Abstract: Breastfeeding during infancy may have beneficial effects on various developmental outcomes in childhood. In this study, exclusively breastfed infants were randomly assigned to receive complementary foods from the age of 4 months in addition to breast milk (CF, n = 60), or to exclusively breastfeed to 6 months (EBF, n = 59). At 18 months and again at 30–35 months of age, the children were evaluated with the Parent’s Evaluation of Developmental Status questionnaire (PEDS) and the Brigance Screens-II. The parents completed the PEDS questionnaire at both time intervals and the children underwent the Brigance Screens-II at 30–35 months. At 30–35 months, no significant differences were seen in developmental scores from the Brigance screening test (p = 0.82). However, at 30–35 months a smaller percentage of parents in group CF (2%) had concerns about their children’s gross motor development compared to those in group EBF (19%; p = 0.01), which remained significant when adjusted for differences in pre-randomization characteristics (p = 0.03). No sustained effect of a longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding was seen on selected measures of developmental and behavioral status at 18 months, although at 30–35 months, a smaller percentage of parents of children introduced to complementary foods at four months of age expressed concerns about their gross motor development.
Keywords: early childhood; exclusive breastfeeding; complementary feeding; developmental status; behavior; randomized trial
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Jonsdottir, O.H.; Thorsdottir, I.; Gunnlaugsson, G.; Fewtrell, M.S.; Hibberd, P.L.; Kleinman, R.E. Exclusive Breastfeeding and Developmental and Behavioral Status in Early Childhood. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4414-4428.
Jonsdottir OH, Thorsdottir I, Gunnlaugsson G, Fewtrell MS, Hibberd PL, Kleinman RE. Exclusive Breastfeeding and Developmental and Behavioral Status in Early Childhood. Nutrients. 2013; 5(11):4414-4428.
Jonsdottir, Olof H.; Thorsdottir, Inga; Gunnlaugsson, Geir; Fewtrell, Mary S.; Hibberd, Patricia L.; Kleinman, Ronald E. 2013. "Exclusive Breastfeeding and Developmental and Behavioral Status in Early Childhood." Nutrients 5, no. 11: 4414-4428.