What is ‘pre-loading’ when it comes to children's cutlery and baby weaning spoons?
Introducing children’s cutlery to your baby is likely one of the first things you will think about when they start their weaning journey of discovery. Cutlery is around us everywhere and every day – you don’t give it a second thought. But imagine suddenly going from only having milk placed directly into your mouth, every day, all day (and night), to then learning there are other foods too! You then learn about these strange objects that you don’t eat or drink, but help you get this newly discovered food from your sight into your mouth. That’s a lot to take in for a 6 month old!
There used to be a misunderstanding that Baby-led Weaning was ALL about fingers and ‘solid’ solid foods, actively choosing to avoid the use of children’s cutlery. Putting pieces of soft veg and fruit in front of your baby and allowing them to put it straight into their mouth using only their hands is, of course, a crucial part of weaning, but there is a definite place for a weaning spoon on their journey. Fruit and vegetables are one thing, but yogurts, soups and porridges are quite another! Your baby is a little sponge, soaking up so much learning every day. They will love the experience of learning to use a spoon to get more of their favourite yogurt into their little mouth! Yogurt with fingers will get very frustrating for them!
A great way to introduce a weaning spoon to your baby is to ‘pre-load’ it at mealtimes. Without needing the use of language, which babies obviously don’t have at this point, this visual will quickly show them the ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ for this new fascinating object! You can ‘spoon feed’ them for the first couple of goes, but by then putting a scoop of yogurt or porridge onto another spoon and then resting it on the side of the bowl or plate, they will quickly realise they can pick it up themselves and get that yummy food to their mouth all by themselves!
A good choice of spoon is essential here, as with children's cutlery for any age, and exactly why we designed our Stage 1 weaning cutlery the way we did! A lightweight, perfectly sized handle that’s easy to grip with their full fist (the first grip type babies develop) helps when they’re practicing their hand to eye co-ordination, picking up the spoon. The small, gently curved bowl part of the spoon fits perfectly into tiny mouths and prevents overloading – without effort the perfect amount will be on the spoon. This part of our Stage 1 Weaning Spoons is made from soft, 100% food grade silicone to ensure they are gentle on tender teething gums. This is the same material used to make baby teethers – they will certainly enjoy a good chew on the spoon tips too!
Having multiple spoons to hand really helps here! You can pre-load one weaning spoon and once they have picked up this, you can get another one ready for them for the next go! We added a third spoon to our pack too, as one will almost certainly end up on the floor at some point! They’ll be confident with their cutlery in no time!
As well as pre-loading spoons, modelling is a great way to introduce children's cutlery to babies. Grab yourself something that also requires a spoon for eating (you decide what here!) and demonstrate slowly scooping and eating with a spoon, or better still one of their weaning spoons! Babies instinctively look and try to copy what they see around them – that is how they learn. Added bonus is you’ll get the chance to actually eat some food yourself at this busy crazy time of parenthood!
Nana’s Manners Stage 1 Weaning Spoons are available here. They come in packs of 3 in two colour options.