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Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods - and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater Paperback – October 5, 2010


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Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods - and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater + The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: 130 Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat Solid Foods - and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy + Baby Sign Language Basics: Early Communication for Hearing Babies and Toddlers, New & Expanded Edition PLUS DVD!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: The Experiment; Reprint edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161519021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615190218
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“I’ve been telling mothers for years that when babies start grabbing food from the table, they are ready for solids. I had the pleasure of observing this with my own children. What I love about this book is the joy and zest the authors put into parenting, their commonsense approach, and their faith that babies will do the right things for themselves when the time is right. Baby-led weaning is easy, and it makes parenting fun!”
Nikki Lee RN, MS, IBCLC

“Gill Rapley’s work is amazing and makes so much sense. I recommend this groundbreaking book to every new mother I know. Read it. It will forever change the way you think about feeding your baby.”
Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, clinical associate professor of pediatrics, Texas Tech University School of Medicine, and coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple

STARRED REVIEW—"Nurse Rapley and freelance writer Murkett encourage parents to forgo the usual baby puree and move straight to whole foods while continuing to breastfeed primarily after a baby is six months old. Their arguments are scientifically sound, especially when it comes to muscle development in the mouth, and they address the anticipated counterarguments, e.g., the need for iron-fortified cereal at six months. Some parents will be concerned about their lax approach to the order of allowable foods and especially their lack of concern about nuts, but allergic warnings are given where necessary. If mine were little again, I would definitely try this. As long as mom is nursing, who says baby can’t eat lamb chops?"
Library Journal

“The benefits are great”
Independent

“Sharing food with Mirah has turned out to be one of the great joys of parenting. Watching her respond to the pleasures of ripe tomatoes, curried rice noodles, and all kinds of meats and vegetables has made mealtime a much more enjoyable experience for all three of us. We can tell she is learning through all of her senses about how various substances respond to being crumbled or dropped or mushed. She seems to really like that she is eating the same foods as we are, and since we are generally sharing the same meal, I am more likely to make us all something healthy.”
—Aimee Pohl, Babble.com

“I see many happy children, who chose their own food independently and eat at their own pace.”
—Stefan Kleintjes, pediatric dietitian

“It’s been wonderful, and very funny, watching her discover food, her great concentration in navigating new textures and exploring new tastes… One of our favourite things about BLW is its emphasis on families eating together.”
Nicola Kent, The Guardian

“You just hand them the food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don't they won't… That's the essence of Baby Led Weaning. No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher . . . just you and your child, eating food that you enjoy with you and your family . . . My baby is nearly seven months old and . . . ADORED feeding herself while her parents ate their own meals. I can't even begin to tell you how pleasant it is to eat in a restaurant with your Baby Led Weaning child chomping on a piece of bread and butter or a chunk of cucumber from your salad beside you.”
Aitch, founder of Babyledweaning.com

“As a child psychiatrist, I have worked on a team for children with feeding difficulties… One of the main things I would recommend to these families is giving the child control, and allowing them to have small successes to build on rather than pushing food on them and ending up in a battle . . . I believe strongly in baby led play (again, something I would teach at work) and baby led routines rather than routines being forced on babies to suit parents’ lifestyles (as suggested by at least one popular parenting book). So this intuitively makes sense to me.”
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist (psychiatristparent.wordpress.com)

“It sounds like common sense: after all, would you want to be strapped into a high chair and force-fed spoon after spoon of bland vegetables? It's surely much more exciting to be able to exercise a bit of control over your diet.”
The Guardian

“[Baby-led weaning] makes life so much easier.”
The Times, London

About the Author

Gill Rapley, the pioneering champion of baby-led weaning, worked as a public health nurse for over twenty years and has also been a midwife, lactation consultant, and voluntary breastfeeding counselor. She is currently pursuing a PhD in infant feeding.


Tracey Murkett is a voluntary mother-to-mother breastfeeding helper and coauthor with Gill Rapley of Baby-Led Weaning and The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I thought the book was very easy and fun to read.
CaC
I cannot wait to get started with blw after reading this book.
keich
The ONLY way to feed your baby is to let them feed THEMSELVES!
SwEEtMoM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Maria on January 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
I can't recommend this book or this method highly enough. We turned to baby-led weaning when our daughter declined to eat solids well after her six-month birthday. We never bought into the rice-cereal orthodoxy, so we began by trying to feed her bits of avocado and banana from our fingers, but she wanted none of it. We tried pureed apples and pears, and then rice and oat cereal with breast milk, but she didn't like being spoon-fed. While we cooled our heels for a few weeks I learned about baby-led weaning, and by about eight months she was ready to go. The key to this method is that the baby is in control -- apart from placing food on her tray, you don't actually feed her. She inspects the food, chooses what she wants, and feeds herself.

Rapley and Murkett are careful and thorough (yet friendly and conversational) in addressing concerns about choking, allergies, and so on. But the immediate benefit of BLW is that it is SO much easier to give your baby real food than to deal with steaming and pureeing (what a bore!). Soon after we started, my daughter was eating solid apples -- we'd cut them into the appropriate finger shape and she'd shave bits of apple flesh off with her two little teeth. Now she loves eating from a whole apple; I eat a chunk of it to expose the flesh, and off she goes. At nine months she has eaten uncooked apples and pears, whole cooked peas and carrot sticks, buttered whole-wheat toast, cheese, pasta, sausage, chicken, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, curried vegetables, and basmati rice, all using her hands, and she drinks water from a regular cup with assistance. It's thrilling to watch her engage with new tastes and textures. She doesn't eat everything we offer, but she's getting more and more enthusiastic about new things.
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106 of 115 people found the following review helpful By another newmama on March 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
If your child is exclusively breastfed for 6 months, all you need to do is read the babyledweaning website, and you're off to the races. BLW is pretty easy: you can feed baby most things that you eat (with a "don't be stupid" rule: not so much pepper that it hurts his/her mouth, no milk except mama's milk before 12 months, no chokable foods like raw carrots & nuts, make grapes and blueberries safer by halving or squashing them, etc.). The wonderful thing about this approach is that you don't have to buy or cook special foods, nor do you need special apparatus and instructions. When he was 6 months old, our baby was having none of a spoon stuck in his face. But when we gave him solid food from our plates at breakfast and dinner, he played with the food for about a week, then started eating like a champ. Our 11-month-old now eats everything except meatballs (he doesn't seem to like them), and has been drinking unassisted from a cup since about 9.5 months. It's fun, and free. I'd read the website, save the money on this book, and spend it on bibs with sleeves instead.

For the one commenter who said she wasn't aware of what doctors' associations said about BLW, I believe that NHS (National Health Service of the UK) has approved it, and it's also quite normal in the Netherlands. Recently, a study has shown that kids who are BLW end up with healthier eating habits than mush-fed kids. Although hey, most of us were mush-fed, and we still learned how to eat eventually.
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96 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Bay Area Mom on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because nothing about feeding my baby solids has seemed intuitive. This seemed like the answer, and the book makes a good case for starting babies on real solids instead of purees. However, after watching my baby gag on broccoli, apple, and just about everything we gave him, we decided to go back to purees. The book specifically says that gagging is okay, and it's different from choking, and I get that. But try watching your baby gag - it's pretty terrifying. We reached into his mouth to pull out pieces of food on a few occasions.

If you look online at all the blogs about BLW, you see a lot of positives and not a lot of critiques. I can't find any doctor organizations that have weighed in on it. Ironically, trying this approach gave me more confidence in my ability to read my baby's cues, and I feel pretty good about sticking with purees for now and maybe trying tiny pieces of finger food soon. I was fed that way, and I am a good eater!

I think this book is worth reading, but that parents should feel empowered to trust their instincts. There is nothing evil about purees, and I think some babies just do better on the puree-chunky-finger foods track...The book even mentions that in some cultures mothers will pre-chew meats to give to their babies, but then it says to go ahead and offer your 6-month old strips of steak...I just was not comfortable with that. Balance what you read with what you observe in your baby and trust yourself!
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Julie H on August 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a firm believer that BLW is the ideal way to introduce your baby to solid foods. And the information presented in the book is good. However, you can find all of the basics on BLW online, so the book really isn't necessary. We found BLW to be very intuitive, and so did not really need an "instruction manual". I also found the information in the book to be a bit repetitive. There is really only so much to say about BLW before you just start repeating yourself! However, for someone who knows nothing about BLW, this book would probably be great.

So it is an excellent concept, and one that I wish more parents would adapt. But the book is a bit unnecessary unless you are completely unfamiliar with BLW.
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