When to start using a fork with a baby


So, when do you start using a fork with your baby?

We are almost 8 months into our Baby-Led Weaning journey which means it’s time BiP progressed from eating almost exclusively with her hands to using cutlery. Unconventionally, I chose forks as the utensil of choice. However, finding the perfect fork was a challenge.

Which fork?

I was surprised to discover how many “baby” forks were actually the same size, if not wider than an adult fork. Obviously BiP is too small to have a regular adult fork – it would be like us eating with salad servers!

Plastic seems to be popular and readily available although I personally prefer metal. Many have very thick handles which seem hard for BiP to really grip. At the moment her favourite is the fork with the thinnest handle.

So, what’s the best way to start using a fork?

BiP has been mimicking us for a while (which means we have to really watch our table manners) so her transition to using a fork has been smooth. (I’ve been giving her a fork since she was about 9m old and coordinated enough not to take her eye out with it!) I usually load the fork for her when she first sits down for a meal and just this week she has been able to reload it herself.

Why is a fork better than a spoon?

Once there is food securely speared onto the end of the fork it is unlikely to fall off. The precision required to get the fork from the plate into their tiny mouths is a lot less than with a spoon. Spoons can be frustrating as things fall off very easily

Anything else about forks?

Once they decide they only want to use a fork be prepared for meal times to take a long time whilst this technique is mastered. Also, don’t be discouraged if your hungry baby pushed the fork aside to eat with their hands during the transition!

12 Responses to When to start using a fork with a baby

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Forks! Hands down … she likes the spoon but gets frustrated!

  1. Ameena,
    LOL, this post made me laugh. Have you considered a spork? Half spoon, half fork: stabbing ability of a fork, but scooping ability of a spoon.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      A spork? Yes, what a great idea … yet to find one round here though! Glad this made you laugh!

  2. Mason (just turned one) has just started the utensil mastery journey. He is funny because he likes to eat with a fork and a spoon, one in each hand. He learned that from his older brother (3) who does the same. Sometimes he uses them like salad tongs 🙂

    • mummyinprovence says:

      That is adorable! I’d love to see that!

  3. Wow, you really are focused on manners! You are always mentioning setting a good example and things being rude. Must be a cultural difference! Obviously we consider some things impolite but I won’t worry about Sebastian’s manners until he is much older.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Haha Janine – I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing because I have no idea what culture I belong to. For me, it’s about setting an example so I don’t have to teach BiP later. They copy and are like sponges so if I watch my behaviours and manners, chances are, she’ll do the same as me. It’s easier in my opinion then having to “teach” her later on.
      Bit like EC really – overcome the hurdles and the confusion later on by just making it normal. I don’t tell BiP off if she waves her fork in the air or throws food – she is a baby – but I will make a little fuss over her when she get’s her fork loaded herself and into her mouth … leading by example is just easier for us I guess!

  4. I agree about the fork issue and the overly wide handles. Metal is our preference too. Spoons have issues of their own. I found that the spoons were either too shallow to hold much or so deep as to be hard to eat without slurping.

    • mummyinprovence says:

      Hey! Spoon post coming up next week! LOL! Yes, I feel exactly the same way yet I am always told not to give BiP a fork for fear she might stab herself with it!

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