• Agency, ‘good motherhood’ and ‘a load of mush’: Constructions of baby-led weaning in the press

      Locke, Abigail (2015-11)
      In this age of ‘intensive motherhood’, new mothers are flooded with information on the best ways in which to raise their children. One of the key issues is infant feeding, in particular, the timing and method of weaning their children onto solid food. This paper examines a new approach called ‘baby-led weaning’ (BLW) in which the child feeds themselves instead of being spoon-fed, that came into popular parenting culture in recent years, considering the ways in which it is represented in National and International newspapers. The media search database Proquest International Newsstand, was searched for ‘baby-led weaning’, producing an eventual sample of 78 articles from a number of countries. The articles were subjected to a critical discursive psychological analysis. The key themes that emerged from the newspapers focused around two main areas; the infant as agentive in their eating behaviours; and, constructions of maternal identities and resisting ‘good motherhood’.