How to wean a baby Best weaning products
We asked more than 1,000 parents what products they found the most useful when weaning their baby and the early stages of feeding.
When you start weaning and you’re faced with a huge selection of products that all tell you they'll make weaning easier, it can be hard to know what will actually work for your baby and make the process as tear-free as possible.
Best weaning products
Among the top 25 products that parents rated in our survey were receptacles such as storage pots, and insulated food jars, Tupperware for freezing small portions, gadgets (such as a baby food blender) and resources like baby-led weaning guides and weaning recipe books.
The most useful product won out by quite a margin, with 71% of parents mentioning it as helpful in weaning. The Bumbo Baby Sitter seat, which parents seem to either love or hate, made it into the list just outside the top 10 spot, with a quarter of all parents we asked including it on their list of weaning essentials.
Specific appliances for preparing baby food seem to divide parents as to whether they're necessary or not – only 10% mentioned a mini chopper, and 22% said they found a baby food blender useful. Some products, such as baby feeders, certainly seem to be less than popular with only 7% of parents saying they found one useful.
Here's what made our top 20 weaning products:
|Top 20 most useful weaning products|
|Top 20 most useful weaning products|
|20 Insulated food jars – It's always worth having food on hand when you're on the go. Expect to pay upwards of £10.|
|19 Baby-Led Weaning book – This weaning technique is all about letting your baby choose their food.|
|18 Baby-Led Weaning website – Find out all you need to know in our guide to baby-led weaning.|
|17 Weaning recipe book – Short on ideas? Try our weaning recipe combinations.|
|16 Tray for freezing small portions – A standard ice cube tray will do the job perfectly.|
|15 Baby food steamer/blender – Read our reviews of bullet blenders.|
|14 Suction bowls – Help prevent your baby from throwing food around.|
|13 Floor mat – These wipe-clean mats can double up for messy play.|
|12 Bumbo Baby Sitter – This seat helps your child sit up straight and is wipe clean.|
|11 Travel/portable high chair – Go for one that folds up to fit in your baby changing bag.|
Weaning essentials top 10
| ||10 – 1/3 of parents rely on this as a solution for helping them feed their baby on the go.|
| ||9 – Making weaning a happy time is half the battle. And the parents we surveyed found this a real help.|
| ||8 – One of several mess-inhibiting tools parents found useful to help with weaning feeding time.|
| ||7 – The most popular weaning gadget as voted for by parents. And not too pricey either.|
| ||6 – Another tool for catching mess that many parents mentioned as a weaning essential|
| ||5 – Developing hand to mouth coordination is a bit part of successful weaning. And this will really help.|
| ||4 – An oldie but still popular. Almost half of all parents include this on their weaning essentials list.|
| ||3 – The ideal solution from minimising waste when you're weaning.|
| ||2 – Loved by more than half the parents we surveyed and helps your baby develop coordination, too.|
| ||1 – 71% of parents said they wouldn't be without this for weaning. And we agree.|
The most important purchase once you get to the weaning stage is a high chair. We excluded it from our list of useful products when surveying parents as it's considered essential. When making the decision on which high chair to buy, the five most important things to consider are:
• Ease of cleaning
• Child comfort
• Ease of storage – folding etc
• Ease of taking child in and out.
Ease of cleaning is a massive one when it comes to beginning the weaning stage, as your little one is bound to make some mess. We’d also advise you to look out especially for the security, comfort and ease of use of the harness, the size of the tray (bigger is often better) and adjustability.
We test high chairs for all of these things. Read our high chair reviews,
Although a standard high chair wasn’t included in our parents survey of the most useful products, a good proportion (29%) of parents mentioned that they also found a travel or portable high chair useful.
We’ve reviewed travel high chairs such as the Baby Polar Gear Go Anywhere Booster Seat and had a first look at the BenBat YummiGo Feed & Go Booster. Have a look at our travel high chairs to see how we liked them and whether they might be useful for you.
Even if you're planning on making your own baby food, it's worth having some ready-made-up baby food on hand just in case of emergencies. Most baby food brands start offering food suitable from four months, but it's still best to wait until six months to start feeding your child solids. You can buy food in traditional jars or in the more modern pouch format. Pouches are easier and lighter to transport, but will generally cost you more money.
When we looked at prices of baby essentials including baby food at major supermarkets and Boots, we found that baby food was quite often on multibuy deals. Given this, we would recommend trying to buy baby food in bulk on multibuy when you spot it on offer.
Food processors for baby food
According to our parents’ survey, many parents preferred to use a more generic kitchen appliance for preparing baby food rather than something specifically designed for it. So a regular food processor may be the best thing for you when preparing baby food. To find the best model for you, head to our food processor reviews, or have a look at which we think are the best food processors for baby food.