Is your baby ready for a spoon?
Fingers are the utensils of choice for babies. But now that your little one is getting older, she’ll probably show interest in eating just like you—with a spoon and fork. Wondering whether she's ready?
Around 8 months, your baby’s hand control will allow her to begin using a spoon. Your baby won’t get the hang of it right away, but let her experiment.
This new way of feeding can be messy, so it’s a good idea to place a mat or cloth under her high chair. The first few times, more food may end up on the floor or her high chair than in her mouth! But that’s okay. Eventually, she will be able to feed herself.
What can you do to help?
- Try two spoons at first. You hold one spoon and let her hold the other. Show her how you use it, and then watch as she tries to imitate you. Or if she tries to grab your spoon, switch with her to let her try it with your spoon.
- Have manageable food on hand. Give your toddler foods that are easy to manage and have a size and texture that easily clings to a spoon. To minimize your child’s frustration, choose foods that are made especially for toddlers learning to feed themselves.
- Be ready with the right utensils. Give your baby utensils that have big, soft-textured handles that are easy to grip. Also make sure that any forks have blunt tines. Look for plates with curved sides that make it easy to scoop food. Plates with suction cups on the bottoms will keep the plates in place.
- Refrain from using disposable plastic spoons or forks—they break easily and are choking hazards. They also have sharp edges that can scratch your baby.