Baby utensils: when and how to introduce

Baby utensils: when and how to introduce

Jan 11, 2023Marilyn Sakr

Spoons, forks, knives.. when should you introduce each to your baby? And what are the best designs of utensils to purchase? With Melanie there are so many things I didn’t do the way I would now. I actually didn’t let her hold a spoon until she was over a year and a half! Over the past years, I’ve learned so much, and that’s why I’m so driven to push that information to you. I believe we can change what baby food means to parents.

Can BLW babies use utensils?

If you’ve been following our blog and Instagram page, you know by now that I LOVE to bust baby food myths. Here’s another one: baby-led wean babies can still use utensils, so long as the maneuvering is led by them. It’s a misunderstanding that BLW babies should only eat with their hands. The ideal method of weaning is to encourage both utensils and fingers. All babies should be introduced to utensils, regardless of the weaning method.

When to Introduce Baby to Utensils:

Self-feeding with utensils is learned over three stages:

  • Spoon introduction at 6 months

  • Fork introduction at around 8-10 months

  • Knife introduction at 18 months

How to Buy a Spoon For Your 6-Month Old Baby:

  • Tip #1: When first shopping for a baby-friendly spoon, it’s helpful to choose a spoon that has perforated holes where the food can stick. This prevents the food from falling as your baby directs the spoon toward his/her mouth. As baby advances, you can switch to a regular looking spoon - but choose a shallow spoon to make scooping the food out easier for your baby.

  • Tip #2: Choose a silicone spoon that has a soft tip in order to protect your baby’s sensitive gums.

  • Tip #3: Go for a spoon that has a short handle. This makes turning the spoon easier (think of it like driving a Smart car versus a truck).

  • Tip #4: It’s better to avoid curved spoons. Although it eliminates the need to turn the spoon, your baby will have to ‘re-learn’ how to maneuver a spoon later on.

How to Choose The Right Fork For Your Baby:

  1. Short handles make grasping and maneuvering easier for baby

  2. Forks with a perpendicular stopper are helpful to avoid baby from sticking the fork in the mouth too deep (ouch!)

  3. Soft material prevents your baby from hurting the gum and teeth

How to Choose a Knife For Your Toddler:

At 18 months of age, it’s a good time to start transitioning to stainless steel for all the utensils. Longer handles are also typically introduced at this age as baby has more finely developed motor skills. It’s important to always select a toddler-safe knife that does not have sharp tips.


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