If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve been inundated with experts’ opinion on when to start solid foods, what kind of solid foods to start with, and how to get your baby to sleep through the night.
But once you’ve navigated those waters, there’s another Big Parenting Question that looms on the horizon: when to start utensil training?
Just like with sleep training and potty training, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
However, there are some general guidelines you can follow depending on your child’s age and developmental stage.
Read on for everything you need to know about teaching your little one to use a fork and spoon.
At around 9 or 10 months old, babies typically start showing an interest in self-feeding.
They may grab at your food or utensils while you’re eating or try to grab food off your plate.
This is a good time to start introducing solids and giving your child the opportunity to practice self-feeding with their fingers.
You can also introduce utensils at this age, but don’t be discouraged if your baby has no interest in using them.
You may need to wait a few more months before they’re ready to give them a try.
By 12 or 13 months old, most babies are able to hold a cup independently and can begin drinking from an open cup.
They may also be able to feed themselves small pieces of soft food using their fingers (think: Cheerios, mashed banana, cooked carrots).
Now is also a good time to start introducing utensils if you haven’t already.
Start by letting your child hold a spoon or fork while you’re eating and thenProgressively letting them use it themselves little by little until they’re able tor do it independently.
Be patient—it may take several weeks or even months for them to get the hang of it.
Most children are able to feed themselves quite well by the time they turn 18 months old.
At this point, they should be able to use a fork and spoon relatively effectively (though their aim may not be perfect).
If your child is still having trouble using utensils, don’t worry—every child develops at his or her own pace.
Just continue practicing patience and encouraging him or her every step of the way. Before long, they’ll be eating like a pro!
As any parent knows, figuring out when to start solid foods is only half the battle—the other half is teaching your baby how to use utensils effectively!
Introducing solid foods to your baby can be a challenge, but it’s important to choose the right utensils to make the process as smooth as possible.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 5 best baby led weaning utensils, to help you get started.
Click the button below to see our top picks, and find the perfect one for your little one. Thanks for choosing us, and happy weaning!