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89 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - a life saver!!!!
This book is a MUST for anyone with a baby who refuses to spoon feed or wants to allow their baby to set the pace for weaning!

I have a 6 month old baby who refuses to spoon feed but will feed himself wih finger food, however grandparents and health visitors have frowned upon this and criticised me for doing it. This book explains the benefit of allowing a...
Published on 6 Nov 2008 by J. Pughe

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588 of 598 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Alternative but Blinkered
This book offers a refreshing alternative to traditional weaning in "stages" with purees then lumps etc. Especially now the official advice is not to wean before 6 months, it is possible to introduce your baby to a range of solids from the start with all the associated benefits.
However, the book is very critical of other approaches and in my opinion tries to...
Published on 19 Jan 2010 by UK reviewer


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588 of 598 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Alternative but Blinkered, 19 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
This book offers a refreshing alternative to traditional weaning in "stages" with purees then lumps etc. Especially now the official advice is not to wean before 6 months, it is possible to introduce your baby to a range of solids from the start with all the associated benefits.
However, the book is very critical of other approaches and in my opinion tries to oversell the idea. Many traditionally weaned babies are not force fed spoonfuls of pureed vegetables and are offered plenty of finger foods. It also oversells the practicalities of your baby eating the same meals as the rest of the family. Avoiding too much salt means mostly cooking from scratch and so freshly cooking 2-3 meals a day for the family as well as for the baby is no small task and limits the choices for family meals. In addition, sensible times for the baby to eat are often not so sensible for the rest of the family - for example if the baby goes to bed at 7pm and dad gets home from work at 6:30, finding a slot to eat together isn't so easy.
In addition, the book repeats often how safe it is and how it is rare for a baby to choke if they can get food into their mouth themselves and is sitting up properly. However, there doesn't seem to be any scientific research to back up this theory, the book is based on a very small study.
Having said that, we have used many of the ideas from the book and have taken a kind of hybrid approach. We started on mostly soft finger foods rather than purees, such as roast sweet potato, well boiled veg and soft fruits. We eat together when we can and the Sunday roast is a great meal we have shared from very early on in weaning. When she has food that is best from a spoon, we preload the spoon and let her hold it - either on her own or with some support. We have never put the spoon into her mouth without her guiding it there so no force feeding. I do batch cook suitable foods for her and freeze them so we can continue to eat seasoned (and convenience) foods and I can feed her when it fits best with her routine and we don't have to wait for our meals around her naps etc.
I love the ideas behind this book but don't like the "all other ways are bad" style of presenting them. All babies are different and this approach, or elements of it, will work for some and not others. My advice, read the book, try what makes sence for you but don't be brainwashed into thinking you have to take the whole package or nothing.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed with the attitude of the book ( if books can have attitudes), 3 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
This book does spend a lot of time telling you how other types of baby feeding are not good. I bought this hoping to learn how I could introduce BLW alongside purees but was very disappointed with the book. If you are of the mindset that BLW is the only way and all other ways are bad then this is for you. If not then you might as well save you money and just research on the Internet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't Stand This Book, 18 Feb 2014
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wiz_frog (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
I have read a few baby-related books since having my first child but although most share its "I know best" tone, this is the first one I actually wanted to throw across the room. So smug and irritating, I couldn't bear it! And do you need an entire book to tell you to try to give your baby something more interesting than purees? NO. Look up info online, there's plenty you can find without needing to spend money on this book.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Baby Led Warning, 12 Nov 2011
This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
I came to baby-led weaning with an open mind. I started enthusiastically, reading information given by local health visitors and also talking to other mums who have taken this approach to weaning. At their recommendation I brought this book. Here's the review:

Some of the claims cited in the book have no substantial scientific research that is published in peer-reviewed journals to justify their inclusion in the authors attempt to persuade parents to use the baby-led approach. I say this as a scientist and a doctor with a PhD. It is stated that 'research' indicates that babies are no more likely to choke when feeding themselves than when they are fed by someone else, yet the authors do not cite the research from which they make this statement. Referencing this would be useful not only to support the authors claims, but in the light of the choking hazard being of real concern to parents when discussing the baby-led approach. If babies are less likely to choke when feeding themselves from the start of weaning, I would ask the authors why, then, am I aware of babies choking when following a baby-led programme? This is not a misinterpretation of the gag-reflex either.

The authors also claim that the baby-led baby is a better eater and less fussy as a toddler. The authors disregard the influence of culture, media, peer-groups and parental eating habits in order to make such generalisations. Again, why do we all know of children who are extremely fussy eaters regardless of how they have been weaned? One baby-led toddler I am aware of, for example, is now only willing to eat malted milk biscuits and drink hot chocolate, others refuse to eat from a spoon and they are now at school - baby-led gone a step too far perhaps? Yes, I totally agree that a wide range of food and textures right from the start is crucial to cultivating tastes, but happy enjoyable meal times, good eating practices and a balanced diet are founded in so much more than how a baby is weaned.

I appreciate that there are numerous babies who have been successfully weaned the baby-led way, however, I question the promotion of this approach to weaning over other more 'traditional' methods. It is my concern that parents are oftern confused by issues surrounding infant feeding - breast or bottle? baby-led or purees? Our children look to us for guidance in every aspect of their lives, but yet when it comes to feeding we are now being asked to say to them 'sorry, kids, but you're on your own'. It is possible to include babies at family meals regardless of the approach taken to weaning them and there is a lot to be said for learning through example.

Putting it into context, baby-led weaning started out as a piece of research for someone's Master's dissertation and therefore my training in scientific research and the extent of the research required for my PhD (some 75,000 words longer than a Masters thesis), cause me to question the size of the study from which the baby-led approach was originally developed. A small-scale study in a Masters dissertaton does NOT hold up to intensive large-scale research. The World Health Organisation, on the back of a mountain of sound rigorous research, states that breastfeeding until six months in the ideal, followed by the introduction of solid foods after that time. Can the authors of Baby-Led Weaning substantiate their ideal on a similar basis, or is this a trendy buzz-word money-maker in the form of a 'preachy' book? The authors do promote healthy eating however, and it is quite well written, though very repetative (the book could have been half the size) - and hence the two stars. There is something fundamental about parenting, in that good parents to guide and lead their children, including on matters of feeding. A caring, loving and nurturing parent instinctively knows what is best for their child. You can try baby-led without needing buy this book.
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89 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - a life saver!!!!, 6 Nov 2008
By 
J. Pughe (Hornchurch, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
This book is a MUST for anyone with a baby who refuses to spoon feed or wants to allow their baby to set the pace for weaning!

I have a 6 month old baby who refuses to spoon feed but will feed himself wih finger food, however grandparents and health visitors have frowned upon this and criticised me for doing it. This book explains the benefit of allowing a baby to lead the weaning process and empowers you to do things your way! I now have answers to people who criticise this way of feeding and now have mealtimes that are much less stressful.

This book answers all the questions I had about baby led weaning but don't expect recipes - you are encouraged to get baby eating the same meal as the family!

Having read this book I no longer feel like a failure for not having a baby who spoon feeds, although the freezer full of purees that I made can be used as a dip with pitta bread!! I am going to pass the book on to my mother in law to read as she can't get her head around not knowing exactly what is being eaten. I have every confidence that the book will win her round - it explains everything so well!!

Best money I have spent on baby books - Annabel Carmel will only come out for finger food recipes!!!!
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93 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible, caring way to wean baby, 8 Mar 2009
By 
J. Wilkinson (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
This is the only baby book which I have read that I would whole-heartedly recommend to other mothers, for a number of reasons. Gill Rapley is qualified to give her opinions and has based this book on scientific research. Her written style is very readable. She does not dictate to parents what they 'must do'... this book is written to give parents information that may not be available from their Health Visitor or GP about an alternative method of weaning babies. Making your mind up about whether to follow it is up to you...

But here's why I like her ideas and intend to follow them with my baby. Gill stresses the current recommendation from the World Health Organisation not to start weaning your baby until he/she is 6 months old. Before this they need nothing but breast milk (or formula) whatever you may have heard to the contrary. By the time babies reach 6 months they are usually able to sit unaided and, what's more, are capable of picking up large pieces of food, getting them to their mouths and starting to chew on them. For these reasons it becomes unnecessary to puree or mash the food that baby is being offered.

In my opinion it is much nicer for baby to learn what actual broccoli is like instead of eating a green mush. When you are starting straight into baby being able to try 'normal' food from the family meal (Gill explains which foods are unsuitable due to salt content etc) it means meal times become a social occasion from the very beginning and that baby joins in with you.

Don't be scared that your baby will choke - babies' gag reflex is more easily triggered than that of an adult and that will stop them choking on any large pieces of food. Of course you should always be watching baby while he/she is eating.

It may take quite a few weeks before baby actually swallows and digests much of the food, but this is fine as the main source of nutrition continues to be milk. Babies are able to exercise their natural ability to stop eating when they are full more easily when feeding themselves than when being spoon fed.

This method of feeding removes the 'power struggle' over food between parent and child which can lead to fussy eaters later on. Parents learn not to get stressed by the amounts or types of food that baby eats, just to offer a selection of healthy foods and trust baby to know what he/she needs.

Please buy the book if you are at all interested in these ideas about weaning as Gill Rapley has done a fine job in explaining all about it. Do also take a look at the blog and forum at babyledweaning dot com where hundreds of parents who successfully use this method swap tips and information.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baby led weaning, 6 Nov 2008
By 
C. Fewtrell (Cambridgeshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
My daughter (eight months)has refused to be spoon fed so we have had to take our lead from her and go down the baby led weaning route. I have found the information in the book of great help, it has helped ease my own concerns about how much/little she seems to eat. I recommend baby led weaning and will not even attempt purees next time round.
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51 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the best and easiest way for your baby to eat, 29 Nov 2008
By 
Emma "Emma" (UK, South West) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
Forget hours of pureeing and mashing and cooking veg and fruit. This book gave me confidence to let my little one just get on with it, and eat proper food. A month in and she's eaten Sunday roasts, Chinese Food, Spicy food, in fact she's tried everything, and she's the one in control of what goes in her mout, so no food battles.

Expect some odd looks from people who think your baby is going to choke as she begins to eat an apple (to date my baby has not). But I feel so proud when we sit down for a family meal and she tucks in with gusto to anything and everything. By not spoon feeding it means you get time to eat to with your baby to so it actually gives you more time.

Thankyou Gill Rapley!!
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reassuring and intuitive, 26 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
it is the end for mush and slop! Of course it is - i just wish i had thought / known about this approach with my first child. My second one, now 8 months old, had effectively been leading her own weaning it seems, and whilst i went along with it (not wanting to force food through her shut mouth, nor watch any more of it get spat out), i had slight concerns that she didn't seem to be eating much, and still wanted to breast-feed so often. I was also guilty of not giving the food feeding process enough time what with my elder child to deal with too. But, Gill Rapley, amongst many other things, reassures you that food is still not really about hunger at this stage, but about play and experimentation. Hurray - food can be fun, and so we are having a ball! We as a family are so enjoying having our baby eating with us, eating what we're eating, watching her try anything and everything, something or some times nothing, oversized but so well managed, it's great! I look forward to mealtimes now where with my first child, to think of the lengths i used to go to to get a spoonful of food into her, never mind a little pot... Spoon-feeding mush to a baby now seems like a cruel sport, for both parent and baby alike. I thoroughly recommend anyone out there to forget all that and plunge straight into BLW - you'll save time, effort, money, and most importantly (?!), your sanity!
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLW Just go for it...this book will give you your confidence, 2 Dec 2008
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This review is from: Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food (Paperback)
We have been following the BLW principles before this book came to press but I eagerly awaited its publishing and bought it the first week. It did not dissappoint. I read the book cover to cover in 24 hours it was such an interesting and easy read so even if you are not thinking of BLW I would suggest reading it.

It puts all of the current and recent weaning practices (most of which can be happily ignored) into context so that you can explain to parents, health visitors, random advice wishers that you know what you are doing and that actually it is a healthy and sensible and more than safe approach.

I loved the pictures in the book as they made me smile that we are not the only ones going down this route and it gave me confidence to try some of the not so obviously baby friendly meals like Spag bol and stew.

The brilliant thing about BLW is that it can be so easy and fun. All you really need is a shower curtain or wipe clean floor and some nutritious food! No food processers, no fancy little pots or insulated this and that and also no worries that you have missed meal time because meal time is just when you eat.

Ok it is not rocky science and mums have been weaning like this for years...at least mums of very lucky children have , but I am so glad there is a book to give those of us who just need a little convincing we are right or need some explanations to justify our gut feel.

Read this and help your child and family enjoy their food.
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Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food
Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food by Tracey Murkett (Paperback - 6 Nov 2008)
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