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Course Description

This series requires LIVE attendance for Part One AND Part Two. This course will be available in our On Demand library at a later date, TBD.

Part One: Baby-Led Weaning- What, Why & How (2.0 hours)

Weaning is the gradual move away from full milk feeding (breastmilk or formula), during which family foods are introduced to complement the milk feeds, and then gradually take over as the main source of nourishment. The culmination of this extended period is the cessation of breastfeeding and/or formula feeding. The webinar will focus on what it means to take a baby-led approach to the weaning period for babies whose development follows a typical path, comparing the key features of baby-led weaning (BLW) with the conventional approach of spoon feeding and purees.

Gill will describe how the concept of BLW originated in her professional work and became established through observational research and academic studies. She will describe the theoretical background for the approach, in relation to both nutritional needs and wider aspects of child development, such as motor, cognitive and social skills. She will discuss babies’ motivation for moving on to solid food and show that, at around six months, most are developmentally ready to manage a range of textures – including purees and mashed foods – without needing to be actively fed by someone else. Finally, the known and likely benefits of baby-led weaning will be explored.

Part 2:  Adapting BLW to Embrace Feeding Challenges (2.0 hours)

Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) is a child-directed feeding approach that has gained popularity as an alternative way of transitioning babies to solid food feedings. With this method, babies are taught to self-feed table foods from the time they begin eating solids, versus the adult-directed method of being spoon-fed purees. Mere mention of the BLW approach can spark a heated and controversial conversation among medical professionals and feeding therapists who often deem this method as “dangerous.” Those reactions are only magnified when the prospect of using BLW with adaptations for babies with feeding challenges, such as Down syndrome, is mentioned.

The adapted baby-led weaning approach™ (ABLW) was developed by Jill Rabin in 2010. While this approach can result in a multitude of benefits for babies at risk for for or with feeding challenges, it needs to be implemented safely with a strong foundational feeding base. Through lecture, slides, and video instruction, participants will be instructed on how to safely transition at-risk babies to solids using the ABLW approach through discussion of populations that would benefit from this approach and how to use the size, shape and texture of different foods therapeutically to safely facilitate feeding skill development. The importance of a sensory motor feeding base, use of bridge devices and responsive feeding techniques as well as the importance of a collaborative team approach with pertinent medical and therapeutic professionals, will also be addressed.

Learning Objectives For

Part 1: Baby-Led Weaning – What, Why and How

  • Define baby-led weaning (BLW) and list its key features

  • Explain the rationale for, and background to, the approach

  • Describe some of the known and potential benefits of BLW

  • Outline existing evidence that supports the concept of BLW

  • Explain what BLW offers to the baby

  • Support parents to implement BLW

Learning Objectives For

Part 2: Adapting BLW to Embrace Feeding Challenges

  • Participants will define Adapted Baby-Led Weaning and its key features

  • Participants will list at least 2 ways to prepare for the introduction of solids in the first six months of life

  • Participants will describe the importance of postural stability to aid in self-feeding skills

  • Participants will explain the benefits of adapted baby-led weaning for babies with feeding challenges

  • Participants will list how bridge devices are used to facilitate self-feeding and feeding skills in babies with feeding challenges

  • Participants will explain how to present different food shape, sizes and textures to work on feeding skills

International registrants welcome!

No matter where you are from or what time zone you are in, we welcome you! Find out when the course runs near you using the link below.

CEU Info

Certificates will be issued verifying participation in four (4) hours of continuing education once full attendance has been verified. Please allow one week for certificates to be sent. Check with your professional organizations' licensing bodies to determine exactly what may be accepted for you. This course is eligible for ASHA’s professional development hour requirements. You will not require ASHA pre-approval for this. See here [] for more information. This course is eligible for AOTA credits. Please check your state’s guidelines for specific information about this continuing education activity may apply to your state’s CEU guidelines. CEU questions can be emailed to



Gill Rapley, PhD

Gill is the pioneer of the approach to the introduction of solid foods to babies known as baby-led weaning, an idea that originated from her practice as a health visitor and which she explored and refined as part of her Masters and PhD studies. She has co-authored several books on this and related subjects, as well as contributing to a number of academic journals and texts. Her seminal book, "Baby-led Weaning: Helping your baby to love good food", written with Tracey Murkett, has been translated into over 20 languages. In August, 2022, she and Jill Rabin, MS, launched "Your Baby Can Self-Feed, Too", which describes how BLW can be adapted for babies who face feeding challenges.


Jill Rabin, M.S. CCC-SLP/L IBCLC

Jill Rabin is a pediatric speech pathologist and international board-certified lactation consultant who has been working with the 0- to 3-year-old population since 1986. She is based in the north suburbs of Chicago where she has a private practice working with young babies and their families to evaluate and provide treatment for feeding and speech/language issues. Her areas of specialty include facilitating breastfeeding in at-risk populations such as preterm infants, babies with tethered oral tissues and babies with Down syndrome and using the Adapted Baby-Led Weaning Approach™ to transition babies with feeding challenges to solids. She advocates for responsive and child-directed feeding approaches to improve feeding skills in infants and babies with feeding aversion. She coauthored a book entitled Your Baby Can Self-Feed, Too! with Gill Rapley about the Adapted Baby-Led Weaning Approach™ (ABLW) which she developed in 2010. She has been featured on multiple podcasts regarding breastfeeding and bottle refusal, breastfeeding and Down syndrome and use of her Adapted Baby-Led Weaning Approach™ (ABLW) which she developed in 2010. She speaks nationally and internationally on these topics. She teaches virtual classes about transitioning to solids for neurotypical babies and an adapted baby-led weaning course for parents of babies with feeding challenges. She moderates a monthly Zoom group for breastfeeding, pumping and expectant moms with babies with Down syndrome and leads a weekly language group and monthly virtual group for babies with Down syndrome through GiGi’s Playhouse-Deerfield.


This intermediate level course is appropriate for occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, assistants, educators, early intervention providers, parents/caregivers, and other professionals (social workers, nurses, registered dietitians, etc.) working with children with feeding challenges. Please contact us at  with any needs regarding accommodations. 


Cancellations must be in writing and will incur a $15 fee. We are unable to give refunds after 4/3/2023. If the Get Permission Institute or speaker should need to cancel, course fees will be refunded or transferred to another course at the discretion of the participant.