Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1265–1271 | Cite as

Maternal Control of Child Feeding During the Weaning Period: Differences Between Mothers Following a Baby-led or Standard Weaning Approach

  • Amy BrownEmail author
  • Michelle Lee


A controlling maternal feeding style has been shown to have a negative impact on child eating style and weight in children over the age of 12 months. The current study explores maternal feeding style during the period of 6–12 months when infants are introduced to complementary foods. Specifically it examines differences between mothers who choose to follow a traditional weaning approach using spoon feeding and pureés to mothers following a baby-led approach where infants are allowed to self feed foods in their solid form. Seven hundred and two mothers with an infant aged 6–12 months provided information regarding weaning approach alongside completing the Child Feeding Questionnaire. Information regarding infant weight and perceived size was also collected. Mothers following a baby-led feeding style reported significantly lower levels of restriction, pressure to eat, monitoring and concern over child weight compared to mothers following a standard weaning response. No association was seen between weaning style and infant weight or perceived size. A baby-led weaning style was associated with a maternal feeding style which is low in control. This could potentially have a positive impact upon later child weight and eating style. However due to the cross sectional nature of the study it cannot be ascertained whether baby-led weaning encourages a feeding style which is low in control to develop or whether mothers who are low in control choose to follow a baby-led weaning style.


Baby-led weaning Complementary feeding Breast-feeding Maternal control Child feeding questionnaire 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health and Human SciencesSwansea UniversitySwanseaUK

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