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Spoon Skills for Babies – Learning How To Eat

Baby self feeding

Baby self feeding


Your baby’s development is accelerated when he or she learns how to self-feed. In your baby’s journey to self-feeding, you will have to teach him how to use a spoon, which is a messy, but fun, process. Getting your baby started with self-feeding is an important step. The end goal is baby self feeding. Introduce your baby to nutrient-rich and tasty baby food to facilitate the process.

In spite of the fact that you’ll have to go through a messy process, teaching your baby to self-feed will be worth it in the long run. As your baby develops his motor skills and develops his personality through self-feeding, it is essential to encourage the process in him. Here are a few considerations you should make as your baby approaches the age when he or she is able to self-feed.


Where To Start 

First, you will want to introduce finger foods to your baby before thinking about introducing a spoon. The first step will enable your baby to develop motor skills necessary for using a spoon, which he or she will need to become proficient at.

Baby self feeding: Finger Feeding 

Baby self feeding

Start off with soft foods you can easily crush with your fingers when you are learning the basics of finger foods. Starting here means your baby will be in the safest and easiest environment possible. To begin, try foods such as steamed vegetables, steamed noodles, or cut bananas. When possible, choose foods that can be cut up into larger chunks so that your baby will be able to pick them up easily.

The time to introduce a spoon should be after you have introduced finger foods to your baby if you have been feeding him only soft foods and purees on your own. The majority of babies should be able to feed themselves finger foods by the age of one year old. This is the time when you can introduce a spoon to the baby.

Among the most common questions I get is about teaching a baby how to use a spoon. The best way to introduce a spoon to a baby is to start feeding the baby with a spoon.

We will discuss the specific steps you can take to help your child learn to use a spoon today. Toward the end of this post, I talked about more passive ways you could teach spoon use. 


When to start

On this subject, I’ve come across all kinds of recommendations. According to the most common recommendation I’ve seen, your child should start using a spoon around 12 months old.

Here’s the deal. What’s the rush? Take it slow when it comes to baby self feeding.

There’s no need to wait until 12 months to introduce a spoon to your baby. Sure, they won’t be able to carry food on their spoon for quite some time, but there’s no need to wait until then.

Once your child starts eating solid foods, you should introduce the spoon as soon as possible. Make sure your baby is exposed to it at least once a day if possible. 

Try out Yummy Valley’s delicious baby food recipes to make things easier.


Baby self feeding: The details


  • When feeding according to the baby-led weaning method, this is achievable.
  • Prepare healthy food for your baby, such as yogurt or oatmeal, and preload his or her spoon with it. Place the spoon on their plate and let them dig in.
  • On the first shot, will they reach their mouth? Most likely not. Don’t worry! What matters is exposure.
  • If you watch them carefully, you may be surprised at how fast they figure out how to swallow the spoon. 
  • Introducing a spoon for your baby to use in those first few months can be more challenging if you’re feeding purees.
  • Likewise, you may also wish to preload a spoon so that your child can get it to their mouth themselves. Try to do this for as much of the meal as possible, but you don’t need to do it for the whole meal. 
  • Pre-loading with more than one spoon is a great way to keep the feeding moving for either feeding method.
  • Thus, you can pre-load another spoon while your baby is using the first.
  • It is often a good idea to replace the first spoon with the second with food to encourage your baby to relinquish the first one.
  • Using encouraging sounds when your baby gives you the spoon to load again, or even just letting the spoon go, can help your baby become more adept at loading the spoon and reduce their frustration.




  • A spoon is a skill that has to be learned. Not every baby will be able to use a spoon at once.
  • A 15-month-old will learn to use a spoon quicker than a 6-month-old if you give them a spoon for the first time. Up to a point.
  • There is no guarantee that all 15-month-olds will have the same level of skill.
  • In the process of teaching your child to use a spoon, what can you expect? This depends on the child.
  • It is impossible to generalize about all babies. There is a chance that a precocious baby will pick it up quickly, or one that will take a little longer.
  • Repeating and letting go of pressure are the keys. It may be easier for children to start scooping things onto the spoon by themselves before 14-15ish months. 
  • You should expect it to take quite some time before your baby actually gets food on their own spoon if you start at 6 months.
  • The spoon should get to their mouth and they will be able to eat effectively with it after some practice. 
  • You can still expect to gain skills by starting later, say about 12 months after the course starts.


You should let your baby experiment with the spoon at the table and use it in the ways he or she prefers. Make sure to preload the spoon with food. This stage can be greatly aided by showing the child how to use the spoon as a part of baby self feeding.

Helping with baby self feeding

Baby self feeding


  • After your baby begins to demonstrate a real desire to scoop their own food with a spoon, you can gradually begin using a hand-over-hand method if that is something that your baby finds appropriate. 
  • Ensure the food is scooped properly by placing your hand on top of theirs. You can assist them by allowing them to hold the spoon themselves once the food is on the spoon.
  • You shouldn’t be surprised if your baby still uses his or her hands to pick up things, as it is still the most efficient method for them to use. 

In case your baby is not interested in your assistance, know that’s okay, too! No practice is necessary, they will pick it up on their own, as long as you give them the proper instruction.

Keep This In Mind

Weaning your baby naturally is the most important thing to remember from both self-feeding and baby-led weaning. There’s nothing wrong with them reaching for a spoon, showing their curiosity, and growing into their independence. When you let your baby guide you in this process, they will be more likely to succeed.  In terms of this aspect of eating, it is not necessary to start teaching table manners at this age as a part of baby self feeding. Keep letting them explore and develop their skills until late in the second year of life before you start restricting them from using their hands and spoons to explore food. 

Easy-to-prepare recipes for baby food are available from Yummy Valley.

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