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Essential equipment when weaning your baby

Weaning can be worrisome. Like many baby related products, companies use this stage of a baby's life to encourage parents to spend unnecessarily. In a bid to be transparent and help other parents through this tricky time, I've compiled my list of essential equipment that I've found to be useful on our weaning journey so far.

Baby-led weaning or puree?
Before I begin, I just want to say that I feel very strongly that this is a personal choice. Whether you choose to follow baby-led weaning, go down the puree route or do a bit of both it is important that you do what you feel is right for you and your baby. Much like the bottle or breast debate that Mum's find themselves unnecessarily embroiled in, once your baby turns 6 months you will be given all kinds of 'advice'. All that matters is that your baby is fed, happy and healthy.

Plastic bibs
As I have mentioned before, I have found plastic bibs to be really useful during weaning. They are wipe clean, foldable and have adjustable necks. The two I have were bargains - one I got for free at a jumble sale! Long sleeved bibs are also really good to use. Some people find that long sleeved aprons used for painting are a great investment as well as plastic mats or black bin bags on the floor underneath the high chair to save your carpet and your sanity!

BPA free silicone ice cube tray
I have deliberately said tray on purpose. This is because you only really need one. Once you have frozen your puree/meals, pop the ice cubes into a Ziploc bag and write on the front of the bag in permanent marker what it contains and when it was made. This ensures your ice cube tray will use minimum freezer space. It is also important to defrost in a safe manner. The Food Standards Agency sets out its recommendations here which should hopefully ensure that harmful bacteria is minimised.

BPA free food trays and cutlery
With Christmas just a couple of weeks behind us, Thrifty Bubba was lucky enough to receive some BPA free food trays and cutlery for Christmas. To save money, these can be picked up easily second-hand and can then be thoroughly washed and sterilised before use.

Cups and spoons
Through Boots Parenting Club I got a voucher for a free Nuby Natural Touch bottle to cup. It is free to sign up and they send you discount vouchers throughout the year as your baby reaches key milestones. The vouchers are useful too - I used mine to purchase a pack of Boots stage 2 weaning spoons at a reduced price. I started weaning at 6 months so went straight for stage 2 but stage 1 is also available. I also kept the Petit Filous spoons that were included free in my Emma's Diary and Bounty packs whilst pregnant in the hope that they would be useful when the time came to wean.

Re-usable food pouches
By visiting the Cotswold Baby and Toddler Show I was lucky enough to receive free samples of Nom Nom Kids food pouches which are perfect for filling up time and time again with your baby's favourite foods. Then, when your baby becomes a toddler, they can be easily filled with snacks. If your baby loves yoghurt why not purchase a big pot of their favourite type and then decant it into smaller pots or pouches to save yourself money. If you feel that a blog post dedicated to my weaning recipes would be useful then please comment below.

Baby lunch box
A small insulated lunch box is ideal for your baby's first food bag. Much like your changing bag, try to pack the majority of the items needed the night before so you can leave the house quickly. Again, this is something that can be found second-hand. I often include an extra pack of wipes in my baby's lunchbox as weaning is messy and then any spills, sticky hands or faces can be quickly cleaned up.

Vanish stain remover bar
Baby food stains and can often ruin clothes. Therefore, if you have a favourite outfit, be sure to remove it before feeding or cover it up really well by using a long sleeved bib. Understandably, there will be occasions when feeding your baby brightly coloured food whilst they are wearing a nice outfit is unavoidable. A good friend told me a handy hack for these situations - a vanish stain remover bar or similar product can be used to pre-treat any stained clothes before they are placed in the washing machine to hopefully minimise the effects of staining.

First Aid
Understandably, many parents find weaning stressful because of the risk of choking. As an anxious first time Mumma I felt strongly that I wanted to be as prepared as possible and so, I did a Daisy First Aid course through the brilliant Bump to Baby Chapter. If you are Gloucestershire based, I cannot recommend the course highly enough. It is a 2 hour course held on a weekend and babies are welcome too! It costs just £25 per person which was much cheaper than alternative courses. If you are unable to attend a course, the NHS has an excellent page including a video which shows the procedures to follow should the unthinkable happen.

If you have any tips of your own when it comes to weaning equipment please be sure to let me know - I'd love to hear from you.

Love, Thrifty Mumma X

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or a dietician. All of my tips are only based on my own experience as a parent. If you are having any issues or concerns when weaning your child please speak to a healthcare professional e.g. your health visitor or GP.

All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. This is not an advert. Therefore, you can rest assured that my Mummy opinions have not been influenced by any of the brands mentioned.

If you enjoyed this post then you'll probably find that this one is of use too:
Thrifty nifty weaning hacks: 2 weeks in

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