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666 of 681 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2010
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2010
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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 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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90 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2008
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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on 5 May 2011
We bought this on our Kindle and it reassured me that I was doing the right thing (for my baby and for myself), by not spoon feeding. The only difficulty I have had with babyled weaning, is other people's reactions to it - it is still a revolutionary approach as far as the majority is concerned - however the book has lots of scientific info for you to arm yourself with!

I have some friends who do a combination of baby led and spoon feeding, which seems to work well for mums who feel anxious that the child is not getting enough. My baby girl is now 8 months and I still breastfeed as much as I always did, I don't spoon feed her at all as she TOTALLY refuses! She has grown and developed exceptionally well - has 3 teeth, is tall and has lots of energy - she is crawling and almost walking. These things are not because of babyled weaning - but just go to show that if you choose not to spoon feed, you will not be restricting development and growth. In my entirely unscientific opinion, I believe babyled weaning has helped her development, as food is a wonderful area of discovery for a baby - whose experience of the world is at large limited to hand or mouth sensory explorations - a whole host of which become available to them through food play - with the added delight of taste. She will try everything and enjoys so many foods. she seems to favour vegetables and fruit over meat, which is fine, although she will suck on a piece of chicken or beef from time to time! I cannot tell you the joy of seeing your baby clutching a strawberry for dear life and sucking it until it disintegrates - it's SO satisfying seeing those vitamins going in!

Note on Gagging!
If any of you have concerns that your baby may choke - the answer is simple, just stay at the table with them at all times. It can be slightly disconcerting when a baby has a gagging reaction and there have been one or two occasions when I've panicked - but usually I was at fault - an al dente carrot seemed to be a little ambitious - and I tend to oversteam them now just to be on the safe side these days! My daughter actually seems to gag more on softer foods though - banana, weetabix or mash. I think it's more of a reaction to the feeling, than an actual choke, so try not to panic if this happens, it's a good thing and shows that the baby can bring food back into the mouth if they are having trouble with it.

Overall, the book has lots of information and pro baby led weaning points, which new mums, like myself, need - as after all, we are all concerned that we want to do what is best for our baby, and having a wide source of information is the best way to make the right choice for you and your family.
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on 10 December 2009
I bought this book after the birth of my third child. Both of my eldest two were weaned the traditional way (purees and spoon fed), and after reading about this book on Amazon, I was intrigued enough to buy it, it just sounded so easy.

15 months on, my baby is the best eater on the block. I self weaned her at 6 months, as per the instructions in this book (and it isn't rocket science - very much a case of give them food and let them get on with it).
Not only does my baby eat pretty much anything and everything, but because she eats herself we can all sit down and enjoy meals together, rather than one adult having to focus on feeding baby.

At first I was dubious, it was a good few weeks before I felt baby was getting any food in her (she mostly just played with it - but the author did say this is what would happen), but babie's like to copy and she soon clocked that everyone else was putting the food in their mouth's and followed suit.

My baby is now 15 months old, and uses a spoon and plastic fork, she has never used a sippy cup, just a normal plastic beaker, and whilst she does make a crazy mess, it is all part of the learning process and honestly no messier than weaning a baby the traditional way (it helps to have a greedy dog on standby to hoover up though).

I hope to have one more babe and will self wean again, it is just SO much easier. No faffing about preparing seperate meals, no seperate meal times, no filthy jars of ready made baby food at restaraunts. I think I have the only 15 month old in town who happily tucks into curry or fillet steak.

Perhaps it's self weaning, or perhaps being more relaxed with my third baby - either way, I am happy to trust her instincts and let her eat as she pleases, when she is hungry she eats, when she isn't she throws it on the floor and the dog gets fat. Ces't la vie.

If you have a fussy eater or are too lazy to puree, get this book.
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on 6 June 2013
This was recommended by our health visitor - I must admit I did think it was some new age type thing but having read the book and followed the baby lead weaning method, quite frankly why would you do anything else. I started at 5 months with giving our little girl chunks of food to chew and taste with no expectation of her actually eating it. I continued with the milk as usual so I knew she was getting nutrition. Gradually she started to actually eat some of the food - and I admit being excited by finding a piece of mushroom in her poo!! Ay 8-9months I did start to worry that she did not seem to be eating any more or having less milk - but I persevered and she progressed quickly from about 10 months eating more and more food and less and less milk. There's no need to worry about your baby choking on the chunks of food as long as they are sitting upright in a highchair - their natural gag reflex does work and we had no problems.

Our daughter is now 18 months old and will try pretty mush any food - she likes a good range of fruit and veg and generally eat very well. I was sceptical at first but it really does work - try it - you won't be disappointed. This book was really handy to refer back to (I read it cover to cover before starting) especially at the 8-9 month age when I was getting worried about an apparent lack of progress. Stick with it - if we manage to have another baby we will be doing the same thing. The book is well written and very readable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2014
I don't often write reviews but this book almost put me off baby led weaning entirely! It is biased verging on the evangelical. It spends a lot of time telling us why other methods of weaning are bad, making you feel inadequate if you formula feed your baby, and provides no solutions to common problems when starting out such as potential choking and constipation.

Buy the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook instead. It gives a short, clear guide making this very simple approach to weaning straight forward and achievable. AND includes loads of easy, practical recipes.
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69 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2008
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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