An unplanned aspect to parenting that no one ever considers beforehand is some of the finer details of learning that one has to do when the baby arrives. For instance, what kind of baby spoons should we buy? Such a small thing probably would of never entered your mind before you had a child. Now it just seems like the obvious thing to think about.
There’s a tendency to think back to those hokey commercials of dad saying, “open wide! The plane is coming into the hangar”, as he guides some generic baby food from a metal teaspoon into an infant’s mouth. Maybe this is even what our parents did back in the day. Times have been changing, and with this has come new design techniques and benefits that can make feeding times and transitions into solid foods more palatable to you and your infant. Below you will find a list of offerings that you’ll have a hard time refusing.
Our Picks of The Best Baby Spoons and Forks in 2018
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Baby Spoons and Forks
Here’s a fun fact for you! Did you know that during the Middle Ages in Europe, the Nobility would only feed their children with silver spoons? They knew back then that silver is a natural antibiotic. This was one of the many reasons that children of the wealthy not only survived infancy more often, but they also had a tendency to be larger and stronger than the poor. By way of this, we now have the old familiar phrase, “born with a silver spoon.”
These instruments for eating go further back. In Ancient Egypt, there are ivory spoons, rock and flint spoons, bone spoons; ceramic ladles from Neolithic Sardinia. In China, they were made of bronze in the beginning and had a sharp protrusion for the dual function of cutting. In the Middle East, spoons only had the function of eating soup with. Back in Medieval Europe, the spoons for common folk often consisted of materials like cowhorn or wood.
The making of spoons can be more complicated than you think! Before, it was the work of fine artisans — silversmiths mostly. Even though we now have mostly machinery doing the work for us, this doesn’t make the process any less complex. To produce a spoon, it is first cut from sheet metal. This can be silver, nickel alloy, or stainless steel. The bowl gets forged between two rollers until it thins out to the desired consistency. This process is then repeated on the handle.
The traditional way involved a hammer, tongs, and anvil. The metal would be heated until red hot over a fire (unlike the machine process that only uses pressure). The molten steel is then poured into a template. The finishing touches are hammered out to create a balance that’s comfortable for the user. The finished product is polished. The uniqueness of this often gives it a more personal stamp, sometimes quite literally.
We’ve come a long way from the simplistic bone and bronze spoons of the ancient past, not only material wise but also in their varied uses. To recap, in the old days a spoon was used for liquids alone, such as broth-based water, gruels or mush. The last 300 years has seen the handles extend for jars or honey, jams, and jellies. The material of the spoon has changed for oxidization purposes when it comes to serving caviar. We have dessert spoons, absinthe spoons. And, naturally, there is the All-American spork that can be received in excess from any local Dairy Queen. The baby spoon is just the natural extension of these innovations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can silicone become too pliable from overuse?
A: From what we can gather, this is not usually the case. Most of the silicone used is both food and medical grade. Medical grade silicone is built to last and withstand use for years to come. That said, this doesn’t mean that precautions aren’t necessary. When items are put in the dishwasher too often the structural integrity of them can become compromised by excess heat. This is also the case when sterilizing objects, too. So, if possible handwash your items and air dry them more frequently than opting to throw them in the dishwasher all the time.
Q: What can I do to avoid discoloration or odors on the baby spoons?
A: The material that it is composed of can be a major factor in it. Certain plastics rubbers and silicones have a tendency to absorb colors and smells from what they come in contact with over a long period of time. If you want to avoid it altogether, just use metal utensils. After that, use a semi-hard plastic. Not hard enough to damage your baby’s gums, though. Also, after every use rinses off your spoon – don’t let it just sit for the food to congeal over time, that will only make the stains harder to come out.
Q: Is it reasonable to buy more than one set of spoons in bulk?
A: Yes, it is highly reasonable! The prices for many of these bulk items are a song – less than the price of an Egg McMuffin. So, buy as many sets as you want or need. Some of the brands themselves encourage disposability. Many busy moms that don’t have time to do dishes that often, may opt to buy multiple sets. There are also just those times when out and your feeding, so it’s more convenient to toss an item than bring it home.
Q: Should I always avoid metal utensils with an infant just learning to eat solids?
A: Not always. It’s a judgment call since many generations of adults didn’t have the benefit of rubber or plastic spoons. It all about your child’s comfort and attempting to avoid the possibility of injury. Once they’re past the teething phase, it may be more feasible to use some more sturdy silverware with rounded edges. There are also metal spoons and forks that have a silicone coating. In this way, you can get the firmness of metal without the pain or jab.
Q: Are there any specific travel feeding sets I can buy?
A: I’m sure there are plenty out there on the world wide web. As we know there’s something out there that can match whatever your heart desires! But, all these things come at a price. Are you willing to pay it? We know that most parents, young ones, in particular, tend to be on a budget. We recommend going cheap and becoming a DIY parent. There are plenty of carrying cases that are sold separately. For a small price, bulk spoons and forks can be purchased and taken along in a travel case. Much of this is for the best since even the most sought-after items can go out of fashion with time.
Q: Is a bamboo-handled spoon better than plastic?
A: We’re not sure that one is “better” than the other. Both have their unique benefits. Since plastic is more malleable, there is the advantage of shaping the handles into more ergonomic designs to ease the burden of fatigue that can possibly lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, plastic doesn’t give splinters the way that wood and bamboo have a tendency to do. On the flip side, with bamboo, there is less of a risk of absorbing BPA or other toxins into your bloodstream, which a continual worry when handling plastic. We do offer an excellent bamboo product that has been treated and combines the traditional style handle with a safe, soft, gum-friendly silicone bowl.
- The Surprising History Of Spoons, Blog Article, ,
- List of types of spoons, Wikipedia Page, ,
- Spoon, Wikipedia Page, ,
- 6 Big Benefits of Letting Your Baby Feed Themselves, Informative Article, ,
- Spoon-feeding baby has benefits, Online Article , ,