Babies like to be in control at mealtimes – and they usually like to hold their own utensil from very early on! However, it is always best to start your bubba off with finger foods that they can grasp and hold themselves, and then gradually progress to spoons and forks.
There is no set time to introduce a utensil, however practice makes perfect! Try giving one to your baby early on so they can practice holding it, however they usually grasp the concept by their first birthday. Utensils that are designed for younger babies are best, such as our First Tensils as they allow for a lot of fun and practice!
When you choose utensils for your baby, choose ones that aren’t heavy, sharp or awkwardly shaped for their little hands. Make sure they are safe to chew on etc.
Provide your baby with soft foods that they can scoop into the spoon to ensure more success early on. If they are having problems scooping, load the spoon yourself and hand it back. In time, your baby will get the idea and follow your lead.
Once your bubs has gotten used to a spoon, try introducing a fork. Demonstrate the gentle stabbing action of the fork and hand it back to them to do the same.
When your baby first starts using utensils, expect mealtimes to take longer and be a lot messier! You can make clean-up easier by:
- Investing in a good bib, one that provides good coverage and has a catcher at the bottom. Also ensure it is easy to clean!
- Placing a mat at the bottom of their highchair which you can scoop up and wipe down right after mealtimes.
- Choose unbreakable tableware as we all know babies and toddlers like to throw their food – you certainly don’t want to clean up broken plates as well as food. Silicone plates, bowls, cups etc are a great choice. They also make no sound when thrown which is a big bonus!
Make mealtime fun! After all, you want your baby to have a healthy relationship with food so starting off this way may make it a lot easier down the track!
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