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Your baby’s clothing needs won’t change much as she becomes more mobile, although you may wish to buy items with a little more padding to protect her knees and elbows. You will both, however, be ready for some new equipment as she forays into the world of solid food.

To wear

  • Loose-fitting clothing that allows your baby to move easily is the order of the day, so make sure she’s dressed comfortably

  • Three-quarter- or short-sleeved tops will keep her hands free

  • Look for hard-wearing clothing, particularly at the knees

  • Bibs are a definite necessity now, and they should be either wipe-clean with a “tray” to collect food spills, or large and machine-washable

  • She’ll need plenty of extra changes of clothing as she begins to experiment with food; even the very best bibs can’t protect her clothes from the mess she’ll create

  • Consider a baby sleep sack, which zips or fastens at the shoulders, to keep her warm in bed, since she’s getting too big to swaddle

  • A pair of soft rubber bootees or an all-in-one fleece suit will allow her to remain dry and comfortable while she explores the outdoor world

  • Consider hats with under-chin fastenings: removing and throwing hats is a popular baby game

Equipment

  • A jumper or a bouncing seat that is suspended from a doorway—she may enjoy this as she becomes more confident and independent, and it will also give her legs a good workout

  • A toothbrush and toothpaste—once she’s eating, she’ll need to have food debris cleared from her mouth twice a day, and when those teeth emerge they’ll need to be brushed daily, too

  • A foldable “umbrella” stroller is suitable from six months

  • A sturdy high chair—ensure it has an insert to snugly hold a younger baby; all high chairs should have a harness or five-point belt to prevent escapes

  • A splash mat, for under her chair

  • 2–3 small plastic bowls, preferably with a suction cup to prevent her from firing the contents across the kitchen when you least expect it

  • 2–3 chunky plastic spoons that her little hands can hold easily; she won’t be able to feed herself yet, but you can encourage her to try

  • 2–3 weaning spoons, with a small “scoop” to make her first attempts at feeding a little easier

  • A plastic cup or a cup with a spout; choose one with a “slow flow” so that she doesn’t choke

Equipment for preparing baby food

  • A food processor or hand-blender

  • A hand-turned or electric grinder (like you would use for coffee beans), which is ideal for potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables that can become sticky and glutinous in a food processor

  • An ice-cube tray that is flexible so you can easily tip out your frozen purées; choose one with a secure lid

  • Stick-on labels: your purées will last for up to eight weeks in the freezer, and 24–48 hours in the fridge, so you may wish to label them with the date you made them and their contents

  • Mini pots with lids, to freeze larger quantities of your baby’s favorites

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