When it comes to dinner time, every parent wants to avoid the mess and stress that usually comes with it. Whether it’s a highchair that lets your child join you up the table or a compact highchair that’s perfect for travelling and eating out, feeding products and feeding accessories can make a huge difference in where you want to eat with your child and just how easy it is. To make feeding time easy, lots of big brands, such as Nuna, Cosatto and Chicco, have created a wide range of products that have been designed to relieve this stress and make feeding simple.
Nourishing and nurturing your little one from newborn to toddler is a rewarding, frustrating and messy business! From baby led weaning to highchairs, the BuggyBaby Feeding & Highchairs Buyers Guide will help you to make informed decisions about feeding and weaning (no promises about the mess though…)
- Bottle or breast? Read our useful advice to feeding your baby in the early days.
Bottle Feeding: How Do I Know Which Bottles And Teats To Buy?
Be led by your baby on this – there's a lot of choice including different shapes and flow rates, so try a few and find out what your baby takes to best. The ideal teat however tends to be defined by your baby's age – start with the smallest size for newborns and graduate as baby grows. It really is a case of baby knows best…
Which Bottle Is Best For Colic?
If you're looking to transition your baby from breast to bottle, or if your child is experiencing colic symptoms, then an anti-colic bottle can help. Twistshake Anti-Colic Baby Bottle 300ml has a specially designed teat to aid flow, plus a powder container and mix net to reduce lumps when preparing a formula feed. The wide neck of the bottle makes this anti-colic bottle easy to clean while the baby-friendly grip keeps the heat in.
Feeding & Highchairs Buyers Guide: which Extras Do I Need?
If you're bottle feeding, you'll need to invest in a steriliser. Choose either microwave or electric, both of which are super-fast and incredibly efficient, sterilising a number of bottles in minutes. A cold water steriliser is another option. This is ideal if you're on holiday or on the move. Just drop the steriliser tablet into cold water and about 30 minutes later you have clean bottles. A bottle rack can help keep your draining board organised, and a bottle brush will make washing those endless bottles a little less painful. Finally, a milk powder dispenser and portable bottle carrier are great when you're on the go.
Breastfeeding: Is Breastfeeding Right For Me And My Baby?
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby, but that doesn't mean you'll get the hang of it straightaway. It can be pretty tricky to master at first, so the most important lesson to learn is to ask for help. There are lots of local support groups, as well as national groups such as the NCT and La Leche League. Your midwife and Health Visitor will also be there to give a helping hand.
What If I Really Need A Break?
Being on-demand 24 hours a day to satisfy your little one's needs can be quite daunting. But don't worry – expressing your milk using a breast pump can give you a break. What's more, it can give your partner or relatives the chance to share in the joy of feeding. Choose between an electric pump (more expensive but more efficient) and a manual one (better value and for more occasional expressing).
Sit your baby at the table with you at around 6 months old, and you'll soon see when they start to show an interest in your food. Weaning is the stage when babies' nutritional needs start to exceed that of milk, and they eventually get all their calories from food and drinks. They'll need to get used to chewing, swallowing and digesting foods, and to experience a variety of tastes and textures. Your Health Visitor will be able to help you every step of the way along this exciting journey.
What's The Best Feeding Accessory?
When it comes to food prep, cooking and steaming from fresh is the way to go - but it doesn't have to be hard work. Products such as the Babymoov Nutribaby+ food processor makes it easy to cook, steam and blend all in one. Have fun experimenting with sweet potato, parsnip, banana and more! Serve up on baby's own set of practical and colourful plates and bowls, such as the Babymoov Babybols Multi Set.
If this is all sounding a bit messy, then yes it is... but you can keep the mess at bay. Tidy Tot Bib and Tray Kit with Travel Bag comes with a waterproof cover bib that goes over your baby's whole body, which is attached to a flying-saucer shaped tray. This puts food in easy reach of your baby. As a result, there's far less cleaning up to do. Perfect for baby-led weaning.
A portable mini-highchair seat is really useful if you plan to feed snacks in different rooms of the house. As soon as baby can sit unaided, you can pop her in a Bumbo Multi Seat. This has three height settings, and comes with a snack tray that's perfect for feeding games of here comes the aeroplane! You can secure the Bumbo Multi Seat to a chair to prevent tilting, while in-built safety straps keep your child secure while she feeds.
Your choice will probably come down to aesthetics and available space. A wooden highchair is a stylish option, lasting into childhood and beyond. Short on space? A folding highchair is the best bet, tidying neatly away when not in use. If you're still unsure, our reviews can help. We've also included a great selection below to get you started.
Are There Any Extras I Should Look Out For?
Recline settings and removable trays are useful features, making mealtimes a little easier to manage as you dodge the flying peas! A highchair with an adjustable height setting will keep little one at sofa, table or breakfast bar level.
We recommend six bottles and teats for a fully bottle-fed baby. Try a wide range and don't over-invest until you've found out which one your baby prefers. Just check that the teat is designed for your little one's age – start with a slow flow for newborns and increase as they grow.
Some babies simply don't like cold milk. If yours is one of them, then the Yoomi On the Go Kit will save a lot of faff. The patented bottle warming system heats breast and formula milk to the perfect temperature in just one minute. Simply press the button and it's ready - no more begging cafe staff for a bowl of hot water, or traipsing to the sink in the middle of the night.
Whether you're hoping to share the late-night shift with your partner, enjoy a bit of 'me time', or are going back to work, breast pumps are the answer for breastfeeding mums. Choose an electric pump if expressing is going to be part of your daily routine, or a manual one if it'll be more occasional.
A feeding pillow makes it easier to support your baby while you feed them, either from the breast or bottle. The crescent-shaped pillow goes around your back, providing lumbar support while baby can rest his or her head on either side. Look for a feeding pillow with an ergonomic design, such as the Chicco Boppy Feeding Pillow. This is made from 100% organic cotton and has a lovely, simple design. Handily, this feeding pillow also doubles up as a support for when your little one learns to sit up.
Keep little one's bottles clean and germ free with a steriliser. You have three main options: steam, microwave or cold water with sterilising tablets. If you're using sterilising tablets be sure to rinse well with boiling water before use.
A compact highchair is like a little pod that you can clip to the side of a table. This makes it easy for your baby to enjoy its very own feeding experience along with the adults. As a result, a compact highchair is perfect when dining at friend's house, pub or restaurant. Compact highchairs come in a variety of different styles, from ones with pincers that clamp on to the table to fabric styles that simply slip over a chair – great for keeping in your changing bag. There are also plenty of different booster seat options to choose from.
Mountain Buggy Pod Compact Highchair 2018 is light, convenient and can be used indoors and outdoors. Perfect for picnics and snacks on the go.
The perfect style statement, these highchairs look great alongside existing furniture. Their smooth lines mean fewer places for food to hide, which means less cleaning for you. And that can only be a good thing… Nuna Zaaz Highchair is modern and practical but with a super smart design to outwit crumbs and grime.
Short on space or budget? Go for a classic folding highchair. Usually with a lightweight coated metal frame, a padded PVC-covered seat and easy wipe plastic tray, they simply fold away when not in use. With loads of styles to choose from, this is one practical piece of kit. Joie Mimzy 2 in 1 Highchair has an adjustable tray that sits at three different depths, so it's a perfect fit for your fast growing youngster. The soft, five point harness keeps your bubba safe and secure as they tuck in, while the wheels make the a breeze to wheel the Joie Mimzy 2 in 1 Highchair from dining room to playroom.
For a really comfortable highchair on a budget, look no further than the Chicco Polly Easy Highchair. This great little number has a padded back and sides, keeping your baby snug while she tucks in. It's suitable from 6 months - 3 years so will last your little one right through the toddler years.
Looking for something a little more... zingy? The fun, vibrant colours of the patterned Cosatto Noodle Supa Highchair are great for children and parents who enjoy a bit of brightness at mealtime. The Cosatto Noodle Supa Highchair is really easy to fold up and down, and has a squidgy removable seat that's super easy to clean. Choose from dragons, unicorns, melons and monsters to name but a few.
An extending wooden highchair, like Hauck Alpha+ Highchair offers a clever alternative to a traditional compact or folding highchair. Unlike regular highchairs, which are designed to see your baby through to the toddler years, an extending highchair will provide your child with a safe and stylish place to sit right up to they're around 12 years old. With a harness, front bar and crotch strap for your baby, this highchair lets you bring your baby to the table during weaning. Once your child is capable of feeding themselves, you can adjust the height of the seat and foot plates so suit your child's size.
It's a fact – breastfeeding mums leak! Choose from either washable or disposable pads and keep a few in your bag to make sure you're prepared for all eventualities.
It won't be long before your new arrival will be ready to make the move from a bottle to a trainer cup. With lots of different styles to choose from, see which your little one likes best.
Milk Powder Dispensers
An inexpensive and indispensable piece of kit, a milk powder dispenser measures out the perfect amount of formula when you're out and about.
Take it from us, you can never have too many bibs. Ones with scooped designs will catch falling food, whilst long sleeved versions offer maximum coverage.
Food Storage Containers
If you're whizzing up nutritious homemade goodies, it's handy to have a good supply of baby storage pots so you can keep extra portions stored in the fridge or freezer.
From electric to insulated to in-car models you'll always be sure you're serving milk and food at the perfect temperature with one of these.
ask for help and advice if you're finding breastfeeding tricky
get comfortable before you start feeding – you could be there a while!
make sure you sterilise your newborn's bottles
wait until your child can sit unaided before putting them in a highchair
check what's within your baby's reach when they're in their highchair
despair if you find breastfeeding difficult in the early days – help is out there
make up formula milk and store it before you're ready to give it to your baby
leave your child unattended in a highchair
forget to brush their teeth as soon as they start to appear (usually around 6 months)
worry too much about the mess a weaning child makes!
Nuna incorporates elegance with modern, sophisticated style. They pride themselves on creating products that are practical and tested to the highest safety level. Also, they wouldn’t look out of place inside any home. Designed to let your child sit up the table from the moment they can sit up unaided, the Nuna Zaaz Highchair is fully customisable to any height or size and is even dishwasher safe..
Best known for their colourful and unique designs, Cosatto believe that no journey should be boring. They also believe that your little one should be at the heart of it all. Cosatto aim to create happy babies and parents. They focus on designing beautifully patterned products that combine features to suit modern parenting. The Cosatto 3 Sixti Highchair is their star highchair and is available in a range of patterns that will suit any kitchen or dining room. This highchair is fuss-free and super easy to use. With a pedal lift that adjusts to fit your table height and a smooth recline and spiralling seat.
Chicco are passionate about creating baby products that bring ease and joy to parents’ lives. They also provide the best solution to any parenting dilemma. The Chicco Polly Magic Relax Highchair is suitable for use from birth (all the way up to 3 years!), is fully adaptable, versatile and customisable – no matter your kitchen or dining room! From newborn chair to highchair, the Polly Magic Relax Highchair is super unique in its functions. It lets you create the perfect highchair that suits your little one’s needs at dinner time.