Associations between infant temperament and early feeding practices: A cross-sectional study of Australian mother-infant dyads from the NOURISH randomised controlled trial

Sascha McMeekin, Elena Jansen, Kimberley Mallan, Jan Nicholson, Anthea Magarey, Lynne Daniels

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between temperament in Australian infants aged 2-7. months and feeding practices of their first-time mothers (n=698). Associations between feeding practices and beliefs (Infant Feeding Questionnaire) and infant temperament (easy-difficult continuous scale from the Short Temperament Scale for Infants) were tested using linear and binary logistic regression models adjusted for a comprehensive range of covariates. Mothers of infants with a more difficult temperament reported a lower awareness of infant cues, were more likely to use food to calm and reported high concern about overweight and underweight. The covariate maternal depression score largely mirrored these associations. Infant temperament may be an important variable to consider in future research on the prevention of childhood obesity. In practice, mothers of temperamentally difficult infants may need targeted feeding advice to minimise the adoption of undesirable feeding practices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-245
    Number of pages7
    JournalAppetite
    Volume60
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

    Keywords

    • Feeding beliefs
    • Feeding practices
    • Feeding relationship
    • Infant temperament
    • Obesity

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