London: The babies who are fed when they are hungry tend to have higher IQ and achieve better test scores at school than those who are fed on schedule – although they do take a toll on their mothers, a new study has revealed.The study revealed that demand-fed babies– with breast milk or formula – attain higher scores in Sats tests at ages five, seven, 11 and 14, and that by the age of eight they have an IQ four to five points higher.However, mothers who stick to scheduled feeding times score better on wellbeing measures, and report feeling more confident and less tearful.Researchers from the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex and Oxford University consider themselves to be the first to conduct a large-scale study into the effects of scheduled versus on-demand feeding.The research used a sample of 10,419 children born in the early 1990s, and took into consideration different background factors, including parental educational levels, family income, a child’s sex and age, maternal health and parenting styles.“The difference between schedule and demand-fed children is found both in breast-fed and in bottle-fed babies,” the Guardian quoted Dr Maria Iacovou, from the ISER, who led the research, as saying.
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