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The influence of feeding methods in the development of nonnutritive sucking habits in childhood

This study verified the relationship between nonnutritive sucking habits and feeding methods in children from 12 to 36 months of age, attending public nursery schools in the city of João Pessoa, Paraíba State. The sample consisted of 292 children of both gender and the data were collected by interviewing the children's mothers or minders. The information of the forms consisted on the description of the frequency and duration of the nonnutritive sucking habits, as well as on the feeding methods. The data were analyzed through the statistical program SPSS, taking place distributions of frequencies and qui-square test and Fisher Exact. In relation to the presence of nonnutritive sucking habits, 69.2% of the children had some type of habit, being 61.6% the pacifier sucking and 8.2% the digital sucking. From the entire sample, 10.2% presented exclusive breastfeeding, 4.9% were just bottle-fed and 84.9% were breast-fed and bottle-fed. Considering the methods of feeding, 83.8% of the children presented exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life. The feeding methods presented significant association with the presence of nonnutritive sucking habits. As larger the duration of the exclusive breastfeeding, smaller the prevalence of sucking habits.

Breastfeeding; Sucking habits; Bottle feeding

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