Child a Brat? Maybe He Didn't Get Enough Breast Milk

Filed under: In The News, Breast-Feeding

Breast Milk

Infants who get regular doses of mother's milk tend to be less bratty children. Credit: Getty Images

The next time someone is rude to you, just shrug it off and think, "Oh well, he probably didn't get enough breast milk."

Breast milk apparently hath charms to soothe the savage, well, breast.

CBS News reports British researchers have found infants who get regular doses of mother's milk direct from the tap tend to be less bratty children later on. They also are less likely to lie, steal and be anxious or hyperactive.

Researchers from the universities of Oxford, Essex, York and University College London used collected information on more than 10,000 infants born in 2000 and 2001. They found that 16 percent of the babies given formula instead of breast milk were little hellions (to some degree) by age 5.

Only 6 percent of breast-fed children were such troublemakers.

What makes breast milk so wonderful? Well, there's the packaging, of course. Sheer brilliance! Nursing creates a strong bond between mother and child. Beyond that, CBS reports, breast milk has fatty acids that aid in brain development.

"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 breast-fed babies," Oxford University's Maria Quigley tells CBS. "But it does begin to look like we can add fewer behavioral problems as another potential benefit of breast-feeding."

On the other hand, just because you didn't breast-feed your baby doesn't mean he's going to grow up to become John Dillinger.

"We must not send a negative message to mothers that they have failed, or make them feel guilty because they bottle-feed their babies," breast-feeding expert Janet Fyle of the Royal College of Midwives tells CBS.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.