Welcome to The Buzz! When the Peanut Planner Team can’t stop talking about something we love, this is where we do it! Last week we focused on Feeding Products that Mamas around the world are loving, and we’re so happy to see our Peanut Planning Mamas adding feeding items to their Shortlists. We thought we would take this opportunity to talk more about feeding.
Whether you’re intending to breastfeed exclusively, pump or formula feed, or if you’re talking about weaning to solids or making that scary post-first-birthday leap from mostly milk to mostly solids, feeding a baby can a bit overwhelming. Our list includes products to help you – from Milk to More!
We’re going to skip the Mama judgement as we’re just not into that and say one simple thing about feeding: if your priority is feeding a healthy, happy little kid who grows up strong then you deserve a pat on the back!
Starting at the beginning, picking a bottle that works best for your baby often comes down to what’s cost effective, what is recommended to you, and what you like the look of. That’s why we love the Comotomo bottles. Comotomo bottles are so easy to clean and take care of, and super duper comfortable for babies to feed from. However it’s a bit irritating trying to work out which flow teat to use, and having to buy replacements as your baby gets bigger can be costly. Once you’ve got a full set though it’ll last you for consecutive children and our Peanut Planners who have used them swear by them!
And can we just say: keep your camera close, because watching your Peanut experience foods for the first time is one of those adorable milestones you are going to want to totally over-document.
0 – 4 months
During this time you’ll need bottles, and that’s about it! Far and away our favourite is the Medela bottle with Calma teat. Cost effective, easy to use and clean, excellent quality and most importantly: comfortable for Peanut. These bottles mimic the motion of Peanut drawing milk out of the breast during breastfeeding. The 3-part teat also minimises air leakage, so you’ll see less burping and less gas. So important!
These retail for about $30 per bottle. That seems like a lot but when compared to buying increased flow teats every 3 months or so as Peanut gets bigger, this is much more economical. Our advice? A baby who is fully formula fed from birth would only need 6 of these bottles, and maybe 2-3 of the teats. A mix-fed baby might get away with only have 2-3. One for storage when pumping, one for the diaper bag and one filled with milk in the fridge. Simple!
Skip the 120ml option and go straight for the 240ml which will last you until you eventually wean after 12 months.
4 – 6 months
Experimentation! Smooth mashes! Mess…. e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. This is our experience of those first few months of starting solids. Whether you’re keen to try baby led weaning (what’s baby led weaning, you ask?) or are more comfortable with purees, life is going to get messy. Invest in items that are easy to clean and care for. The IKEA Antelop High Chair is a favourite around the world. Cost effective, simple design and easy to hose down in the garden – check, check, check!
Add teething into the mix during this time and our suggestions are simple: food moulds that freeze easily and are comfortable for Peanut to grip, to discover new flavours and foods while soothing sore gums. We love the Annabel Karmel Ice Lolly Moulds for exactly this reason!
As your food repertoire increases you’ll need microwave safe bowls and suitable spoons to help you feed Peanut. Heat-sensitive tip spoons (to tell you when food is a good temp for Peanut) are a great investment, but personally we can’t go past the NumNum feeders. They combine the independence and fun of baby led weaning with the ease of puree, ticking all of the boxes. At $12 a pack they’re reasonably priced enough to invest in and your Peanut will love using them until well past the 12 month mark.
6 – 12 months
Feeding is getting more complicated, more involved, and more fun! You might be experimenting with different textures, bigger quantities and adding in amazing new tastes that tantalize and challenge Peanut. Feeding at this point, in the eyes of a Peanut, is a whole body experience – that means porridge goes in hair. Peeled, sliced grapes go into ears and sometimes even nostrils! And everything goes into Peanut’s lap! Catcher bottom bibs will save you time cleaning, and energy in preparing food – what Peanut drops during meal time you can quickly scoop out to offer again before the meal is finished. Eventually, you might even find Peanut dipping into the ‘pelican bib’ (as many Mamas affectionately know them) to help themselves to scraps they’d saved for later!
As you move towards the 12 month mark where solids become more important nutritionally than milk, you will find your Peanut spending more and more time in the feeding chair while you spend more and more time searching for recipes of new things to try. If your Peanut is in care, you’ll also want to start collecting easy to make nut free recipes to send to school. Multiple packs of easy to open tupperware are a great investment, as well as large bibs with a button or snap clip closure at the back of neck (those pesky Peanuts don’t waste any time in learning how to remove their own bibs!). Our tips? A full body snap clip onesie over the top of Peanut’s outfits is the perfect way to protect their clothing during meal time. My absolute favourite – a wet bag with a bib, onesie, wet face cloth in a zip lock bag (for cleaning Peanut’s face and hands post meal, and to allow her to clean her teeth),spoon and lunch foods for the diaper bag.
For more of our favourite feeding essentials, check out our Feeding and Weaning Shortlist here.