Course Description

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 feeding therapists who often deem this method as “dangerous.” Those reactions are only magnified when the prospect of using BLW with modifications for children 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 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 babies to solids using the ABLW approach through discussion of myths about BLW, growth outcomes of babies fed using this approach, the importance of a sensory motor feeding base and use of bridge devices and responsive feeding techniques. The importance of a collaborative team approach with pertinent medical professionals as well as a feeding therapist, motor therapist and nutrition specialist, will also be addressed.


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 for almost 36 years. She is based in the north suburbs of Chicago where she has a private practice working with young babies and their families with feeding and speech/language issues. Her areas of specialty include facilitating breastfeeding in at-risk populations such as preterm infants and babies with Down syndrome, using the adapted baby-led weaning approach to transition babies with special needs to solids and using child-directed and responsive feeding approaches to improve feeding skills in infants and babies with feeding aversion. She contributed two chapters to the book Breastfeeding and Down syndrome and has written three posts about breastfeeding and Down syndrome on the Julia’s Way website. She currently co-moderates a free monthly Zoom group through Julia’s Way to provide support to lactating parents who are attempting to breastfeed/chestfeed their babies with Down syndrome. She wrote an essay and was quoted in the tenth anniversary edition of Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett’s Baby-Led Weaning book. She has been featured as a guest on the Untethered Podcast, episode 31 in December 2019 and spoke about feeding difficulties in children with special needs as well as episode 82 in November 2020 focusing on bottle refusal. Jill has done national and international webinars and presentations on the adapted baby-led weaning approach, breastfeeding babies with special needs and managing feeding aversion in infants. She lectures with Lori Overland and currently has a course with her on the Talks Tools site entitled “ A Sensory Motor Approach to Modified Baby -Led Weaning.” They were featured in a blog post for the Feeding Flock in July 2020 on that subject. She teaches classes about transitioning to solids to new parents at the New Mother New Baby lactation center located in Northbrook Illinois. Jill speaks Spanish and uses American Sign Language to work on language with her young clients.


Certificates will be issued verifying participation in two (2) hours of continuing education once a passing grade is received on the quiz. 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. As we are based in Illinois, we are more confident that our events count towards our local organizations (e.g. ILOTA). Our events are not formally submitted through any registry, however if you track your hours independently they may count towards your professional development requirements, and your certificate may stand as proof of your participation. We also submit for credit approval with the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program. This is not required for all states, and may not apply to you. Please refer to your state/local organization for further information regarding CEU requirements and if our events are considered eligible activities by their standards.


Cancellations must be in writing and will incur a $10 fee. If more than 10% of the course has been viewed, we are unable to issue a refund. If the Chicago Feeding Group or speaker should need to remove the course, course fees will be refunded or transferred to another course at the discretion of the participant.