Updated on January 26, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
You know what is super cute (and super helpful during meal time)? Babies feeding themselves! Yes, ok, it can get a bit messy, but it’s all part of the learning process. Besides, now you and your baby can eat together AT THE SAME TIME! Sounds exciting, right? Now, you JUST need the perfect spoon to help your little one achieve this momentous milestone. Remember, it is ok if your baby ends up wearing some (ok, maybe a lot) of their food at first. Eventually, with the right baby spoon and a lot of patience, your baby will get the hang of this!
From silicone spoons to spoons with bamboo handles, here are my top 7 favorite baby spoons for self-feeding:
The Best Baby Spoons for Self-Feeding
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: First of all, these spoons are able to withstand both the dishwasher (think: heat) AND the freezer! “Why the freezer,” you may ask. Well, because this spoon can also be used for baby to chew on, in addition to using it as a feeding utensil. Babies are super curious starting out, not to mention that they are used to chewing and “numming” on things versus eating food from things in the beginning. This spoon is designed with different teething grooves on the handle.
Keep in mind: Some parents have commented that the spoon itself is deep. However, if you find this to be true for you, some of them mentioned using the other side of the spoon.
Good for: The self-feeder who is around 10-15 months old.
(Thoughtful design — $ )
Why it’s great: This spoon has a guard on it that keeps the spoon from choking your baby, since it can’t go in the mouth too far (far enough for feeding, but that’s it), while baby is mastering the self-feeding skill. The guard also raises the spoon from resting directly on a table or counter, which reduces the number of potential germs it could come into contact with. This spoon’s handle is easy for your little one to hold. It is dishwasher safe (always a bonus). Plus, the tip of the spoon is soft enough that it will be gentle on gums should your baby decide to chew on it a bit. This is a 4 pack.
Keep in mind: The scoop of this spoon is a bit more shallow that the first spoon. However, this should not affect feeding.
Good for: Little ones learning how to feed themselves because of the length of the spoon itself, as well as design.
(Most versatile — $$)
Why it’s great: There is no wrong way to hold THIS spoon! Usually, there is an up and a down way for a spoon. Honestly, your little one will appreciate this because it will work either way! This is a 2 pack, but it also has a first stage and a second stage. They both work as spoons, though. The first stage “pre-spoon” provides a place for your baby to chew on the actual spoon, in addition to using it to feed. This helps the baby get used to holding a spoon, too. The second stage “pre-spoon” has a hole in the middle of the spoon section, which catches more food, including some solids.
Keep in mind: Even though it is considered a “pre-spoon,” it is not a true teether. Of course, your babe can chew on it at mealtime, but just be sure you are supervising this.
Good for: Improving the chances of your little one getting food to their mouth in the early stages of self-feeding.
(Most flexible — $$)
Why it’s great: This set of baby utensils is perfect on the go self-feeding! The set comes with a travel case!! Score! These utensils are bendable with a wire inside, covered by TPE soft glue. If you’re not sure what TPE glue is, it is a soft rubbery material that is strong AND flexible- totally safe for baby’s use! These materials combined (hidden wire and the rubbery material) can allow the utensil to bend either direction 90 degrees. It helps your little one hold it AND get food into their mouth.
Keep in mind: The way that the fork is designed gives it a rounded head. However, this is to keep the fork safe for baby, while learning to self-feed.
Good for: A beginning self-feeding baby.
(Most natural design — $$)
Why it’s great: This whole spoon is just made out of soft silicone, which is perfect for self-feeding babies, who also like to chew on their spoons. It has an easy-to-grip handle, and is also flexible. These are not only great little spoons for your self-feeding baby, but the look of it is quite interesting, too.
Keep in mind: The company is based in Portland, Oregon, U.S. They recommend that customers buy from U.S.-based companies since the U.S.-based companies are held accountable by local laws and regulations regarding the quality of this product, as opposed to other sellers not based in the U.S., who may have different regulations.
Good for: Babies who are self-feeding because the scoop is flexible and can pick up food in a variety of situations.
(Best variety pack — $$$)
Why it’s great: These are cute tiny utensils for cute tiny hands! The handles are perfect for good gripping. There is a guard to keep your baby from getting the fork and spoon in too far. You can choose from a variety of colors with this set. It is a fork and spoon set. These utensils are dishwasher safe!
Keep in mind: The fork in this set has rounded prongs, so these are best for younger self-feeders. Although, babies over a year are still able to use these utensils, as well!
Good for: Early on in the self-feeding process, so order early!
(Best gift set — $$$)
Why it’s great: This is a bright and colorful set of 5 spoons, which will catch the eye of your baby! This set of spoons also makes a wonderful gift to give and receive. These spoons have a bamboo base, which is lightweight. Plus, the scoop of the spoon is soft for your baby’s mouth to bite down on. The spoons have been designed for easy washing (yes, please)!
Keep in mind: The spoon scoop does come off. However, this does take some force (by a grown-up) and makes for easier cleaning. You probably would do this anyway, but please stay with your baby during feeding times- that goes for all utensils/food/highchair safety/etc.
Good for: Traveling for holidays, restaurants, and family get-togethers. However, they are great for home use, too!
FAQs about best baby spoons for self-feeding
1. At what age should I offer a spoon to my baby?
Well, it really depends on your baby because all babies are different. Some babies will learn better by starting out holding one spoon and eating from another. You can then move on to allowing baby to try to feed on their own. Some babies will not be ready to attempt the use of a spoon until around 10-12 months. Try to take cues from your baby.
2. How do I teach my baby to use a spoon?
Just try! Trying is the best way to learn! Give your baby a spoon (and maybe a plate or bowl suctioned to the highchair tray if you have it) and let your baby have at it! It will NOT be perfect overnight, but practice will lead to actually doing. Another good way to teach your babe to use a spoon is to have a family meal. Bring baby’s high chair close to the table, where everyone is eating. Your baby will see everyone else doing it and, even if it’s not right away (more likely than not, it won’t be in the beginning), your baby will pick up on how you are eating and give it a try, too!
3. Why let my baby use a spoon at meal time?
Giving your baby the chance to even just hold a spoon opens up a whole new world for you AND your baby. Once your baby practices (read as: finally gets enough food into that cute little mouth), your baby will have one of the first pieces of independence and YOU may actually get to eat a warm meal! It is a win-win situation.
4. What are the key features to consider when buying a spoon for my baby?
You should consider what the spoon is made of. Metal spoons are not recommended for little baby mouths because chewing on them, which most babies do, does not feel very good. You’re looking for soft materials, like silicone or other materials that are gentle on baby gums and teeth. If being dishwasher-safe is important to you, keep an eye out for that. Also, you want the spoons to be BPA free. Finally, are you looking for spoons with or without a safety guard? Some of them do have this feature, which also may double as a rest to keep the part that goes into your baby’s mouth from lying flat on the table or counter.
5. Can a 9-month-old use a spoon?
The answer to this depends on your baby! All babies are different and will be ready at different times. It never hurts to try, but if your baby incessantly throws it to the floor, you could wait a week and try again. Whatever you do, don’t stop trying! At some point, your baby will be ready, and when that happens, it will be great!
Allowing your baby to learn how to self-feed can be a little intimidating. However, not only will the experience help your baby gain a little bit of independence, but it also will enhance your baby’s hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills. Both of those things will help your little one as time goes on! So, think that by giving your baby a spoon at mealtime, you are also setting your babe up for success later in life! To do any of this, though, you need the right self-feeding spoon.
Once you give the spoon to your little sweetie, be patient because this skill does not happen overnight! It takes time, messes, modeling, encouragement, and lots of patience. You and your baby BOTH can do this, though. Now, enjoy this time and take a few pictures because the days are long, but the years are short!