Babies who are fed on demand do much better at school reveals a new study. Those babies who are fed to a schedule do less well.
10,419 children born in the early 90s from a range of backgrounds were tracked and tested. These children were tracked until the age of 14. The study showed that those children who were breastfed or bottle fed to demand achieved higher in the tests than those who were scheduled fed. By the age of 8 the demand fed babies IQ was already 4-5 points higher than the scheduled fed babies.
“The difference in IQ levels of around four to five points, though statistically highly significant, would not make a child at the bottom of the class move to the top, but it would be noticeable,” says Dr. Maria Lacovou, who led the study ( The Guardian).
Now let’s throw in the twist; I found it rather interesting that the mothers who had scheduled their babies feeding pattern reported to be more confident and were less tearful. It seems the more routine approach of raising a new baby is better for the mother’s wellbeing.
Lacovou said: “This is significant because the mothers who tried but did not manage to feed to a schedule are similar to schedule-feeding mothers. They tend to be younger, more likely to be single, more likely to be social tenants and likely to be less well-educated or to read to their child. These social characteristics are all understood to increase a child’s likelihood of performing less well. It seems that it is actually having been fed to a schedule, rather than having the type of mother who attempted to feed to a schedule (successfully or not), which makes the difference.”
What Is Demand Feeding?
Feeding on demand simply means feeding your baby the moment you know that it is hungry. Most babies will voice their need for food by crying.
What Is Scheduled Feeding?
Feeding more to a routine and slotting in feeding times into a schedule. In other words making your baby wait for a feed to teach them to go longer in between feeds.
What do you make of this study? Do you think demand feeding shows that babies will do better academically?