The Rapley method: enabling your baby to discover solid food

The Rapley method: enabling your baby to discover solid food

After the first six months in which your baby receives breast or bottle nutrition, a baby needs a solid diet as a supplement. This can be food from a jar, but you can also use the Rapley method: letting your baby discover natural solid food.

What is the Rapley-method?

The vision behind this method is that after the first half year of breastfeeding or bottle feeding , you will then offer your baby solid, unpurified food. So this means that experiencing solid supplementary food, you do not use food you from a jar, but natural food. As a result, your child learns different tastes because the flavors are not purged. This is also a good method for the development of the oral movement skills.

When and how can to start with the Rapley-method?

After about six months your child can start with a solid diet, depending on his or her development. Make sure that your baby can chew. As soon as a baby can pick something up and put it in his or her mouth, the motorial skills are sufficiently developed. Your baby does not have teeth yet to chew, the gums are hard enough.

Tips for starting with the Rapley method

Start with vegetables and fruits and offer them uncut or in pieces which your child is able to take in this or her hands. This way, your baby learns to take his or her own snacks instead of getting bite-sized cubes. A banana, a piece of peeled apple, or a sprig of broccoli are good examples of nutrition for the Rapley-method. Avoid hard products such as nuts or raw carrots. Put the food down for your child and let your baby choose what he wants to pick.  

·       Eat together with your baby, so that he or she can see how you eat and copy it.

·       Give your baby the time to discover and playfully grab and taste the food.

·       Let your child determine the amount and the speed: your baby is in charge.

·       The Rapley method is a supplement to breast or bottle feeding, so do not stop yet!.


Parents sometimes are afraid that their child will choke easier with the Rapley-method. However, this happens more often with liquid food than with solid food. A six-month-old child can not put the food directly in the mouth without it being chewed. Because of this the chance of choking is not too big. Does your baby choke? Then he or she will start gagging and coughing, causing the food to come back up again. Just let it happen and do not hit the back of your baby. Always stay around when your child is eating.

Advantages of the Rapley-method

The Rapley-method can help your child become an easy eater. From an early age, he or she becomes familiar with different tastes and textures, much more than babies who receive mashed food.The Rapley-method is very good for the development of the oral motoric skills. The muscles in the mouth will develop better and your baby learns to chew well.

Disadvantages of the Rapley method

An obvious disadvantage is that you might get a mess whan your baby picks up the food and experiments with it. So there  food will regularly be thrown on the floor or your baby likes to spit the food out just to play with it. Provide a good bib, possibly one with sleeves.The food will be eaten less quickly, because your child determines the pace itself. So it can take longer before you can leave the table, keep in mind that you are not in a hurry if you let your baby eat in this way. Are you going to use the Rapley-method? Then it is important not to finish abruptly with breast or bottle feeding! The Rapley-method is used for supplementary feeding. Go to our webshop to order organic bottle food that can be combined with the Rapley-method.