baby feeding self with spoon

Teaching Baby How to Use a Spoon

Using a spoon is often mastered by age 2. But even at 6 months, babies can start practicing spoon use when they start eating solids. Like most things food and baby related, yes this will be 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 with spoon use:

  • 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, but try to wait for them to have their hands on it so you can do it together.
  • Load spoon up with food and place it on the plate or on the tray of the high chair. Position the spoon with the handle facing them to make it easy for them to pick it up correctly. Let baby pick it up to feed themself.
  • If baby is refusing to participate, try placing the spoon in their mouth (with their permission of course!) and let go when their lips close around it, letting them be the one to remove it. Some babies will let the spoon fall out of their mouth, but in my experience most babies will grab it 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. Mashed potatoes and greek yogurt are good option that should stick to the spoon. Thinner purees like applesauce are m

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!

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Picking the Best Spoon for Your Baby

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