What is baby-led weaning?

In the words of the woman who gave a name to what many parents were doing anyway, Gill Rapley “Baby-led weaning is a common-sense, safe, easy and enjoyable approach to feeding your baby. No more purées and weaning spoons, and no more mealtime battles. Simply let your baby feed himself healthy family food”

In reality to me it’s more like “finger foods first” as weaning makes it sound like they no longer drink milk (let me tell you they will still breast/formula feed for many months after you start solids). But the “baby-led” part is the important bit – basically allowing your baby to feed him/herself straight away.

Why this website

I started this site because when we came to move our now 7-month-old daughter, Mae, into the world of solids, I automatically assumed it would be “baby-led” as that’s what my sister and friends back home in the UK had done with their babies. I had no idea that it wasn’t the norm in Australia where we live. In fact when I told a friend at my mums’ group we were going to do “baby-led weaning”, she thought I said I we were doing “Baby linguini”! Quite funny, but it also brought home to me that it was virtually unheard of in Australia and I was going to be out on something of a limb with Mae’s food intake! So this blog is from one mum to other mums in Australia (and around the world, but there is a lack of knowledge in Australia in particular) who are thinking of feeding their babies finger food first, or even second.

How is it different to other sites and books on the topic?

I bought Gill Rapley’s book which was great, but lacked really specific information on exactly what to cook as first foods (we are vego and eat a lot of curries, laksa etc – not exactly lending itself to sharing from day 1!), exactly what it should look like, how soft /hard to steam/roast and also didn’t have enough to allay the choking fears for me. In fact, I found it hard to find really practical info on the web that was easy to browse through with enough pictures. So hopefully this site will fill in some of those gaps and open up a forum for more sharing of experiences about finger food.

I’m assuming if you’ve found this site, you might know a bit about the theory,  this site is more about the practical – me sharing examples of Mae’s culinary adventures, so that other mums can cut out some of the trial and error and worry in baby-led weaning right from the start.