Starting your baby on solids can be an exciting but overwhelming time, aside from knowing when they are ready, or what to feed them, you also have to make sure you have the right gear. 

From utensils to plates, bowls, and cups, there are some things to think about before buying your baby’s first set of dinnerware. So, we sat down with Vanessa Thornton, MS, RD, CSP, LDN, Registered Dietician & Board-Certified Specialist in Pediatrics, and the expert that leads both our Introducing Solids 101, to see just what to look for when it comes to buying these items for your baby — plus a few of our favorite options for each. 

A few things to consider when buying a plate or bowl for your baby: 

  • Has open design (i.e. no sections, so your child gets used to different foods touching)
  • Has nice, deep sides to aid utensil use
  • Is made of unbreakable or break-resistant material, like plastic, bamboo, or melamine 
  • Is microwave-safe
  • Is easy-to-clean or even dishwasher safe

Here are some of our favorites: 

EZPZ Bowl Mat, $19.99
Mushie Dinnerware, $14.99
Mushi Round Dinnerware, $14.99
Mushie Bowl, $13.99
Munchkin Multi toddler plate, $8.95
WeeSprout Bamboo Plates, $18.95
Munchkin Splash Plates, $13.99
Munchkin Toddler Set, $13.45
Pomelpo Bamboo Plates, $19.99
Re-Play Plate, $14.99
Grow Forward Plates and Bowls, $29.99
Dr. Brown’s Toddler Plate, $5.99
Greenandlife Plates, $19.99
Wesprout Bowl, $16.95
Wheat Straw Plates, $14.99
Klickpick Bowl, $14.87
Oxo Tot Silicone bowl, $11.95
Silisteel bowl, $8.99

When can I first introduce a plate or bowl to my baby? 
It is not necessary to introduce a bowl or a plate to your child before 12 months of age, although you certainly can. Prior to this age babies tend to do best eating directly from a highchair tray or clean surface in front of them —usually with their hands (which is totally normal!). 

But wait, what about suction plates & bowls? Are they necessary? 
Suction bowls and plates, or even mats that have plates and bowls built in are nice in theory, but most babies figure out how to pull them off at some point. And, before then, many are more fixated on how the plate or bowl is stuck on the table than they are on eating whatever is inside it, making for distracting eating space — something you’ll want to avoid when first introducing solids.