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93 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible, caring way to wean baby, 8 Mar 2009
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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Oct 2009 21:21:42 GMT
Hi, was just wondering if this book gives you information about how many meals they should be having and when? I am very interested in baby led weaning but as this is my first child and I currently breastfeed I am unsure of the rate at which to introduce them to meals.
Thank you.
Claire

Posted on 5 May 2011 14:43:11 BDT
I second everything you say - 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. 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 s 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 not 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.

Posted on 6 Jan 2013 21:12:30 GMT
Mambavet says:
I dont agree that she 'doesnt dictate' - from the start this came across as a pushy, evangelical style book.
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