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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999 Feb;153(2):189-94.

Development of feeding practices during the first 5 years of life.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif 94304, USA. lhammer@stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To understand the transition from breast-and bottle-feeding to solid-feeding and factors that might affect the duration of breast- and bottle-feeding.

DESIGN:

Cohort followed up from birth with relatively well-educated, middle-class parents.

SETTING:

Community sample recruited from 3 suburban newborn nurseries (a teaching hospital, community hospital, and large health maintenance organization).

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred ninety-one healthy full-term infants.

MEASURES:

Assessment of feeding practices through the ages of complete weaning from breast- and bottle-feeding.

RESULTS:

More than 90% of participants breast-fed for at least 2 weeks. Infants of older mothers were weaned from the breast later than infants of younger mothers. First-born infants were weaned from the breast earlier than later-born infants. Eighty-four percent of infants bottle-fed at some time during the first year of life. More than 40% of the cohort was still receiving bottles at 24 months of age, 16% at 36 months, and 8% at 48 months. The duration of breast- and bottle-feeding was related to maternal work status; mothers who returned to work during the first 3 months postpartum weaned sooner from the breast and later from the bottle than women who returned to work after 3 months postpartum.

CONCLUSIONS:

The frequency of late bottle-weaning in this well-educated, middle-class cohort was unexpected and was related to the timing of the mother's return to work. The impact of prolonged bottle-feeding on later growth and adiposity deserves further investigation.

PMID:
9988250
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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