Since becoming a mom and being lucky enough to have a baby that eats almost anything and everything, I believe I have acquired quite the knowledge of mama must-haves on feeding. If I knew half as much about the quality, conveniences and other information on products as I do now, I wouldn’t have spent wasted time and money on all the failed products that I have tried. I also understand that each baby is different and I might learn this first-hand once our second little girl arrives, but for now I will share what I think is a universal “yes, I need these items” mama feeding must haves. Also, my Huntley girl has always been a little ahead of herself and is eating way more than I think most one-year-olds do. So here it goes:
The highchair – After tons of reviews and trying out her cousin’s Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair, we fell in love! Huntley loves that she doesn’t have to scoot up or sit high to eat as she is always perfectly positioned in this chair to eat! Mama on the other hand loves the clean beautiful design and quality of the chair, also with it’s adjustably with height and configurations this chair goes from baby, to toddler, to child, all the way to adulthood if you so desire to keep it! And as I mentioned, I have a very messy eater and this chair is so easy to clean! Did I mention with the assorted colors you can find one that matches your style and dinner table!
The traveling chair – Although a bit more expensive than the Inglesina Fast Table Chair, our go-to favorite highchair is the Phil & Ted’s Lobster Highchair! We love the design and high enclosure to keep baby girl from wanting to stand up as she does with all restaurant highchairs. Bonus: it comes with a removable eating tray and carrying bag and fold up easily and is super compact!
If your are still breastfeeding, way to go mama! I wasn’t lucky enough to feed to one since I got pregnant and my milk supply diminished. I quickly moved Huntley to a bottle and luckily we already had tons! Our favorite bottle by far is the ComoTomo bottle! This bottle is great for all babies because of it super soft and natural feel of the medical grade silicone bottle base and wide mouth design nipple, but it’s also great for babies with colic because of its uniquely designed venting system. And unlike most colic reducing bottles, this one has only three pieces, meaning less to clean. (I will do a bottle comparison in another post.)
After our short-lived run with bottles, I’ve moved Huntley to taking her milk through straw bottles, since she already drinks from these her water and juices. (We skipped sippy cups, although I sometimes still use our Boon Sips since we still have some around.) We have two favorite straw bottles: First is the Thermos brand straw bottle, which is stainless steel and is highly durable! Having it be stainless steel is a definite A+ in my book since my girl tends to be rough and has broken multiple sippy cups and straw bottles that were not only hers, but also her friends…this bottle has proven to withstand a lot of falls/throws/etc. It also includes a pop-up handle! Plus, this bottle also comes in tons of assorted colors and designs, those including our favorite Hello Kitty and anything Disney princess!
Although the Thermos brand is one of the best quality, I’ve learned that some mom’s don’t like the heaviness and hard to carry design. This leads me to another favorite of ours – the Zoli Baby Bot straw cup! This BPA free plastic straw cup has a unique Siliflex straw that allows a nice flow for your baby or toddler without spills! The only downside is that it’s a bit temperature sensitive in heat. My girl loves having handles to hold and can even flip her straw out without any help. Also, my number one concern is durability! Our Zoli cups have withstood a lot falls and throws and are all still holding up and functioning nicely.
With a very messy eater I’ve come to realize that placemats are a must unless you want wasted food on the table. I’ve tried multiple reusable placemats, since at first glance it seems like a brilliant idea. However, I’ve quickly come to learn that many many reusable placemats suck! Since then I’ve committed to disposable placemats, unlike the reusable counterpart, these ones actually stick to most table surfaces (plastic, glass, wood grain, etc.) and won’t keep flipping off the table or can’t be easily pulled off by your tiny tot. Best of all – all that food that drops on the side of the mat, on the highchair, and on the floor can be scooped up with some napkins and thrown into a ball of trash with the placemat so you don’t feel terrible about the mess you’ve left for the busser that comes to clean your table afterwards. We are avid customers to Amazon and have found that these packs of Neat Solutions Neat-Ware Table Toppers can be bought in 60 count and work perfectly for our dining needs!
Next up is our traveling food container favorites! We love love love the LunchBots Thermal Stainless Steel Insulated Food Containers after having borrowed one from our cousin and getting to try it out first-hand. This is by far the best food container out there that we’ve used – not only to store take-aways for baby but also for mommy and daddy! Never a spill in sight even after toppling, rolling out, and dropping it! Your food always stays warm or cool for hours!
Even though we prefer the LunchBots container over any other container, with its hefty price we’ve come to try out other similar versions and would say that our second favorite is the Thermos Funtainer Food Jar which like the straw cup counterpart is highly durable and also comes in so many assorted colors and cute designs! It also keeps your food warm or cool for hours, but not as long as the LunchBots. However being almost half the price makes it well worth stocking up on!
Since starting baby-led weaning (self-feeding) at the dinner table, we’ve learned that investing in good stick-on stay-put bowls and plates are very important! We’ve tried many many brands those including Sassy, OXO Tot, Munchkin, and Dr. Browns and have come to a conclusion on our favorite! The one we find that stays on the best and is the easiest to clean is the Boon Catch Toddler Bowl with Spill Catcher and Boon Catch Plate with Spill Catcher. Unlike the rest we’ve tried, there is only one piece to clean and with it’s minimalist design – it’s seriously the easiest to clean! The spill catcher and suction base are very flexible and soft and the whole piece can be washed in the dishwasher! I’ve also heard that the Calibowl Suction Bowls work great too, but for us Boon bowls work excellent!
Utensils are the least of my concerns for eating since we’re still working on this concept for baby girl. She already mimics us when using utensils and we haven’t had a problem with any kind of utensil, even disposable forks and spoons. So if you have any suggestions or favorites, please let me know! I’d love to hear! The Gerber Graduates Kiddy Cutlery has worked just fine for us and are quite inexpensive.
The catch-all bib! We’ve tried a few brand that make the silicone catch-all style bib and haven’t had an issue with any of them. We’ve found the Tommee Tippee Explora Easi Roll Bib to be the cheapest with the same function to work just as well as the rest! Although Huntley would probably tell you that her favorites are the Bebe Bib or Baby Bjorn Soft Bib since the neck part isn’t as thick as the TT Explora and is more comfortable for her, but for half the price, we aren’t discriminating.
I think that’s a wrap for now on our Mama’s Feeding Must-Haves. Would love to hear what your favorites are and any things I haven’t touched on.