As much as we hate or love the idea, your baby is going to progress from breast or bottle feeding rather rapidly and will begin to require feeding with utensils. Before you know it, your little one is going to try to feed his or herself. Before the time comes, you should consider how to choose safe utensils for your baby. This should be a relatively easy decision for you to make. What you definitely do not want to do however, is feed them with the silver or stainless steel spoon someone is bound to give you as a shower gift. There is too much potential for injury to the baby’s delicate oral mucosa.
As long as your baby has no birth anomalies pertaining to the mouth, once you’re ready to begin feeding cereal and baby food, purchase a small spoon that has a protective, non latex covering over the part that goes in the baby’s mouth. This vastly reduces the risk of injury. Be sure the size is appropriate for the baby’s mouth. Should you notice that the baby vomits during or after eating, or the food expectorates through his or her nostrils, immediately stop and contact your pediatrician. This spoon is also great for when the baby starts teething since he or she will be prone to bite down on it anytime you try to feed.
Babies develop and grow at a phenomenal rate during the first year. Before you know it, you will be back to researching how to choose safe utensils for your baby, looking for Sippy cups, suction bottomed bowls and non-breakable plates. These items come in many styles and colors to entertain your baby and make adults smile and reminisce.
Sippy cups are the greatest invention of the millennium. Spill proof and leak proof, they save a fortune in carpet and upholstery cleaning. Just be sure to remove the anti-backflow valve to clean them and replace them before giving them to your baby to drink from. This valve regulates the flow and requires the baby to suck lightly to get fluid. It’s a safety feature that prevents accidental aspiration.
Suction bottomed bowls and non-breakable plates are also a God send. Once a baby can pick something up and hold it, the object either goes in the mouth or is thrown. Suction bottomed bowls prevent this from occurring for a short time. Babies are smart though and learn what they watch. Once they develop the dexterity to do so, the bowls will be flying across the room along with the cups and plates.
As babies learn independence through self feeding, nothing gives them more joy than to watch mom and dad pick up their utensils time and time again, especially if there’s food in them. Don’t be too frustrated by this behavior, it’s the baby learning trust and cause and effect. Plastic utensils are safe, inexpensive and easy to replace should they get broken, so let your baby have some fun. After all, meals should be engaging and enjoyable. Perhaps one day, industry will market body bibs for adults to prevent staining from flying food.