Effectiveness of two feeding methods in improving energy intake and growth of infants with cleft palate: A randomized study

Elizabeth A. Brine, Karyl A. Richard, Mary Sue Brady, Edward A. Liechty, Amita Manatunga, Michael Sadove, Marilyn J. Bull

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Objective To compare two feeding methods advocated for infants with cleft palate: (a) a squeezable plastic container with a narrow, long crosscut nipple (squeezable cleft palate nurser); and (b) a standard nipple with a crosscut (crosscut nipple). The effectiveness of a nutrition intervention protocol for these infants was also documented. Design Thirty-one infants (median age = 15 days) were randomized to one of two feeding methods (18 infants, squeezable cleft lip/palate nurser; 13 infants, crosscut nipple) within sex (21 boys, 10 girls) and palatal defect (22 cleft lip and palate, 9 isolated cleft palate) categories. The intervention included feeding technique instructions, nutrition counseling at each clinic visit, use of the same 20 kcal/oz standard formula for 12 months, and introduction of infant and soft table foods at 6 months. Four-day food records and growth data were obtained. Main outcome measures Mean energy and protein intakes at 3 and 6 months of age and growth measurements during the first 18 months of life were obtained. Statistical analyses A repeated measures analysis of variance for intakes was performed with time as the repeated measure and feeding method as the covariable. Similar analyses were completed for growth measures with sex and feeding method as covariates. Results Mean energy intake at 3 and 6 months of age (P = .24) and growth measurements during the first 18 months of life (P values: weight gain [grams per day], 73; weight, .21; length, .07; head circumference, .18; triceps and subscapular skinfolds and mid-arm circumference, .47, .48, and .69, respectively) were not significantly different. Both feeding methods were effective in supporting normal growth. Applications With adequate instruction related to the use of either feeding technique and close nutrition follow-up early in infancy, a dietitian or other health care practitioner may advise the use of either feeding method. These data support the need for feeding and nutrition education and early nutrition intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-738
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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