Moms Often Feed Baby While Distracted, Study Finds

Technology is the biggest culprit that’s diverting mom’s full attention away from baby.
ByNatalie Escobar
Published
Jul 2017
mom texting while breastfeeding
Photo: iStock

While you probably know that bottle- or breastfeeding baby is one of the best ways to bond, let’s face it — feeding time can feel like all the time. It’s all too easy to spend that time checking email, scrolling through Instagram or catching up on Netflix instead of laser-focusing your attention on baby.

Lots of moms are in the same boat when it comes this distraction, according to a new study published on Friday in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Researchers found that moms were distracted during nearly half their feedings, and they reported that nearly 60 percent of those distractions came from technology like phones, television or computers.

This finding held true for all kinds of factors: whether moms bottle-feed or breastfeed, mom’s age and BMI, and infants’ weight and sex. However, there are a few factors that do make mom more likely to be distracted, such as baby’s appetite and whether mom has multiple children. After all, it’s hard to stay focused on baby when your other children are also demanding your attention.

There’s not conclusive evidence that this is bad for baby, but researchers point out that it’s worth looking at how it might be impacting baby’s short-term bonding with mom and long-term eating behaviors. You might be able to catch up on the news while effectively nursing baby, but it can make it harder to pick up on baby’s cues. And since baby’s giving you lots of these cues at this age, it’s important to stay attuned to them.

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