When should baby start feeding self with spoon

When to Introduce a Spoon to Baby

Learning how to self-feed is an important milestone in your baby’s development. The messy, but fun, process of teaching your baby how to use a spoon will be the next step in your baby’s journey to self-feeding.

Teaching your baby how to self-feed is going to be a messy process, but will be worth it in the long run. Your baby's motor skills and development will benefit from learning how to self-feed so it is important to encourage this process to your baby. As you begin to approach the age where your baby is ready to start learning how to self-feed, here is everything you should consider.

Where To Start 

Finger Feeding

Before you start to think about introducing a spoon to your baby, you first will want to make sure your baby has been introduced to finger foods. This first step will help your baby begin to develop their motor skills which are necessary to have before figuring out how to use a spoon.

Beginning with finger foods, start with soft foods that you can easily smash with your fingers. This will be the safest and easiest place to start for your baby. Foods such as soft cooked noodles, cut bananas, or steamed veggies are all a good place to begin. Choosing foods that can be cut up into bigger chunks will also make it easier for your baby to be able to pick up.

If you have only been feeding your baby soft foods and purees on your own, you should wait to introduce a spoon until after you have introduced finger foods. At around 12 months, most babies should be feeding themselves finger foods. It is around this stage that you can start to introduce a spoon.

Next Step: Introducing the Spoon 

Now that your baby has gotten comfortable with finger feeding, you can take the next step on the self-feeding journey by introducing their first utensil, a spoon. The CDC recommends waiting to introduce a spoon to your baby until they are around 10-12 months old. However, there is no specific age or time that your baby should developmentally be using a spoon. There are many factors that can have an influence on the timing of your baby learning to use a spoon.

  • Fine motor skill development
  • Interest in eating independently
  • Time they have been eating solid foods
  • First introduced to finger foods

These are all factors that can influence when your baby starts to use a spoon to self-feed. Every child is unique so do not worry about whether or not your baby is successfully learning to use a spoon. They will get there eventually!

Signs They Might Be Ready

It can be tricky to know whether or not your baby is ready to take the next step in their development. One sign that your baby is likely ready to start using a spoon on their own is with their body language. Infants typically will turn their heads and clamp their mouth to signal they are full, after the meal. The opposite holds true as they get older. Toddlers will often start to get fussy or throw a tantrum before a meal. If you are noticing that they are appearing disinterested in the spoon you are trying to feed them, let themselves give it a try. This might be their way of telling you they are ready to be more independent. 

Learn more from Pediatrician Dr. David Hill from the American Academy of Pediatrics about when your baby is ready for solids: 

Expected Timeline

Depending on your baby, these milestones will be reached at different times than the families around you. However, here is a general guide to understanding when you should plan on your baby reaching these steps to independently self-feeding. 

  • 6 months: You can begin to start introducing finger foods to build your baby’s fine motor skills. Remember to choose foods that are soft and easy to squish to avoid any choking hazards. 
  • 12 months: Around their first birthday, your baby will likely begin showing an interest in using a spoon themselves. This is when you can begin letting your child feed themselves thick, soft foods like oatmeal, yogurt, or applesauce. 
  • 15-22 months: Your toddlers should be able to start getting the hang of feeding themselves with a spoon. Around this time, you should also be able to introduce using a fork to feed themselves.

Every baby is different when it comes to reaching these developmental milestones. You should never focus too much on whether or not your baby is “on track.” With both time and practice, your baby will get there.

What are the Benefits of Self-Feeding?

Self-feeding is your baby’s first step to independence. In addition to the new confidence and sense of freedom your baby is experiencing, self-feeding is beneficial to their overall development in the following ways.

  • Learning to grasp and hold things firmly
  • Gaining hand-eye coordination (learning spatial awareness, strengthening their “visual motor skills”)
  • Refining Sensory Process skills (the different textures and sensations of the food they are touching will help to build their sensory processing skills)

Things to Consider

Picking the Right Spoon

In general, any spoon that is not too heavy for your baby to hold is the right spoon. However, it is probably a good idea to purchase a set of spoons that are actually designed to be used for babies. Look for spoons that have a wide, chubby handle that will make it easy for your baby to grab and pick up. A spoon made of rubber or silicone will also be better for your baby because of the soft texture and grippy material. 


Foods to Start With

Get ready for a big mess when it comes to your baby learning how to use a spoon. At first, your baby will likely spend more time exploring and playing with their food, rather than actually eating it. Start with thick foods that will easily stay on the spoon as they learn how to balance and bring the spoon to their mouth. Here are some recommended foods to start with.

  • Applesauce
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mashed peas/carrots
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Pudding
  • Yogurt 

Introducing the Fork 

So, your baby has now mastered the spoon and is ready for their next big step: the fork. It is usually recommended to introduce the spoon before the fork, because a spoon is typically easier for a baby to learn at first. However, some babies do pick up on the fork easier because it requires less balancing and they can stab the food. You will likely want to introduce the fork at around 16-18 months, to give your baby time to first practice and focus on learning how to use a spoon. 

What’s Next?

With so many huge developmental milestones being achieved, your baby is rapidly developing. Once your baby has been introduced to the spoon and fork, you can consider moving them from the high chair to a booster seat at the table. By bringing your baby to the table to eat with you, you can help them develop their motor skills quicker. This gives them the opportunity to observe and mirror your actions.

How Can I Help the Process?

The best way you can help your baby is to simply let them experience and explore this new skill for themselves. At first, you'll probably notice that your baby spends more time playing and waving the spoon around. But eventually, they will start to pick up on how to actually use the tool for their self-feeding benefit. 

This is a messy, but fun, process. Look into some rubber or silicone splat mats to make the clean up aftermath easier for you. Other than letting your baby explore and have fun with the learning process, here are some things you can do to help your baby with practicing their new skill.

  • Demonstrate it for them: Your baby is looking to you for guidance, so show them how it is done! Have them watch you use a spoon to feed yourself the yogurt or oatmeal and then have them try it for themselves. Over time, they will continue to mirror your actions for how to self-feed.
  • Hand-Over-Hand Method: First, let your baby grab for the spoon themselves. Once they are holding the spoon, see if they can dip the spoon and scoop up the food. You can place your hand over their hand and help guide the food into their mouth. Your baby is still learning all the basics like where their mouth even is and how to scoop food using the spoon so you can help show them the ropes for the first few times.  
  • Stick to Thick Foods: To make it easier for your baby to scoop and bring the food into their mouth, stick to thick foods at first. Avoid foods that can easily fly off the spoon (rice, cereal, etc.) until they have gotten used to the process. 

Baby-Led Weaning: What is it? 

Baby-Led Weaning is a popular form of teaching self-feeding. The process skips feeding soft foods and purees and goes straight to finger foods starting at around 6 months. Registered dietician, Clancy Cash Harrison, author of Feeding Baby, says “Baby-led weaning supports the development of hand-eye coordination, chewing skills, dexterity, and healthy eating habits,” she says. “It also offers babies an opportunity to explore the taste, texture, aroma, and color of a variety of foods.”

What makes baby-led weaning successful, is that your baby will recognize that in order to eat, they need to learn how to do it themselves. It gives an extra nudge into independence. However, parents can obviously step in when needed, in order to make sure their baby is getting enough nutrition from food. 

Starting at about 6 months, or whenever your baby is able to sit unassisted in a high chair, you can begin baby-led weaning. Your baby might not have fully developed their chewing skills so breast milk or formula will still need to be their main source of nutrition until at least 10 months old. 

The best foods to begin with are soft, easy to squish foods like bananas, steamed broccoli, or avocado. Try cutting the foods into bigger pieces to make it easier for them to pick up. By starting at 6 months, you will help your baby develop the pincer grasp. When considering foods to start with, texture is key. Since your baby does not have the fully developed chewing skills, you will want to make sure any food you are giving them is very soft to avoid a choking hazard. 

If you are thinking of starting baby-led weaning, consider a mixed approach. The first few months of baby-led weaning might be more exploring, and less eating. Do not feel pressure to fully abandon breast milk, formula, or purees. Not all children will be ready for baby-led weaning and finger feeding at 6 months. Focus on making sure your baby is getting enough food, rather than trying to get them to self-feed. 

The most important thing to take away from both self-feeding and baby-led weaning is to let your baby lead the process. Let them be the one to reach for the spoon, show their curiosity, and explore their growing independence. Your baby will be most successful if you let them guide you in this process.  


All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.   

See the FDA Peanut Allergy Qualified Health Claim at the bottom of our homepage.

Teaching Your Baby to Self-Feed

Read time: 5 minutes

What should I know about teaching my baby to feed themself?
  • Signs your baby is ready to self-feed

  • Ideas for first finger foods

  • Tips for introducing spoons and cups to your baby

As your baby becomes more experienced with eating, you may notice them becoming more interested in feeding themself. This transition to self-feeding usually starts between 7 and 9 months.1,2,3

Signs your baby is ready to self-feed include
  • Grabbing the spoon while you are holding it

  • Reaching for food from their (or your!) plate

  • Even grabbing other objects, like toys, and bringing them to their mouth4,5

Once your baby starts showing an interest in feeding themself, it’s important to provide many opportunities for them to practice this skill. The key to mastering self-feeding is to let your baby try and try again.

Does my baby need teeth to eat finger foods?

Don’t wait until your baby’s teeth emerge to start finger foods! Babies do not actually need teeth in order to enjoy foods beyond purees. In fact, the teeth we use to chew are the molars, and those teeth generally don’t come in until well after baby’s first birthday.15

Babies’ gums are incredibly strong – if your little one has ever gnawed on your finger when teething, you know! And as long as the foods you present to your baby are size and texture appropriate, they can chew perfectly well without a full mouth of teeth.14

Ideally, the food you provide your little one should be soft and pea-sized to prevent choking. Make sure the food is ‘smushable’ between your fingers so that it’s soft enough to be gummed by your baby.

How to start teaching your baby to self-feed with finger foods

A good way to start is placing a few small pieces of food on your baby’s highchair tray. Let your baby feel it. It may seem as if baby is just playing with the food, but touching and playing is a step in their learning process.2,5

Initially, your baby may grab for the food with a raking motion, using the entire fist to move the food toward their mouth. Grabbing the food in this way is called the palmer grasp, which is when baby’s fingers close over an object (such as your finger) in the palm of their hand.16

Around 9 months, your little one will develop the fine motor skill of grasping food with their thumb and forefinger, called the pincer grasp.5

Read more: Introducing Solids: First Foods and Advancing Textures

When to practice self-feeding

You can go about practicing self-feeding in many ways. First, try setting aside time at the beginning of the meal for practice. Since baby is hungrier at the start, this may help in motivating your little one to bring the food to their mouth themself.

Another way to try is to simply leave several pieces of food on baby’s tray to play and practice with while you alternate with spoon feeding. Allow your little one to try and put food in their mouth, then practice chewing and swallowing. Be sure that baby’s mouth is clear of food before offering anything from the spoon.

If your baby gets frustrated, allow them to finish the meal and eat how they normally would (such as with spoon feeding). Just remember to keep trying at other meals throughout the day (and every day).

Read more: Meal Plan for 6 to 9 Month Old Baby

First finger foods

The foods you give your baby to practice self-feeding should be soft, easily ‘smushed’ between your fingers, and cut into small pea-sized pieces.

Here are some ideas for first finger foods:

  • Small pieces of ripe, soft bananas, avocados, peaches, mango, kiwi

  • Soft cooked sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, turnips

  • Grated or soft cooked (skinless) apples and pears

  • Soft cooked whole grain pasta

  • Scrambled eggs

  • Cubes, strings, shredded, or small pea-sized pieces of cheese

  • Cooked shreds, small diced pieces, or ground cooked chicken, fish, or turkey

  • Berries cut into quarters

  • Beans cut into halves or quarters

In addition to the above ideas, your baby can eat bits of what you eat (without added salt or sugar) including different fruits, veggies, grains, meat, beans, spices and seasonings as long as the foods are small and soft enough to reduce choking risk.

Foods that pose a risk of choking should be avoided. Examples include nuts, whole grapes, hot dogs, raw carrots, raisins, popcorn, and portions of food that are too large.14 Also note that honey should not be given to infants before the age of 1 year.

Read more: Preventing Choking in Infants and Toddlers

Time to practice with spoons and cups

Learning how to use spoons and cups not only involves demonstrating how to use each one, but also allowing your baby lots of practice both with your help and without. Let your little one get messy as they step into their independence with eating and drinking!

Teaching your baby to use a spoon

After your baby masters self-feeding with their hands, the next step is offering utensils. Most children become good at using spoons and forks to self-feed between 15 to 18 months, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait until then to start exposing them to utensils. 1,6,7

Just as your baby needed a lot of practice eating with their hands, they will also need many opportunities to attempt eating with utensils. A good way to begin encouraging this transition is to give them their own baby or toddler-friendly spoon or fork.

Teaching your baby to use a cup

Learning to drink from a cup can also begin around this time.4,7 Use an open, sippy, or straw cup and allow your little one to practice with a small amount of water. Since formula and/or breastmilk will still provide a large amount of nutrition and all of the hydration for your little one at this age, only about 4 to 8 ounces of water total spread through the day are recommended.8

Letting your baby drink water from a cup on their own will not only build their fine motor skills (which may include lots of spills!), but will also help them form the important habit of drinking water. 8

Which should you use: cups? Sippy cups? Straw cups? Learn more here: Transitioning to Cups for Babies and Toddlers

Which foods to use when practicing using a spoon

Thicker foods like oatmeal, mashed sweet potatoes, or yogurt blended with fruit are good practice foods since they will more easily stick to the utensil. It will be messy for a while but just remember that practice makes progress.

Once your baby has gotten the hang of dipping the utensil into the food and bringing it to their mouth, consider giving baby their own small bowl. There are some bowls with suction cups on the bottom and some that are attached to a mat – these may help prevent too many spills.

Let your baby to feed themself from their bowl while still feeding them from yours. Soon enough they’ll be eating a full meal without your help!

Remember, it is a learning process; it will take quite a while before your little one is neatly and skillfully feeding themself. In the meantime, have fun and be prepared to get messy!

Tips for teaching your baby to feed themself
Supervise your baby during meals

It’s important to monitor your baby as they begin to eat more independently. Your baby is not only getting used to a new way of eating, but new textures too. Remaining by your baby during meals will allow you to monitor their tolerance for new textures and the amounts they are putting into their mouth.9

Know the difference between gagging and choking

Gagging is the body’s natural defense against choking and is very common when babies start eating solid foods.10,11 Gagging may occur if the baby has too much food in their mouth or if the food moves towards the back of the mouth before they have chewed it sufficiently. While your baby may look scared and be making gagging noises, baby’s airway is not blocked. The gag reflex helps baby move the food back toward the front of the mouth so they may chew it more before swallowing.

Choking is when a piece of food becomes lodged in the airways causing baby to stop breathing.12 Your baby will be silent and perhaps flailing their arms. Choking is life threatening and requires immediate attention.

Learn more: Preventing Choking in Infants and Toddlers

Expect and embrace the mess

Teaching your baby to feed themself will be messy. Invest in a few good bibs or apron type smocks that can better catch the food. Consider placing an old towel underneath the highchair if you are concerned with food falling on the floor. Keep a damp washcloth or paper towel by your side to help with spills.

Enjoy family meals

Babies learn from you! If your baby is eating meals with the rest of the family, they will observe how everyone else is using their utensils to feed themselves, eating healthy foods, as well as other appropriate mealtime behaviors. 4,13

Read more: Family Meals: Developing Healthy Eating Patterns

Be patient

Learning to self-feed takes time. Allow plenty of time for meals and never rush your baby to finish. Your little one is eating at the pace they are most comfortable with, allowing them to boost their learning.

Let's Chat!

We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond.

Our Happy Baby Experts are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitians certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too, which means they’ve been there and seen that. They’re here to help on our free, live chat platform Monday - Friday 8am-6pm (ET). Chat Now!

Read more about the experts that help write our content!

For more on this topic, check out the following articles:

Introducing Solids: Signs of Readiness

Learning to Love Healthy Foods

Understanding your Baby’s Hunger and Fullness Cues: Responsive Feeding

Introducing Solids: Baby Led Weaning

Feeding Tips for Healthy Weight Gain in Infants and Toddlers

Nutrient Needs and Feeding Tips for 6 to 12 Month Olds


How to teach a child to eat independently

A spoon for mom, a spoon for dad - this is what any loving parent probably says while feeding their baby. However, the introduction of complementary foods and similar feeding is only an intermediate step in the development of a child: from breastfeeding to full self-feeding. How to make the process of learning food “on your own” as simple and easy as possible?

Everyone will learn this

The most important and basic rule when a small child learns to use a spoon, plate, cup, bottle, fork and knife correctly is to have maximum patience. Understand: shouting, rushing or irritating you will not help the baby in any way. On the contrary, the process will slow down for him, and with constant abuse from his parents, almost a reflex may even develop - nutrition for him will automatically mean a scandal, which, of course, does not contribute to the development of a healthy appetite and, accordingly, the whole body. Agree, in the end, at some point, absolutely all people master the wisdom of self-catering - such as the ability to use the potty or sleep in a separate bed away from mom and dad. Therefore, just carefully clean the kitchen or dining room after the next "lesson", wash clothes and the child - and continue all over again after a few hours ...

When to start training, at what age? Here everything is strictly individual. Some children are already ready by 7-8 months, others at 1.5-2 years persistently ask to be spoon-fed. But usually, on average, around the year, the development of a little man already allows you to confidently try to hold the same spoon and direct it into your mouth. It is hardly worth forcing to do this, but if the baby, on the contrary, takes the initiative, reaches out to grab it himself in order to scoop porridge from the plate, lick it, “feed” the mother, of course, you shouldn’t interfere - such interest is only a plus, it can to a noticeable extent help you. Therefore, watch your child - he himself is the best indicator when it's time to start!

How to organize training directly?

In order for a child to learn to eat on his own faster and with fewer problems, it is worth learning a number of certain rules and techniques, an approximate list of which includes the following points:

Introduce your baby to the spoon as early as possible, even before the introduction of complementary foods. This object should be familiar to him: it is better that he turn it in his hands, like a rattle or a cube, try it by touch and taste, knock on it - in general, he completely mastered and got used to it. Then she will not frighten him and will not cause rejection either at the moment of weaning from her mother's breast, or later, when she will need to wield it on her own.

Buy plastic utensils. You can also use the standard: metal, ceramic or gift silver. But for a very young child, they are not very suitable: such spoons and plates may seem unpleasant to the touch, cold, hard for delicate gums, and heavy. It is important that the plastic is unbreakable, food-grade and free of harmful dyes - the quality certificates from the seller will tell about this.

Choose a children's set. Such dishes are most adapted for a small child: the spoon has a special grip for children's fingers, the plate has high edges (and sometimes even suction cups so that it cannot be knocked over from the table!), The mug has two handles, and the fork and knife are not sharp, so as not get hurt. Well, of course, such dishes are usually made bright, with attractive patterns and designs to interest the child.

Prepare a place. Not a single child manages to bring soup or mashed potatoes from a bowl to their mouths whole, either from the first, or from the second, or even from the tenth time. Therefore, be prepared that at first they will be literally everywhere! And it’s better to immediately prepare the feeding area for subsequent cleaning: cover the table, children’s chair and the floor with oilcloth, remove everything valuable and afraid of moisture, move away from the wallpaper, grab a set of napkins.

Prepare your child. During such “lessons”, of course, the baby himself gets dirty. Therefore, at least a bib or an apron is required - and the larger it is, the better. Sometimes on sale there are special oilcloth jackets for teaching self-catering, but if the room is warm, you can do without clothes, leaving panties or a diaper. It’s easier to wash a child than to wash his clothes every day.

Pick a moment. Although parents should try to accustom their child to a certain daily routine, it is not worth forcing him to eat when he has no desire. This is especially critical for learning to use dishes. If the child is not hungry, he will not take this process seriously: it will either become a game for him, or simply cause a negative reaction. Therefore, teach when he really wants to eat, is not sick and is ready for a new one.

Show an example. Take a spoon, scoop up food with it, bring it to the baby’s mouth or your own, commenting on each of your actions (even if the baby is not talking yet). Then invite the child to try to repeat all this himself. Support is very welcome: help his fingers grab and hold the spoon, point the child's hand to his mouth - and after a dozen or two or three repetitions, he will understand what they want from him.

Pay attention to food. For the first attempts, the baby should like it and be moderately liquid (but not too much, the soup will spill). Also, do not put on a full plate, adding parts of the portion gradually - it is easier for the child to scoop up, and there is less risk of splashing, and the food itself will be warm (the learning process may be delayed). And one more thing: cook with a margin so that the baby, having “lost” part of the food, probably does not remain hungry.

Stop games. It was possible to play with a spoon during the acquaintance, but not now - the child must learn this rule ironically. Therefore, gently, but very persistently, stop when he tries to knock over a spoon, plop it on the soup, spill everything on the floor, or throw it at mom and dad. And also watch when he is full to stop learning - it is at this moment that food for him can turn into a game, and he himself can be capricious.

Supplement. At first, there is nothing wrong with the fact that the child abandoned what he started right in the middle of the process. He could get tired, lose interest if he didn’t succeed, be afraid of spilled food on himself or the fact that he choked or choked on it. Therefore, in reserve, keep "your" spoon nearby so that you can finish your meal the old fashioned way, feeding him yourself.

Create a ritual. In order for the baby to take the rules of nutrition seriously, turn food into a ritual. To do this, you can decorate food (put on a plate of it, for example, funny faces), gather the whole family at the dinner table, set and clean the table together (including spilled ones) - this will increase the child's level of responsibility for their actions. And, of course, learn to wash your hands before eating and wipe your mouth after.

Discuss learning with your family. Everyone who has access to feeding the baby (mother, father, grandparents, older brothers and sisters) must be aware of the ongoing training. Otherwise, at some point, the child will simply begin to be lazy: after all, why learn to eat with your mother yourself, if the same beloved grandmother feeds him from a spoon herself, without requiring him to repeat complex procedures?

Don't rush things. Start with a spoon, but you can wait a little with a cup, fork and knife. So, give out a cup when the baby has mastered the bottle (showing how to lean it against his lips and supporting it at first so that he does not choke), the plug is available by 1.5-2 years (at the same time, you need to pay attention to both ways of its use: picking up a side dish, and piercing pieces of food), and a knife - after 2-3 years.

Don't impose rules. Remember: your ultimate goal is for your child to eat on his own. But how he will do it, in principle, does not matter: the main thing is that it is clean and dry around. Therefore, if it is more convenient for him to hold the spoon a little differently than you showed, it does not matter. Moreover, do not force him to eat with his right hand - even if he is right-handed (there is nothing to say about the left-hander), he himself will determine how it is more convenient for him to deal with these devices.

Praise! It is very important for a little man to hear a high assessment of his work. Therefore, any achievement in the matter of teaching independent nutrition should be celebrated and encouraged. Of course, you shouldn’t overpraise, but the joy of mom and dad from the fact that he learned to hold a spoon and didn’t spill anything on the floor will raise his self-esteem and make him even more actively master the wisdom of this business.

Step aside. As the learning process progresses, it is important to start gradually giving the child more and more independence. And this must be done gradually. At first you hold his pen with a spoon, then you help only in difficult or critical situations, then you just sit next to him while eating, and by the age of 3-4 you generally follow the whole process with one eye, doing your own business in the kitchen. After all, he already eats himself!

And finally, etiquette. Agree, it’s useless to explain to a very young child how to behave at the table in a decent society, why you can’t eat with your hands, pick your food, spit out chewed and burp, why you need to wish others a good appetite, etc. All this will become more or less relevant by the age of 2-3, when the baby already adequately perceives what the parents said. But this in no way means that attention should not be paid to this at an earlier age! Speak these rules, gently rebuke when he did something wrong, and, of course, set your own example. Looking at you, the child will quickly master the necessary norms of behavior!

Child and spoon. When to teach a child to cutlery?

Approximately by the 9-10th month, children become interested in cutlery.

Approximately by the 9th-10th month, children develop an interest in the cutlery that parents use and with the help of which mother gives complementary foods.

While eating, the baby tries to grab a spoon, look at it, lick it, and is already trying to copy what mom does: scoop up porridge or puree and bring it to her mouth.

Of course, the first clumsy attempts end in splashing and spilling food in all directions. Some kids love this fun and instead of learning to wield a spoon, they willingly play with it (of course, if mom allows).

At the same time, taking a toy from a little bully becomes a real problem - after all, the baby does not want to part with it at all. At this moment, the mother needs to intervene in the situation and try to direct it in a peaceful direction, that is, to teach her child to use the cutlery for its intended purpose.

When should I start teaching my baby to eat with a spoon?

Starting from 10-11 months of age, a child may well learn how to use a spoon correctly. During feeding, put a spoon in his handle. For the first test, be sure to prepare your baby's favorite dish - let him not have the desire to scatter it in vain.

Of course, in any case, the learning process will add extra trouble for you - cleaning and washing. The baby will climb into the plate with a spoon, try to scoop up food, as a result of which you will then collect it from clothes, tables, floors.

Patience is important here. And you reassure yourself that such independent actions increase the appetite and mood of the little one. Each time, the process will go cleaner and cleaner, and the tiny handle will hold the spoon more and more confidently.

Which spoon to start with?

It's best to give your baby a special silicone spoon first - they are completely safe and fit comfortably in a child's hand. Alternatively, you can try a dessert spoon, because it looks more like the one your parents eat. At the same time, buy a children's bowl with high edges and suction cups. And it’s better to have several of them - with different pictures on the bottom, so that it would be more interesting for the baby to get to the bottom as soon as possible.

First learn how to eat mashed potatoes and cereals, only then move on to liquid dishes. Do not forget that each baby has his own development schedule, and if he does not want to learn to eat with a spoon, it's okay, it will come to him a little later.

At first, the baby will hold the spoon in the way that is comfortable for him - perhaps in a fist. If at this time you start to pull it up and teach it to hold it correctly, most likely, you will only achieve that your treasure does not want to eat on its own at all.

We eat at the common table

It is better to do things differently — to seat the baby at the common table more often. He will see how you eat and try to copy your behavior.

Eating at the same table with the whole family for a child will be a real pleasure - this is communication, new impressions, and gaining experience - in particular, behavior at the table. By the way, this method is very useful for increasing the appetite of little ones. Do not forget to set a positive example for your baby - do not talk at the table, do not fidget, etc.

If the child does not want to eat with a spoon at all and continues to take food with his hands, try the opposite method - sometimes it works. Everyone at the table eats with spoons, but do not give the crumbs a spoon. The same with food - everyone eats and praises, and let the baby sit for a while with an empty plate. He will reach out and ask!

Rules of etiquette

If a child under two years of age has not yet learned how to hold a spoon, you can try to talk to him about this topic and point out mistakes, appealing that he is already big and should do everything right. The spoon is taken with three fingers - thumb, middle and index, slightly below its wide part. When the baby learns this, teach him to scoop food correctly, bring it to his mouth with the side, and not with the tapering part.

Explain to your child that you should eat slowly, not open your mouth wide, and not make any sounds. After three years, you can buy a children's fork, because from this age the baby already clearly understands which objects are traumatic. Start with soft foods - banana slices, cutlets, and over time, learn to prick harder foods.

Should I force my baby to eat with a spoon?

Before insisting that your child eat with a spoon, figure out why you need it to happen earlier, because there is no strict time limit.

Learn more