Once your baby is ready for a high chair, it be can be a challenge to keep family mealtimes manageable, especially while making sure she’s getting the nourishment she needs. These real moms pass along lessons they learned firsthand.

Make It Easy for Everyone

  • “Get ready to wash a lot of bibs. The mess from just plain spit-ups is nothing compared to the mess from feedings. I bought a bunch of extras, so I wouldn’t have to wash so often. At this age, the ones with Velcro backs are much easier to deal with than snaps or ties.” —Angie M.

Avoid Making Assumptions

  • “Don’t make the mistake of assuming your baby won’t like certain foods just because you don’t. My partner hates vegetables and didn’t think Luca would like them either, which doesn’t really make sense. It’s true that Luca didn’t take to green beans as quickly as, say, applesauce, but he would eat them. I think babies’ tongues are little blank slates, and you should offer them all kinds of things. Assume nothing!” —Madison P.

Special Feeding Tricks

  • “I mixed cereal and fruit together, which my baby seemed to like. It kept things more interesting, and it ensured she got vitamins from fruit!” —Yolanda G.
  • “My daughter just loved the baby faces on the baby food jars—in fact, she liked baby faces of all kinds, from real ones to pictures in books. So I would show her the face on the jar, and she would smile and get all excited. That distracted her enough so I could get the peas in her mouth!” —Paula S.

Smooth Pumping

  • “I continued breast-feeding for a year, along with solids, and I found that looking at a picture of my baby while I was expressing milk at work really helped the let-down reflex and made it easier to pump. I ran a slide show on my phone of pictures of him, which was handy and fun.” —Judy C.

Pack a Snack

  • “Always carry some snacks in your diaper bag for your baby, like teething biscuits or cereal puffs. A bottle of juice is also convenient. You never know when you’ll get stuck somewhere and need to feed your baby something easy to tide him over.” —Cora B.

Homemade Baby Food

  • “We found that a wand blender, also called a stick or immersion blender, was a really easy way to make our own instant baby food using fresh, homemade foods.” —Karen M.
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