Background: As a group, bottle-fed infants are at higher risk for rapid weight gain compared with breast-fed infants. However, little is known about individual differences in feeding behaviors of bottle-feeding infants, as well as maternal and infant characteristics associated with bottle-feeding outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a 2-day, within-subject study of 21 formula-feeding dyads; the within-subject factor was feeding condition: mother-led (ML; mothers were given the instruction to feed their infants as they typically would) vs. infant-led (IL; the experimenter ensured feeding began when infants signaled hunger and ended when they rejected the bottle on three consecutive occasions). Intake was determined by bottle weight; feedings were video-recorded and later analyzed to determine feeding duration and types of satiation behaviors displayed. Percent difference scores were calculated for each outcome as [((ML – IL)/IL) × 100] to standardize differences among dyads. Mothers completed questionnaires of feeding styles and infant temperament.

Results: On average, infants consumed ∼42% more formula during the ML- than IL-condition (p = 0.03). However, notable variation existed in difference scores for intake (range = −52.8% to 268.9%; higher scores reflect greater intake during ML than IL). Stepwise regression illustrated that greater intakes during the ML-condition were predicted by the combination of: (1) higher infant age; (2) lower levels of infant rhythmicity and adaptability; (3) higher levels of infant positive mood; and (4) lower levels of maternal restrictive and responsive feeding styles.

Conclusions: This objective, experimental approach illustrated that variation in bottle-feeding outcomes is associated with characteristics of both members of the dyad.



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This is a copy of an article published in the Childhood Obesity, Childhood Obesity is available online at: http://www.liebertonline.com.

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/kine_fac/131