From their very first tastes until they become experienced eaters, your little ones learn and develop new skills at every mealtime. The weaning journey is incredibly rich in learning opportunities, whether it’s the physical ability to chew and manipulate food in their mouth, to the realisation that different foods have different textures and need to be handled differently.
While they’re getting to grips with eating solid food and feeding themselves, your baby will need plenty of practice picking up and holding pieces of food and manoeuvring it to their mouth. Introducing the use of cutlery can sometimes be overlooked initially until baby’s fine motor skills are more developed, but thanks to some creative product development, you can get them started right from day one.
Set your little one up for success: choose the correct cutlery for their age and developmental stage
First fun with food: Young babies, including those not yet ready for their first tastes, explore by putting things in their mouths. Their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and sensory development are beginning to evolve, and the world is full of new experiences to explore.
The Bibado Dippit is a multi-stage baby weaning spoon and dipper. This unique dual-ended utensil has a textured dipper end for oral sensory exploration and a deep spoon for scooping food. The unique ergonomically designed double handles allow babies to grip it independently, in either or both of their hands. Parents can support their little ones in guiding the Dippit™ to their midline so they can see the food clearly before bringing it to their mouth. The soft chewable dipper end is ridged and perfect for texture and sensory exploration - plus it can help soothing sore gums at mealtimes. Find out more about the Dippit™.
Building motor skills: Once your baby has some experience bringing food to their mouth, whether by holding a dipper or first spoon, it’s time to introduce some more traditional-looking weaning cutlery. From about 6 – 24 months, little ones will begin to develop their pincer grip. ‘Grown-up’ stainless steel cutlery with its flat, narrow handles and unforgivingly sharp prongs is still unsuitable at this stage, so you’ll need to choose a baby cutlery set that’s been carefully designed for little hands and mouths.
Bibado Handi Cutlery is an attachable weaning cutlery set consisting of a baby fork and spoon that can attach directly onto your Bibado coverall weaning bib. The clever attachable feature allows little hands to drop the cutlery as many times as it takes to get the hang of it - minimising the usual frustrations of it falling on the floor and getting covered in dirt or pet hair! The chunky easy-grip textured handles make it less likely to slip out of their hands, even when wet. The fork is also specially shaped to pick up food rather than mashing or squashing it, and the spoon is deep enough to hold a good amount of food. Learn more about Handi Cutlery.
Moving on: Older toddlers and preschool-age children may be ready to use child-friendly versions of adult cutlery. Many children of this age like to feel more ‘grown up’ and enjoy having miniature cutlery just like mum and dad’s, but beware of giving them something that could hinder their enjoyment of their food. Metal cutlery, even smaller spoons and forks, can still be heavy or sharp, so if they still tend to bite their utensils or wave them around during mealtimes, you may want to steer clear for a little longer!
Learning to use cutlery effectively is a process which takes children years to master – from their first experience using the Dippit™ to enjoy a tasty yoghurt, to being able to properly cut up their food independently using a knife and fork. It’s not a race, and every child will learn to do this in their own time. You can make things easier on your little one by putting some thought into the cutlery you choose for them and taking the time to help them enjoy using it to feed themselves independently.
Parents who have chosen our Handi Cutlery tell us it’s made mealtimes far more enjoyable and less stressful now that the spoon doesn’t keep ending up on the floor. Our happy customers found their children got the hang of using the cutlery really quickly as it’s the perfect size and shape for little hands.