Eating spaghetti with your hands. As a baby it is absolutely adorable. As an adult it is creepy and weird. As your baby grows up there will come a time when you need to introduce him to the wonderful world of utensils.
Even if the only classy thing that you manage teach your baby is how to use a knife and fork, you have succeeded as a parent.
The right utensil for your baby will all depend on his stage of development. To make it easier for you I have split the guide into two separate sections. Click the above links to jump to the section that is best suited for your baby:
Okay, with the introduction out of the way it is time to dive spoon first into the guide. Lets kick things off with:
Spoons for Spoon Feeding
A great spoon can make spoon feeding your baby a much simpler task.
So what makes a good spoon for feeding your baby?
Excellent question. Some things to look out for when choosing a spoon for spoon feeding include:
1. Soft tipped - If your baby bites down hard on a metal spoon then your babies meal time is as good as over. You will have to wait until the tears stop before attempting to feed again. A soft plastic or silicone spoon will keep your babies gums protected no matter how hard he chomps. Note: Some babies actually prefer metal spoons..
2. Flat tipped Your baby is going to end up with food all over his face, no matter how good you are at landing that aeroplane into your babies mouth. A spoon with a flat tip will allow you to easily scrape away the bits around your babies lips and sneakily slip it back into his mouth.
3. Nicely weighted An often overlooked part of spoon feeding is the weight of the spoon. If the handle is too heavy then there is no way you will be able to get your spoon to remain upright in your babies food jar.
Now that you know what to look for it’s time to take a closer look at some of the best self feeding utensils on the market. Starting with my personal favorite:
I am going to horrify you:
Take everything out of your diaper bag right now!
Got everything out? Good. Now take a look at what is left at the bottom of the bag. You may have to look closely. Really closely.
You see that? It’s fluff, crumbs and maybe even the odd dried poop smear. Now I am not judging you, I am just bringing to light a shocking realization I had:
If you spoon feed while travelling then your babies spoon will touch every bit of gunk and goo that is floating around your diaper bag. This spoon is then going to go into your babies mouth.
Fortunately OXO have come up with an amazing solution that is so simple you will wonder why someone else didn’t do it first. Their spoon comes with it’s own little carry case. No matter how dirt, your baby’s spoon will stay incredibly clean.
The spoon is pretty darn great for just how cheap it is too, Amazon currently sells it cheapest. The tip of the spoon is a soft silicone that wont dig into or hurt your baby, even if he clamps down on the spoon tip.
The head holds just enough food for a single baby mouthful and does a great job at scraping out the very bottom of your baby food jar (you know that annoying little bit that normally just wont come out? Yep, not a problem with the On-the Go feeding spoon.
For the price, quality and simplicity, Every parent should be carrying around one of these in their diaper bag. This is easily my favorite spoon for spoonfeeding. Don’t need the carry case? You can also buy the spoons separately in a set of two.
Every now and then you will come across that baby product that checks all the boxes. Super affordable. Looks good and well designed. The Rest Easy spoons are definitely that product.
So what makes them so great?
The unique head is shaped similar to a spatula. It not only holds enough food for a good baby mouthful but is great at scraping away the food build up at the side of your baby’s mouth. Simply wipe the spoon across your babies skin and it collects any food that has missed your baby’s mouth.
One of the worst parts about spoon feeding is figuring out where to rest the spoon while attending to your baby. Unlike other spoons the Rest Easy spoon can be placed flat on your table without making a mess.
If you examine the underside of the spoon handle you will notice a small hump. The hump supports the spoon preventing the head from ever touching your table. No more wiping down your table every time you rest your spoon down!
The only other product that comes close in this price is the Munchkin Soft-Tip Infant SpoonI simply do not understand why these are so popular. The handle absolutely sucks. Not only does it roll off bowls because it is round but it is so heavy that it falls out baby food jars when standing upright. The Rest Easy spoons trumps them hands down.
You got to hand it to Boon, they know how to make amazing looking products (seriously, just check out their bottle drying rack). Looking for a modern spoon to feed your baby? The combination of stainless steel and silicone makes this one of the best looking baby spoons on the market.
The idea of the spoon is to provide your baby with two different textures. One side of the spoon is a soft silicone. The other is a hard stainless steel. Trust me on this:
Your baby will definitely let you know which side he prefers
The funny thing, at least with my baby, was that his preferred side would change from meal to meal. Lucky for me, changing the texture was as simple as flipping the spoon over.
The end of the spoon is not only flat but angled. This allows you to easily scrape out the very bottom of your baby food jar as well as any leftover food on your babies face.
The Boon Swap Utensils Feel like a premium product. They are almost a joy to hold in your hand and I got plenty of compliments from other parents who saw me feeding my baby (it really is a cool looking spoon).
But this spoon is definitely more than just good looks, this spoon is durable enough to outlast the period that you spoon feed your baby for. Not many other spoons can do that!
As you would expect with a premium product, there is a price to match. These spoons are definitely some of the most expensive on the market. But if you can afford to hand over the extra cash then you will be rewarded with one of the best spoons on the market.
I didn’t want to feature too many Boon products in this article but this one was so cool it simply had to be added. If your baby food jar and spoon had a baby then this would definitely be the result.
Ever dreamed of feeding your baby with just one hand?
The Boon squirt will allow you to do just that. The back section of the spoon is a squeezable bulb container capable of holding up to 3 ounces of baby food. Simply unscrew the bulb and load your baby food inside.
There is a small hole at the neck of the spoon. When the bulb is squeezed the spoon head catches the food. From here you shove it in your baby’s mouth and celebrate just how easy it all was.
Sounds TOO EASY. Doesn’t it. As always, there is a catch.
The Boon Squirt works better with runny baby foods. Thicker, chunkier baby foods are quite difficult to squeeze out. And be sure to give it a good shake if air gets trapped inside, otherwise the food to literally explode out of the nozzle and all over your baby.
While covering my baby head to toe in his favorite thick baby food was hilarious, the tears of laughter were quickly replaced with tears of sadness when I realized it was me that would have to clean the whole mess up.
But for runny custards and purees this baby spoon is awesome and makes feeding your baby incredibly easy, especially when travelling. A cap that covers the spoon is even included. This allowed me to throw a couple of frozen baby food cubes inside in the morning and have them thawed and ready to serve by lunchtime.
As you would expect from Boon, this baby spoon is free from nasties like PVC, BPA and phthalates, incredibly easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
Warming up baby food can be quite difficult. Just because you see steam rising off it does not mean it is hot. More often than not the center is still a solid block of ice.
But what if it IS too hot?
The last time I tested my baby’s food with my finger it nearly disintegrated. It was that hot. My baby’s food contained the heat of a thousand suns. If you look at my index finger closely you can still see the discoloration from the burn. Yikes.
Munchkin have come up with an incredibly clever way of determining whether your baby’s food is too hot or not. Simply dip their heat sensitive spoon into your babies food and if it turns changes color to white (at approximately 110 degrees fahrenheit
) then it is definitely to hot for your little ones mouth.
Let the food cool and dip the spoon in again. When the spoon head changes back to it’s original color it is safe for your baby to eat.
These spoons could have easily taken my number one recommendation for spoon feeding. They seem well built, are comfortable to hold and contain no nasties like BPA and phthalates.
So why didn’t they?
While munchkin claim that this spoon is dishwasher safe, I strongly recommend that you hand wash them. Within months the heads on my spoons had discolored, and the handles looked incredibly beat up like they had polished with a Brillo Pad, you know... the steel ones.
If you hand wash these spoons then they seem to hold up pretty well but as a busy mother I simply do not have the time to do this after each and every meal. For this very reason dishwasher safe baby gear is my best friend.
Would I recommend these if you do have the time to hand wash? Absolutely. And if you could let me know your secret to scraping together the time to do so I would love to hear it!
Self-feeding baby utensils
Most parents introduce their baby to solid food at around 6 months. Many parents find that their baby is much more likely to take to solid food if they can feed themselves.
Training spoons (also known as learning spoons) are designed to be your babies first spoon. They feature larger handles and special measures are taken to ensure that each spoonful of baby food picked up does not end up all over the floor.
No sharp pointy bits - An adult would want a fork to be pointy and a knife to be sharp but for your baby this is a recipe for disaster. If you have ever watched your baby eat you will know just how often he misses his mouth. You don’t want a sharp fork scratching up your babies delicate cheeks now, do you?
Look for forks that have rounded prongs or where the prongs curve inwards (like a spork).
Shorter than usual - Short utensils are great for babies learning to eat as it is more difficult for your baby to shake or wobble the food off.
Thicker handles - Thicker handles are easy to grip. Until your baby develops his motor skills a larger handle will make it easier for your baby to keep the fork or spoon upright.
Lets start off by taking a closer look at my favorite:
The best trainer spoon for babies looks nothing like a spoon all. Do not be put off by its looks. The Num Num Dips are hands down the perfect spoon for your baby to learn with.
The set contains two separate spoons:
- Orange Channeled Head: Used for thicker purees, cereals and mashed fruits and vegetables. The channeled head works similar to a honey wand. The thicker baby foods clings to the head of the spoon, resulting in fewer spills.
- Blue Dimpled Spoon: Used for runnier custards, yoghurts and thin purees. This head looks more like a traditional head. The shallow
One thing I love about these spoons is that they hold very little baby food. While you are probably thinking:
Why would I want a spoon to hold less food?
When you see the spoons in action you will immediately understand why. If you watch your baby feed himself with a traditional spoon you will notice that less than half that spoonful of food will end up in his mouth.
Where does the other half go?
All over the high chair tray, your baby and very likely the floor. While choosing an easy to clean high chair will help, it is much easier if you avoid the mess in the first place and these spoons go a long way towards that by limiting how much food your baby can scoop up in the first place.
The spoons themselves are easy to grip, dishwasher safe and Free of nasties such as BPA, PVC and phthalates. An absolute winner in my book.
Gerber has made a baby utensils pack that is perfect for those of you on a budget. This very affordable option gives your baby four forks and spoons in fun and funky colors.
Don’t be put of by the bargain price, this utensil set is surprisingly good quality. Bpa free and dishwasher safe (which is basically mandatory if you have kids) you definitely get a lot for your money.
The handles are incredibly easy to grip. The handles are almost identical to the amazing handles of the Nuk sippy cup but flat, rather than curved.</p.
Just be mindful: These forks and spoons are designed for younger babies just learning to self feed. They are just that little bit too small for older toddlers. The small size is actually a blessing as it helps your baby get more food inside his mouth without the majority of it smearing over his lips. After all, you don’t want a fork or spoon that is wider than your babies mouth!
If you are looking for an inexpensive set of utensils for your self-feeding baby then you would be hard pressed to beat this deal.
Is your baby just learning to self feed? If so take a moment to watch him eat. It’s very likely you will notice that the most difficult part for your baby is twisting the spoon towards his mouth.
Sassy Baby have come out with an ingenious spoon design that allows your baby to skip the twist all together. While they look may look as bent as a boomerang, these angled spoons have been designed to make feeding time a whole lot easier for your baby.
Once your baby has scooped up his meal he will be delighted to find that the spoon is already pointed straight at his mouth. It doesn’t get much easier for that. Parents of special needs kids (particularly those with autism) sing this spoons praises for helping their baby to feed himself.
Now there are two small grips I have with this spoon. Actually, one minor gripe and one major one. There is one thing that is easily to look over when buying this spoon. And that is:
Your baby’s preferred eating hand
Look at the spoon again you will notice that there is absolutely no way for a left handed baby to use this spoon. That seems like a massive oversight by the manufacturer. While this did not impact my right handed baby, I can only imagine the stress that parents must go through when they get this spoon home only to discover their baby is unable to use it!
The small gripe I have with this spoon is that the head is actually quite shallow and it has small holes in it that seem to serve no purpose. Parents I have two very different opinions on this. Some absolutely hate it while others are happy to overlook it because the curved angle was such a big help with helping their baby self feed.
While this spoon wont be perfect for every baby, it definitely has it’s place on this list. Please consider your baby carefully before rushing out to buy him this spoon.
The promise: A self leveling spoon that remains upright no matter what direction your baby holds the spoon in which prevents all spills. Yes, you read that right. No spills whatsoever.
So how does it work?
That silly looking thing on the end of the spoon is a weight that helps keep the spoon upright. The handle sits loose and freely swivels around the spoon.
I was recommended this spoon by numerous parents who basically sung how this was the savior of their babies meal time.
Unfortunately I did not see the same success.
This had the potential to be one of the best self feeding spoons on the market.
When it works, it works amazingly well but it all depends on your baby doing two things:
- Holding the spoon correctly - If at any point your baby holds both the handle and the spoon underneath then it will not rotate at all. Your baby must eat by only holding the handle (good luck explaining that to your baby).
- Nor being an engineer - This spoon was seen as more of a toy than an eating utensil. My baby had to know exactly how it worked and took great joy in constantly taking it apart (it comes a part quite easily for cleaning by the way).
- Not locking the handle into place - The handle of the spoon can lock into place which stops the 360 degree movement. This was designed so your baby can still use his favorite spoon when he grows older. Unfortunately your baby can easily lock the spoon on his own and when it locks you lose all benefits this spoon has to offer.
For me there was too many variables and the few times my baby did use the spoon correctly were not enough to justify the frustrations that went along with using it.
Despite my story, many other parents have had great success with this rotating spoon but I myself simply cannot recommend it.
This utensil set, consisting of a spoon and fork, is just perfect for introducing your baby to the world of fine dining. So pull out your baby’s top hat and monocle, it’s time to get classy.
The utensils are made from a high grade stainless steel so that you do not need to worry about rusting. There is no doubt about it; these utensils look great and would fit right at home amongst your own silverware.
I know what you are thinking:
That fork looks awfully sharp…
And that was a concern I had too. Running your finger along the fork reveals that it is quite flat, without any sharp bits whatsoever. I am very impressed with the design, it is perfectly suited for smaller mouths.
My only gripe with these utensils is that the handles are quite narrow and thin. If your baby is as uncoordinated like mine then you will dread the idea of a thin handle. Thin handles are much harder to hold in the correct position which usually means most of the meal that is on the spoon or fork will quickly end up everywhere but your babies mouth.
So if you are looking for thicker handles then why not try:
I’ll be honest, it was a toss up between these and the Nambe Baby Loop Spoon Set (Which looks much, much better in my opinion). However, the reason I went with the Luckywood is because the fork has been rounded, making it much more suitable for baby use. The Nambe Fork was much pointier and as you know, pointy things and babies just don’t mix.
Luckywood have gotten around the problem of the narrow handle that you usually find on metal baby utensils by looping the handle back on itself.
The loops are incredibly easy for even tiny hands to use with a crab-claw grip.
The only thing I didn’t like was the engravings on the handles. I thought they were ugly and the (Frowning teddy bears and suits from a deck of cards). Fortunately my son is much less fussy when it comes to design and quickly took to these utensils, holding them correctly on the first attempt.
If you can get past the ugly engraved handles of these utensils as easily as my son then you will quickly fall in love with these utensils.
As you can see; whether you feed your baby or your baby feeds himself, there are a huge number of utensils to choose from to make your feeding time easier.
What is your favorite baby utensil?
You know the drill: Leave me any questions, wisdom, love or hate in the comments below and as always . . .
Keep being awesome!