Mothers who wean their babies early and put them in childcare may be setting them up for obesity, according to a study published in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The study of more than 8000 children found that those in part-time childcare gained an average of 0.4 pounds (175g) more weight by the time they were nine months old than those cared for by their parents. Those cared for by other relatives gained 0.35 pounds (162g) more weight.
It is thought that children placed in childcare before they are three months old are less likely to have been breastfed, and more likely to have been weaned onto solid foods at an earlier age. Previous studies have shown that babies who are breastfed tend to have lower body weights. Formula feeding and the early introduction of solid food seem to be linked to obesity. Of the 8150 nine-month-old babies studied by US researchers, 55 per cent received regular childcare from someone other than a parent. Among these, half were in full-time childcare, and 40 per cent began childcare at younger than three months.~ The Telegraph (UK), July 7