The long-term consequences for infants with problems of feeding and crying behavior remain unknown. The purpose of this research was to determine whether such children are later perceived by their parents as vulnerable and more often have behavior problems and have different personalities than children without problems in infancy. The implications of managing such problems by changing milk formulas is explored. Mothers of 379 infants were enrolled in the postpartum period. Information about problems of feeding and crying behavior was obtained at 4 months. Thirty-six percent of the infants had problems and the formula had been changed for 17%. At 3½ years, 320 (84%) mothers completed a questionnaire. Children who had had problems were more often perceived as vulnerable (relative risk [RR] 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09, 3.19) and more often had behavior problems (RR 1.78; 95% CI 1.03, 3.07). There were no differences in personality. Children whose problems had been managed by changing milk formulas were more often perceived as vulnerable (RR 2.18; 95% CI 1.05, 4.53). Although allergies were reported significantly more often for those children who had had problems, there were no differences in the prevalence of asthma or eczema. Problems of feeding and crying behavior in early infancy and the way they are managed may have long-term implications for the child.
- Received January 18, 1990.
- Accepted September 18, 1990.
- Copyright © 1991 by the American Academy of Pediatrics