The first six months of feeding your baby are relatively simple – they eat milk. We know there are a few ways of doing that, and it’s not always an easy time, but when you take your baby out, you only need to remember a few things. Once your baby starts weaning, you’ll have a whole new list of things to add to your baby bag.
“We had it easy, because I breastfed and was always fine with doing it in public. I remember the first time taking him out for lunch after he’d started eating solids. I stood in the kitchen for a second wondering what to pack and how I was going to feed him in public – it was almost like being back to that newborn nervous feeling of not knowing what I was doing!"
Alice, mum to N, 24 months
Here are our tips to help feed your baby while you’re out and about:
- Use wipe-clean bibs. You can scoop the food off with a paper napkin, and wash them properly when you get home.
- Find a folding placemat. It’ll help to keep the table reasonably clean, and if you’ve brought it from home you’ll know it’s clean enough for your baby to eat off it. It’s great for impromptu picnics in the park too.
- It’s handy to have a little ‘messy bag’ or pouch to put used bibs and spoons into, so they won’t cover the rest of your things in food.
- Pack at least two baby spoons – they’re the first thing to land on the floor, and most cafes or restaurants will only have metal ones.
- Find a small bowl for your bag. Some shops have collapsible silicon bowls, or designs with lids to hold the food inside, to maximise the space in your bag.
- Most cafes or restaurants will give you a cup of hot water to warm your little one’s jar or pouch of food if you ask. Some will even offer to heat the food for you.
- Pack a spare set of clothes for your baby and a spare top for yourself. It’s no fun walking around with pureed carrot on your blouse (but we’ve all done it!).
- Make up small portions of food or snacks, to make it easier to unpack while you’re out. A sandwich bag with a few crunchy puffs, or a small tub of fruit puree are easy to grab and serve.
- Have a backup plan – pack their usual milk and bottles, just in case they don’t eat their food, you’ll know they’re not hungry.
- If you’re going to be out all day, read up on the safe storage of baby food. You might need an insulated lunch bag and a freezer pack to keep your little one’s food safe – remember babies have immature immune systems, so it’s important to be careful.