I first heard the authors of Weaning Sense (Quivertree Publications, 2017) speak when I attended the Clicks Baby Meet Up at Moses Mabhida Stadium late last year, a week before I gave birth to my second child. Meg Faure is an occupational therapist and author of Baby Sense and Sleep Sense (among other titles), and Kath Megaw is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in paediatrics, and the founder of Nutripaeds. Their talk about COLLAB weaning – a scientific-based approach that takes the baby’s age, temperament and personality into consideration – won me over and I purchased a copy of the book at the event.
Now that Ibraheem is 7 months old and has already started the transition from an exclusive liquid diet to one that includes solids, I have been referring to this book very often. It is an aesthetically-pleasing, 282-page book that explains in a very easy-to-read style, the science behind weaning and includes practical tips and suggestions, which are very useful, especially in our modern fast-paced lifestyle.
What is COLLAB Weaning?
COLLAB weaning refers to “collaboration” weaning that, as the authors explain, “is a team approach to the early introduction of solids.” COLLAB is also an acronym that stands for:
C – Cues (Recognising your baby’s cues for readiness and interpreting and respecting them)
O – Own Person (Recognising your baby’s sensory personality that will guide you to weaning your baby, which will not necessarily be the same process for other babies you know)
L – Low Pressure (No pressure to conform to society’s expectations of when a baby should be weaned – “weaning is not a race”)
L – Led by Science (Research on early infant feeding that will guide you to make the best decision for your child)
A – Age Appropriate (Guided by research and taking into consideration the cues and temperament of the baby, a “window period of 4 months in which sensible weaning should begin”)
B – Baby Friendly (understanding your baby’s role in weaning and feeding by focusing on self-regulation)
The book explains the traditional approaches of weaning, which are parent-led and informed by advisors, as well as baby-led weaning which sees the baby self-feed (not always practical). Commercial baby food companies, according to the authors, have focused on rice cereals and purees to start the weaning process, and beginning only at 6 months. This has been influenced by commercial gain. COLLAB weaning adopts a “middle ground” between these two approaches, with the idea of treating your baby as an individual and following your baby’s lead as to when he or she is ready for solid food.
Weaning Sense has over 70 easy-to-follow recipes along with detailed meal plans for each age group. There’s FAQ sections at the end of certain chapters, that are extremely helpful and the layout of the book is very pleasing to the eye.
It’s a book I can’t help but want to read. It definitely is by far the best book on weaning I’ve read. I absolutely love the science-based approach to it and I would definitely recommend it to all mums, not only first-time mums!