Guide to weaning - 5 baby weaning books recommended by a baby nutritionist
I’m a big book lover, and that doesn't change when it comes to food or nutrition. My office shelves are FULL of books on pregnancy, feeding babies, intuitive eating, breastfeeding, and parenting. As a baby nutritionist, and lover of all things weaning, I often get asked what are the best baby weaning books to buy ahead of introducing solids foods.
Honestly, I think you can get by just fine without a specific weaning book, but I know that it can be reassuring to have one on the shelf. So here are the 5 baby weaning books that I recommend to new parents. They aren't specifically recipe books, although most do have ideas for foods in there, but these are written by authors whose information and advice I trust.
My 5 favourite baby weaning books
1. How to Wean Your Baby: The step-by-step plan to help your baby love their broccoli as much as their cake. Charlotte Stirling-Reed
Whilst I don't love the tagline, this is a really clear guide to introducing your baby to food if you have zero experience at all. Charlotte is an infant and children's nutritionist, who has worked with parents and families for years.
This baby weaning book is great if you need a bit of hand-holding through the first month of weaning, with easy explanations of how to prepare foods, suitable textures, and how to tell the difference between your baby gagging on food or choking.
2. Why Starting Solids Matters. Amy Brown
I love this book so much. It's short and to the point, covering everything from how the current recommendations for weaning have come about, the science behind when babies are ready for food, and a brilliant myth-busting section to arm you with all the answers you need. I'm a big fan of Amy Brown's work in general (see favourite baby weaning book #4!) but this one is at the top of my list for how tiny yet amazing it is.
If you want to be empowered by no-nonsense advice, that you can use to avoid any marketing rubbish, then this is the book for you.
RELATED: Short on time? Here are the three signs your baby is ready for solids
3. Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide. How to Introduce Solid Foods and Help Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater. Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
Considered by many as an actual bible when it comes to baby weaning books, Gill Rapley's book paved the way for baby-led weaning gaining huge popularity with many parents in the UK. If you are yet to be convinced about whether baby led weaning is for you, then this book will help you to figure it out.
There are practical tips, ideas for first foods, and a clear explanation of the rationale for this approach. Whilst it might not be for everyone to go solely down the baby led weaning route, there is still a lot to learn about the attitudes to food and children's eating, taken by Gill and the many advocates who do start solids in this way.
RELATED: Before you start baby led weaning, here are 5 things you need to know.
4. Let's Talk About Feeding Your Baby: Breastfeeding, Formula-feeding and Starting Solids for New Parents. Amy Brown
Remember how I said I was an Amy Brown fan? Well this book only came out in May 2021 and I already have added it to my must-have reads! This book is much broader than the others in the list, and if you're already approaching the age for weaning, then you may get less out of it.
Having said that, Amy's pragmatic views on milk feeding babies, as well as the previously mentioned no-nonsense approach to weaning, mean that this book will find use throughout the first year of your babies life.
RELATED: Check out this blog post on which milk your baby can drink for a simple breakdown of suitable milks for your baby and toddler.
5. Born to Eat: Whole, Healthy Foods From Baby's First Bite. Leslie Schilling and Wendy Jo Peterson
I came across this book through reading more into Intuitive Eating and how we can foster the inbuilt intuitive eating habits that our babies are born with. Bringing together baby led weaning with the intuitive eating principles, it is a great book for unpicking your own relationship with food as you begin to introduce solids to your little one.
I'm not a huge fan of some of the language used here, such as 'whole, healthy foods', or the emphasis on organic foods (I think that this can make eating this way seem quite unachievable and elitist, if you are feeding your daily on a tight budget and cannot afford the choice of organic) - but this is aimed at the US market, so I take it with a pinch of salt (pun intended).
It's another book that will hopefully give you the confidence to start offering your baby finger foods from early on, even if the full baby led weaning approach doesn't suit you.
RELATED: Do you really need to introduce 100 foods before one to get weaning your baby off to the best start?
My 5 favourite baby weaning books
So those are my [current] favourite baby weaning books, but with new ones released so frequently, I'm sure this will change!
You'll notice that most of these books aren't focused on recipes at all. That's for a reason.
I am a firm believer in feeding babies the same food as the rest of the family - some times adapted to suit their developmental capabilities - and as such, I don't think you need baby recipe books. If they are recipes for the whole family to enjoy, then great, but there are many recipes available online or in your existing recipe books that can be made suitable. All you need to do is amend the salt, sugar and spice level, then chop, mash or puree depending on your approach.
Weaning your baby shouldn't be complicated, nor should it be focused on individual food items. In my weaning workshop, we talk about finding the approach that suits you all as a family, and how to be happy with the food choices you make.
Ready to get going? Secure your place on my next online weaning workshop, and feel as excited as I do about introducing foods to your little one.
*All these books are ones I own and have bought myself. Opinions very much my own!