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on 15 October 2017
A great, well-balanced approach to what can seem a very overwhelming stage. There's so much to read on the subject of weaning and I felt this gave a great overview of the main methods. Easy to read, even for a sleep-deprived mum.
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on 19 July 2017
Highly recommend for anyone thinking about weaning their baby. Even if you have done it with a previous child. We bought this to wean our second child and have chosen a flexible approach between BLW and traditional weaning and it's been fantastic. Both are covered in great detail in this book.
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on 18 July 2017
Some useful information but it is repeated several times throughout the book which I found frustrating. Not as many recipes as anticipated.
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on 11 May 2017
Really useful, very objective assessment of both methods. Gave me confidence when starting solids.
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on 6 January 2012
If you are looking for a weaning book that is written by a self-styled celebrity cook, which strongly pushes a particular weaning method and disregards all others, and focuses on weird combinations of food that the rest of the family would not dream of eating..... then this book is NOT for you!!!

I cannot rate this book highly enough. I was looking for a book about weaning that explained traditional (puree-based) and baby-led weaning so that I could choose the best way to wean my first child (now seven months). This book starts off by explaining both methods, the research behind them and the pros and cons of each (for example, that research clearly shows that using BLW alone can cause nutritional deficiencies or that puree-based weaning alone can lead to a lack of independence at meal times). It goes on to suggest how the two methods can be successfully combined in order to overcome the disadvantages of each method. The book is written by a qualified nutritionist with over 18 years of experience, who has established herself as an expert in nutrition for pregnancy and childhood, and has carried out nutrition research at leading universities. She also has three children. It's your choice, but I felt much more comfortable following advice from someone with these credentials, who backs up all her suggestions with proof from controlled scientific studies, rather than someone like Annabel Karmel who is a bit of a celebrity but has no actual nutrition qualifications as far as I can find out. Also, this book has only just been published and so the research quoted is recent and relevant.

There are comprehensive explanations at the start of all the different nutrients required and how to incorporate them, which foods to avoid and how to spot hidden "dangers" such as high salt, sugar etc. She also discusses what "organic food" actually means and gives advice on deciding whether this is for you or not, how to avoid being "taken in" by the baby food industry and buying baby foods you don't actually need, and when to start weaning (based on scientific research). Surprisingly for some perhaps, the advice is that it has not healthy to start weaning before four months of age but that it should be started before six months to avoid your child becoming anaemic. The advice of many health visitors to start after six months is actually outdated, and Dr Conway explains the research which backs up her advice regarding this matter.

There are then chapters according to age of baby (4-6 months, 7-9 months, 9-12 months, toddlers and beyond) with advice for each stage, sample meal plans and recipes. There are comments throughout from parents about their own experiences of weaning. The recipes are extremely tasty in my opinion and introduce the baby to a wide variety of healthy flavourings (e.g. lemon juice, herbs, garlic, black pepper, etc.) Overall, the emphasis is on encouraging your baby to eat a completely balanced diet, gradually gaining experience of finger foods whilst being supplemented with pureed or mashed food to ensure all nutrients are provided, gradually learning to eat more and more "chunky" food rather than purees, and teaching your baby to (a) eat similar meals to those that he or she will be expected to share with the family later on (although without added salt etc.) and (b) eat with other members of the family to learn about the social aspect of eating. I think this is much more sensible than finding ingenious ways to disguise certain foods within other foods, as some other weaning books advise, because the child will still need to learn to eat normal food combinations later on.

At every stage, the author advises how many breast-feeds per day or how much formula per day is required for optimum nutrition so that you know when to start dropping milk feeds and replacing them with food and water.

The final chapters are dedicated to combating fussy eating (including babies that aren't keen to drink water), food allergies and intolerances, other dietary problems, premature babies and vegetarian babies.

As a result of this book, I have a seven month old baby boy who loves meal times, eats a wide variety of foods (including many fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, dairy foods, etc, in fact the only thing he is not keen on so far is extra-mature cheddar cheese!), eats very lumpy textures with no problems, drinks plain water happily from a cup, and is rapidly gaining confidence with finger foods. I am sorry to have wittered on so extensively about this book but I am so thrilled with how weaning is progressing that I feel the need to share this book with everyone else.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 December 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
The baby-led weaning vs spoon feeding debate is dealt with here in a really well-written, balanced account that favours an inclusive rather than either/or approach. Conway's accessible book evaluates both approaches in terms of dietary impact, but also looks at developmental and social factors. For instance, the practical effect of having a child who is used to BOTH finger food and purees is that your child is happy to eat a proper, cooked meal at home - but will happily eat a sandwich when you're out (more manageable than having to worry about heating up a casserole!).

Although there is a lot of information, it is presented in a very readable format that includes a variety of practical tips and recipes. I received my first copy as a review item, but have willingly paid for copies since.

Highly recommended.
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on 20 June 2016
Really like this book - it is practical, well thought out and has both detail and easy to read tables and the like for a helpful guide to weaning. While both BLW and traditional approaches are addressed, the food planners definitely focus more on traditional purees - worked for us but not the book if you think you are heading more towards BLW. Good finger food ideas though for second stage of weaning, and some nice recipe ideas. I really liked the meal planner guide in particular for helpful, clear guidance (which also give guidance based on what age you plan to start weaning, which I haven't found in other books).
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on 20 June 2017
I love this book as a first time mum, it gave me unbiased information on both baby led and traditional weaning. In the end we decided to combine both types and the book had some helpful tips for that too. What I also found handy was the feeding guide as although I breastfeed on demand it was helpful to know when to offer milk/ food as my daughter took more solid food & has helped me judge what to pack for her days with grandma when I return to work
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on 12 January 2017
There are too many noises about BLW which comes from mainly personal experiences. This book gives a balanced view on BLW and traditional methods. One should read this if considering BLW.
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on 24 May 2017
Good book showing pro and cons of both methods of weaning
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