Written by Sindhuja Prabhu
When your baby is ready to start eating on their own, you know they are not so tiny and helpless anymore. They seem to reach this stage a lot sooner than you expected. When your baby is ready to start eating solid foods, they start with their hands and slowly transition to spoons and forks. So, when should I introduce spoons and forks to my baby?
Using a spoon and fork requires a lot of coordination. Your baby should be able to hold up the cutlery and bring it to their mouth without poking themselves in the eye. It is important to not give them the fork or spoon too early in the hope of helping them start early.
In This Article
Babies can pick an item, hold it firmly and bring it to their mouths when they are about 9 months old. This skill, known as pincer grasp, will further develop as they use more of these muscles and improve coordination. Babies who have mastered their pincer grasp well can start using utensils such as forks and spoons for eating. For a baby to start using a spoon and fork to successfully bring the food to their mouth, you may have to wait till they are 10 – 12 months old.
At this stage, you can introduce baby-friendly spoons and forks to them. These spoons and forks are blunt hence the chances of injury are less. However, you need to be with them and monitor them carefully to ensure they don’t hurt themselves with the cutlery. It is important to remember that a baby should be comfortable eating with their hand before they can graduate to forks and spoons.
Before you let your baby start exploring with a spoon or a fork, you need to get them ready. Here are a few ways to prepare your baby for this milestone
When you introduce the spoons and forks to your baby, you need to take the following precautions.
[Read : Infant Choking]
We want nothing but the best and safest products for our babies. Here are a few tips to help you find the right set of spoons and forks for your little munchkin.
You can encourage your baby to use their spoon and fork for the following food items
Using a spoon and fork is an important milestone for a baby. It requires a good grip, concentration, and good coordination. You need to wait till your baby develops the required skills and be patient to let your baby learn it on their own before introducing spoons and forks to babies
Some babies may have better hand-eye coordination than others. However, it is safer to wait till your baby is 10 or 11 months old to let them use a fork.
Babies will need help to get the food onto their spoons first. Preloaded spoons are a great way to introduce and encourage cutlery usage in your baby. Food that won’t slip off easily is even better.
You cannot expect a baby to eat with cutlery like adults. Babies will drop the spoon, fork, and food multiple times before they can start eating comfortably. Your baby might start eating well with a fork and spoon 6 months after you introduce it to them.
Soft spoons made of materials such as silicone are the best for babies. Remember, your baby will start teething and their gums will be tender. They need something they can put in their mouth easily and chew on without hurting their gums. Look for spoons specially designed for babies. These have ergonomic shapes that make it easy for babies to hold, bring the food into their mouth and chew. Cutlery from popular baby brands is always your best bet.
Yes, self-feeding is a very important and beneficial skill for babies. Babies who learn to self-feed will eat only how much they need and overfeeding and underfeeding can be avoided. In addition, early self-feeders become good eaters when they grow, they learn table manners and portion control from a very young age.
Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.
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