OBJECTIVE. Our objective with this study was to examine whether observed maternal control during feeding at 6 months of age moderates the development of early infant weight gain during the first year of life. METHODS. Sixty-nine women were observed feeding their 6-month-old infants during a standard meal. Mealtimes were coded for maternal use of controlling feeding behavior. All infants were weighed at birth and at 6 and 12 months of age, and weight gain was calculated from birth to 6 months and from 6 to 12 months. Weight scores and weight gain scores were standardized for prematurity, age, and gender. RESULTS. Infant weight gain between 6 and 12 months of age was predicted by an interaction between early infant weight gain ( birth to 6 months) and observed maternal control during feeding at 6 months. When maternal control was moderate or low, there was a significant interaction with weight gain from birth to 6 months in the prediction of later infant weight gain from 6 to 12 months, such that infants who showed slow early weight gain accelerated in their subsequent weight gain, and those with greater early weight gain decelerated. Conversely, when maternal control was high, infant weight gain followed the opposite pattern. CONCLUSION. Maternal control of solid feeding can moderate infant weight gain.
- maternal control
- infant weight