Your baby’s first solids is an exciting and important milestone! Our weaning consultant Claire Maguire shares her top tips on making it less stressful!
- Source an easy to clean high chair, the brilliantly priced Ikea Antilop or iconic Stokke Tripp Trapp are fantastic. Often seen in your local Fara Kids charity store at a bargain price
- A messy play mat (mine is from Hobby Craft) placed underneath the high chair during meals helps save scrubbing the floor. Just tip the contents into the bin after a meal and wipe down.
- A nappy bucket with a lid will be a lifesaver when pre-soaking clothing covered in those yellow stains. Everything stains yellow or orange with weaning!! Used with a bleach free stain remover such as biotex the lid will prevent the smell of laundry wafting around your home and if your little one knocks it over in their crawling adventures your floor will be saved by the tight fitting lid!
- Bibs with sleeves will soon become the most important item of clothing in your baby’s wardrobe! They tend to be lined in a different fabric from the exterior. Please don’t be tempted to wash above 40 degrees otherwise the two layers will shrink at different rates and the garment will be unwearable. Soak first in bucket of heavily stained and then wash at 40 or below.
- Don’t get too hung up on using cutlery or crockery, this won’t really happen until after second birthday at least. Around first birthday toddlers go though a phase of throwing what is in front of them. Don’t show any frustration here; simply replace the items without any comment. A good way to save your back and avoid the mess is to serve the food directly on the tray or table – even purees.
- Drinking Cups. Always start with a free flow trainer cup and once your baby is confident with it move onto a cup with a valve to reduce spillages. Remember to always start training with the free flow cup to get your little one used to it.
- Protect your clothing! There’s nothing worse than heading out the door to work only to realise you have some porridge on your top! Wear an apron or an oversized shirt over your clothing when feeding in clothes that need to be kept clean.
The above tips will reduce your stress when feeding solids more than any complicated menu planning! Helping you feel more relaxed by knowing that you are reducing the time and effort taken to clear up afterwards. Your baby can be as messy as he or she likes, clearing up the high chair or floor is a chore but please remember food is not dirty, nor should we send that message to a little one. Let their face and hands get covered with food as the meal progresses and only wipe your child clean at the very end of a meal with a loving smile.
Claire Maguire is an award winning weaning and sleep consultant practising throughout London.