Baby-led

***** Reviews for the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook

March 8th, 2011

***** Great!, By josiejo (Carshalton)

The book has recipes for everything you’ll eat normally when doing BLW but as a low sugar or salt option, so you don’t lose any flavour or quality with your meal, and you’re all still eating the same thing (my 15 month old daughter hates it if she thinks we’re eating something she doesn’t have these days). I like how it’s got serving sizes too (usually 2 adults, 1 baby).

Example recipes include pizza, fish and chips, fish fingers, home made custard, many different types of muffins (I’m picking these ones out, as it’s good to have these as an option as a treat!) – as well as the more basic guides for the best way to prepare vegetables as you start. The more “healthy” (I say “healthy” as all the recipes are really!) meals include Frittata, Shepherd’s Pie, Thick Lentil Soup, Thick Butternut Squash soup, Goulash, Oven-baked Aubergine and Courgette risotto – so there’s a good wide range in there.

I wish we’d had this six months ago when I had more time as I’m now back at work. This book will definitely be used, but more at weekends.

I’d recommend this to any mum or dad who wants to take the BLW route, anyway!

***** Brilliant for kids of any age, By Stephanie Pearce

My son is 2 years old but has been weaned only using finger foods as per the original BLW book. I was so excited to get the cookbook anyway as I help a lot of other mums as they know I had a son who wouldn’t take spoon fed mush and has eaten independently since 6 months.

I think the book is brilliant. I wish it was around when I had started weaning as it has a lot more ‘how to’ than the original book. It has charts with suggestions based on what skills they have picked up (pincer grip etc). It has a whole chapter on breakfast ideas which aren’t just recipes but other suggestions too.

There are great suggestions and recipes for snacks that mean you can avoid all the expensive premade baby snack food. I’ve only had it a week and have already made homemade pizza, risotto and cheesey lentil wedges. I love that it contains recipes for foods like lentils and aubergines which are healthy and give variety, but you may not know what to do with them. With the recipes provided you know they don’t have too much salt like a traditional adult recipe, but are still tasty. I’ve found if I just leave salt out of normal recipes sometimes they are very boring.

I would give this 10 stars out of 5 if I could!

It doesn’t give step by step, week by week charts of ‘what to give’ but that is the whole point of BLW – you give the normal healthy food that the whole family are eating. And there are loads of ideas and recipes to enable you to learn how to do that – and most of it is very basic, even for inexperienced cooks.

You probably only need to get the cookbook as the info at the front is great and more can be found online. However, the original book is also good for more explaination – especially dealing with childcare and food, or tips for dealing with family who think the baby is going to choke or get skurvy if they aren’t spoon fed x numbers of certain foods.

***** Simple cooking with baby in mind – great for beginner cooks, By Tmesis

Our baby is 10.5 months old, and I’ve been using this book regularly since its release – I’ve probably tried 1/4 of the recipes in it.

We’ve lived on takeaway and restaurant meals for the past five years (no exaggeration – you can do that in NYC). I’m no cook: I know how to follow a recipe, but I find coordinating the timing of different elements stressful and have little confidence in my finished product. By rights I should be feeding my son from jars.

When I heard about BLW, it made so much sense that I immediately decided we’d do it, and I’m very glad we are: it’s a lot of fun and he must be learning much more. The catch, of course, is that I’m having to make him real food from early than I would otherwise have done. There are a lot of ideas on what food to offer in the main BLW book, and I was doing all right sharing ultra-simple meals with him – sticks of vegetable with fingers of meat, or tinned fish mushed in mascarpone on rice cakes, or pasta with sauteed courgette, or scrambled eggs on toast. But that has limited mileage, and I hadn’t the energy or courage to trawl through my husband’s recipe books to find meals that were (a) simple enough to cook with a baby crawling around your feet and (b) not full of salty ingredients.

So the big thing for me is that I find these recipes manageable. Timings aren’t an issue – if there are separate elements, they’re fine to sit around for a bit before being combined. There are plenty of crossover ingredients, so you don’t need a cupboard full of herbs and spices and if you use half a tin of something you can often find a use for the other half in another recipe. You don’t need more than the most basic pans and utensils. A medium amount of chopping is sometimes unavoidable, which is the thing I find hardest to deal with while marauding baby is awake, but it’s kept to a minimum, and there are plenty of recipes that don’t call for that if you’re in a hurry.

Because it’s all very basic, it would be a frustrating or dull book for more experienced cooks. But the assumption is that if you already know what you’re doing, you’re probably capable of ditching the salt and carrying on with your usual recipes. This book is for… well, me. Wow, thanks Gill!

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Latest book reviews

October 21st, 2009

Great book,  Roni

This is a really informative and useful book for anyone wanting to learn about baby-led weaning. I wanted to find out more about BLW because my 7 month old daughter kept refusing a spoon and this book was such a revelation. Really glad I bought it.

Brilliant, BRILLIANT book, By H. Edwards

I only tried weaning our daughter with puree for about a month and found it totally demotivating and began to hate each meal time.

Just by chance I saw a newspaper article about baby-led weaning and decided to by the book it mentioned – this book.

Following the advice this book gives is absolutely the best thing we did when weaning our daughter. She’s now almost 11 months old and eats pretty much anything we give her. She’s well ahead of babies of the same age, and much older, who have been weaned the traditional way with purees. The book is brilliant, covers all the things you might worry about and gives you the confidence to get on with it!

This book changed my little boy’s life, L. Sondervorst

My 6months boy started on puree like most kids, and after 2 glorious weeks, it was obvious we were heading towards a battleground as I couldn’t read his signals, was he full, not hungry, did he like it, why all the moaning etc.

I looked further, heard about BLW and bought this book, which has transformed my approach to baby food. Now 8months, he has tried a more varied diet than most adults, he loves eating and discovering new tastes and textures and we are both enjoying mealtimes as a social part of the day. Yes it is messy, but he amazes everyone around him by skills which are, in fact, completely natural. A MUST read, I can’t recommend it too highly. Baby food doesn’t have to be blended and boring, let your kid enjoy it and share your meals, and read this book to find out how.

Essential reading, C. Keepax

After a miserable time weaning my older son the traditional way with purees I couldn’t face going through the same thing again second time around. This excellent book gives clear guidance on why baby led weaning is a good way to introduce food. It outlines how best to approach the blw process, what you can reasonably expect from baby and when. It has given me the confidence to try it with my younger son and the ammunition to defend against criticism. Mealtimes are now much simpler and more enjoyable for everyone. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in trying blw.

It makes sense!!, R. Moore

This book makes sense!!! It gave me the confidence to let our little boy feed himself. He started off with soft fruit at 6 months and now at 10 months he is eating us out of house and home. Toast, fruit, potatoes and beans, we have tried most things and he is just loving his food. He eats with the rest of the family at the table and he really enjoys is food. This book is fantastic; it is written clearly and is very informative. Worthwhile buy.

Best thing we’ve done, Anon

I can’t recommend this book highly enough; I don’t need to repeat what the other reviewers say as it’s all true – it’s a fantastic book that doesn’t tell you what to do but more to get your head round it being OK for your baby just to gum away on whatever you’re eating (bar the salt and honey). We started straight from mixed bottle/breast feeding at 6 months; there were a couple of gags in the early days but I just sat on my hands and let him sort them out himself which he did (there is an interesting bit in the book about developing gagging reflexes). I haven’t pureed a thing.

3 observations now we’re nearly 3 months in:

– our baby’s day tends to be an hour or so later than his peers. We don’t eat supper til about 7.30 when his father’s come home from work, so bed time can be as late as 9. It does mean though that we eat as a family and his father has been able to share in the experience (which he evangelises as enthusiastically as I do (although he disappears on the pretext of running the bath when it’s time to clear up))
– breakfast is the most difficult meal as I still try to give the baby some cereal (as well as chunks of fruit), but he really doesn’t like being spoon fed so I’m now resorting to just dumping damp Weetabix or Shreddies on his mat and letting him get on with it.
– if you’re nervous about doing BLW, find someone who’s already doing it, if you can, and feed your babies for the first few meals together. We had a friend round who had been whining her way (the baby, and the mother…) through pureed mealtimes where the baby wouldn’t eat: and she sat down with my baby and together they tucked into meatballs and sticks of Double Gloucester (nice?!) and have never looked back.

I feel incredibly proud of all of us for how we’ve done so far, and wholeheartedly recommend it.

Good book, roz

This is a really good book to explain about baby led weaning. The first time round we only had a DVD to follow and the book really fills in the gaps, there is a very helpful section on first foods, and what to do when eating out. This approach to weaning worked very well with both our daughters.

Everyone should read this book, Mrs. Helen Steele

This is a wonderful book. Easy to read, full of useful information, made BLW easy for us and we are total converts! Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Great source of info for BLW, J. D. Arnold

This is a great book to get you started on the path of BLW. I bought it after we had already started – my 5 month old didn’t want to wait and kept grabbing at our food and often getting it into his mouth! – so it was good to read it for reassurance more than anything else. (We are taking it slowly and wont start BLW ‘properly’ until we get to 6 months.)

There has been some criticism on here that it is repetitive but for me that is a good thing as getting time to sit down and read any book cover to cover is impossible with my demanding wee man, so as I’m constantly dipping in and out and it’s good to know that key points are covered again and again (some of it even sinks into my babybrain!!!).

I totally recommend this for anyone thinking about going down the BLW route.

For more reviews see the Baby-Led Weaning Amazon page.

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Latest book reviews

September 2nd, 2009

A revelation in weaning!! Ms. N. J. Yeo
“I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I got to 6 months and was concerned about weaning, as it seemed that the only option available was to puree food and swap [from breastfeeding] to formula, which I didn’t want to do. I spoke to my health visitor and she recommended baby-led weaning. Bought this book and we were away. He loves his food, will eat anything and is a joy to have at the dinner table. It has also forced the whole family to rethink the way we eat and the types of food we eat.”

Everything you need to know to wean your baby! Julie H
“I was advised by the Health Visitor to consider baby-led weaning but couldn’t find that much information online so decided to order this book. It is excellent, easy to read, explains exactly what and how to go about baby-led weaning and answers all the questions I both had myself and was getting from my mum! Max adores doing things for himself, is more than capable of learning to eat and this gives me a way to offer him real food. We are just starting the process but I feel I now have all the information to help me give my little boy exactly what he wants in the best possible way for him to enjoy mealtimes.”

Brilliant guide to teaching your baby to feed himself R White
“This is a great guide and helps with a lot of the worries that parents new to this might have. My son took to it really well, and three weeks in can now feed himself everything from toast to peaches to steak. A must-have for any parent who wants to teach their baby how to choose and eat their own food.”

BLW explained! Emma-Jayne Covington-Cross
“I bought this book because I had heard a few snippets regarding baby-led weaning … and was interested in finding out more before potentially embarking on it as a method of weaning onto solids.
It is an easy-to-read, informative book crammed with information and answers to questions I had. It gives a history to the trends in weaning and why current guidelines suggest weaning from 6 months and not earlier (as was suggested when I was a baby – 1970’s). Very much recommended reading.”

Excellent! Mrs. K Wiseman-Trowse
“This excellent book will really help build your confidence in approaching BLW and your baby’s introduction to real food, right from the start. I’m so glad I read it and would encourage others to do so.”

Excellent & very easy to read!! M Atkinson
“As someone interested in BLW but with no real idea of the details, [I found] this book fantastic! It’s easy to read, insightful and has real-life examples to help.”

At last, some common sense Sandy Calico
“Weaning was a lot of hassle with my eldest child. The puree/mash/chop guidelines were time-consuming and hard work. With my second child I wanted an alternative. I’d heard of baby-led weaning but had no idea what it was in practical terms. This book spelt it out.

There is so much in the book on the history, psychology and physiology of weaning. I did find myself waiting for the ‘what to feed them’ section, but of course the point is they can eat most foods, so this section is brief.

While I haven’t followed the book to the letter, I have taken so much from it, confidence in particular. Overall this book makes complete common sense and I highly recommend it.”

Essential Reading!!! R Cooper
“This book is an essential guide to ‘baby-led weaning’, from the medical understandings to the basic common sense. For somebody who likes to have all the facts laid out before embarking on any new venture I was pleased to see that this book was concise and informative. I am surprised that baby-led weaning is not the norm in the UK.”

Very interesting reading – yet to be tested Mrs. N Bond
“I was recommended this book for weaning our twins. They’re only just 5 months so I’ve got another month until I can start trying it but it has certainly been interesting reading and I really really want to try it. I do find the author repeats a lot of points over and over, but that’s probably a good thing for sleep deprived, post-pregnancy, addled-brain new mums. I defy you to read this book and not at least give BLW a go.”

Baby-led weaning J Doughty
“I was a bit sceptical about this concept to start with, but having read the book have been converted! Very easy to read and understand and full of helpful tips and good advice.”

Excellent book!! J Kirby
“I love this book!! It gave me a great insight into how babies feel towards food. It helped me decide exactly how I want to help my baby eat, progress and learn. I bought this book and the Annabel Karmel, read this first and sent back the other after reading the first 30 pages. Don’t bother with the other spoon-feeding books, read this one first – it’ll change your mind! My baby is now 9 months and eats better than a 1-year-old. I’m so proud of how far she’s come, we did it together!”

Must read – Does what it says on the cover!! Mrs Paula M Ramsden
“This is a brilliant book. It gave me so much confidence to do what I wanted to do, not what other people say I should do. [It] answered all the questions I had. There are no recipes in this book but you just need to use common sense and enjoy lots of mess!!!”

For more reviews see the Baby-Led Weaning Amazon page.

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***** Baby-led Weaning

April 18th, 2009

By Mrs. M. Benneyworth

Brilliant book for weaning, makes a lot of sense and also got some lovely pictures. A big help if you are starting to wean and need reassurance and ideas.

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***** converted

March 9th, 2009

By RP

Although I still don’t see the need for putting porridge onto rice cakes instead of using a spoon, I was basically completely impressed with this book. It seemed to make so much sense. And the more I tried letting our daughter do things for herself, the more I was converted to BLW. Eating out is great, she just has what we have. We all eat together and there’s no need for our meals to get cold in order to feed her, or for her to wait. It’s a really easy read and BLW really works!

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***** Sensible, caring way to wean baby

March 8th, 2009

By J. Wilkinson

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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***** Reassuring and intuitive

February 26th, 2009

By Julie Jones

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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***** Brilliant book!

February 15th, 2009

By Mrs Caroline Ross

Not knowing much about baby led weaning and rather anxious about the whole weaning process I ordered this book… what a brilliant read! It was both informative, entertaining and the more I read the more I thought this is what I want to do! No spoon feeding for my son but to let him feed himself and become independent! I have since read the book again and am now an advocate for both the book and baby led weaning!!

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***** Best thing ever!!!

January 31st, 2009

By RM van den Broek

Very informative and reassuring! Tells you all you need to know about BLW and the evidence backing it up – (real eye opener) Compared to other babies our sons age he’s so adventurous and willing to try anything, and really enjoys his meals… Thanks to this book!!!!

Don’t expect recipes, just the confidence to trust your babies instinct!

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***** Baby led weaning

January 30th, 2009

By Mrs. Ds Leyton

This book is a must for those parents who do not want to subject their child with the dreadful spoon feeding!!! It is the only book I have found on baby-led weaning and from the moment I read it, I knew this was the way I wanted to feed our 6month old. Be aware that it does not include recipe’s, just some suggestions. It explains the logic behind feeding babies and why Baby-led weaning is so the way forward. Highly recommended, mostly because it is the only book out there!!!

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