My boys were given a mixture of homemade puree(with the odd pouch for convenience) and finger foods and it worked well for us, neither have ever gone through a fussy stage, they eat healthily, happily try new things and love fruit and veg, homemade meals as well as the odd chocolate bar and chicken nugget dinner.
At the moment baby led weaning is all the rage but my best advice is to wean the way that feels right for you and your baby, be it pure baby led weaning, spoon fed only or a combination of puree and finger foods. Anecdotally purely from my own experiences it doesn't make much difference long term.
I have started Barney off along the same vein, he has had homemade purees(butternut squash is a favourite) along with finger foods like cheese on toast, crumpets and veg sticks.
As with most babies the first few days if weaning led to some interesting faces. I absolutely love the expressions babies pull when you start weaning them, the what on earth are you giving me faces are so cute.It is such a big change from milk that it's no surprise that they start off a bit confused.
IKEA Antilop HighchairLiterally the most practical highchair out there. It is just £13, it is lightweight, the legs can be removed for storage and most importantly it is easy to clean. The design has no nooks and crannies for smooshed food to get into, you can even hose it down outside if needed or chuck it in the shower. We have one at home and one at each set of grandparents houses, I love it and i know I am not alone, this highchair is the one I see recommended time and time again.
Silicone muffin trayWhen I was pregnant with Seb, 6 years ago I popped into Poundland one day and picked up some silicone muffin trays. Little did I know that they would become my best Pound land buts ever! These trays are perfect for freezing small portions of food, either purees, mash or little portions of pasta sauce. Ice Cube trays are often raved about for this but I find the muffin trays a far better size as appetites quickly grow. I also use them for muffin tray meals where I fill each section with a little something different.
Tommee Tippee Weaning Set *This fab set contains all the tableware you need to start weaning, two soft weaning spoons, a cup, 2 weaning containers and a cool and mash bowl. Perfect if you don't want to spend a fortune on things you don't need. This set along with Tommee Tippee basic feeding bowls are what we are using this time, all finger his foods just go straight on the tray for now.
Bibs!Weaning can get pretty messy and you can't always strip your baby down to their nappy to eat so invest in some good bibs that wash well. The ones with arms are great as are the soft plastic ones that have a lip to catch falling food!
Stain removerNo matter how hard you try there will always be a point where you and your baby will end up with food stains on clothes. Be organised and have some stain remover to hand. I swear by the Vanish bar remover, it has got rid of many food stains.
First aid knowledgeIt is natural to worry about choking while weaning, I always sit with my baby and keep a very close eye on them. It is worth either taking a first aid course or at least reading up on what to do if your baby should choke, St John's Ambulance have a really easy to understand guide for parents. There are also some simple things you can do reduce risks such as cutting grapes length
PatienceRemember a baby has lived on milk alone for the first few months of their life and moving onto solid food is a skill. They may not eat much at first, some days they may eat loads and others they may not want anything and they may take a while to warm to some foods, just be patient and keep on trying. Like us sometimes there are things your baby genuinely doesn't like, Seb for example has never liked parsnips. It is worth remembering that baby still gets their nutrients from their milk at this stage.
*We received these items from the lovely team at Tommee Tippee