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Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food

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Contrary to popular belief, there is no research that supports the current mainstream view that babies should be weaned by being spoon-fed purées. Self-feeding allows babies to use their natural abilities to explore taste, texture, colour and smell. It encourages independence and confidence by allowing them to experiment with foods at their own pace and helps to develop ha Contrary to popular belief, there is no research that supports the current mainstream view that babies should be weaned by being spoon-fed purées. Self-feeding allows babies to use their natural abilities to explore taste, texture, colour and smell. It encourages independence and confidence by allowing them to experiment with foods at their own pace and helps to develop hand-eye coordination and chewing. Baby-led Weaning is a practical and authoritative guide to introducing solid food, enabling your child to grow up a happy and confident eater. It shows parents why baby-led weaning makes sense and gives them the confidence to trust their baby's natural skills and instincts. With practical tips for getting started and the low-down on what to expect, Baby-led Weaning explodes the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed and shows why self-feeding from the start is the healthiest way for your child to develop. Your baby is allowed to decide how much he wants to eat, how to eat it and to experiment with everything at his own pace. Baby-led weaning is a common-sense, safe, easy and enjoyable approach to feeding your baby. No more purées and weaning spoons, and no more mealtime battles. Simply let your baby feed himself healthy family food.

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Contrary to popular belief, there is no research that supports the current mainstream view that babies should be weaned by being spoon-fed purées. Self-feeding allows babies to use their natural abilities to explore taste, texture, colour and smell. It encourages independence and confidence by allowing them to experiment with foods at their own pace and helps to develop ha Contrary to popular belief, there is no research that supports the current mainstream view that babies should be weaned by being spoon-fed purées. Self-feeding allows babies to use their natural abilities to explore taste, texture, colour and smell. It encourages independence and confidence by allowing them to experiment with foods at their own pace and helps to develop hand-eye coordination and chewing. Baby-led Weaning is a practical and authoritative guide to introducing solid food, enabling your child to grow up a happy and confident eater. It shows parents why baby-led weaning makes sense and gives them the confidence to trust their baby's natural skills and instincts. With practical tips for getting started and the low-down on what to expect, Baby-led Weaning explodes the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed and shows why self-feeding from the start is the healthiest way for your child to develop. Your baby is allowed to decide how much he wants to eat, how to eat it and to experiment with everything at his own pace. Baby-led weaning is a common-sense, safe, easy and enjoyable approach to feeding your baby. No more purées and weaning spoons, and no more mealtime battles. Simply let your baby feed himself healthy family food.

30 review for Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aban (Aby)

    I try to keep up with my daughter's reading about child rearing, since it gives me an understanding of her approach to raising her baby, my precious granddaughter. I am so glad I read this book! When my daughter started introducing finger foods to her six month old, and I saw the little one 'gag', I was horrified and thought she was about to choke! I was used to babies having pureed foods and had a hard time understanding that babies could eat everything their parents eat (within reason)and that I try to keep up with my daughter's reading about child rearing, since it gives me an understanding of her approach to raising her baby, my precious granddaughter. I am so glad I read this book! When my daughter started introducing finger foods to her six month old, and I saw the little one 'gag', I was horrified and thought she was about to choke! I was used to babies having pureed foods and had a hard time understanding that babies could eat everything their parents eat (within reason)and that they should feed themselves from day one of weaning. This book helped me understand my daughter's approach to solid foods and re-assured me that my granddaughter would not choke to death or starve because of it! I learned much that I had not known before: - The latest thinking is that babies should not be introduced to solids until six months of age. - They can be given much the same food as their family, as long as the food is such that they can grasp it in their little hands. - In the first few months, babies will play with solid foods, exploring their color, smell, texture, but that is no reason to worry, as they are still gaining their main nutrients from their mother's milk. - Given sufficient exposure to a variety of foods, babies will learn the skills for feeding themselves and will also take whatever they need. They may not take a balanced meal in one go but will, over days, take what is required. - They need to eat with the family and be given all the time they need to feed. - Babies do not need to be spoon-fed by adults. Given time and opportunity, they will learn to feed themselves. - Yes, mealtimes will be messy, but that's OK! - Most important of all they will not choke over solids. Babies have a gaging reflex that prevents large pieces of food approaching the air-passage, and they will cough out food they cannot swallow, PROVIDED they are sitting upright. - With this approach, where babies are given both opportunity and time to feed themselves, parents can avoid the possibility of their babies eating too fast or too much, and so avoid having children who are obese. This is a major factor in today's world where so many adults and children are overweight. This book provided me with the knowledge to relax and go along with my daughter's approach. Because of it I can anticipate watching (with pleasure) my granddaughter learn to feed herself. This ties in with raising an independent, confident, child . . . the goal of childrearing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This isn't bad, although far too anecdote focused for my taste and oddly (defensively?) repetitious about not needing to be concerned if your baby isn't chubby - that focusing on that is somehow old fashioned and raises the spectre of obesity which is just plain odd. One of the interesting things about baby books is the crazy insistence on One Right Way and a weird distortion of facts to ensure that parents don't make the wrong decision (according to the expert) when faced with ambiguous science This isn't bad, although far too anecdote focused for my taste and oddly (defensively?) repetitious about not needing to be concerned if your baby isn't chubby - that focusing on that is somehow old fashioned and raises the spectre of obesity which is just plain odd. One of the interesting things about baby books is the crazy insistence on One Right Way and a weird distortion of facts to ensure that parents don't make the wrong decision (according to the expert) when faced with ambiguous science. This book suffers from that a bit too, but overall, if you leave out the logical fallacies of this-causes-this so that-can't-cause-this-it-must-cause-the-opposite and correlation not causation (so - I fed my baby this way, he has a healthy relationship with food, therefore if you feed your baby that way, you deserve the picky eater/obese kid you're gonna get) you will run into some sensible advice, like not resorting to airplane and shoveling food into your kid if s/he doesn't want it, providing finger foods and accepting the messiness, giving the baby what you're eating rather than preparing something totally different, not worrying so much about choking. Oh, another odd thing: the book is sure that preparing purées and single ingredient baby food is onerous, but if you've got a microwave and a food processor or a steamer basket and potato masher this is clearly not the case, so it's another make the fact fit the theory for me. What I find creepy about all these books is how once read, their words become aphorisms restated all over the Internet and in momversations. "So much easier than making purées" (really? Making your food with no spices/salt or changing your family diet is easier than putting a pear in a blender and having six baby meals done?) "It must be a wonder week" regardless of time (or, you know, babies are not consistent in their moods or behaviors because they're people not automatons), "blowouts don't happen with cloth diapers" or "blowouts only happen with cloth diapers", or the dreaded boys-r-this-way-girls-rthat-way I know cuz I have two boys and one girl and one of the boys is all BoyStereotype and the other one isn't but obviously he's an anomaly cause I have the one stereotypical one, "food before one is just for fun" (right, food is complementary to milk/formula but this is going a bit far and explains the defensiveness on the skinny vs chubby baby front), etc. It's like a sea of refusal to admit that there isn't one right way in the face of our need to blame everything on something, primarily on parenting style or parenting choices so we can pretend it is all within our control. Or should be within that other parent's control, anyway, why is her kid a biter?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I definitely plan to use this method to introduce solids. However, the book itself was not much more useful then the website. The authors repeated themselves a lot. I think they were trying to find a way to fill up a whole book but failed at that. But redundancy aside, this book did raise my confidence in trying this with my daughter. I liked the explanations about the gag reflex as well as as their logic for things like 'if they are eating enough' and 'giving the baby control of feeding and cho I definitely plan to use this method to introduce solids. However, the book itself was not much more useful then the website. The authors repeated themselves a lot. I think they were trying to find a way to fill up a whole book but failed at that. But redundancy aside, this book did raise my confidence in trying this with my daughter. I liked the explanations about the gag reflex as well as as their logic for things like 'if they are eating enough' and 'giving the baby control of feeding and choices'. So I would probably recommend the website first (http://www.baby-led.com/). Then if someone was still unsure about using this method with their baby I'd recommend the book. Most of what is touched on on the website is repeated in the book with just some further explanation.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I loved this book so much I read through the entire thing in a day. We had already decided to do BLW before we bought this book, so we required very little convincing. Still, this book presented some of the research done on BLW and contained TONS of personal anecdotes by BLW parents, all of which really solidified our resolve to take this approach with our son. I really enjoyed the relaxed approach to solids advocated by this book. The only reason I gave it 3 stars was because the dietary informa I loved this book so much I read through the entire thing in a day. We had already decided to do BLW before we bought this book, so we required very little convincing. Still, this book presented some of the research done on BLW and contained TONS of personal anecdotes by BLW parents, all of which really solidified our resolve to take this approach with our son. I really enjoyed the relaxed approach to solids advocated by this book. The only reason I gave it 3 stars was because the dietary information was a little off. They advocate using the USDA Food Pyramid as a guide, but research is showing that such a diet not only does NOT prevent heart disease and obesity, but can actually contribute to it (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gener...). Furthermore, the authors claim that babies need saturated fats and cholesterol more than adults and that they can contribute to heart disease later in life. Does anyone buy the logic of this statement? Why would something considered to be good, nay essential, for a baby's health and development suddenly become unhealthy? We become accustomed to these foods only to be told we can't eat them anymore? And when do these foods magically go from healthy to unhealthy? Does it happen gradually or at a certain age? ("Sorry, Timmy. You're 7 years old now...no more butter.") Even as the so-called lipid hypothesis of heart disease is being disproven (http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com...) people are still clinging to the idea that saturated animal fats (which humans have been consuming for thousands of years) will kill us. If you want to prevent obesity and heart disease in your kids, feed them full-fat dairy, butter, eggs, and fatty meat and limit their consumption of sugars, including grains and starches.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cass

    I hate when common-sense parenting methods get labelled with a phrase and we all begin referring to it by the term. e.g. "Did you BLW?". Baby led weaning is very simply letting your child wean themselves naturally. You don't give them special foods, you don't buy or make fancy purees, and there is no need for any "toddler food" recipe books. You cook the family dinner, you serve it up and you all eat. I used this method and it works. The huge problem that I have with this book is the contradiction I hate when common-sense parenting methods get labelled with a phrase and we all begin referring to it by the term. e.g. "Did you BLW?". Baby led weaning is very simply letting your child wean themselves naturally. You don't give them special foods, you don't buy or make fancy purees, and there is no need for any "toddler food" recipe books. You cook the family dinner, you serve it up and you all eat. I used this method and it works. The huge problem that I have with this book is the contradiction in ideals that it displays. On one hand it encourages you to do things naturally and just let your child eat whatever you are eating. This is great advice, not only is it a much simpler way for your child to learn to eat, it also requires less effort on your part (no extra cooking), and your child learns to enjoy the foods that you eat (kids need to taste foods multiple times to develop a like for them). So feeding kids what you are eating is perfect. So the book advocates for this, which seems like a really wholesome natural, back-to-our-roots kind of thing to do. Then we contrast this with the book telling you exactly what you need to feed your child. e.g. you must give whole broccoli stalks to your child, and not panic when they gag. This part of the book (and the subsequent movement) completely rankles me. Basically the book is telling you to ignore your instincts, which I cannot support. My personal belief is that if you feel the need to puree, mash, or pre-chew the dinner in order to make it easier for you child to eat, then that is absolutely what you should do, you are all are the mother. I still don't get what BLW supporters don't see how conflicting the two ideas are.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Desinka

    A great guide to BLW. I wish it was more synthesized. Some things were repeated at least 10 times. I missed some specifics as to what foods are a good idea to introduce first and how many foods to offer at once.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    I think the intention of this book was good, but the writing was terrible. The author simply repeats herself over and over again in order to draw out her thoughts into a full book. She could have simply stated the facts and made it into almost a pamphlet size read. I also feel there should be a bit more of a warning in here about foods such as apples, beans, and roughage. My child did not do well with said items and ended up in the ER twice. Ultimately this was my fault but I just don't feel tha I think the intention of this book was good, but the writing was terrible. The author simply repeats herself over and over again in order to draw out her thoughts into a full book. She could have simply stated the facts and made it into almost a pamphlet size read. I also feel there should be a bit more of a warning in here about foods such as apples, beans, and roughage. My child did not do well with said items and ended up in the ER twice. Ultimately this was my fault but I just don't feel that the BLW has a full grasp on the details of this approach to eating. Perhaps the editors should be blamed. I'm not sure as I am not the professional. I found myself skipping over page after page thinking, "I just read this!"

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Meh. I liked a lot of the ideas in this book - feed a baby what adults are eating, let them decide when to feed themselves, let them choose from several options at mealtimes. The ideas behind these things were to raise a child who was not picky and was confident. Well, the problem with the book is that it is not based on any sort of science. It's completely anecdotal and frankly some of the anecdotes seem kind of forced. There's no evidence that feeding babies purees is in any way bad, and in fact Meh. I liked a lot of the ideas in this book - feed a baby what adults are eating, let them decide when to feed themselves, let them choose from several options at mealtimes. The ideas behind these things were to raise a child who was not picky and was confident. Well, the problem with the book is that it is not based on any sort of science. It's completely anecdotal and frankly some of the anecdotes seem kind of forced. There's no evidence that feeding babies purees is in any way bad, and in fact I was fed that way, and I'm the most secure, adventurous eater I know. It has influenced me to give Sasha pieces of food now and then to see what she does with them - like turkey cold cut in the grocery store, piece of cantaloupe, green bean from my plate at dinner. That's fun and I think it's good for her to experiment. But if the book were more rigorously researched, I'd have better reason to omit cereals and purees - which for now I am not.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Leave it to me to think I need to read a book about introducing solids to my THIRD child. It's not like I haven't done this before. But with my first two, it was frustrating, stressful, and many times not fun. I'm hoping to change all of that this go-around. While I liked the subject and totally agree with the premise, the execution was highly repetitive (how many times can you say "trust your baby and let him eat as his own pace"?)and aggravatingly simplistic (do you really think I need you to t Leave it to me to think I need to read a book about introducing solids to my THIRD child. It's not like I haven't done this before. But with my first two, it was frustrating, stressful, and many times not fun. I'm hoping to change all of that this go-around. While I liked the subject and totally agree with the premise, the execution was highly repetitive (how many times can you say "trust your baby and let him eat as his own pace"?)and aggravatingly simplistic (do you really think I need you to tell me that if I want to cut down on the mess, a bib is quite useful?). My very favorite want-to-poke-my-eyes-out-because-I-can't-believe-you're-telling-me-this sentence was about introducing drinks: "As long as you aren't using something that could break if she bit it (such as a wineglass), or drinking something unsuitable (such as alcohol), just let her try." Thank you SO MUCH for the clarifications. Also, in some ways this book stressed me out less (because I think introducing food, as well as mealtimes, will be so much easier), but in other ways it stressed me out more (because so much of the book focused on nutritious food and watching the salt and sugar content in what we normally think of as "healthy" foods). So the long and short of it is this gets four stars for the subject, but said subject could have been contained in its entirety in a pamphlet instead of 226 pages.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Arbuthnot

    This is one of the more militant parenting books I’ve read. There is no grey area or allowance for any horrible purées to touch your precious baby’s lips. Given that the authors speak with such authority, and condemn most other feeding guidelines, I was surprised that they didn’t include any in text citations, and only had 9 references (one from 1928? Seriously?). There is also inaccurate information about introducing allergens. There are some interesting ideas, but it’s hard to wade through all This is one of the more militant parenting books I’ve read. There is no grey area or allowance for any horrible purées to touch your precious baby’s lips. Given that the authors speak with such authority, and condemn most other feeding guidelines, I was surprised that they didn’t include any in text citations, and only had 9 references (one from 1928? Seriously?). There is also inaccurate information about introducing allergens. There are some interesting ideas, but it’s hard to wade through all the self righteousness and testimonials to get at the useful bits. Could probably just have made a pamphlet with the words, baby eats what you do, don’t stress about it too much.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    This book suffered from too much preaching about how great this way of feeding your child is and how horrible purées are--some of the things they say aren't even true based on my experiences (ie. your baby will hate all purees, they're too time consuming, you're going to raise an overweight picky eater etc). It also falls into the trap of many parenting books that idealize this mythic 19th century child rearing model where everyone gave birth naturally and painlessly, breastfed effortlessly and This book suffered from too much preaching about how great this way of feeding your child is and how horrible purées are--some of the things they say aren't even true based on my experiences (ie. your baby will hate all purees, they're too time consuming, you're going to raise an overweight picky eater etc). It also falls into the trap of many parenting books that idealize this mythic 19th century child rearing model where everyone gave birth naturally and painlessly, breastfed effortlessly and gave their children a selection of healthful foods from six months without pureeing. Once the book got to the mechanics and suggestions of how to my interest was sustained a bit better

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I used this method (I've also seen it called self-feeding in the US) with both kids so far and absolutely love it. It is both easier and, in my experience, far more successful at creating kids with healthy food attitudes. Babies don't have to be fed purees from a spoon. They can learn to feed themselves the same foods the rest of the family eats from about 6 months on. Adults just have to suppress their concerns about babies eating the "right" amounts and learn to trust that the baby can listen I used this method (I've also seen it called self-feeding in the US) with both kids so far and absolutely love it. It is both easier and, in my experience, far more successful at creating kids with healthy food attitudes. Babies don't have to be fed purees from a spoon. They can learn to feed themselves the same foods the rest of the family eats from about 6 months on. Adults just have to suppress their concerns about babies eating the "right" amounts and learn to trust that the baby can listen to his/her own body regarding hunger and feeding. This book is a UK book which is obvious from the terms and wording (weaning means introducing solids, not ceasing breastfeeding), but it explains itself well even when terms conflict generally. It is very user-friendly and written in a low-stress, friendly advice way, but in a way that really makes the reader think about why we have medicalized everything about parenthood, from birth to breastfeeding to solid food introduction and so on. This is going to be one of my go-to baby shower gifts from now on, I think - I always try to find things to give that help parents understand that trusting their instincts tends to work out better than blindly following the advice of doctors!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I was reading this book concurrently with Child of Mine and Parents Need to Eat Too, and there was a lot of similar information - babies can eat a lot of the things parents eat, there's no need to rush solids, meals should be enjoyable. Baby-Led Weaning had a lot of good suggestions for potential foods as well, but it was a bit extremist in some respects. The authors's take was that if the baby can't feed it to himself he doesn't need to be eating it. No purees or mesh feeders. In my (admittedly I was reading this book concurrently with Child of Mine and Parents Need to Eat Too, and there was a lot of similar information - babies can eat a lot of the things parents eat, there's no need to rush solids, meals should be enjoyable. Baby-Led Weaning had a lot of good suggestions for potential foods as well, but it was a bit extremist in some respects. The authors's take was that if the baby can't feed it to himself he doesn't need to be eating it. No purees or mesh feeders. In my (admittedly extremely limited) experience those tools allow a baby to enjoy some foods that would otherwise be really frustrating. He won't be using the mesh feeder to eat bananas a year from now, but for now banana is awesome and extremely slippery, a problem solved by the feeder. Anyway, like most parenting advice books , some helpful bits and some bits I'll just ignore.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Callie Hornbuckle

    I like the idea of food as sensory play, and not obsessing over how much the baby eats at first. There was a whiff of "your baby will be ruined if you don't do it this way," which I took with a big grain of salt. And the book was quite repetitive - the key concepts could easily be reduced to key points on a single sheet of paper. Despite all that, I found the arguments for waiting until 6 months and avoiding purees to be compelling enough that I will strongly consider following this method.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tory

    At first glance, it can be assumed that this book is about how to wean your nursing child. Actually, this book doesn't address this at all; its focus is solely on how to introduce your baby to solid foods in a way that complements their natural instincts and developmental ability (hence it is called "baby-led weaning"). I found this book to be full of great tips and I have found that my daughter responds well to the BLW practices I have tried.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    The basic concept behind "baby-led weaning" is so simple that it doesn't really need a book to explain it, but since we're used to feeding babies being complicated, a book still seems necessary. I found this very helpful and reassuring, and it gave me a lot of great ideas for how to cheerfully introduce solid food.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julia Tulloh Harper

    The basic premise of this book is good - let your baby feed themselves, feed them what you eat (as opposed to preparing special 'baby foods', like purees). I think you could get the actual practical info online though without going through this whole book which is pretty repetitive and self-righteous. The tone of this book is annoying- the author is also extremely dogmatic for someone who has very little science to back up their claims ('Baby led weaning' seems based on her masters degree researc The basic premise of this book is good - let your baby feed themselves, feed them what you eat (as opposed to preparing special 'baby foods', like purees). I think you could get the actual practical info online though without going through this whole book which is pretty repetitive and self-righteous. The tone of this book is annoying- the author is also extremely dogmatic for someone who has very little science to back up their claims ('Baby led weaning' seems based on her masters degree research, which, as far as I could see online, had a sample size of five - FIVE - infants). I'm not saying the actual info in the book is wrong - most of it seems to be good common sense (for example: baby eating is messy so don't stress about it, feed them a wide variety of healthy foods, don't let your baby choke). But the relentless way in which the writer basically shames parents who puree-feed their babies is pretty tiring, especially when her claims about purees aren't even accurate in my experience. In the book purees are consistently presented as a way of 'force feeding' your child (whereas my baby loves them, can't get enough -AND she likes finger foods too, one doesn't have to cancel out the other!) and purees are also presented as a time-consuming evil (but really, blending veggies is a thousand times faster than preparing dinner for my husband and myself). The author also presents BLW as the panacea to a range of ills (BLW and your baby will never overeat! They will never be fussy about their food! They will have a better digestive tract! They will have more developed fine-motor skills!) again with no evidence (literally no citations in the whole book). What is most worrying are the repetitive claims that breast milk is enough for your child even if they don't eat solids till 10 months or later, which is untrue - babies can develop a serious iron deficiency if iron-rich foods aren't introduced from around 6 months. Again, the basic premise is great - but I don't think you need the book. I think getting the practical info from the website, as well as discussing eating solids with your doctor and maternal/child health nurse, and getting practical tips from other mums, would be more productive.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Cannon

    I love the basic idea of baby-led weaning, and the specific practical tips that this book gives about how to introduce a baby to solid foods. The rest of the book, not so much. It’s a lot crunchier than I expected, and has some outdated ideas (like that it’s harmful for babies to start solid foods before six months, or that parents should as wait as long as possible to introduce common allergens). There are a lot of emotional appeals about how doctors have tried to give parents misguided advice I love the basic idea of baby-led weaning, and the specific practical tips that this book gives about how to introduce a baby to solid foods. The rest of the book, not so much. It’s a lot crunchier than I expected, and has some outdated ideas (like that it’s harmful for babies to start solid foods before six months, or that parents should as wait as long as possible to introduce common allergens). There are a lot of emotional appeals about how doctors have tried to give parents misguided advice for decades but parents just know intuitively that this is the right approach, which I found so off-putting that it took me a long time to push through to the actual practical information. The author is also clearly unfamiliar with how formula feeding works, and seems to have based what she says about formula feeding on her own guesses rather than anything she’s heard from a doctor or even a formula-feeding parent. Some head-scratchers: the idea that formula-fed babies can’t control how much milk they get (has she ever seen a baby push away a bottle, or hold their own bottle?), and the downright dangerous advice that parents should give formula-fed babies water to drink even before starting solids (please don’t do this unless your doctor tells you to!). A lot of space is devoted to selling parents on the idea of baby-led weaning (I already know I want to do this; that’s why I bought the book!) and warning about the dangers of long-term eating problems from spoon-feeding a baby (I was over the fearmongering about feeding babies the “wrong” way long before we started solids, thanks). There’s enough solid advice in this book that I’m glad I read it (I was very grateful for the section about gagging vs. choking the first time my baby gagged on her food), but my advice would be to skim through to find all the practical bits and skip the rest.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andreea Lucau

    I was not convinced that blw is for me, but after reading this book, it changed my perspective. I only hope I will be able to deal with all the mess and pressure to spoon feed the baby.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    This book had great explanations, scientific background, and applicable tips for BLW. We will be doing this with our daughter and I will be referring back for food ideas and reassurance of what to expect throughout the process.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aisha

    Helpful reinforcement to feed baby food, also backed up by the dietician. Quite useful for suggestions when getting started and reminders that babies can eat most anything I can.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Other than the central premise of the book, which can be summarized in its entirety as "your baby can feed themselves", this book was maddeningly dull. Perhaps its because I possess just the tiniest amount of knowledge of food and cooking and eating, but it seemed as though 85% of this book was common sense. To be fair, the first few pages were mind-blowing to me, purely because I had assumed I would be feeding my baby purees. So all it took were a few basic facts about baby self-feeding before Other than the central premise of the book, which can be summarized in its entirety as "your baby can feed themselves", this book was maddeningly dull. Perhaps its because I possess just the tiniest amount of knowledge of food and cooking and eating, but it seemed as though 85% of this book was common sense. To be fair, the first few pages were mind-blowing to me, purely because I had assumed I would be feeding my baby purees. So all it took were a few basic facts about baby self-feeding before I was sold. As others have noted, this book could have been a pamphlet, not 239 pages. This book was clearly written by and for mothers who both 1) worry about everything and 2) are surrounded by family and friends who constantly weigh in on how they are parenting and thus need an arsenal of explanations to defend their own choices and 3) Need 239 pages of reassurance that everything will be OK and 4) are utterly lacking confidence that they will make discoveries about how to feed their child along a bumpy road, and thus need a detailed map of every conceivably possible obstacle that they might encounter. This book is exhausting, and depressing. I kept reading though, because there were a handful of useful nuggets sprinkled sparsely throughout. So maybe I can spare you the agony of wading through the repetition, conjecture, obvious statements, and overblown worries by summarizing the salient parts. 1. Babies do not like to be force-fed mush on a spoon. They are programmed to want to copy their parents and do become independent and explore different textures. Eating should be fun. 2. The process of figuring out how to chew and swallow a wide variety of types of food can help the fine muscles required for talking, so it might help the development of speech. 3. Younger babies gag reflex is triggered much closer to the front of the mouth than older babies and adults, which might help prevent choking on food before the baby is ready to swallow. 4. Don't worry if your baby is not consuming large quantities of food before age 1. Trust that when baby needs food for the extra nutrients, they will eat. 5. Trust that your baby will choose the foods that they need. They often go through "fads" where they will only want to eat one or two types of food. This is common, and it means that the baby needs some nutrient in that food. Every child has unique tastes and nutritional needs. 6. Trust that your baby will not decide to live off of chocolate chips. Babies who have control over what they eat, for whom eating is enjoyable, will most likely choose a balanced diet for optimal health. 7. As for dos and don'ts foodwise for the under-one crowd: No honey, no nuts, limit tuna and sardines (mercury), slice grapes down the middle, limit high-fiber foods (like bran) that can be too filling, limit salt. No packaged food, no junk food, no sugary deserts. Talk to your pediatrician about introducing foods if your family has a history of allergies or intolerances. OK, that's it! If you still have questions after reading this, then by all means go ahead and read the whole book. Bonus: there were some truly weird passages in the book too, including: 1) A complaint from a mother who claimed that making purees for her child took two hours each night. LADY. What are you doing? 2) Seemingly 34.6% of this book could be summarized as: "Baby-Led Weaning is Messy, OMG, How will you ever survive - but don't worry, you can clean up the mess! Babies are babies." 3) A food suggestion that made me laugh out loud: "celery (strings removed)". HAHAHA. Can you imagine? I'm crying laughing thinking about spending 20 minutes de-stringing celery (which has like zero calories and trace nutrients anyway) only for baby to reject it. HAHA. 4) This totally weird anecdote, provided without citation: "There is research that suggests that we get particular enjoyment out of eating crunchy foods. It seems that massive bursts of ultrasound are generated with the very first bite and that these trigger pleasure receptors in the brain." Something about this screams: "hey, I read this on the internet somewhere, and it NEEDS to go in the book!" Yay random factoids. Sorry, it might be true, but in the context of a book that boasts NINE (9) total references, two of which are dictionaries (?), this is, um, discombobulating. The longest one-star review ever?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Smolen

    Who would have ever thought that feeding an infant solid foods, the way your great grandparents did, would be a cutting edge medical controversy in the 21st century–but it is. So says the authors of Baby Led Weaning, by British authors Rapley and Murkett. 20th century western society has been all about controlling the introduction of solid food to babies when it is time for them to get more that breastfeeding can offer. It is generally accepted that solid foods, also called complimentary foods, Who would have ever thought that feeding an infant solid foods, the way your great grandparents did, would be a cutting edge medical controversy in the 21st century–but it is. So says the authors of Baby Led Weaning, by British authors Rapley and Murkett. 20th century western society has been all about controlling the introduction of solid food to babies when it is time for them to get more that breastfeeding can offer. It is generally accepted that solid foods, also called complimentary foods, are needed by babies for good growth beyond six months of age. Standard 20th century dogma says that these first foods should be pureed and fed to the infant on a spoon, by his or her parents, introducing one new food at a time, without the addition of spices, salt, or added flavoring that would be normally added to the food. Home cooked fresh foods were the opposite of what babies were expected to eat for much of the 20th century America. The Baby Led Weaning advocates think 20th century health experts got infant feeding all wrong and argue that letting a baby feed themselves, real food, on their terms, when they are ready, will reverse many of the feeding problems that have become so common among toddlers and children today. They argue that when a baby feeds real solid food to themselves they are more willing to explore new foods, learn to deal with different textures and tastes, regulate their intake of calories, master the social aspects of feeding earlier, and are less apt to become obese or develop an eating disorder when older. As a pediatrician, I see a few things that are worrisome about the BLW approach. The most obvious problem I see is choking and aspiration of food. The authors discuss this at length, realizing that this issue is at the forefront of criticism of the BLW method. An infant can gag on a pureed food but choking to death, I think not, unless they have a swallowing problem. The BLW advocates give many guidelines how to avoid serious choking events but the risk is still there. And here is something in the BLW recommendations that is contrary to current medical thought–the authors recommend that parents give their babies water at all ages, something that is known to, albeit rarely, cause serious metabolic problems in infants less than six months of age. this risk is well documented in the pediatric literature. They also advocate ad lib salt intake, a situation that many pediatricians don’t agree with due to an infant’s limited ability to get rid a lot of extra salt. And finally, what about the infants that are just poor at feeding themselves? I fear that these children are at risk for nutritional deficiencies at a time when their growth is supercharged. there is evidence here as well that this can happen on occasion. Except for these reservations, I must say that the BLW method of feeding a newborn seems natural, may lead to less texture aversion among toddlers, may result in better acceptance of a wider variety of flavors and textures in older children, and lead to fewer “picky eaters” and “eating disorders” throughout childhood. The book is well written and full of practical suggestions and encouragement for parents who are looking for an alternative to traditional feeding practices for their infants. I give this book 4 out of 5 Doc Smo stars. Smo Notes: How Feasible Is Baby-Led Weaning as an Approach to Infant Feeding? A Review of the Evidence Sonya L. Cameron,1 Anne-Louise M. Heath,1 and Rachael W. Taylor2,* http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic... 2. Baby-led weaning is feasible but could cause nutritional problems for minority of infants January 14, 2011 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/... Email this page

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    My doctor recommended this book after I mentioned my son seemed to be finger feeding already (he's six months). Over the course of many visits to the medical centre, she has also recommended downloading Wonder Weeks, porridge based baths for moisturising baby skin and biting my baby's nails after a bath if I was having trouble clipping them (did I accept the recommendations? yes, yes, NO). As other reviewers have stated, this book is quite repetitive. It's a quick read, providing a strong argumen My doctor recommended this book after I mentioned my son seemed to be finger feeding already (he's six months). Over the course of many visits to the medical centre, she has also recommended downloading Wonder Weeks, porridge based baths for moisturising baby skin and biting my baby's nails after a bath if I was having trouble clipping them (did I accept the recommendations? yes, yes, NO). As other reviewers have stated, this book is quite repetitive. It's a quick read, providing a strong argument for baby-led weaning (BLW), what to expect, some general tips. The book is more anecdotal than informative. Reading this felt like scrolling through through forum comments on your phone at 4am in the morning, not because you are panicking about something weird your baby has done (as is the protocol for the first three months), but more because your baby is sleeping through the night and you are just so bored and so awake: 5 wikipedia tabs, 2 mothercare tabs and 4 forum topics later, here you are. Most of the information is common sense, but some of passages came off slightly pushy, especially when it came to talking about breastfeeding. Constant reinforcements about how breastfeeding is the best pre-requisite for BLW, otherwise it's harder for children to adapt, etc. which I found tiresome towards the end. I dislike books/articles all about gaining confidence in yourself as a parent and the trust you have in your child to lead the way, but having this undermined by that annoying "pat yourself on the back because you're a good mother if you do x,y,z because I do x,y,z and anyone with a bit of common sense does x,y,z" undertone. All in all, may provide useful to have a copy of this, however, all the information included is easily accessible online for free. I found it funny that there was a page advertisement at the end for a separate BLW cookbook by the same author despite reiterating throughout the book that the stress-free way is giving your baby smaller portions of what you you eat...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This book was so much fun and it made me really excited about starting solids with my baby. Here's the overall idea: Offer your baby safe, healthy foods and let them feed themselves. This thought 1) makes sense and 2) seems strange. We've all grown up with the idea of feeding little kiddos from a baby spoon and making airplane sounds to get them to open wide but this book squashes that notion as a necessity. Instead the authors suggest that babies develop self-feeding skills at the same rate the This book was so much fun and it made me really excited about starting solids with my baby. Here's the overall idea: Offer your baby safe, healthy foods and let them feed themselves. This thought 1) makes sense and 2) seems strange. We've all grown up with the idea of feeding little kiddos from a baby spoon and making airplane sounds to get them to open wide but this book squashes that notion as a necessity. Instead the authors suggest that babies develop self-feeding skills at the same rate their digestive tracts are able to handle the food and at the same rate that their bodies actually need solids. We've been doing baby-led weaning with our baby for a couple of weeks now and it is so much fun and so easy. We just give him what we're eating and he tries just about everything. Even if he makes the "gag" face like he doesn't like it, he still goes back for another try. Thus far, I'm pretty convinced and we're all having a good time. Best part, because we're giving baby what we eat, we're all eating healthier too

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    The puree ship had already sailed by the time I got this book , but it still has a lot of useful information to it about starting solids, how babies take to them, etc. (There's even a little Q&A section devoted to "whoops, the puree ship already sailed; can I still get on this boat?"--the answer is yes, but it may take a little more time, so that's the direction we'll be moving.) The most useful information (to me) I found in here was the suggestion to use a shot glass when helping Baby lear The puree ship had already sailed by the time I got this book , but it still has a lot of useful information to it about starting solids, how babies take to them, etc. (There's even a little Q&A section devoted to "whoops, the puree ship already sailed; can I still get on this boat?"--the answer is yes, but it may take a little more time, so that's the direction we'll be moving.) The most useful information (to me) I found in here was the suggestion to use a shot glass when helping Baby learn to drink from a regular, non-sippy cup, on the grounds of its thick rim, small capacity, and narrow diameter, all of which make it a better baby-sized drinking vessel. The book compares a baby drinking from a regular, full-size cup to an adult drinking from a bucket. Their website (www.baby-led.com) looks to have the whole, somewhat repetitive book distilled into bullet points, so don't despair if your library system doesn't have this UK import!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marieke

    I never managed to finish this. I realized part way through that this method was not really going to work for our family. I did get some things from it, but following this method "by the book" so to speak, that didn't happen. Yet amazingly, so far my baby seems to absolutely love food and eating and it is a huge challenge to find something he won't eat/doesn't like. Sometimes the tone of this book was a little off-putting, because technically my baby shouldn't be such a great eater since i didn' I never managed to finish this. I realized part way through that this method was not really going to work for our family. I did get some things from it, but following this method "by the book" so to speak, that didn't happen. Yet amazingly, so far my baby seems to absolutely love food and eating and it is a huge challenge to find something he won't eat/doesn't like. Sometimes the tone of this book was a little off-putting, because technically my baby shouldn't be such a great eater since i didn't do things 100% this way, but I have learned in the past year that all these parenting books have something to sell and one just has to take that in stride to not feel judged or scolded. That said, for someone who often feels stressed out and uninspired about coming up with meal ideas for a baby, this book is pretty great.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leynadawn

    When my son turned 6 months I enthusiastically went crazy in the kitchen making an array of delicious organic baby food only to find that he not only disliked the food but refused to be fed! I pressed on for 2 months but it only got worse. I had heard about this approach so I read this book and have been trying it ever since. Such a natural, normal, and practical approach to feeding babies. Again, why didn't I know about this sooner??!! Basically, the title is just a fancy way of saying "let you When my son turned 6 months I enthusiastically went crazy in the kitchen making an array of delicious organic baby food only to find that he not only disliked the food but refused to be fed! I pressed on for 2 months but it only got worse. I had heard about this approach so I read this book and have been trying it ever since. Such a natural, normal, and practical approach to feeding babies. Again, why didn't I know about this sooner??!! Basically, the title is just a fancy way of saying "let your baby feed themselves an array of good healthy food and include them in family meals." my boy loves it and so do we:-) I definitely recommend this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I have to agree with the reviewer who said this book was about a third too long. In one section of the book, I felt as though I was reading the same information over and over again, slightly re-worded each time. With a little editing, the book could be more concise and still contain all the same information. That said, I found it a helpful book. After a basic rundown of all the benefits of BLW, the author gives some great suggestions for first finger foods, as well as ideas to use as baby gets ol I have to agree with the reviewer who said this book was about a third too long. In one section of the book, I felt as though I was reading the same information over and over again, slightly re-worded each time. With a little editing, the book could be more concise and still contain all the same information. That said, I found it a helpful book. After a basic rundown of all the benefits of BLW, the author gives some great suggestions for first finger foods, as well as ideas to use as baby gets older. I plan to hold onto the book to utilize those lists and tips. Overall, this book is a good resource for parents interested in trying a Baby-led Weaning approach to baby's mealtimes.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    Poorly referenced , some good ideas but very militant in pushing her view point which is largely based on her experiment with a small group of families that she used as part of her masters degree in nursing. The information about diet could be well researched but there is no documentation to support her claims. The reference page is terribly short and includes two dictionaries. I think this falls under the "reader beware": when read with common sense and paired with good instincts and other rese Poorly referenced , some good ideas but very militant in pushing her view point which is largely based on her experiment with a small group of families that she used as part of her masters degree in nursing. The information about diet could be well researched but there is no documentation to support her claims. The reference page is terribly short and includes two dictionaries. I think this falls under the "reader beware": when read with common sense and paired with good instincts and other research it can be helpful. The problem is that this, as with many other parenting books, is written as more of a gospel than an idea.

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