It's easy to think that Montessori parents obsess about the smallest things. But if you look at the philosophy as a whole, if you look at the big picture, it all makes sense. In Montessori, we give our children real things, real experiences and real tools. We often look for smaller versions which are easier for the child to use and to manipulate. We look for tools made from real materials. Cutlery, weaning or baby spoons are no exception. We want to offer the child real cutlery from the start.
We want a weaning spoon that is small and easy for the very little hand to hold and a tiny head of the spoon to fit in the infant's mouth. We want a metal spoon, a spoon just like the adults would use only smaller.
What about those cute wooden or bamboo spoons? My sister recently showed me a spoon that changed colour when the food placed on it was too hot. These are just not necessary. Most often the child wants to be like those around him. He wants to be like those he loves, he wants to use a spoon just like his sibling/s or his parents. He doesn't need a brightly coloured, change-colour spoon.
The child is a real person, no less, why would we offer them a lesser quality tool to use? We want to show the child we love you and we respect you, we will give you a real tool to use. We have to think of the environmental impact too, the metal spoon will be around a lot longer than a plastic spoon. Some parents I know have lots of plastic, baby spoons. Often the child will chew on the plastic spoon and it will be replaced with a new spoon, which sets a very poor example to the child. The metal spoon will be around a lot longer and will teach the child that we respect our tools and they will last.
The metal spoon won't break and most of them are dishwasher safe. I've found the child enjoys the cool texture of the spoon. I think the weight of the metal spoon is nice too, many spoons are well designed so they fit comfortably in the child's hand. At this stage, we just put a little food on the end of the spoon for the child to taste.
Otto's bib is c/o KhadineDECO and his weaning spoon is a part of the infant set c/o Kiddobloom - this comes in a set with two spoons and two forks, which in the Montessori fashion, the adult can use one spoon to feed the child and the child can, at the same time, hold their own spoon and help to feed themselves. Montessori weaning is done with the child, not to the child, the child is a collaborator. Today Otto is trying a little mashed banana in his yoghurt!