I’m Cat, mum of three and inventor of doddl.
People often ask me where the idea came from for doddl. My standard short answer is usually something like ‘from bad mealtime experiences with my kids’..🤣.
There is a longer version though.
I personally experienced really difficult mealtimes with my 3 young children (all under 4) and eventually I’d just had enough. Enough of the shouting, the frustrated, hungry children who would give up on cutlery and use their hands, enough of the mess… I just couldn’t understand why it was so hard for them (and me!). Then one day my daughters fork handle broke, she picked up the short end and bingo! Just like that she could eat with it much more effectively. Food was actually moving in the right direction, from plate to mouth. So, I did a lot of digging into the problem and realised it was the cutlery that was the issue (and in this instance not my children ).
Long handles are BAD.
In reality, children’s cutlery is just a small version of a product designed around the dexterity and coordination of an adult. It’s not designed for children. In particular, it was the long handles that were the issue because they force the continued use of the basic palmar grip. That’s what makes it so awkward for children. And most children’s knives are (excuse the pun) pointless. Blunt and reliant on strength in a wrist that a young child doesn’t yet have, they create the feeling in a child they just don’t work (because they don’t). So while the children napped (and occasionally played nicely together!)..
Re-imagining children’s cutlery
I set about redesigning children’s cutlery, alongside child development experts, to make it easy for kids to use and to make mealtimes enjoyable for everyone. The added bonus with doddl, aside from being easy to use, are the development benefits because the design strengthens the pincer grip and really helps with dexterity and coordination. doddl also naturally encourages children to hold their fingers in the ‘correct’ position, so it’s easy for them to move on to adult cutlery when they’re ready.
Starting a business from scratch wasn’t easy
Most of the time I was absolutely shattered – especially when my kids were still young, but I truly believed in the power of doddl and I still do. That’s why we designed cutlery for babies too, because starting your baby on the right track with suitable cutlery will really help with their development. And in the long run, building familiarity with cutlery, and allowing them to safely explore from as early as 6+ months offers real benefits. I love every picture or film I see of your babies and toddlers enjoying eating with doddl. It makes all the blood sweat and tears worth it and believe me, there have been many! It now genuinely feels like I did what I set out to do, to help young children and families have the successful mealtimes I always wanted.
Keep tagging us in your pictures @doddl and If you have any questions for me feel free to post on any of social accounts.