Once the baby is ready to graduate from his milk and dive into the wonderful world of scarfing down varieties of solid foods, parents have to spend a bit of time figuring out which feeding products will simplify their lives and which are best skipped over.
There is an overwhelming number of tot products on the market that are geared towards simplifying the baby feeding process, but not all products are created equally. Some are lifesavers, while others are a complete waste of money.
When you walk into the store looking for itty bitty bowls and spoons, you are often greeted with floor to ceiling options. Who knew that once you became a mother, you would have to choose between 40 different spoon and sippy cup designs? Purchasing baby products can feel like an overwhelming task for any new parent.
How exactly do you know which ones will give you the least amount of grief and the biggest bang for your buck? Let us help you out there. Here are 15 infant/tot feeding products that will make your meal times a breeze, and 5 that you can live without.
20 The Happy Bowl
This product just makes sense. It’s a bowl and a placemat all in one! No longer do you have a mess of stained mats rolling around in your kitchen drawers and flimsy bowls sliding around on those slippery mats.
This all-in-one meal mate is so much sturdier and easier to work with. Thanks to its suction cup-like ability to stay put on the table. It’s dishwasher safe, microwave safe and even oven safe, making it virtually indestructible!
As an added bonus, your little one will be every waitresses’ favorite kid-toting customers if you take it with you when you go out to eat.
19 Skip Hop Grab & Go Double Bottle Bag
One of the challenges that stare new moms down every time they leave the house with their baby during feeding time is how they keep the bottles at the optimal temperature.
Often, babies will only take their meals lukewarm, not frigid. Furthermore, bottles can only stay at room temp for a small window of time, meaning that if meal time is hours away and you are toting bottles, you have to keep them cold for longer.
Simplify that whole puzzle with one of these insulated bottle bags. They will keep bottles warm or cold, depending on your daily needs.
18 Can Live Without: Twin Feeding System
As a mom to identical twins, I will be the first to tell you that you don’t need this contraption. Moms have been having twins since the beginning of time, and they all survived without this clunky, cloth apparatus to hold and feed their babies.
While you don’t need this massive beast taking up space in your already tot-cluttered home, you can double down on the vibrating, bouncy chairs, pull them side by side and get this same effect without having to purchase one more infant item. This thing is more than a little overboard.
Skip this one and put that money toward something better.
17 Baby Feeding Products: BabyBjorn Soft Bib
New parents, heed my warning: not all bibs are created equal. Some indeed are better than others, and this one right here is a winner!
Little self-feeders are good at grasping food with their chubby, small palms and dropping 90% of the goods onto their lap. Not a whole lot of peas will be making it all the way into their tummies for some time.
Save yourself an outfit change and a whole lot of extra clean-up with a bib that catches the messes with a handy pocket. Bibs like might not be as cute as some of the cloth ones, but they are a million times easier to keep clean.
16 Punica Smart On-the-Go Bottle Warmer
If I could transport myself back to the bottle feeding days and change one thing, it would be to purchase this snazzy little gadget. Not only does it look sleek like something that could house a latte, but it is a lifesaver for moms who have to warm bottles in a flash.
A hungry baby has no chill factor and won’t wait in a restaurant for you to flag a waitress down for a mug of hot water.
This on-the-go bottle warmer is such a great idea, especially if you have one of those kiddos who goes from zero to starving in three seconds flat.
15 Phil & Ted’s Poppy High Chair
Take it from a mother to four kiddos, including twins: it does matter what kind of high chair you choose. Just steer away from large, clunk models that have any cloth whatsoever.
High chairs like this one might look a bit like a spaceship and may even clash with your shiplap walls and farmhouse kitchen decor, but you will never regret purchasing an easy to clean, space-saving high chair.
The last thing a mom has time for is scrubbing down a high chair six times a day. You could wheel this one out to the back porch and hose it off while watering the plants!
14 Can Live Without: Disposable placemats
Unless you are planning on visiting the Queen of England at suppertime, you don’t have to go all overboard and purchase disposable placemats. These biodegradable mats on-the-go are designed to take when picnicking, visiting friends and family and in restaurants.
Sure, you can whip them out and show the world what a highly conscientious and prepared parent you are, or you can be like the rest of us and just clean up the crumbs and slop after the kids eat.
Also, restaurants PAY people to wipe the tables down. Enjoy the one night out a month that you don’t have to do it yourself.
13 Munchkin Snack Catcher 2-Pack
These snack cups are oldies, but goodies. The best part? They come in packs of two and are cheap! For around ten bucks you get two of them. You will need about forty of these things over the course of the toddler feeding days though.
I cannot even begin to tell you the strange places I have found these guys months after losing them. Kids tend to toddle off with their snack cups, and it can be weeks or months before they are seen again.
Grab a few packs of these snack catchers and take them with you everywhere! Fewer Cheerios on your car floor is always a win.
12 Kinzingo Toddler Spoons
While I am not personally a huge believer in tots needing special spoons in order to perfect their self-feeding, if you are going to purchase special baby spoons, check these out.
The Kinzingo toddler spoons have a curved handle that is designed specially to fit toddler’s little fists. Maybe these spoons will cut down on the globs of applesauce that fall off the spoon before they even come close to your tot’s mouths.
Just remember that you will likely need a couple of packs as they only come in pairs for purchase.
11 Can Live Without: Gerber Freshfood Mash and Serve Bowl
This Gerber FreshFood Mash and Serve Bowl is bright and cute, but unnecessary. You can easily use a fork or a good old potato masher to mash up your infant’s food. There is no need for a special utensil.
Furthermore, you’re grown! You’re the one doing the mashing, so why on Earth do you need a product that resembles an infant utensil set.
Your six-month-old isn’t mashing up his own food right? Pass on this product, unless you really do have way too much money to burn or you have serious grip issues and require a specially designed masher grip.
10 Babymoov Duo Meal Station
If you are bent on preparing your tot’s baby food on a daily basis, you might want to consider investing in one of these bad boys, the Behold the Baby Moov Dual Food Station.
It can heat, blend, defrost, steam and sterilize for you. The only thing it doesn’t do is physically spoon-feed your baby.
It looks like something you would see in a state of the art restaurant, right? Fancy, fancy. Aside from being a nicer looking appliance than my current stove, this food prep friend of yours includes not one, but TWO, steamer baskets, and a three-speed blender.
9 Stainless Steel Mixing Balls
Mixing balls? I’ve never heard of such a thing and at first glance, I was tempted to move these down to my “no way do you need these things” portion of this list.
Then I read the description of what they did, and it jogged my memory back to my formula feeding days. These stainless steel balls are like little whisks, designed to break up those disgusting globs of formula that settle in infant bottles no matter how hard you shake them.
I remember those annoying globs! I hated them! Man, I wish I had these things back when I was trying to mix up formula day in and day out for my tiny twins.
8 Can Live Without: Hot Safe Feeding Spoons
You can go ahead and purchase a set of spoons that will change color if your kid’s food is too hot. You could also just stick your finger in the bowl or scoop a spoonful out an taste it for yourself.
You don’t need a small spoon to tell you what your common sense should be able to do.
Knowing whether oatmeal is too hot or just right is a pretty easy thing to determine. Besides, heat sensing spoons don’t always get it right and lose their color change abilities over time, making them less reliable than your instincts.
7 Boon Squirt Spoons
Instead of purchasing those pre-made squeeze meals, that have likely been sitting on store shelves for months growing bacteria and heaven knows what else, shovel your baby food into these brightly colored pods.
And presto! You have self-squeeze feeders for your little guy on the go. We moms can’t always sit down and do a four-course baby jar meal when we are conquering the universe, or driving our kids all over town…or chasing a toddler around a playground.
These squirt spoons will tie your tot over when they get a hankering for their peas and carrots, and you can keep on keepin’ on!
6 Can Live Without: Kidsme Food Feeder
If an infant product looks too complicated to figure out, then you should probably not but it. This little gadget is supposed to let your child explore new tastes and textures safely, not it is just too extra!
This looks like it should be landing on Mars, not landing in your child’s mouth. No one wants to risk choking when introducing new foods, but you probably don’t need a special spaceship contraption to prevent your baby from harm.
Again, use your common sense when working with new foods and you will likely have no issue.
5 Sage Spoonful Containers
If creating your baby’s meals from scratch is your thing, then you may want to snag a set or two of these eco-friendly baby food storage jars.
These four-ounce glass jars are designed for optimal baby food storage, so you can be sure your homemade goods are in tip-top shape until they reach your little guy’s mouth.
The Sage Spoonful jars are dishwasher and microwave-safe and come with easy to remove labels so that you can date and title your bay food creations. All of the products in this line are BPA Phthalate, lead and PVC free too!
4 Wearable Bibs
Plenty of babies out there simply need a catch-all bib that is easy to clean, and they are good to go. Then there are babies like my kids who manage to smother every ounce of carrot and pea into their hair and outfit when they feed.
No matter what I tried, I could not keep my children clean during meal time and ended up tossing plenty of shirts that never managed to make it through this messy stage.
I wish I would have bought a few of these full-coverage bibs back when my children were turning their lunch into full-blown Pisacco Painting on their clothes. These are pretty amazing.
3 A Good Drying Rack
New parents end up spending a whole lot of time washing and drying infant bottles, dishes, and spoons. Do yourself a favor and purchase a sturdy drying rack for your baby’s feeding supplies.
You want to make sure every part of their bottles, supplies, and plates are not only washed properly but also dried out properly so that bacteria don’t have an opportunity to breed.
Placing all of your tot’s feeding utensils on the rack might also help keep everything together in one place. Bottle parts, tiny spoons, and lids get lost almost as often as baby socks that go through the dryer!
2 Munchkin Miracle Trainer 360 Cup
A solid sippy cup is essential to parent survival during the baby and toddler years.
Leaky sippy cups are nightmares people. Loving your child’s sippies is almost as important as the love you have for your kids.
When choosing the perfect sippy, spring for something that is sturdy and leak proof. These Munchkin 360’s halt liquid flow when you kid stops drinking so that they won’t leave a toddling trail of apple juice all over the carpeting. You also want a cup that has minimal parts to it and is easily cleaned.
Score yourself a few kicking cups on Amazon for a ridiculously low price. Double win!
1 Food Scissors
When babies are learning to eat solids, they need teeny tiny pieces of food so that they don’t shovel everything in at once and choke. Cutting up baby bite-sized pieces while out and about can become a tedious and cumbersome chore, so pick up a pair of food scissors.
You won’t have to lug around a knife nor pull into a drive-through restaurant and score plastic silverware just so that you can feed your kid. Pull these out, snip away and stick them back into your diaper bag.
Why couldn’t these have been around when my kids were toddlers?