1. Breast pump. Yes I breast fed exclusively for the first 4/5 months, but I still needed the pump to either a) keep up my supply, or b) relieve my full boobs from milk after Kate skipped a feeding.
2. Bottles. Even breast feeding, I would leave a small bottle if I needed to run an errand and leave Kate with someone. Then, as she switched to formula, bottles became a necessity.
3. High chair. Even before she was eating solids, we would have Kate 'join us' for dinner. I would strap her in and give her a spoon to play with. This high chair is great because it fits on a regular chair and has a 5 point harness to keep Kate secure. It also reclined so she could sit at the table with us before she could sit up on her own.
4. Bibs. I prefer waterproof bibs (like these that were a gift from a friend). They protected Kate's clothes from milk and her first foods.
5. Blender. After introducing rice cereal came the baby veggies and fruit. I used our immersion blender to mix up a batch of apple sauce or cooked carrots. It is such an easy tool to use, and made making baby food quick and easy.
6. 2 oz cups. These were the perfect size for Kate's portions of cereal/fruit/veggie as outlined by her pediatrician. They stack easily and are dishwasher and microwave safe.
7. Freezer tray. Making big batches of baby food means having LOTS of the same kind of food. Freezing the food helped us store extras. I would freeze the food in the trays then store the cubes in freezer bags.
8. Straw sippy cup. When a waitress brought out a kids cup of water for Kate (without us asking) we decided to let her try it out. She had never drank from anything but a bottle (or my boob) before, but she sucked up the water on the first try. When she later tried her cousin's sippy, she couldn't really use it. The straw was too wide. I went out that same week and looked for a sippy that had a narrow straw and only found 1 on the Target shelves. Luckily Kate was able to use it without a problem. It also has handles for easy holding, and a straw cover for traveling.
Finger foods and Table foods:
9. Take and Toss feeding kit. This is what we are using for every meal now. We had used the spoons since introducing solids, and now we use the containers to package her food: yogurt, peas, pasta, diced fruit, etc...She has also transitioned to the sippy cups in this kit. At her 9 month check-up the pediatrician said to discontinue bottles at 12 months, but some babies are ready at 10 or 11 months. So we tried the 'regular' sippy cup and she drank like a champ. Now she only has bottles before bed time, and has her formula with her meals in the sippy.
16 Month Update: We are still using the Take and Toss kit for meals. Kate is even mastering the spoon and fork! We switched Kate to a smaller booster seat and she now sits at the table. Placemats are an essential tool for keeping the table somewhat clean.
She easily gave up the bottle around 11 months. She now only has sippy cups- those from the take and toss kit, as well as some insulated ones as well.