and older children. Her focus is on establishing a life-long healthy relationship with food for children while also empowering, encouraging, and educating their adult caregivers.

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