OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with early interruption (before 4 months) of exclusive breastfeeding and late introduction (after 8 months) of complementary foods. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study, based on a survey conducted on the first day of the National Vaccination Campaign in 2004, in Cuiabá, MT, Brazil. The sample comprised 921 children less than 1 year old, and the adult accompanying each child was interviewed and a semi-structured questionnaire filled out. Probit analysis was employed to assess consumption of liquids and solids, and logistic regression analysis was applied to identify factors associated with early introduction of liquids and with late introduction of solids. RESULTS: There was elevated consumption of water and teas, followed by cow's milk among those less than 120 days old. Children were more likely to be given liquids on the day of the survey if they had been consuming them on the day they were discharged from the maternity unit. Approximately 60% of the children were being given soup or the family meal by 8 months. CONCLUSIONS: Liquids being given on the first day at home was a good predictor that they would be given for the first 4 months, emphasizing the need for intervention during prenatal care and at maternity units to counter the harm caused by this practice. After 8 months, however, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of the child participating in family meals, especially for adult mothers without higher education and primaparous mothers.
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