GETTING IN TO GEAR
Like most new parents, I didn’t have a clue about weaning. But sure enough, somewhere between four and five months it happened. There was the hand gnawing, the lack of interest in milk and a lot of eyeballing my food. Boy was like a drunk person at a burger van!
There’s two approaches to feeding – the ever so fashionable baby-led weaning where you give them chunks and let them get on with it. Or, you can do as our ancestors did – mash, mush, feed, an approach that seemed natural to go forth with.
But before feeding time at the zoo, we were going to need some kit – time to shop…
Friends had recommended Annabel Karmel’s Weaning book, which was user-friendly and uncomplicated. I combined this with The First Foods book by Ella’s Kitchen, which encourages more variety. Together they were a great help to give a basic understanding of first foods.
If you’re new to weaning then this is a great place to start.
The Mighty Blender
You’re going to need a decent food processor or blender of sorts. Launched only this year, the Nuby Garden Fresh Blender is a mean green weaning machine and comes with 22 pieces of fun to help prepare and store food. I was sold!
It claims to reduce your food bill by 70%. When you consider an aubergine costs 50p for about four portions (versus pouches for about £1.40) you can start to see the benefits. However, I’m not adverse to pre-made pouches and will be trying these out soon.
As a piece of kit it has everything you need. Two different blades, an easy to use microwave steamer, storage pots, spoons and a freezer tray. Best of all, it’s super user friendly and very safe for those like me suffering baby brain!
The blender is designed for all stages, so you can ‘pulse’ food for thicker chunks, or liquidise for a puree. It works brilliantly, although occasionally in between blends it needs a good stir.
The steamer is a great feature, allowing everything from pears to carrots to be cooked healthily in minutes. The white plastic can discolour easily though.
Inevitably you’ll make extra food, which is where the little pots come in handy. Extras can be stored in the fridge for up to 48hours, and the silicone freezer tray allows you to store portions for up to a month.
I found the Nuby Garden Fresh Mighty Blender to be a great investment and use it daily for fresh home-comfort food.
I’m bored of having the same baby gear as everyone else from John Lewis, so I discovered Precious Little One, which has a refreshing range of top products, including high chairs.
I decided to go for this stylish Mamas & Papas Juice Highchair which is modern, easy to assemble and fits perfectly with our décor. It’s also easy to clean and fits around our dinner table. Oh – and vitally, it has a five-point reign, which keeps baby secure. We went for teal so that it was easy to wipe and didn’t discolour.
It’s perfect for feeding baby, especially as the tray can be easily fixed and removed, and has plenty of space for food.. before it gets thrown everywhere!
As with all things clever, it later converts to a mini chair, so we’ll get lots of use from it in years to come too.
It is an excellent all-round high chair for weaning, and at five months Boo can sit in it for a good ten minutes with no problems. It’s also great value for money, with the sale on right now too, see stockist details below.
As a note, the Baby Bjorn Highchair is also an excellent purchase, recommended by several friends of mine.
Mash it Up
I love Annabel Karmel so bought the Nuk Hand Masher, it does a great job and is great for ‘on the go’. However it was too soon for baby, as it mashes rather than purees. So I won’t be using this for a few more months.
Bowls, plates, cups, spoons, bibs
It’s always useful to have a few extra bits as babies get mess everywhere. I bought a few extra bowls and some fancy Brother Max ones too from the great range in Babies ‘R’ Us, a couple of extra spoons and these cute plates from Vertbaudet, which has a lovely selection of weaning essentials.
Babies can get constipated during weaning, so make sure you offer boiled down water, I use this cup.
Invest in bibs, and lots of them. I got these material ones from Vertbaudet ideal for out and about, but this wipe clean bib by Nuby is excellent. Later down the line I’ll need some that hold food like this from our favourite Babies R Us.
Baby will need his own lunchbox for when you brave the house to eat out. JoJo Maman Bebe have some lovely designs with separate ice packs for re-use. Great for picnics with the handy bonus of being able to hold a small can of pimms in!
If you have carpets then you’ll definitely need a floor mat, like this catchall.
This is a ‘nice to have’ but not an essential. Prince Lionheart do some cute chairs, this one is as small as a potty and can be attached to a dining chair for when visiting friends and family.
Weaning is messy business, but good fun. There’s a real joy in introducing your baby to new and exciting foods. It’s worth investing in the essentials, as the food journey is a long and special one.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be exploring first food recipes, pre-made food pouches… and how to get baby rice out of your hair!
Mamas & Papas High Chair – Precious Little One, on sale £71.95
Ella’s Kitchen, First Foods – Amazon, £4.99
Annabel Karmel’s Weaning book – Ocado, £6.66
Nuby Garden Fresh Mighty Blender – Nuby.uk.com, now on sale £49.99
Nuby bowls – Verbaudet, £12.00
Annabel Karmel Nuk masher and bowl – Nuk.co.uk, now £4.87
Plates – Vertbaudet, £6.40
Material bibs – Vertbaudet, £11.00
Wipe clean bib – Nuby.uk.com – £3.99
Brother Max Catch bib – Babies R Us, £6.99
Brother Max bowl – Babies R Us, £5.99
Cooler bag and ice packs – JoJo Maman Bebe, £8.50
Nuby Flow Cup – Nuby.uk.com, £1.99
Floor catchall – Babies R Us, £12.00
Prince Lionheart Small Chair, Mothercare – £39.99
Milk Drunk Diary is an editorial blogzine based in the UK. We buy, borrow and receive products to test and review. Our opinions are always honest and our own.