The relationship of bottle feeding and other sucking behaviors with speech disorder in Patagonian preschoolers

Clarita Barbosa, Sandra Vasquez, Mary A. Parada, Juan C.V. Gonzalez, Chanaye Jackson, N. David Yanez, Bizu Gelaye, Annette L. Fitzpatrick

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25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have shown that children's nonnutritive sucking habits may lead to delayed development of their oral anatomy and functioning. However, these findings were inconsistent. We investigated associations between use of bottles, pacifiers, and other sucking behaviors with speech disorders in children attending three preschools in Punta Arenas (Patagonia), Chile. Methods: Information on infant feeding and sucking behaviors, age starting and stopping breast- and bottle-feeding, pacifier use, and other sucking behaviors, was collected from self-administered questionnaires completed by parents. Evaluation of speech problems was conducted at preschools with subsequent scoring by a licensed speech pathologist using age-normative standards. Results: A total of 128 three- to five-year olds were assessed, 46% girls and 54% boys. Children were breastfed for an average of 25.2 (SD 9.6) months and used a bottle 24.4 (SD 15.2) months. Fifty-three children (41.7%) had or currently used a pacifier for an average of 11.4 (SD 17.3) months; 23 children (18.3%) were reported to have sucked their fingers. Delayed use of a bottle until after 9 months appeared to be protective for subsequent speech disorders. There was less than a one-third lower relative odds of subsequent speech disorders for children with a delayed use of a bottle compared to children without a delayed use of a bottle (OR: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.10-0.98). A three-fold increase in relative odds of speech disorder was found for finger-sucking behavior (OR: 2.99, 95% CI: 1.10-8.00) and for use of a pacifier for 3 or more years (OR: 3.42, 95% CI: 1.08-10.81). Conclusion: The results suggest extended use of sucking outside of breastfeeding may have detrimental effects on speech development in young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 21 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Barbosa, C., Vasquez, S., Parada, M. A., Gonzalez, J. C. V., Jackson, C., Yanez, N. D., Gelaye, B., & Fitzpatrick, A. L. (2009). The relationship of bottle feeding and other sucking behaviors with speech disorder in Patagonian preschoolers. BMC Pediatrics, 9, [66]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2431-9-66