Send to

Choose Destination
Acta Paediatr. 2014 Jan;103(1):105-11. doi: 10.1111/apa.12433. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Exclusive breastfeeding for 4 versus 6 months and growth in early childhood.

Author information

Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali - The National University Hospital of Iceland and Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.



To investigate the growth and the prevalence of overweight in early childhood among infants exclusively breastfed for 6 months (EBF) compared with those receiving complementary foods from 4 months of age in addition to breast milk (CF).


A total of 119 mother-infant pairs were randomised either in the CF or in the EBF group. Weight, length and head circumference of the infants were measured at birth, 6 weeks, and 3-6 months of age. In the follow-up, the children's weight, length and head circumference were measured at 8, 10, 12 and 18 months and weight and height at 29-38 months.


There were no differences between groups in the anthropometric outcome measures of weight-for-age (p = 0.78), length-for-age (p = 0.59), head-circumference-for-age (p = 0.82) and BMI-for-age (p = 0.61), using repeated measurements ANOVA. Furthermore, no difference was seen in the prevalence between groups in risk of being overweight or in those who were overweight at 18 months and 29-38 months of age.


Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4 or 6 months of life does not seem to affect the risk of being overweight or the prevalence of those who were overweight in early childhood.


Complementary feeding; Exclusive breastfeeding; Growth; Overweight; Randomised trial

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center