6 Essential Tools for Your New Eater

Warning: Things are about to get messy. Like real messy. Regardless of whether you’re introducing purees or finger-sized pieces of food to your baby, you will be shocked at how little actually ends up in their mouths… and how much ends up on their face, in their hair, in your hair, on their clothes, on the floor, etc. For this and other reasons (frustrated baby and potential allergies, to name a couple), feeding times, while sweet and exciting, can also be incredibly challenging — particularly if you don’t have the right tools on hand for your new eater.

But don’t worry—there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success. Here are some of our favorite items to help make eating cleaner, easier—and more enjoyable!—for both you and your baby.

A Smart Bib:

The Happy Healthy Parent Silicone Baby Bibs ($17.97 on Amazon) are genius, if you ask us. Unlike cloth bibs, they wipe clean and can be washed with soap and water right in the sink, so they’re always ready before your baby’s next meal or snack. These bibs also have a tiny pocket built in to help catch all those tiny bites before they end up on the floor… and in your dog’s mouth.

A Sticky Mat:

No, not sticky like messy—sticky like stuck to the table so your kid can’t move it! We like the silicone ezpz Mini Mat ($19.75 on Amazon). It suctions to any surface, is light enough to toss in your diaper bag and bring with you everywhere you go out to eat, and is super easy to wipe clean. The mat also has separate spots for all your kids’ food, which helps remind us to offer them a wide array of fruits, veggies, grains and proteins.

Baby-sized Utensils:

Don’t let those wrist rolls deceive you—your baby’s hands still aren’t big enough for adult-sized silverware! The Grabease First Self Feed Baby Utensils ($14.95 on Amazon) are great for giving your baby and/or toddler a shot at feeding themselves and building dexterity and finger strength. They’re BPA-, lead-, and phthalate-free, designed to prevent your baby from gagging herself and easy to clean.

Floor Protection:

Just because your baby has a tray on their high chair, it does not mean that their breakfast, lunch or dinner is going to stay on there. If you don’t want to clean food off the floor after every meal—or don’t have a dog to do it for you—this Splat Mat ($21.99 on Amazon) is a good alternative. The 51×51-inch mat provides plenty of coverage for all your baby’s spills, is anti-slip, water-resistant and easy to wipe clean.

Better Bowls:

While you clearly don’t need to replace all your dishes just because you have kids, it is nice to have some on hand that are a little more kid-safe. The Bobo&Boo Bamboo Kids Snack Bowls ($19.95 on Amazon) are not only non-toxic and eco-friendly, but they’re also shatterproof, dishwasher-safe and, well, really cute.

To-Go Container:

Snacks, snacks, snacks. We all need them, including your growing baby. Once they start eating, best to be prepared for a hanger attack everywhere you go. The Munchkin Stainless Steel Snack Catcher ($7.99 on Amazon) is our go-to for those to-go moments. It’s light, easy to clean, BPA-free and has a lid to help keep everything as neat as possible.

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