So when it comes to feeding babies, there's a HUGE market out there of items to use. I've tried a good amount, because, let's face it, a lot of parenting is trial and error. These are the ones I've that I have loved, that have made it all a little easier. I'll include the list below, with a little reasoning for why I love each one. You can click on the pictures for links to find them on Amazon!
1. Beaba Baby Food Maker
All three of these are great. DISHWASHER SAFE!! All of these steam and puree the food in one appliance, which I LOVE because that keeps the mess in one place! The left one is the classic model, and holds 3.5 cups (6-12 servings). The middle one holds 4.5 cups, is great for one baby, and making large amounts of food at once, so you can store a week or two's worth of food. I have the third one. This one makes 9.4 cups of food, can steam 4.7 cups on each side at once. Clearly, I got this when I had the twins to make food for! If I were to choose one now just for Hazel, I would go with the middle one, because it does the trick for one baby. It allows me to make enough food for her to eat for over a week at a time. Also, I have to tell you with the third style, only one side has a blender. Another thing I love about these is they are so cute, that I never mind leaving mine out in the kitchen the 7 months or so they're eating baby food.
2. Food Storage Containers
I love these containers because they each hold about 4oz of baby food, and they're microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe! What I do is make about 6-12 containers full of food, leaving only one out for that day, and freezing the rest. That keeps the food fresh, and sets me up with food for the week. Then when it's time to feed her, it's SO easy to just take one out of the freezer, and pop it in the microwave (lid unscrewed, resting on top) for 1.5 min, stir and feed.
3. Feeding Spoons
These are my favorite spoons for feeding a new eater. Babies have to learn how to eat, and for a while, they are constantly pushing food right back out of their mouth with their tongues. This spoon makes it easy to scoop whatever they push out up and shovel it right back in (for real, this is how the majority of feeds go in the beginning... spoon it in, spit it out, scoop it back up and shovel it back in, and repeat. Ahhh, motherhood, constant repetitive actions).
4. Suction Bowls/Plates!!!!
Say it with me now SUCTION!! You will find that a baby's favorite game is making their mom or dad play fetch. We had a rule at our table with the twins. If they threw their spoons or forks, they lost them for that whole meal. Bowls and plates on the other hand were always suctioned down to their high chair trays. The bamboo ones are amazing. I used them with the twins, and loved them because they did the trick. I also love that later you can remove the suction part of the bowl and use it as a cute wooden serving bowl! The third one I only found with Hazel, and it's great because the suction portion and the release tab are both hidden from the child (on the outside where only the parent can find it). It also is said to have great suction, and hold well against the grips of a toddler. Whatever you decide, I highly recommend any kind of suction plate or bowl!
5. Baby Bjorn Bib
These are the only bibs you'll ever need! No laundry necessary, just rinse and let dry. When the twins were starting to eat Puffs, and cheerios, we used to put their bibs on them and fill them up like little troughs for them to graze out of. They LOVED it. Unlike a lot of bibs this style with the catchall, these don't collapse. They stay open and catch anything that falls from your child's mouth, as they eat, or spit things out (because they constantly do that, trust me). We have also been using these from 6 months-now with our 2.5 year olds, so they definitely fit both infants and toddlers.
6. Munchie Mug Snack Cups
I may be getting ahead of myself, because, yes, these are for further down the road, BUT I have to tell you they are my ABSOLUTE favorite snack cups!! Yes, they're pricey for a snack cup, but you'll only need one, and they are built to last. The top is made of overlapping fabric, so no more worrying about snacks falling out when your kid turns their cup upside down, and no more wearing out the rubber teeth, like what happens to so many of the other snack cups. These also come in two sizes. I only ever bought the 16oz because I figured they would grow into them, but I think either 12 or 16oz are both still holding a LOT of snack. The 12 oz is about the size of any other snack cup you'll find on the market. The 16oz is nice and big to grow with them, and allow space for their hand when they reach in.
7. Sippy Cups
Once they start eating solids, drinking water, or milk from a sippy cup is not far behind. These are two of my favorites. My twins took a bit longer to learn the Munchkin 360 cups, but I really wanted them to use those because they teach them how to properly drink from a cup. We started with the weighted straw cups on the right because they knew how to use a straw inherently, from sucking out of a bottle nipple. I loved those because they didn't leak terribly, and the weighted straw follows the milk/water to help them get the last drop.
8. Self-Feeding Spoons
So these are great for training your baby to use utensils. In the beginning, they don't understand the idea of shoveling the food in a spoon or fork, so these spoons help them figure it out by allowing them to dip them and still get plenty on the spoon. I used to give the boys each one (we didn't find a huge difference between the two, even though they are supposed to be two different levels), with a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal and let them go to town. They loved it, and I think it helped them learn to use a spoon and fork pretty well.
I hope y'all find this list helpful! We are so blessed to have all the amazing baby products out there now a days, but sometimes it takes a good recommendation to help navigate through it all.