Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater

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Overview

The Natural, No-Fuss, No-Purée Method for Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods

“[Baby-Led Weaning] makes life so much easier.” —The Times, London

Baby-Led Weaning explodes the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed and shows why self-feeding from the start of the weaning process is the healthiest way for your child to develop. With baby-led weaning (BLW, for short), you can skip...

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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

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Overview

The Natural, No-Fuss, No-Purée Method for Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods

“[Baby-Led Weaning] makes life so much easier.” —The Times, London

Baby-Led Weaning explodes the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed and shows why self-feeding from the start of the weaning process is the healthiest way for your child to develop. With baby-led weaning (BLW, for short), you can skip purées and make the transition to solid food by following your baby’s cues.

At about six months, most babies are ready to join the family at the kitchen table and discover food for themselves. Baby-Led Weaning is the definitive guide to this crucial period in your child’s development, and shows you how to help your baby:

  • Participate in family meals right from the start
  • Experiment with food at his or her own pace
  • Develop new abilities, including hand-eye coordination and chewing
  • Learn to love a variety of foods and to enjoy mealtimes

Baby-led weaning became a parenting phenomenon in the UK practically overnight, inspiring a fast-growing and now international online community of parents who practice baby-led weaning—with blogs and pictures to prove it! In Baby-Led Weaning, world-leading BLW authority Gill Rapley and early BLW practitioner and coauthor Tracey Murkett deliver everything you need to know about raising healthy, confident eaters.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615190218
  • Publisher: Experiment, The
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 63,249
  • Product dimensions: 7.48 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction xiii

1 What Is Baby-Led Weaning? 1

What is Weaning? 1

Why BLW is Different 2

Why BLW Makes Sense 4

When Should a Baby Start Solids? 5

Why Is Some Baby Food Labeled as Suitable from Four Months? 9

Baby-Led Weaning Isn't New 11

A Brief History of Feeding Babies 11

The Trouble with Spoon-Feeding 14

The Benefits of BLW 20

Are There Any Disadvantages? 28

2 How Does Baby-Led Weaning Work? 30

Growing Skills 30

Baby-Led Weaning and Breast-feeding 35

The Motivation to Feed 37

Needing Extra Nutrients 39

Moving Away from Milk Feedings 40

Developing the Ability to Chew 41

The "Window of Opportunity" 43

Eating Enough but Not Too Much: Learning Appetite Control 44

Won't He Choke? 46

Do Babies Really Know What They Need to Eat? 50

Q&A 52

3 Getting Started 62

Preparing for BLW 62

When to "Eat" 63

Finger Food 66

Improving Coordination 67

Offering Rather Than Giving 69

How Much Food to Offer 70

Having a Clean Plate 73

Rejecting Food 74

Helping Your Baby to Learn 75

Dealing with Frustration 77

Allowing Enough Time 78

No Pressure 79

Eating Together 79

Expect Mess 83

Equipment 86

The Secrets of Successful BLW 90

Q&A 92

4 First Foods 95

Basic Principles 95

Foods to Avoid 96

Allergy Triggers 102

Fat 105

Fiber 105

Adapting Food in the Early Months 106

Dips and Dippers 113

Breakfast 114

Easy Snacks and Food on the Move 117

Desserts 118

Q&A 119

5 After the Early Days 129

Progressing at Your Baby's Pace 129

Adventurous Taste Buds 131

Learning About Textures 135

Runny Foods 137

Feast and Famine 138

Your Baby's Diaper 139

Eating Enough: Learning to Trust Your Baby 141

Telling You She's Had Enough 144

Food Fads 146

Drinks 148

Dropping Milk Feedings 150

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner-Plus Snacks 154

6 Baby-Led Weaning and Family Life 157

Maintaining a Baby-Led Approach 157

Silverware 158

Cups 162

Table Manners 163

Eating Out 165

Self-Service 169

Bribes, Rewards, and Punishments 171

Avoiding the Emotional Battleground 173

Going Back to Work 176

7 A Healthy Diet for Everyone 182

The Importance of Healthy Eating 182

Knowing the Basics 185

Variety is the Spice of Life! 186

Junk Food 188

Vegetarians and Vegans 189

Getting the Best Out of the Food You Buy 190

A Basic Guide to Nutrients 192

Did You Know? 196

8 Troubleshooting 200

Conclusion 219

Appendix 1 The Story of Baby-Led Weaning 221

Appendix 2 Basic Rules for Food Safety 223

References 227

Photo Credits 229

Acknowledgments 231

Index 233

About the Authors 239

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    Very Helpful

    The authors explain in detail the concept of baby-led weaning including the potential pitfalls that could be associated with it. They make it easy to start with your child as I have with my 6 month old.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    LOVE IT!

    Very informative. The best way to feed a baby is to trust then to do it themselves! :)
    Wish it was on the shelves of bookstores in the U.S, so more people would be inclined to read it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Chris

    Weee

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Ixora

    Sighs*

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    CTF FOREST

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    do not recommend at all

    This system is downright dangerous. A young baby could easily choke and does not have the oral experience to manage this. As a developmental specialist I strongly disagree with the concept !!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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