New Research: Caretakers Learn “Responsive Bottle-Feeding” Skills at WIC to Prevent Overfeeding Infants

new study by Heluna Health’s PHFE WIC research and evaluation team and colleagues at the Center for Health Research, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo published in Pediatric Obesity found that promotion of responsive bottle-feeding is an effective way to support WIC parents and reduce the risk of overfeeding and excess weight gain.

Many parents think that crying is always a sign of hunger, and are quick to use feeding to soothing a fussy baby. For this reason, fussier babies tend to be at a higher risk for over-feeding. Parents enrolled in the WIC program receive education that helps prevent this. During pregnancy, WIC participants learn about baby behavior, sleeping patterns, hunger and fullness cues, non-hunger cues, and soothing techniques so they can recognize the difference between signs of over-stimulation, tiredness, and hunger once their baby is born. WIC also teaches parents to feed their babies when they show the earliest signs of hunger, and be responsive to signs of satiation or fullness. This empowers parents to be responsive to their baby’s needs and reduces the risk of over-feeding.

Access the research article via Wiley Online Library here: Strategies to promote responsive bottle-feeding in WIC predict less frequent use of food to soothe and healthier weight status for infants with negative temperaments.

Learn more about WIC services, and access WIC’s educational resources for feeding infants and children.