Everything is brand new for babies, and they find fascination in the everyday things adults take for granted like light switches, door knobs, ceiling fans... even spoons. New spoon-feeding babies are sure to become completely enamored with the cool utensil mom or dad is using to give them solids, and soon, they'll want to try to use it all by themselves.
When a baby is around six months old (give or take a few months) they should be able to successfully eat starter baby foods like pureed fruits and vegetables, according to the CDC. At this point, they won't be able to feed themselves, but will certainly want to explore the spoon by touching it and putting it in their mouth. By allowing this exploration, parents are helping their baby get used to the utensil so that when they develop the motor skills they need to do it alone, they'll be comfortable with it and know exactly what to do.
Before a baby will be able to successfully use a spoon, they'll likely move on to finger foods, like chopped up fruits and veggies, scrambled eggs, and every baby's favorite... puffs. By the time they're about 12 months, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says babies are able to successfully (though, not necessarily neatly) get food to their mouths using both their fingers and a spoon. At around 18 months, babies will be able to use a spoon, fork, and cup correctly without making a (huge) mess, and by the time they're two years old, they will have mastered it.
Still, as much of a pain it is to have to basically hose down the high chair while your baby is learning to spoon feed, that food-covered face is hard not to love! Just look at these 12 cuties who are practicing one of life's most valued skills.
1. "Mom, I Got This"
2. "Is This The Right End?"
3. "Practice Makes Perfect"
4. "That Was Delicious!"
5. "I Got Most Of It In My Mouth"
6. "It May Be On My Hand, But My Face Is Clean!"
7. "I'm Not So Sure About This"
8. "No Time For Pictures, I'm Hungry!"
9. "I Did It!"
10. "More Kiwi, Please"
11. "This Sauce Really Brings Out My Eyes, Don't You Think?"
12. "I'll Pause To Flash A Sweet Smile"
This little guy took a break from spoon feeding to flash an adorable smile at his mom. She says she loads up his spoon for him, but he brings it to his mouth himself. He's definitely got the hang of it.
Next time you sigh as you clean Greek yogurt out of every nook and cranny around your little one's high chair, remember that this time is short-lived. You don't have to love the "learning to use a spoon" phase, but you should at least snap a few pictures to look back on later.