Tag Archives: weaning

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!

I will wean when WE want to

Today BiP turned 11 months old. It’s an incredible milestone for us especially as our breastfeeding journey has been far from easy.  Before she was born I knew I  wanted to breastfeed her, I never thought for how long. Now, she is fast approaching her first birthday it’s amazing how many people have announced that it is time for me to call it day and start weaning her.

In all honesty the thought of weaning makes me want to cry. Finally, I love feeding her – it no longer hurts, it’s easy and, I feel, it is the reason she is such a confident, happy, healthy baby. It is something so special that we share, no one else can give her what I can and I know one day it will have to stop but why does it have to be based on a date in the calendar? I doubt BiP’s ideal birthday present would be to weaned. She loves her “boobie” so why would I take that away from her when she is still so young? The answer is, I won’t. Not yet.

I won’t list all the “advice” that I’ve been given but here are a few (one of which came from my doctor):

You’ve done your bit – time to call it a day

There is no benefit to breastfeeding beyond 6 months

The only reason you breastfeed is for selfish reasons

It’s time to think if yourself now

It’s abnormal to be still breastfeeding a baby of her age

It truly is no one’s business yet everyone seems to have a take on it. Weaning will happen when it happens; when WE decide not because the calendar says so.  So, here is to 11 months of breastfeeding and an unknown number of months in the future!