It is hypothesized that the visual and weight cues afforded by bottle-feeding may lead mothers to overfeed in response to the amount of liquid in the bottle. The aim of the present pilot study was to test this hypothesis by comparing mothers' sensitivity and responsiveness to infant cues and infants' intakes when mothers use opaque, weighted bottles (that remove visual and weight cues) compared to conventional, clear bottles to feed their infants. We also tested the hypothesis that mothers' pressuring feeding style would moderate the effect of bottle type. Formula-feeding dyads (N = 25) visited our laboratory on two separate days. Mothers fed their infants from a clear bottle one day and an opaque, weighted bottle on the other; bottle-order was counterbalanced across the two days. Infant intake was assessed by weighing each bottle before and after the feeding. Maternal sensitivity and responsiveness to infant cues was objectively assessed using the Nursing Child Assessment Feeding Scale. Mothers were significantly more responsive to infant cues when they used opaque compared to clear bottles (p = .04). There was also a trend for infants to consume significantly less formula when fed from opaque compared to clear bottles (p = .08). Mothers' pressuring feeding style moderated the effect of bottle type on maternal responsiveness to infant cues (p = .02) and infant intake (p = .03). Specifically, mothers who reported higher levels of pressuring feeding were significantly more responsive to their infants' cues (p = .02) and fed their infants significantly less formula when using opaque versus clear bottles (p = .01); no differences were seen for mothers who reported lower levels of pressuring feeding. This study highlights a simple, yet effective intervention for improving the bottle-feeding practices of mothers who have pressuring feeding styles.


Kinesiology | Public Health

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/kine_fac/154