The Best Baby Spoons and Forks for Feeding and Self-Feeding
There’s a lot to digest when you’re figuring out how to feed a newborn baby, but at the end of the day, whether it’s breast milk or formula, it’s still an entirely liquid diet. It’s when baby turns 4 to 6 months old that you can start introducing solid foods, and then things really get messy! You’ll want to have baby spoons and training utensils on hand for this delicious new milestone, but not all spoons are created equal—and segueing into solids with an infant will bring that fact to life lickety-split. Keep reading for everything you need to know about introducing baby utensils, what to look for and the best baby spoons and forks to shop now.
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While there isn’t a hard and fast rule for letting babies get their hands on utensils, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), babies can start using a spoon by themselves around 10 to 12 months old. Before that point, parents and caregivers handle the spoon and make sure purees and mashes make it into baby’s mouth successfully.
You certainly don’t have to put the best baby utensils on your registry (the early baby feeding essentials, like bottles, bottle brushes, a nursing pillow and milk storage bags, for example, are much more top of mind), but once baby approaches the age of eating solids, it’s good to have a handful of baby spoons at the ready. You can always add training spoons and toddler utensils for self-feeding to your shopping list when you start nearing the end of the first year.
Of course, flatware doesn’t have to be complicated for “first-time” foodies, but spoons are the tools you’ll want to start with. It’s important to make sure nothing is too much of a choking hazard (i.e., too long or with sharp edges) or too cumbersome for baby if they begin wielding it on their own—something that will eventually become the best part of mealtime adventures!
Even if you’re not interested in baby-led weaning, where you’d bypass the puree phase and dive straight into finger foods from the first day forward, you definitely want your tiny gourmand taking the lead with their feeding journey. Not only will the learning and exploration process of playing with a spoon or fork, dipping it in their food and bringing it to their mouth to taste foster greater oral-motor skill development, but it’ll also help baby become a pluckier (read: not pickier!) eater and less inclined to push food away.
While you can certainly expose your little epicurean to baby forks once they start to show interest (just beyond the one-year mark, typically), they probably won’t start to handle it with finesse until they’re 18 to 24 months old. Spoons, on the other hand, are much simpler for tiny grabbers to maneuver. And by the time baby starts getting acclimated to eating solids, they can scoop up most purees and gently-mashed medleys with little effort. When scouting out the spoons you’ll feed your infant with and then hand over to them for self-feeding, be sure to keep these attributes in mind:
Ergonomic design for parents and baby. When you’re doing the feeding, you’ll want a spoon that feels nice in your hand, with a long and slender handle and a small bowl to hold the food as you airplane it to their mouth. When baby is doing the feeding, you’ll want a smaller and chunkier spoon that’s easy for them to grasp and lightweight enough to hold.
Soft, gentle gnaw construction. Babies often start solids around the same time or just after they start getting teeth, so when they’re biting, sucking or tonguing the spoon for their food, a utensil that’s soft and gentle on their tender gums—like those crafted from silicone—is ideal. In fact, many of the best baby spoons have dual functionality as teethers (that can even be frozen and used to calm aching and inflammation in the mouth). Metal wares are fine too, but may be better suited for older eaters.
Easy cleaning. If you feel like you’re constantly running out of spoons and forks for yourself, imagine how frustrating it is when you throw infant and toddler utensils into the mix. That’s why finding dishwasher-safe, plastic and BPA-free silverware is key.
Bonuses to chew on. Feeding spoons shouldn’t be too complicated, but some spoons are designed with special features to make them safer for baby and less stressful for parents. We love options with temperature-sensitive tips, choking guards and shorter neck designs that mitigate the risks of baby burning their tongue or gagging on their food. There are other picks with specific curved shape consideration or grip dimples and appliques to make spoon and self-feeding more successful—meaning more food in their tummies and less sprinkled and splattered all over the place.
Whether baby just started solids or they need some more time with finger foods before you’re comfortable handing over the utensils, here’s the scoop on the best baby spoons that are affordable, easy for parents to use and even easier to clean.
You’re probably already familiar with Munchkin’s colorful line of baby products, but did you know they make baby spoons and tableware too? The tips of these baby utensils turn white if food is too hot, which makes feeding baby a lot easier. The tapered shape of the spoon is great for little mouths, and the soft tips are gentle on irritated gums. Plus, these utensils are dishwasher-safe as well as BPA- and phthalate-free, making them some of the best baby spoons around.
- Long handles are great for when grownups are doing the feeding
- Brightly colored tips hide food stains well
- Can buy a spoon for every day of the week for less than $10 — they’re that cheap!
- Option with metal handles (labeled as White Hot Safety Spoons) can be harder on baby’s gums
- Color-changing feature can be difficult to spot when the spoon is covered in food
Avanchy’s feeding spoons are crafted from bamboo and finished with a soft silicone tip that’s gentle on tender gums. Each spoon also has a long, ergonomic handle that helps reduce hand or wrist pain from awkward feeding angles. The only drawback is that, like most wooden items, the spoons aren’t dishwasher-safe.
- Wood and silicone combo is super easy to clean by hand
- Bamboo handles feature food-grade varnish that’s natural and FDA-approved
- Brand supports sustainability through carbon footprint reduction
- Hand-wash only
Crafted from ultra-soft silicone, the BEABA First Stage Baby Spoons are gentle on baby’s gums and teeth and have no rough metal edges. The shallow spoon design lowers the risk of choking by limiting how much food you or baby can scoop up at once. And, yes, these are dishwasher-safe as well as BPA-, lead- and phthalate-free.
- Long, flexible handle is the perfect length to scrape the bottom of deep containers
- No metal or rough edges means baby can teeth comfortably
- Available in three baby-friendly colorways
- Clear color stains easily, according to some parents
Taking baby food on the go is a piece of cake with this pick from Boon. The handle of these baby spoons holds up to three ounces of pureed baby food and dispenses one mouthful at a time for easy one-handed feeding. They’re dishwasher-safe, free from harmful chemicals and come with a storage cap. What’s not to love?
- Spoon tip screws onto the bulb handle easily and stress-free
- Eliminates the need to bring jars of food anywhere
- Can get jammed easily depending on the thickness of the puree
- Large design means it can take up a good amount of room in the diaper bag
Scooping up a spot on this list is the Boon Swap 2-in-1 Feeding Spoon. It features rigid stainless steel on one side and soft silicone on the other, so you can trial them both and see which side baby likes eating their smashed sweet potatoes off of. And once they’re done digging in, the flat, flexible tips of each side of the spoon make cleaning around their mouth (those mushy dribbles, right?) a total cinch.
- Are BPA-, phthalate- and PVC-free
- Available in three punchy color combinations
- Doesn’t hold much food (especially runnier cereals and thinner mashes), according to some parents
- Pricier choice for a pack of 2
Cleanliness? Check. Portability? Check. This duo has it all! With Skip Hop’s Easy-Fold Travel Spoons, you can conveniently fold baby’s spoon right back into its built-in travel case. We suggest throwing one in the diaper bag and one in the center console of your car, so you’re always prepared to feed baby while on the go.
- Built-in spoon rest makes for germ and mess-free feeding
- Top-rack dishwasher-safe
- Gray/teal colorways are gender-neutral and coordinate with the rest of Skip Hop’s infant feeding collection
- Can get lost easily when folded up
- Sold separately from the Easy-Feed Mealtime Set
They’ve mastered their mashes, become a connoisseur of slurps and now they’re showing signs (like reaching for the spoon or banging it on the high chair tray) that they’re ready to take things into their own hands—literally. These baby and toddler utensils are the ones you’ll want to arm them with as they transition into this new stage of freewheeling feeding. Just be sure to keep an eye on them as they’re exploring more complex foods and textures—as much as this baby silverware gets billed for its particular safety features, choking accidents are never totally off the table.
When the founder of the product is a 7-year-old who wanted to assuage her mom’s worries when her baby sister started self-feeding, it becomes clear that the choking hazard that comes with baby spoons is a universal parenting concern. This creative two-in-one teether and baby spoon is made of 100 percent FDA-grade silicone and uses unique animal shapes—like an elephant’s trunk, an alligator’s tail and a koala’s arms stretched out as a plate—to prevent choking and gagging (the spoon bowl is short and doesn’t go far into the mouth).
- Animal shapes are ergonomically designed to fit snugly into your little one’s hands
- Fun designs teach babies about animals, shapes and colors
- Two-pack is great for keeping in different places (or for twins who require two of everything)
- Spoon doesn’t fit easily into a baby food jar, so parents may need to load up the spoon first or serve food in a bowl
- Design resembles a toy, so babies may associate them with chewing rather than eating
Once your little one has gotten used to eating bite-sized morsels, it may be time to introduce them to training utensils. This toddler spoon has a flexible tip that lets your hungry little one scoop up food from any angle. Meanwhile, the metal-free fork is easy to wield, with soft spears that won’t poke or prod baby’s mouth. Plus, both utensils are made from BPA-free, food-grade silicone that’s dishwasher-safe. Is it any wonder that this baby feeding set won a Best of Baby award?
- Soft silicone and non-blunt tips prevent gum bruising and keep newly-broken-through baby teeth safe
- Wide, suction cup-like bottom guarantees hygienic, upright placement on any tray or table
- Innovative, open design allows toddlers to "catch" the food on their plates easily
- Residual staining may occur if you don’t wash the utensils right away
- Pricey for just one spoon and fork
A great way to introduce baby to self-feeding, GOOtensils are sold in a dual-stage set: stage one for beginners, and stage two for kids who’ve mastered the food-to-mouth motion. Their flat design makes them easier to use than a regular spoon; there’s no “wrong” way to hold them, so food doesn’t fall off. Plus, the contoured handles are designed to comfortably fit in a small hand. Parents will love that they’re dishwasher safe as well as PVC-, BPA- and phthalate-free.
- Work well with any foods, from soft purees to chunkier big-kid blends
- Thicker, contour-handled design fits comfortably and securely in a toddler’s hand
- Makes baby-led weaning (self-feeding as early as 6 months old) a lot easier
- Baby might get discouraged if you don’t familiarize them with the “teether” first
If you’re eager to teach your toddler how to use a fork as well as a spoon, opt for OXO Tot’s utensil set. The soft, non-slip handles are easy for little hands to hold, and the toddler fork is effective without having sharp tines. These baby utensils have BPA-, phthalate- and PVC-free silicone handles, and are also dishwasher-safe.
- Soft grips help the utensils stay propped up instead of sliding into bowls and plate
- Flat spot on each keeps fork and spoon from rolling off the high chair
- Stainless steel construction makes the set a bit more grown up, for toddlers who want to eat like their parents and siblings
- A more lightweight and maneuverable plastic version is available for younger babies, but the plastic isn’t always good
These toddler spoons may look a little goofy, but they’re genius in the way they motivate your little one to pick up the spoon themselves—making them one of the best toddler utensils for self-feeding. The beauty of the design is in their ergonomic, curved handle that’s meant to work with the way children naturally hold utensils. And the spoon bowl gathers the perfect amount of food for baby bites, eliminating possible choking risks and helping baby learn how much they can eat, without overindulging, in one sitting. These are also tools to engage them in exploration. Have a picky eater at home? Why not let them have some fun with Kizingo? They can pretend to be a space alien scooping up some out-of-this-world rations!
- Bright and dynamic color combinations
- Lead and latex-free, as well as FDA-approved and dishwasher-safe
- Sold in twin packs for left- and right-handed eaters
- Pricey option for spoons