Using a spoon is often mastered by age 2. But even at 6 months, babies can start practicing. Like most things food and baby related, yes it is messy! With early eating experiences, keeping baby in just a diaper and placing a sheet or something else you can throw in the washer under the high chair can make clean up easier.
Some tips for encouraging independence:
- Bring spoon close to baby’s mouth but wait for baby to reach and grab it. You can help gently guide it to their mouth if needed.
- Load spoon up with food and place it on the plate or on the tray of the high chair. Let baby pick it up to feed themself.
- If baby is refusing to participate, try placing the spoon in their mouth and let go when their lips close around it, letting them be the one to remove it.
- Offer a thick purée and place spoon in bowl. Even if baby cannot yet scoop, the food should stick to the spoon when they grab it.
Don’t force it, baby will get it when they are ready!
For information about how to pick the Best Spoon for Your Baby, check out our article on this topic!