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Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater [Paperback]

Gill Rapley , Tracey Murkett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 5 2010

The Natural, No-Fuss, No-Purée Method for Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods

“[Baby-Led Weaning] makes life so much easier.” —The Times, London

Baby-Led Weaning explodes the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed and shows why self-feeding from the start of the weaning process is the healthiest way for your child to develop. With baby-led weaning (BLW, for short), you can skip purées and make the transition to solid food by following your baby’s cues.

At about six months, most babies are ready to join the family at the kitchen table and discover food for themselves. Baby-Led Weaning is the definitive guide to this crucial period in your child’s development, and shows you how to help your baby:

  • Participate in family meals right from the start
  • Experiment with food at his or her own pace
  • Develop new abilities, including hand-eye coordination and chewing
  • Learn to love a variety of foods and to enjoy mealtimes

Baby-led weaning became a parenting phenomenon in the UK practically overnight, inspiring a fast-growing and now international online community of parents who practice baby-led weaning—with blogs and pictures to prove it! In Baby-Led Weaning, world-leading BLW authority Gill Rapley and early BLW practitioner and coauthor Tracey Murkett deliver everything you need to know about raising healthy, confident eaters.

Frequently Bought Together

Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater + The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: 130 Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat Solid Foods - and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy + The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.04

Product Details

Product Description


“I’ve been telling mothers for years that when babies start grabbing food from the table, they are ready for solids. I had the pleasure of observing this with my own children. What I love about this book is the joy and zest the authors put into parenting, their commonsense approach, and their faith that babies will do the right things for themselves when the time is right. Baby-led weaning is easy, and it makes parenting fun!”
Nikki Lee RN, MS, IBCLC

“Gill Rapley’s work is amazing and makes so much sense. I recommend this groundbreaking book to every new mother I know. Read it. It will forever change the way you think about feeding your baby.”
Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, clinical associate professor of pediatrics, Texas Tech University School of Medicine, and coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple

STARRED REVIEW—"Nurse Rapley and freelance writer Murkett encourage parents to forgo the usual baby puree and move straight to whole foods while continuing to breastfeed primarily after a baby is six months old. Their arguments are scientifically sound, especially when it comes to muscle development in the mouth, and they address the anticipated counterarguments, e.g., the need for iron-fortified cereal at six months. Some parents will be concerned about their lax approach to the order of allowable foods and especially their lack of concern about nuts, but allergic warnings are given where necessary. If mine were little again, I would definitely try this. As long as mom is nursing, who says baby can’t eat lamb chops?"
Library Journal

“The benefits are great”

“Sharing food with Mirah has turned out to be one of the great joys of parenting. Watching her respond to the pleasures of ripe tomatoes, curried rice noodles, and all kinds of meats and vegetables has made mealtime a much more enjoyable experience for all three of us. We can tell she is learning through all of her senses about how various substances respond to being crumbled or dropped or mushed. She seems to really like that she is eating the same foods as we are, and since we are generally sharing the same meal, I am more likely to make us all something healthy.”
—Aimee Pohl,

“I see many happy children, who chose their own food independently and eat at their own pace.”
—Stefan Kleintjes, pediatric dietitian

“It’s been wonderful, and very funny, watching her discover food, her great concentration in navigating new textures and exploring new tastes… One of our favourite things about BLW is its emphasis on families eating together.”
Nicola Kent, The Guardian

“You just hand them the food in a suitably-sized piece and if they like it they eat it and if they don't they won't… That's the essence of Baby Led Weaning. No purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher . . . just you and your child, eating food that you enjoy with you and your family . . . My baby is nearly seven months old and . . . ADORED feeding herself while her parents ate their own meals. I can't even begin to tell you how pleasant it is to eat in a restaurant with your Baby Led Weaning child chomping on a piece of bread and butter or a chunk of cucumber from your salad beside you.”
Aitch, founder of

“As a child psychiatrist, I have worked on a team for children with feeding difficulties… One of the main things I would recommend to these families is giving the child control, and allowing them to have small successes to build on rather than pushing food on them and ending up in a battle . . . I believe strongly in baby led play (again, something I would teach at work) and baby led routines rather than routines being forced on babies to suit parents’ lifestyles (as suggested by at least one popular parenting book). So this intuitively makes sense to me.”
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist (

“It sounds like common sense: after all, would you want to be strapped into a high chair and force-fed spoon after spoon of bland vegetables? It's surely much more exciting to be able to exercise a bit of control over your diet.”
The Guardian

“[Baby-led weaning] makes life so much easier.”
The Times, London

About the Author

Gill Rapley, the pioneering champion of baby-led weaning, worked as a public health nurse for over twenty years and has also been a midwife, lactation consultant, and voluntary breastfeeding counselor. She is currently pursuing a PhD in infant feeding.

Tracey Murkett is a voluntary mother-to-mother breastfeeding helper and coauthor with Gill Rapley of Baby-Led Weaning and The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks evidence June 12 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I eagerly read this book to help me get going on baby-led weaning, but was quickly put off by the endless undocumented claims throughout the book. The authors credit BLW with everything from reducing obesity to ensuring non-picky eaters, based almost entirely on anecdotes. The only actual study they mention was done in the 70's. The plural of anecdotes is not data, unfortunately.

I went on to read other books written by dieticians (such as Weaning Made Easy) to get a more complete perspective, and have now settled on a middle-of-the-road approach myself - some spoon feeding and some finger foods. Lots of variety and textures either way.

This book is helpful for introducing the main ideas of BLW - the main considerations in terms of safety and ideas for foods - but you could probably also make do without it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource for parents and therapists! Nov. 26 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. As an Occupational Therapist working with children with feeding difficulties this is a perfect resource for many children with picky eating. I wish all parents introduced their children to eating this way. It's a natural, sequential introduction to tastes, smells and textures of foods in a manner that your baby can tolerate - at their own pace!! This is exactly what I do as a feeding therapist with kids who have to back up and learn to eat who have eating issues! Cudos Gill Rapley - you're right on the mark with this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't feed my baby any other way Jan. 14 2012
This book is great, and so is baby-led weaning. The book explains it well and gives great ideas for first foods. My son is 8 months old and we've had great fun with food - no fights, no worries, and he's enjoying every bite. Eating out with him is a breeze. I love baby-led weaning!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best baby book I've bought thus far! April 5 2011
This book has been so helpful in my solid food journey w/ my daughter. Any parent who is tired of the mush/purees, this is a great way to help your baby develop good eating habits and independence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent informative read Jan. 4 2014
By Kbear
I would highly recommend this book if you are curious about baby led weaning. I was very interested in BLW for my daughter and wanted to make sure I researched it properly before trying it. My daughter is almost 6 months and almost sitting up on her own, having read the book I now feel confident and excited to start BLW process. It outlines everything from what BLW is to how to introduce solids to your LO. it also explains gag reflex in infants which was very reassuring for me and for my family members. I am glad I read this before I embark on our baby led weaning adventures. I am also part of the Facebook group baby led weaning which let's moms ask for advice on anything to do with BLW which had also been very informative on top of reading the book. I would suggest this book to all parents who are the slightest bit curious about baby led weaning because it just makes sense.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book. A bit repetitive. Dec 8 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Looking forward to try BLW. Very well explained but repetitive at time. I would have loved more recipes and fewer testimonials.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for suggestions Nov. 11 2013
By Mira
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good for different suggestions as to introducing solids, how to and when. I will reference this as needed with my little one
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