Table for one: What you'll need for that first "meal"

Is your baby ready for their first taste of real food? Here's how to make sure you are, too!

Before the first spoonful of puree heads toward that tiny mouth, you’ll need the right things to hand! Many mums find that spoons and bowls in bright, colourful plastic are not only durable, but have the added advantage of attracting their baby’s attention. (Don't forget to thoroughly wash everything in hot soapy water before you use it.)

You’ll need:

  • Bibs...lots of bibs.
  • Some small baby bowls – or you can use cups, plastic lidded pots or ramekin dishes
  • A few small, shallow, rounded baby spoons made of plastic
  • Baby wipes, muslins or tissues (trust us, you'll need a few of these!)
  • A good spot to sit: the whole process is much easier if your baby's in a stable, age-appropriate seat, such as a high chair. Lots of savvy mums also add a towel or floor mat underneath to catch the inevitable spills and spatters.
  • A tiny amount of your first food of choice – you probably won't need more than a teaspoon or two at first

Getting started

Got your weaning spoon at the ready? Here's how to set the right mood for your baby's first encounters with the wonderful world of food.

  • Start at home or in a familiar environment, and choose a time when your baby is alert and peckish, but not starving.
  • Give your baby their usual milk feed first, before any solids (once your baby is used to being fed with a spoon you’ll be able to give the solids first and the milk after).
  • Use a clean spoon to put a small amount of food into a bowl for less wastage (or squeeze out a bit if you're using a pouch); you can pop the rest of the jar or pouch in the fridge, but you'll need to use it within 24 hours. Alternatively, you can freeze puree in ice-cube trays, then transfer to a zip-lock bag; it will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months (always defrost slowly in the fridge).
  • Warm the food by floating in a hot-water bath or microwaving for just a few seconds.
  • Put a bib on your baby
  • Stir the food well (especially if you've warmed it in a microwave) and test to make sure it's lukewarm before offering it to your baby
  • Offer just the tip of the spoon to begin with - once your baby gets the idea you can slowly increase the amount given
  • Start by offering just a couple of spoonfuls once a day, and build up to offering food twice, then three times a day, over the next few weeks.
  • Take your time, smile & connect with your baby. Remember, there's no rush! If your baby's clearly not interested, that's fine – just pack everything away and try again another day.