Objective: To describe patterns of bottle-feeding across the first year postpartum and explore whether bottle-feeding trajectories are differentially associated with infant weight gain.

Method: Data came from 1291 mothers who participated in the Infant Feeding Practices Study 2. Mothers completed a prenatal questionnaire and monthly surveys of infant feeding and growth between birth and 12 months. Group-based trajectory mixture modeling was used to describe developmental trajectories of bottle-feeding intensities across the first year. Growth curve modeling was used to explore associations between bottle-feeding intensity trajectory group membership and weight-for-age z-score (WAZ) trajectories from birth to 12 months.

Results: Four qualitatively distinct trajectories of bottle-feeding were identified: (1) High-Stable: ∼100% of feeds from bottles across infancy; (2) Rapid-Increase:Gradual-Increase:Low-Stable:p < .001). The association between bottle-feeding group membership and WAZ trajectories was not confounded by sociodemographic characteristics or the extent to which infants received breast milk.

Conclusion: High-intensity bottle use during early infancy may place infants at higher risk for excess weight gain. Supports and policies that help mothers delay high-intensity bottle use until later infancy are warranted.



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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/kine_fac/130