Updated: May 24, 2020
The essentials for weaning are dependant on the type of weaning you are doing, I've done combination feeding with both my children, so this list is based on my personal experience. I will also do a non essential list and parent weaning hacks post over the next few weeks.
If you're doing baby led weaning, it's pretty much the same but you don't need the blender.
The minimal list you need is a high chair, some bibs, bowls/plates, spoons, cups, hand blender, and the patience of a saint!!
Here are my recommendations.
High chair: to be honest, you can't beat the cheap and cheerful IKEA antelop high chair. They also last really well, I picked up a secondhand one, and just had to buy the blow-up insert for when my little ones were small!! (TOP TIP: If buying from IKEA don't forget to pick up the insert too! I have so many mum friends who have done just that!).
Bibs: All you need is something to cover your smalls clothes. I actually have different bibs for different meals. (will do a blog on bibs in the next few weeks). If we are having a messy meal you can use a bib and place a muslin on their knee, which makes extra washing but keeps their clothes clean! Bowls/Plates: I see lots of people making really pretty meals on Bamboo plates (BambooBamboo make some really pretty animal-shaped ones - use code BLW BOSS for 10% discount) . I got the Tiny dining bamboo set from Rinket, which was much cheaper and still great quality. HOWEVER, we don't use it! I got a selection of cheap (BPA free) plates from my local supermarkets and we just use them! I generally just feed Liberty straight on to her tray. If she does get hold of a plate, she just tips the contents out! Spoons: Again we just use cheap and cheerful ones from the supermarket. Although we do use the Tommee Tippee long-handled ones the most. Their soft spoon end makes catching bits from faces easier.
Cups: in our workshops, we cover what cups to use and why. You can just go straight to an actual cup. Liberty is 9 months now and loves to drink from my cup (even on her own) however she obviously can't sit in her highchair with a glass. I use 2 types of cup, Tommee Tippee free flow cups are great, can pick them up from around £1.50, we also love a slanted doydy cup, which has really helped her drinking skills. Hand blender: If you are making purees, you can go all out and buy an all singing all dancing blender, chopper and steamer, but in my opinion, a cheap hand blender does just the same job, but can also be used for longer than your weaning journey. I do prefer one that splits in to two though, so that if you need to do something in the middle of blending it doesn't fall over.
Unfortunately, I have no recommendation of where you can buy the patience from, however, if you realise from the start that weaning is a slow process and some babies take longer than others and some are messier than others, then it is easier to take in your stride. An understanding of weaning and what to expect from your baby can also help with your patience. A weaning course is really helpful in prepping you for this.