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Having recently cleared out some cupboards in my kitchen and coming across the baby safe feeder were it had been gathering dust. This coupled with the fact that one of them in the twin pack was still unused meant I thought it would be useful to share our experience with it to try to save other mums and dads wasting some money on it.
What is it?
The feeder has a looped curved plastic handle for your little one to hold on to with a collar similar to those found on a baby bottle. It is through this collar that the strong mesh bag is placed. The slice of food is placed inside the mesh bag; this is then secured to the holder. The idea of all this is that baby can then chew and sucks the nutrition from the food through the mesh bag without the risk of large pieces from the food being swallowed or causing a choking hazard. Food that they suggest you can place inside the mesh included biscuits, fruits and vegetables it can also be used with ice to soothe gums during teething.
When we were weaning our son we came across several problems mainly that he seemed to dislike puree and would clamp his mouth shut or spit it out straight away. After trying this for several weeks we decide we would try baby led weaning as he was for ever trying to get the food off our plate. As a first time mum I was worried about the risk of choking so when I saw this in a baby catalogue I thought this would be a good half way step as he could have solid food with the risk of choking being reduced. On our first try with the feeder I decide to try some apple pieces. His attempts to use the holder ended up causing frustration for him and me as he couldn't co ordinate getting the holder to his mouth. This seemed to be as he found it too heavy for him to manipulate at 6 months. This meant he often ended up just bashing his head with it. Needless to say his patience with was very short and this ended with it being thrown to the floor in disgust by him. The next day I decide to try some carrot batons in it. His co ordination still remained poor but he managed on a few occasion to hit his mouth and he wasn't really impressed by was he found on these successful attempts. I think he disliked the feel of the mesh in his mouth rather than the taste of carrots. Our final attempt with the feeder involved banana and resulted again in a few bashes of his head and the banana turning a slimy texture through the holes. The holder again ended up been thrown to the floor in disgust by my son with very little of the food being eaten.
Cleaning this holder I have to say is a nightmare and if you are clean freak don't even bother. Trying to get the mesh cleaned after the food has been chewed through it is very time consuming and the best way I found to do so was to run it under running water to free as it were the pieces out from between the mesh. Banana also I am afraid turns the mesh for a nice white colour to a brown sludgy one and this discoloration seemed to be permante.
In the end we bit the bullet and gave our son pieces of food to chew on such as batons of carrot, broccoli as baby led weaning advises and he was a much happier little boy. He seemed to enjoy eating the same food as ourselves and provided he was watched we never had a chocking incident. He was also able to eat without bashing himself over the head as he did with the feeder. I think the feeder was just a bit too heavy for his co ordination to cope with at this stage in his development. We never did try it with ice for teething problems so how well this aids this I can't be sure really.
This is one of those products I think that didn't live up to its promises. It seems to be a good idea in principle but just didn't work in practice for us. I would personally not recommend this product and advise instead to give your child under supervision chucks and batons of food following the principles of baby led weaning. For us it was an expensive mistake that certainly played on my first mum fears.
The feeder can be bought of Amazon and various baby product websites for about £9.50 for 2 feeders.
When I was first told about this product I thought it would be a bit of a waste of time so never bothered getting one, then on day my little girl swallowed a bit of pear whole and started to choke, this frightened me and I didn't want it to happen again so I went online and purchased on of these feeders straight away.
This item is a very simple idea; you have a white handle which is quite chunky and very easy for a baby to hold, this has a green screw base, you undo the base to reveal the top of the net, you can then put any kind of fruit or treat in the net, screw the green base back to the white handle and there you are a nice safe baby feeder.
I only tend to put fruit in mine (grapes, banana, apple, pear etc), it does say you can put biscuits in it but I don't think they would be very easy to eat through the net.
This net teaches you baby to chew so it's a great idea if you are moving on from puree food to mashed, it also prevents you baby eating any seeds or skin because the holes are very small there is no way a seed could get through.
The net is very easy to clean, once you unscrew the green base the net just pulls out through the top so you can give it a good scrub, I tend to use a nail brush on mine as I found it was the best thing to use to get it all clean. Its best to wash it straight after use (especially if you put banana in it), if you leave it the net tends to get discolored and then never looks clean.
This has turned out to be a very good purchase for me, I can now give my girl all sorts of fruit and treats without the fear of her choking on anything, this feeder also means I don't have so sit and watch her eat, I can give her the net and know she will quite happily chomp away on it.
I bought mine from Ebay for £5 (it came with four nets) but you can also get them on Amazon for £9.95 (only comes with one net), replacement nets cost £9.94 also from Amazon