Dinnerware / Cutlery
When you first give your baby a taste of solid baby food, it will be a moment you won't soon forget. The splashes of food, funny faces, and grabbing at the baby spoon are all a part of introducing your baby to solid food. Beyond the sturdy table and highchair, you will want to invest in some feeding-friendly baby dinnerware and cutlery to make these initial and on-going feedings safe and enjoyable.
The basic items you need to feed your baby are a bowl and a baby spoon. You can pull out the cereal bowl and the tea spoon in a pinch, but there are baby dinnerware sets that can make feeding much easier on you and your baby.
A metal handled, plastic-coated spoon is easier on your baby's tender gums and just the right size for your baby's mouth. A plastic-coated baby spoon is slightly larger than the average thumbnail. These spoons are a manageable size for your baby, offering just enough food to roll around in the mouth without choking. Your baby will bite down on the spoon at first. Using a spoon with a plastic-coating protects your baby's gums from the angled edges of a metal spoon and provides a bit of cushioning.
Temperature-safe spoons change color when food is too hot. The visual warning is a good reminder to let the food cool down before feeding your baby.
Disposable baby spoons made of PVC-free plastic are easy to stash in your diaper bag. Disposable spoons are also great for traveling when you don't want to worry about washing or losing regular baby spoons on the road.
When your baby is ready to hold a spoon and self-feed, you will want a baby spoon with a thick, easy to grip handle. Short, thick-handled baby spoons and forks are designed so little uncoordinated hands can easily hold them. Short baby spoons also make it easier for your baby move the spoon towards their mouth without losing the food on the spoon.
Baby dinnerware, such as a baby bowl and plate, should be durable and shatterproof. You never know when that bowl may sail clear across the dining room and smash onto the floor. Many parents prefer the baby bowls with a thumb-hole allowing you to hook the bowl onto your thumb and let it hang there for the entire feeding.
Baby dinnerware that is weighted or use suction cups that attach to the table or highchair tray are also quite helpful. Some plastic baby bowls have a textured, sloped edge for mashing food into small chunks. You can also use baby bowls with two compartments to separate different types of baby food during a feeding.
The compartmentalized baby dinnerware is perfect for your self-feeding baby. The compartments allow your baby to corner their food onto a baby spoon or fork, rather than chasing it around the plate. Baby bowls with lids are ideal for storing foods in the refrigerator and while traveling. Whichever feature attracts you, you will want your baby bowl and other baby dinnerware to be microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and easy to hold.
- When my daughter was ready to self-feed, I grabbed the Gerber Fun Grip Safety Spoon and Fork set. This set has thick, textured, easy to grip handles which makes it easier for a toddler to get a good grip on the spoon and move the food towards their mouth. The bright colors also motivated my daughter to start using them. In the beginning of her self-feeding days, I bought the Gerber Divided Feeding Bowl. I love, love this bowl. It has a ridged, sloped surface for mashing food and a thumb hole to help you get a good grip on the bowl. This bowl got a lot of use and is still kicking. I also bought a simple melamine dish set like the Crocodile Creek Melamine Children's Dish Sets. My daughter loved having her own set of dishes and utensils and because they were melamine, I wasn't afraid of them breaking.