Toddlerhood! What a phase to experience in this journey called motherhood.A bittersweet stage because this is the time when your child starts to gain and even demand more independence from you.
They begin insisting on doing things on their own, like walking without holding our hand, dressing on their own, and even start learning how to how to use a spoon and feed themselves.
Though heartbreaking as it may feel at times, we have to let go of the rein slowly.
I mean, that’s what we mothers are for, right? To slowly teach our kids how they can adequately function in this world without us.
This is also a time for great patience! As they learn how to do things on their own, we can expect a few fails here and there as they maneuver their way to mastery.
You will be picking up after a lot of their messes, too! Have you seen how a toddler is still learning how to eat with a spoon during mealtime?
The meal aftermath can be a sight to behold. Messy! Sometimes, a kid holding a spoon is a sign that a clean-up is in your very near future.
One way to help minimize the mess and yet effectively teach your child fork and spoon proper use is to choose the right toddler utensils.
Good toddler training spoons make a lot of difference in toddler spoon and fork training!
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When do Toddlers Use Utensils?
There is no right or wrong time to introduce utensils to your toddler.
This generally depends on how interested your child is in self-feeding and how long he or she has been eating solid foods.
A good tip is to let your child try using spoon and fork once your child has somewhat mastered the art of eating finger foods, and hand to mouth movement is coordinated.
Another sign that your kid is ready to start using spoon and fork on his or her own is if your kid starts grabbing the utensil as soon as the spoon is within reach during feeding time.
Generally, kids are ready for spoon and fork around 12-14 months.
If your child does not show interest in holding a spoon or fork just yet, don’t worry, you can try another day.
How to Teach a Toddler to Use a Spoon
Based on experience with my five kids, the best way to get your child to develop an interest in using spoon and fork is through example.
I know that sometimes, it’s easy to separate child feeding time from family meals just to avoid the ruckus and mess it creates and to let the rest of the family eat in peace.
But making your toddler join the entire family during meals helps stir curiosity in the use of utensils on their own.
They also see the proper way of holding said utensils, and this can encourage them to imitate.
This is also an excellent opportunity to show and model appropriate table etiquette.
The Top 7 Best Toddler Fork and Spoon
With hundreds of toddler utensil brands on the market, it can be confusing which one to get for our child, so we’ve come up with a list of top 10 best toddler utensils to make it easy for your to transition your baby to self-feeding.
1. OXO Tot On-The-Go Feeding Spoon (with Travel Case)
The best starter self-feeding spoon, especially if you love going out with your toddler.
This silicone set is lightweight, making it great for small hands to carry and is soft to protect the baby’s gums and developing teeth.
It’s also small enough to tuck inside the baby’s bag should you need to go somewhere with the baby (perhaps a nice breakfast at the park?).
The handle is non-slip to lessen the chances of your baby dropping his or her utensils, and the hard case keeps it hygienic
- Compact Case conveniently stores Feeding Spoon for on-the-go meals and fits neatly into diaper bags and handbags
- Soft, food-grade silicone coating feels soft on baby's mouth, gums, and budding teeth
- Each shallow spoonful portions just enough food for a baby's mouth and prevents feeding too much at once
2. ChooMee FlexiDip Silicone Baby Starter Spoon Teething Friendly
ChooMee Flexidip is made with 100% silicone with a design that perfectly contours to any baby bowl shapes.
It also has food channels that hold purees better to avoid drips and spillage. BPA, PVC, Lead and Phthalate Free, the ChooMee Flexidip’s silicone surface keeps baby’s spoon hygienic.
- Baby Led Weaning: Patented Silicone dipping spoon is ideal for ages 4 months plus | Non Directional head provides feeding independence | Pair with our FirstSpoon (sold separately) and scoop tiny bites
- Product Features: Firm handle provides tiny hands with stable grip | Flexible neck allows spoon head to scrape against any bowl shape | Food channels easily captures baby food and purees
- Chew Friendly Material: Dual-Flex Silicone construction does not use Plastic | Ideal for sore gums and teething babies | Tether loop for ease of use
3. Avanchy First Stage Natural Bamboo Soft Silicone and Soft Tip Baby Spoon
Avanchy First Stage Baby Feeding Spoons are excellent for babies who already have the motor skills to hold utensils.
This is ergonomically designed to give the baby a strong grip and has a large head and short handle, so it’s easy for the baby to use it.
The spoon is made from BPA free food-grade silicone, and the handle is made of organic bamboo. Aside from these, the Avanchy First Stage Natural Bamboo spoon is so pretty and colorful that your baby will love using it!
- Designed For Safe Infant Feeding: For babies 4+ months and younger, our small infant feeding spoon features a small silicone spoon head with an elongated bamboo spoon handle for easy use to support a safer mealtime.
- Encourages Comfort & Convenience: This infant spoon is perfect for feeding tiny babies and children who do not have the coordination to use a spoon. Enjoy feeding with comfort as the length and curve of this infant spoon helps reduce wrist strain.
- Lightweight, Gentle, & Durable: Our silicone feeding spoon is gentle on tender gums for an ultra-subtle infant feeding experience. Natural bamboo is lightweight yet strong for a long-lasting infant feeding spoon.
4. Olababy 100% Silicone Soft-Tip Training Spoon for Baby Led Weaning
The Olababy 100% Silicone Soft-Tip Training Spoon is designed to encourage babies to learn self-feeding.
The flexible material is designed in a way that can scoop food at any angle, making it great for babes who are still mastering their motor skills.
Made with 100% toxin-free, food-grade silicone and ergonomically designed to fit baby’s small hands perfectly.
- Encourages baby to learn self-feeding
- Flexible material to scoop food at any angle
- Spoon base allows for hygienic, upright placement on any surface
5. Novas Bendable Fork and Spoon
These baby feeding spoon and fork set are bendable up to 45°, which makes it perfect for babies who are still learning how to self-feed.
The set is BPA Free, Phthalate Free and Lead-Free, and the handle made in Thermoplastic Elastomer (TP) with Steel Wire inside for durability.
- 【Portable and Clean】Bonus Travel Case is convenient to carry the spoon going out , ensures that no matter wherever, your baby utensils will stay incredibly clean
- 【Perfect for Self Feeding】Unlike other baby spoons, our training spoon is steel wire inside of TPE handle, soft, easy to grip, can bend to the various angles, bring baby fun of learning to eat independently which helps to develop baby’s grasp training, hand-eye coordination or dexterity by learning to use a fork or spoon
- 【Safe Material】Round shape design of spoon without burrs, protects baby’s delicate gums and teeth. Our products are BPA Free and food grade safety, specifically designed for baby
6. Boon Swap 2-in-1 Baby Spoon
The Boon swap 2-in-1 dual-ended baby feeding spoon is perfect for new self-feeding learners.
It has an angled side to make it easy for the baby to scoop food from the bowl.
Made of food-grade silicone, the Boon Swap 2-in-1 Baby Spoon is sturdy but gentle on baby’s mouth and gums.
- DUAL ENDED FEEDING SPOON: Boon swap is a dual-ended baby spoon with a soft and a rigid end that is perfect for first time feeding
- BABY FEEDING SPOON: 2 in 1 swap spoon has a flat side to clean the baby's mouth and the angled side is perfect for scooping food and feeding your baby
- STURDY DESIGN: These baby utensils are made with food grade silicone and stainless steel that helps in easier feeding for your baby
7. Bumkins Silicone Chewtensils, Baby Fork and Spoon Set
For Stage 1 of baby-led weaning, Bumkins is meant for babies who love chewing on their utensils. Thee back of the spoon has sensory bumps at the back of the spoon to help stimulate baby’s gums.
Made of silicone, Bumpkins is BPA-free and bacteria resistant. Also made with moms in mind, very easy to clean and super durable, resistant to sun damage, moisture, hot and cold temperatures, making it a training utensil that the baby can grow with until he or she is ready to move on to real spoon and fork.
- SELF FEEDING – Intended for Stage 1 of baby led weaning – introducing babies to the concept of holding utensils and self-feeding; Babies can practice dipping into purees at the early part of BLW; Chewtensils can also be chewed by teething babies
- STIMULATES GUMS - Back of the spoon head has sensory bumps to stimulate gums
- SAFE TO USE – Ventilated choke barrier for extra safety; Silicone does not contain petroleum-based plastics or toxic chemicals like those found in plastics; BPA-free, BPS-free, PVC-free, phthalate-free, cadmium-free and lead-free
Do I Need to Buy Baby Spoons? Are they necessary?
I’m sure that this is a question that popped in your head while shopping for baby. Can’t we just use the regular metal spoons and forks that we have at home? I’m sure using a metal spoon during parent feeding occasionally is okay. Still, baby experts recommend that we use a shallow and soft baby spoon that’s designed for small mouths and gentle on baby’s gums and developing teeth.
Other Important Factors to Consider When Buying Toddler Utensils
Material – It has to be soft and chewy (teether) material since some babies like biting on their spoon and fork.
Shape – Your baby’s first spoon and fork should be ergonomically designed for small hands. It should also be lightweight so it’s easy for your baby to use. If baby is comfortable in using his or her utensils, the bigger the chances that this will encourage your baby to use them every meal.
Choking Hazards – Check for loose ends before letting your baby use them. And if they do, make sure to keep an eye n your baby during meals at all times.
Cost – I know that we moms gravitate towards the cheapest finds, but we should choose quality over price when it comes to toddler eating utensils. Think long term, how long will a plastic spoon last? Babies love banging things on the table, and chances are, they will send it flying across the room. If you saved money that one time but end up spending more to get a replacement, that isn’t cost-effective. Also, think of the material used. Most cheap plastic self-feeding learning spoon and forks may not even be food grade and may contain harmful chemicals.
Teaching your baby how to feed himself or herself is one of the messiest, yet the very rewarding stage of motherhood. Seeing your baby learn this necessary skill brings so much joy to a mother’s heart. But if there are products that will help you achieve this goal with less mess, why not? Right?