Loving Spoonfuls

By Nancy Cozine
Loving Spoonfuls

This morning while I was giving Delaney her cereal, she started grabbing the spoon from my hand. I gave her an extra Gerber® Graduates® Soft-Bite Infant Spoons and she attempted to feed herself. I don’t remember Jack trying to use a spoon this soon, but then again he didn’t have an older brother or sister to try to imitate.

While some little ones start around 8-months old, like Delaney, others might not show an interest in a spoon for a few more months. But since she can sit up on her own and has the coordination to get her hand to her mouth – evident from everything she picks up and “tastes” from toys to my shoes (yuck!) – it’s time to start building yet another skill: self-feeding.

Using a spoon for the first time is definitely one of the messier skills to practice, but it also brings little ones a step closer to independent eating. So with a little preparation, Delaney will be on her way to feeding herself.

There is lots of clean-up involved in learning to use a spoon. In addition to the bibs she already uses during meal-time, I have a plastic mat to put under her highchair. It makes it so much easier to clean up all the “oops” that will happen. I can just wipe it off with a sponge or, on the really messy days, take it outside and spray it with a hose! And to find her cute smile and her hands under all that cereal that doesn’t quite make it in her mouth, I resist the urge to take her outside and spray her with that hose, and instead I keep plenty of wipes and paper towels close by.

The spoon I offer Delaney is also important in her success of mastering this skill. It needs to be small and soft. Plastic spoons and forks are not a good idea since they easily break. The Soft-Bite spoons are a good option. So are the Gerber® Graduates® Learner Spoons which have big handles that make it easy for her to grip.

So armed with cleaning supplies, a highchair mat and some Gerber® Graduates® Learner Spoons, we’re ready for lunch and more practice time as Delaney learns how to feed herself.