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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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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
The benefits are great”
[Baby-led weaning] makes life so much easier.”
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.”
I see many happy children, who chose their own food independently and eat at their own pace.”
Stefan Kleintjes, pediatric dietitian
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
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
The thing I really love about baby led weaning is that my son can actively participate in family meals . . . I love that I don’t have to cook 2 different meals, I simply have to adjust our family meal to ensure it’s suitable for him . . . We’re having a blast watching our little men truly learn to enjoy and appreciate food in all of its glory. And it’s SO much easier than purees!”
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)
About the Author
Gill Rapley, a public health nurse for 20 years and the mother of three, originated the theory of baby-led weaning while pursuing her master’s degree. Tracey Murkett, a freelance writer and journalist, followed baby-led weaning with her daughter.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Once I got my hands on the BLW Cookbook, I was really upset about the amount of time I wasted reading this book.
Do yourself a favor and skip to the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook.
The ENTIRE Baby-Led Weaning book is summarized in the first chapter of the cookbook.
Gill Rapley says gagging is normal, but she doesn't get into detail, and therein lies a fault of this book. Occasional gagging - yes, normal. Not repeated gagging. Baby-Led Weaning both cursed us (by making us think gagging was normal and not looking for help for far too long) and saved us (our baby gagged even worse on purees and might have developed a complete food aversion instead of an 80% food aversion if we had pushed purees instead).
Babies with swallowing issues can sometimes handle purees better than adult textures (or sometimes handle them much worse). But switching to purees is not the answer, because unremedied swallowing issues can lead to years and years of food aversions and a miserable eating experience for child and parents. If you are in a city where there is no real expert on posterior tongue tie, and everyone tells you your child is fine...keep looking for someone who knows a little more. It could be another swallowing issue, but it's unlikely to be "nothing" and "normal." End of rant. Good luck to all of you.
So far baby led weening has been great for us. Our baby is only 6 months 11 days, so he isn't actually eating yet, but he is playing with food we are eating. Not dealing with pureed baby food has been so nice and saved us lots of time and money. And we're meat and potatoes kind of folks, we're not health freaks, and still find that it works for us. We just make sure to pull his foods out of the mix right away so that have enough time to cool. If we're having salted steak, we cut him off a piece and cook it first before salt is added to the pan. I test the temp on foods by grabbing it with my own hand first just like a baby would, it's really simple. And cleanup really isn't bad. After dinner, while my husbands bathing him I do quick clean up of his highchair and the floor around it, though it does help that we have hardwood and not carpet. Also, we put him in his chair in just a diaper to try to keep his onesies from staining. He always gets a bath right after dinner, so it works great. It's easy once you're in a routine.
As my baby approached six months, I began to dread the move to solids -- I just didn't foresee having time to steam and puree all the different foods I wanted him to try. And I didn't want to go with premade baby food (expensive, questionable ingredients, etc.). So baby-led weaning saved us!
The book itself is thoughtfully written, and it resolved any questions and fears I had about handing over full piece of roasted broccoli to my barely-sitting-up baby. The book is easy to read, and it was very helpful in explaining all the whys and hows of baby-led weaning. I also loved that it prepared me for defending this method when nervous grandparents questioned the safety of it all.
Some have said they don't think reading a book about BLW is necessary, since there is ample info online and it can be an intuitive process. But for me, as a first-time mom who is prone to worries, I found the book to be incredibly helpful and reassuring.