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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Baby loves Baby Led Weaning...
I found this book by chance whilst ordering food trays as I was preparing to puree my baby's first foods.

Our daughter is just over 6 months and I started weaning her 3 weeks ago after reading the book.

The book is very comprehensive in that it explains the principles behind BLW and the history of the "traditional puree oriented weaning" which...
Published on 28 Dec. 2009 by J. Bush

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645 of 659 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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645 of 659 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Alternative but Blinkered, 19 Jan. 2010
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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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Baby loves Baby Led Weaning..., 28 Dec. 2009
I found this book by chance whilst ordering food trays as I was preparing to puree my baby's first foods.

Our daughter is just over 6 months and I started weaning her 3 weeks ago after reading the book.

The book is very comprehensive in that it explains the principles behind BLW and the history of the "traditional puree oriented weaning" which enabled us to make an informed decision. BLW is a extremely flexible and can be tailored to the baby's needs.

Our daughter loves eating we started her with vegetables; broccoli, carrots, peppers. It was amazing to see that she was able to feed herself. She looked at the Broccoli picked it up and put it in her mouth, at first the majority of the food she was given appeared to fall out of her mouth to our surprise we found bits of broccoli in her nappy...

Since then, she has eaten, avocado, toast, bread sticks, cheese, kiwi fruit, garlic bread, aubergine, bananas, apples, tomatoes, parsnips, broccoli, carrots, strawberry, pears, pineapple, orange, pizza, pasta with tomato and basil sauce.
All of these and the blender in collecting dust at the back of my cupboard

We are extremely pleased with the progress she has made in these short 3 weeks, her hand eye coordination is amazing, she really enjoys her meal times which she shares with us.

Just be prepared for odd looks and well intentioned advise from parents and others who are not aware of BLW and who worry about your baby not having enough food or chocking, read the book and all this concerns will be erased by the clear explanations within the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 23 Dec. 2013
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Highly recommended. I knew baby led weaning was the way we wanted to go, but I wasn't sure about the 'science' behind it, so couldn't easily justify it to sceptics like my mum, who thought babies couldn't possibly be given whole pieces of food. The authors are well informed and well qualified, and the book is accessibly written. I agree with some reviewers that say it could be condensed, but overall it is informative and very useful. It also reinforces instinctive/gentle/attachment parenting - do what you feel is best for your baby, and allow your baby to guide you about when they're ready. My son is 6 months now, and has been picking up food and 'chewing' it for about 3 weeks. Not much actually gets swallowed, and most ends up on the floor, but if I hadn't read this book I'd be concerned he wasn't actually eating it and be tempted to spoon feed purées. However, the book explains that it takes until about 8 or 9 months until food will actually be swallowed; until then, babies just learn about what's edible, what tastes and textures they like, and where their mouth is! Milk feeds still provide all their nutrition and there is no need to have any sort of schedule to reduce these - baby will sort it all out himself if you let him and trust both your instincts.
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63 of 73 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Baby Led Warning, 12 Nov. 2011
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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33 of 38 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 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading for general information, 1 Dec. 2010
We've been following baby-led weaning (BLW) with our daughter and have found it works really well for us. This book is a good introduction and I think worth reading even if you decide not to go down the BLW route simply because the information it provides about the way in which babies learn about eating is really useful for making decisions about what, when and how to feed your baby. I wondered why trying to give medicine to our daughter on a spoon when was such a disaster when she was younger, and this book explains why. It's repetitive and a bit preachy, but the basics are interesting and clearly expressed. The introductory material in the BLW cook book is not so bad from this point of view, so would be a better buy if you're fairly clear about the premise and thinking seriously about trying this approach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!!, 14 Feb. 2010
By 
Rachel Graham (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book when my 6.5 month old son started flatly refusing any and all purees, I had read a little online and BLW seemed like something worth trying.
This book is a fantastic help, clearly explaining the idea behind BLW and giving helpful info on how to go about it.
we have not looked back and now at just 8 months my little one is happily feeding himself all sorts of food, including filet steak, all sorts of veg and fruit, chicken fajitas and very occaisionally smoked salmon (small ammounts, v high in salt).
I couldn't have done it without this book, it gave me the confidence to trust my little boy and let him choose what he wants when he wants it, I cannon recommend this book enough, if you want to do BLW this is definately the book for you.
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90 of 107 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
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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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95 of 113 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 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Baby Led Weaning, 7 Dec. 2009
A friend mentioned this to me and I'm so glad I ordered the book. We are having so much fun with eating. I was not looking forward to making all the meals, pureeing and freezing them, but with baby led weaning we all eat the same things, adapting them only slightly for our wee one. He is really enjoying it as well. It is messy but fun. If you don't get too hung up on how much they're eating at first this is a way to make all meal times really enjoyable. I would definitely recommend reading this book and then you can make up your own mind. The only thing that would have been of benefit was a few more receipes but I believe the author is in the process of publishing such a book.
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