Who knew there was a cure for bratty kids besides time outs and candy blackouts? A bunch of smart chaps across the pond, that’s who.
A new study by British scientists from the Universities of Oxford, Essex, York and University College London published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood found that 16 percent of formula-fed babies were more likely to lie, steal or experience anxiety by the age of 5 compared to six percent of kids who were breastfed for at least four months.
The study looked at more than 10,000 infants born in 2000 and 2001.
One explanation for the difference is that breast milk contains fatty acids that aid in brain development, while another theorizes that better behavior is borne out of the strong bond established during nursing.
“We just don’t know whether it is because of the constituents in breast milk, or the close interaction with the mum, or whether it is a knock-on effect of reduced illness in breastfed babies,” Oxford University’s Maria Quigley, told the BBC. “But it does begin to look like we can add fewer behavioral problems as another potential benefit of breastfeeding.”
For any woman who has birthed a baby that has evolved into a bratty toddler (or is that an oxymoron?), it seems there’s no harm in at least trying breastfeeding the second kid around for this reason alone if formula was used the first time.
In your experience, is your breastfed baby an angel? Did your formula-fed baby morph into a monster?
Image: Wikimedia Commons