Help: doddl products
Which should I choose - doddl baby utensils or doddl toddler utensils?
All doddl sets are cleverly engineered to intuitively teach and train, helping to develop confidence and independence. The difference is in the product size and materials.
doddl baby is designed for a baby between the age of 6-12 months, it is smaller in size, the handle and utensil ends are made from high quality plastic with soft touch areas.
doddl toddler utensils are designed for a child 1 - 5+ years and have high quality plastic handles and soft touch areas, with effective, stainless-steel ends.
If this is the first set of utensils for your baby and they are under 12 months and are not eating full meals yet, then doddl baby spoon and fork would be the best first utensil set for your baby.
If, however, your child is between 11 and 14 months, has some level of co-ordination and is eating more substantial meals, doddl toddler utensils will be the best set for your child.
How do I introduce the doddl baby spoon?
Our baby spoons are designed to be intuitive to use, so whatever weaning approach you have decided to take – whether spoon feeding, or baby led weaning or a mixture of both - introducing doddl baby spoons is easy.
- Simply place the baby spoon on the tray/table alongside their food and allow them to explore the baby cutlery.
- Encourage your baby to put the baby spoon to their mouth at each meal – whichever end at first – allowing them to familiarise themselves with the baby cutlery alongside their food.
- Start to load the baby spoon and pass it to them (handle facing them). It’s a completely new skill so be patient, but they will start to put the food to their mouth.
- Babies like to copy, so It’s always helpful if you’re eating with them at the same time.
- Allow them to hold the baby spoon and guide their hand to scoop the food and feed themselves helping them understand the movement from tray/plate to mouth.
Consistency is key so keep offering doddl baby utensils and you will soon notice your baby’s confidence and skills with utensils progressing.
How do I introduce the doddl baby fork?
Our baby forks are designed to be intuitive to use, so whatever weaning approach you have decided to take with your whether spoon feeding, or baby led weaning or a mixture of both - introducing the doddl baby fork is easy.
- Simply lay the doddl baby fork alongside the food on your baby’s plate or tray and allow them to pick it up and explore.
- Stab a small piece of soft food with the baby fork and encourage
your baby to put it to their mouth.
- Once they have mastered this, you can then encourage them to start stabbing the food themselves by holding your hand over theirs and showing them how.
- Babies love to copy, so It’s always helpful if you’re eating with them at the same time.
Consistency is key so keep offering doddl baby utensils and you will soon notice your baby’s confidence and skills with utensils progressing.
Why is there a baby fork in the doddl baby set?
Familiarity and development. It’s beneficial for babies to hold a tool in each hand when they’re eating because it helps work both sides of their brains, so even if they are just holding one and using the other, it helps balance the development. It’s also important to familiarise babies with the utensils they will use in the future. Your child won’t always use just a single spoon so beginning early with a 2-piece set is also beneficial for the future.
Can you put the doddl baby spoon and fork in a steriliser?
Yes, doddl baby utensils can be used in a standard steriliser however not a UV steriliser as this will damage the product.
How do I know when my baby is ready to move on to doddl toddler utensils?
If you started with doddl baby utensils, then your baby will have developed the dexterity and control needed to progress, by around 11-12 months. Then it’s more about the size of your baby’s hand and the amount of food they eat. When they are eating more substantial meals doddl toddler utensils will be more suitable.
How do I introduce the doddl toddler knife to my child?
The doddl toddler knife is cleverly engineered to work effectively
for a child, making it easy for them to use. The handle sits in your child’s palm, enabling a strong grip and enabling them to use the strength in their hand to push down through food.
- Firstly, show your toddler how the children’s knife works yourself by chopping up a part of their meal or snack whilst reminding them that this is something exciting for them to do themselves.
- Allow your toddler to explore the children’s knife themselves at snack time, mealtime or at playtime (especially if there is playdough around to practice on). Encourage your toddler to hold the toddler knife as you hold your hand over theirs and push down through some 'easy' food, like a banana or cooked carrot.
- Let them try it out for themselves with more 'easy' food. As they begin to chop pieces in two give them plenty of praise. Eating with your toddler is also very helpful, encouraging them to copy you as you chop your dinner.
How do I introduce the doddl toddler spoon, fork and knife to my child?
doddl is designed to be intuitive to use, so introducing the set is easy.
- Simply lay the toddler spoon and toddler fork on the tray/table alongside their food
(handle facing them) and encourage them to pick it up and hold it.
- If they your child hasn’t already, load the toddler spoon or toddler fork for them so they can feed themselves - as this becomes more familiar, they will scoop the food by themselves.
- Children like to mimic so eat together as much as possible.
- When you’re both ready, swap out the toddler spoon and introduce the toddler knife. At the start you can hold your hand over theirs and show them how to push the doddl toddler knife down through their food. Then it’s all about honing their skills.
Consistency is key, so use doddl at every meal and your toddler’s confidence and independence will continue to grow.
How is the toddler knife safe?
It’s all about the cleverly engineered serrated blade which has been rigorously researched and tested to ensure it is designed to be effective for cutting food, but not skin. With the clever blade design and the power from your child’s palm you’ll find your child can safely chop through any type of food.
Why are doddl utensil handles shaped differently?
Long slim handles from ‘standard’ cutlery are very difficult for young children to grip. They create an awkward movement when trying to navigate the distance from their plate to their mouth. In addition, for babies, they offer an additional ‘gag’ risk – as there is a lot of handle to deal with. Ultimately, they are just small versions of cutlery that has been designed around an adult’s dexterity and control.
doddl is engineered to be intuitive for your child to use successfully, making mealtimes much easier and helping increase independence and confidence at mealtimes. The handles are short, meaning there is less distance from the food and end of the utensil to the mouth. The contoured handles are also comfortable to hold and help to keep the utensil ends at the correct angle so food stays in place until it reaches its destination.
How does doddl cutley help development?
The handles of both doddl baby utensils and doddl toddler utensils are designed to encourage the development of the pincer grip (pinch movement), a key motor skill needed for using zips, scissors, holding pens and pencils. The length of the handles also makes it easier for them to control so they can focus on practicing hand-eye co-ordination. doddl also makes mealtimes more successful which means your child will build confidence quickly and will be able to focus on all the other elements outside of learning to use utensils, like trying new foods, being sociable and generally enjoying their mealtimes.
Has doddl been safety tested?
Yes all doddl products have been fully safety tested up to the highest standards including EN14372 (European standard) and to FDA standards.
Are doddl utensils microwave safe?
doddl toddler utensils are not suitable in the microwave due to the metal parts however the doddl baby spoon and fork are safe to use in the microwave up to 80 degrees c. doddl utensils are safe to use in a standard steriliser (not UV).
How can I best look after my doddl utensils?
To keep your doddl utensil sets looking beautiful, please wash straight after use, particularly when used with tomato or oil based foods. Avoid corrosive cleaning materials and try not to leave in direct sunlight for long periods as this may cause the soft touch areas to fade.
What age should I introduce the doddl plate?
You can introduce the doddl plate at any age, it is unbreakable, so no need to worry. The doddl plate is a great addition when you introduce finger food to your baby as you can lay out your baby’s food so they can see what they are eating and the curve can sit right in front of your baby helping to prevent food falling into their laps. This will also help them become familiar with plates from an early age. However, the clever design features really impact when your toddler is practicing with their utensils. In particular, the gently raised back then helps keep food on the plate and offers your child a surface to push their food against.
Is it good to use doddl when i'm out and about?
Yes! Using doddl at every meal will really benefit your child and you can keep them safe with the doddl utensil cases. The baby set has one included and you buy the doddl toddler utensil case seperately here.
What do experts think about doddl?
doddl is highly recommended by experts because it increases confidence and develops motorskills unlike any other utensil sets on the market. You can read more here.
Is doddl BPA and Phthalates free?
Yes all doddl products are completely BPA and Phthalates free.
Do doddl products contain latex OR rubber?
All doddl products are free from latex and rubber.
Mealtime hints and tips
I’m about to start weaning, what do I need to know?
If you’re just starting to think about weaning, all the information, guidance and advice out there can be overwhelming. The options include spoon feeding, baby led weaning or a mixture of both. At doddl we have years of experience in feeding, so we’ve created a hub of information to help you navigate weaning through to independent eating and everything in between - visit our mealtime matters page or read how to wean your baby
What is baby-led weaning and why would I choose it?
When you choose baby-led weaning you’re essentially skipping purees and spoon
feeding and heading straight to age appropriate finger foods. It's called baby led because that's what the premise is — letting your little one feed themselves a range of different foods, giving them choice about what they select from their tray and giving your baby the opportunity to learn how to chew (or more accurately, gum) first, then swallow. It also prevents us from giving our children too much food, since our babies are in control of how much they put into their mouths. Read more about the benefits of baby led weaning from our blog ‘5 reasons to choose baby led weaning’.
How to start weaning – what do I need to know?
First make sure your baby is ready to start weaning:
- Are they 6 months old?
- Can they sit up unassisted?
- Have they shown an interest in food?
- Are they more hungry than usual?
Once you’re confident it’s the right time, you’ll need to decide what weaning approach you want to take, either baby led weaning, spoon feeding or a mixture of both. You can find this and more in the Mealtime Matters hub.
You can also keep track of your progress with our simple weaning journey markers
How do I know when my baby is ready to use a baby spoon themselves?
As soon as your baby starts to feed, you can introduce appropriate utensils. Introducing the doddl baby spoon and fork from the start will help your baby become familiar with utensils as they get used to food and mealtimes. It will help them develop their skills (pincer grip, co-ordination, and dexterity) and helps avoid confusion if cutlery is introduced later, when mealtimes are more established. Simply giving your baby the option is enough at this early stage. Start by placing doddl baby spoons down, handle facing them alongside their food, whatever type of food that is, and they will start to explore. Picking up the baby spoon, banging it on the table or using their mouth to explore it - both ends - is a great start. You can find out more in the product help section.
You can also read top 4 tops to encourage spoon feeding during weaning.
When should my baby join us at the dinner table?
This very much depends on your child and your situation. There is a lot of evidence that sharing mealtimes with your child is incredibly beneficial to their development. Babies and children love to mimic, it’s a big part of learning, so being able to see how you eat your meals and how you behave during this time will only help in their understanding. The social aspects of mealtimes also offer your child the opportunity to learn; Communication, listening, engaging with others. Important life skills and very helpful when your child eventually starts school and sit with their peers at lunchtime. Finally, there is also evidence to show that happy mealtimes have an impact on your child’s developing relationship with food, and the influence this can have on their future. So, ideally, get your baby around the table as soon as you can, whether in a highchair or in a booster so they can start to feel part of mealtimes.
What can I do to encourage my baby to stay sitting at the table when we eat meals?
If you’ve moved your little one from a highchair to a small table – or even to a booster seat at the big table, and you’re finding they consistently try to leave, there are some simple things you can do to help.
Make sure they have equipment that makes it easy for them to succeed, like doddl, so mealtimes are positive and successful not frustrating and emotional.
Include your child in a family mealtime – so they are not sitting alone eating. Even if you only sit with them while they eat, children love to copy, and if they have no one to copy from, they will struggle to stay engaged.
Give them choice at mealtimes helping them feel independent and ‘grown up’ – whether it is choosing where they sit, or what foods to add to their meal.
Create a mealtime experience that they can be part of – design menus together or place settings or get them involved in the food preparation using the doddl toddler knife.
If you’ve tried all of this and it hasn’t worked, try changing it up completely, do something different to get them out of the habit of leaving the table, create a picnic on the floor, have a ‘grown up’ meal with candles and napkins, pretend to be a waiter and make it a positive and fun experience. Through all of this, try and remember everything is a phase, keep plugging away and you’ll eventually get there.
My little one has started throwing food at every meal – what do I do?
As frustrating as it is, it’s totally normal for your little one to throw things, including food and it can be a sign of learning. It’s basically cause and effect, I have something, I do X with it (lift my arm and let it go) and Y happens (it lands on the floor). Then there’s the obvious one that it’s their way of communicating they don’t want to be sat in their chair or eating that food.
Find more about this here from Stacey Zimmels 5 tips to stop your toddler throwing food. Obviously, it may be a way of your child getting your attention so, ideally, try not to react to this behaviour. If they are doing it for this and you don’t react, they get nothing for it and they may well stop, helping narrow down the true reason. Try not to over face your child with too much food, if there’s less for them to throw, it may not be as tempting. Create a small area on their tray for foods they don’t like, so you can talk to them about what they did and didn’t like afterwards. Finally remember its more than likely a phase that your little on will grow out of.
How can I help develop my child’s motor skills?
How can I teach my toddler to feed themselves?
If your spoon-fed baby is now a spoon-fed toddler, how can you foster independent eating? Read how to teach a toddler to feed themselves.
What are the top tips for managing toddler mealtimes?
As with all aspects of a toddler, sudden changes to your child’s behaviour can make us question our judgement as to whether we are doing the ‘right thing’. Knowing what to ignore and what to avoid will help.
Find out more here: Feeding toddlers – 6 common mistakes to avoid.
How do I know if my baby is making the right progress at mealtimes?
Firstly, try not to compare your food or mealtime journey with anyone else’s. However, whilst we all know every child is different, it is natural to look around you and wonder if your little one is making progress in the right way. To help we’ve created some simple mealtime milestones as a guide helping you tick off some challenges (in any order) with your little one so you know you’re heading in the right direction, towards fully independent eating.
How can I encourage my toddler to eat more?
It can be worrying when you think your little one isn’t eating as much as you think they should. Paediatric Feeding and Swallowing Specialist Speech Therapist and IBCLC Lactation Consultant Stacey Zimmels from @Feedeatspeak offers advice in her blog Toddler food intake: “My toddler isn’t eating enough, what should I do?"
My child is so fussy – what can I do to help?
Dealing with a fussy eater is one of the more frustrating experiences you can have as a parent. Especially when you have spent time and energy thinking about the best kind of food for your child to benefit from. It can also be worrying if you don’t feel your child is eating a variety of food that will set them up well for the future. Read ‘how do I get my fussy eater to eat new foods? And because it’s such a hot topic amongst parents (you’re definitely not the only one to experience this) we asked Family Consultant at Bespoke Family, Clare Burgess to share her hints and tips about 'fussy' 'picky' choosy' eaters'.
I want my baby to try all types of foods, how should I go about it from the start?
We all want to have children that will be adventurous with their foods, and whilst we probably all recognise it’s not as simple as presenting it to them and watching them eat, there are some simple things you can do right at the start of weaning to help. Claire Burgess from Bespoke Family offers some insights in her blog the next stage – real food, textures and tastes
Why are mealtimes so important?
There is real power in establishing positive mealtimes for children, from lifelong health benefits to social & development opportunities. On a daily basis, mealtimes offer the opportunity for us to help children develop and unleash their independence. So whilst there are many routines in life that we do without too much consideration – at doddl we really believe mealtimes shouldn’t be one of them. Sitting around as a family or friend group and chatting about the day as you eat your meal may not seem like a learning opportunity, but it is for your child. Routinely they are experiencing how we interact around each other at the table, how we eat while we engage with each other, how we treat each other, how we behave. By sitting together, your child will also see you eating all different types of foods which will ultimately open their eyes to the variety of foods on offer. For more about the benefits of the whole mealtime experience read make mealtimes about the experience not just the food.
I miss eating out – should I brave it with my child?
The simple answer is yes, because there are all kinds of benefits for both you and your child– for more insights read the importance of eating out with your children from family Consultant Claire Burgess.
I need some new ideas for food at mealtimes any suggestions.
Visit our recipes section for some healthy ideas.
doddl expert partners
At doddl we have spent years working with experts as we have researched, developed, and tested our products and along the way have learned a lot about feeding and mealtimes. We partner with experts to help provide the very best advice. Mentioned in our hints and tips section are:
Claire Burgess a Family consultant and Early Years Expert at Bespoke Family and previously partnered with doddl whilst at the Norland College.
Stacey Zimmels from Feed Eat Speak is a feeding & swallowing specialist and Speech and Language Therapist.
Lucy Upton from The Children’s Dietician is a Specialist Paediatric Dietitian