Ah, that glorious moment when your baby starts feeding herself: You can relax a little…until you pay for it at the end of the meal with applesauce and pureed carrots all over your child and/or baseboards. Suddenly, you’ll turn to anything that will help her develop those fine motor skills, especially things that can’t become a painful projectile. That’s why, when I heard about all the awards Olababy’s Baby Training Spoons had racked up (National Parenting Product Awards, the Green Scene Mom Awards and the Family Choice Awards, to name just a few), I figured it was worth trying.
First things first: It’s made of BPA-free food-grade silicone, giving it the flexibility to bend and conform to whatever your kid is trying to scoop up, even if her angles for doing so aren’t quite there yet. My 14-month-old delightedly spooned up mashed potatoes and teeny-tiny pastina pasta that had previously evaded her, and—with her pesky canines coming in—it was just soft enough to double as a teether, which she may have enjoyed more than actually feeding herself.
Some parents say the coolest feature is the suction-cup base, allowing you to easily stand it upright when it’s not in use. Others consider that a con, since the act of picking up a spoon when it’s flat on the table helps teach fine motor skills. (But if you’re worried about the spoon rolling around restaurant tables and gathering germs, you may prefer an upright option.)
The spoon is ergonomically designed to fit a baby’s hands, though it’s unclear how that differs from a traditional toddler spoon. Since my daughter’s linguistic skills are confined to “mama,” “dada,” “more” and “no,” I can only guess that their claim checks out. After all, she didn’t shriek in terror while wielding it, so…there’s that.