Higher IQ linked to babies fed on demand: study

Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a UK cohort study of more than 10,000 children, showed that eight-year-olds who were demand-fed as infants had IQs that were four or five points higher than those who were fed to a schedule.

The study showed that feeding on demand was associated with higher IQ scores at the age of eight and better performance in national curriculum tests at ages five, seven, 11 and 14 years.

This was after taking into account background factors such as parental education, family income, the child’s sex and age, maternal health and parenting styles.

Children with mothers who tried to feed to a schedule but did not manage it, had similar test results and IQ scores as youngsters who were demand-fed, the study found.

Dr Maria Iacovou, from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Essex University, said: “The difference between schedule and demand-fed children is found both in