When you start weaning your baby and when they start trying to feed themselves, you will need to invest in dinnerware and utensils which are designed specifically for small hands and mouths. Your baby’s eating and drinking skills take time to develop and so there are a range of dishes, cups and utensils designed for each stage.
When it comes to cups, there is no one size fits all approach. Whilst the idea of a cup which has a vacuum valve to prevent dripping when it tips sounds sensible, it can be hard for the baby to suck form and may deter them from trying. Traditional sippy cups with a perforated top remain one of the most popular options. Some cups can be used from as young as age 3 but in general a cup should be introduced by the time the child is 6 months. Investing in a good quality cup is advisable as a child will probably use it up until age 3-4.
Dining sets typically include a plate and bowl. Post dinnerware is manufactured from plastic but stainless steel, glass and bamboo types are also available. The items are usually dishwasher safe and often printed in bright colours or perhaps with your child’s favourite TV character, designed to encourage them to be interested in what is on the plate. You may also like the option of plates with different sections, which enable you to ensure baby is getting the right amount of serving for each food type.
Some plates and bowls come with suction cups that enable them to be attached to highchair tables, however as your baby gets bigger they may be strong enough to remove them.
When you start weaning your baby, use a soft tipped spoon which is soft on tender gums. You could even choose a heat sensitive spoon, which changes colour when the food is at the correct temperature for baby to enjoy.
Between the ages of 4 to 6 months a baby may show interest in holding the spoon and want to feed themselves. Offer them a spoon with a wide or looped handle which will enable them to grasp it bet-ter. Remember, this will be a messy process whilst bay develops their coordination.
At about 18 months, your child should be ready to progress onto knife and fork. Ensure these are baby appropriate with soft edges which won’t harm little mouths.