A little while ago, Baby T-T reached the grand old age of six months, which meant one thing, and one thing only chez nous – dinner time! And while less impressive than his big bro’s first forays into food (which happened 1,600 feet above sea level in the rather exotic setting of Kandy, Sri Lanka on Christmas Day 2011), the wee dude followed the same path to taste bud nirvana by munching on a ‘nana… well, smearing it about a bit anyway.
As I’ve been out of this baby weaning game for a while, it quickly dawned on me that I’d forgotten about all the basic bits and bobs you need to successfully transition your kid from milk monster to pint-sized gourmand, never mind where to buy them all in Hong Kong. So whether you’re about to take the (puréed) plunge or, like us, go bananas (and carrots, avocado and pear and toast crusts EVERYWHERE) for baby-led weaning, here are a few useful items that will save time and effort on scrubbing mush from your floor. You’re welcome.
Do not adjust your set. This weird-looking cup hasn’t melted in the wash. In fact the Bickiepegs Doidy Cup is designed at slant to help your little one get to grips with drinking from an open cup from the get-go. Theoretically harder to spill (although I can confirm that with the right sort of dedication, definitely not impossible), the cup offers an easy transition from breastfeeding and reduces the impact of bottle teats on growing teeth. Recommended by the NCT in the UK, these are hard to come by in Hong Kong.
We found ours online at SugarBee Baby for $80. www.sugarbeebaby.com
AKA the only highchair in the world that anyone needs. I know that the Stokke Tripp Trapp is great and you can use it until they’re off to uni and it comes with clever accessories, etc, but I remain unswervingly loyal to the crevice-free, frill-free and, with a quick rinse, – in the shower if really necessary – gunge-free moulded plastic of the Antilop. True story – when weaning Young Master T-T, we bought a fancy highchair to use at my parents’ place. Within a matter of a few meals, we had to throw it away as it was impossible to clean thoroughly, sprouting mould in the padded seat and smelling EVIL (we initially thought it was either the baby or the dog). Lesson learned, back we went to Ikea, where a very small amount of money later we were all set. And that is why I will never again deviate from the righteous path of the Antilop.
The best HK$250 you’ll spend (that isn’t on wine). www.ikea.com/hk
Stuck On You silicone placemat
- They are customisable. Kids LOVE stuff with their name on. Mine are no exception.
- They are huge – much bigger than I’d expected, meaning that they catch more detritus.
- They are easy to clean, and crucially, the print hasn’t faded or deteriorated at all after months of daily use.
- They are delicious to chew. I can’t personally confirm this, however Baby T-T seems to like nothing better than grabbing a corner and having a good old nom. (They are also pretty resistant to bite marks, which is handy).
Stuck On You’s awesome customisable placemats cost HK$279 and are available online at www.stuckonyou.hk
The why is pretty self-explanatory really, particularly if you’re planning on baby-led weaning. Babies are filthy creatures (I’m sorry, but there’s really no point in denying it), so unless you really love using your washing machine, you’re going to need to cover every centimetre of child with something before each meal or face the consequences. Failing that, simply laminate your child, which I believe also works. Our typical covering situation starts with a sleeved bib (we use art smocks from Ikea, but I may well splurge on a new one soon from HK brand Little Poppits as ours are looking a bit ratty these days. We then add a second layer of protection with a Tommee Tippee Explora Roll-n-Go silicone bib (these are very handy when travelling as they’re wipe clean and have a generous pocket for catching discarded crud). Despite this, Baby T-T usually needs a full hose-down as soon as he’s done, but I’ve more or less made my peace with this now and have a massive stack of washcloths for that exact purpose. Sigh.
Cover-all bibs HK$39.90 from Ikea or HK$175 from Little Poppits www.facebook.com/Little-Poppits
Roll-up silicone bibs HK$40 ish from most Fusion/Park N Shop/Wellcome stores.
First weigh up how bothered you are about a crunchy floor, then decide the best option for you. We have used an old shower curtain, a decorating sheet and even a bin bag below the highchair in extremis, however the slightly more attractive solution to chiselling Weetabix off your floor comes in the form of a PVC-backed tablecloth. If you’re fancy, Cath Kidston have some lovely ones. If you’re not *waves* then Next Online have a few good (cheap) options in a variety of sizes, including round.
PVC tablecloths from HK$145 at www.hk.nextdirect.com.