Background and aims Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices in under 5 children have great bearing on nutrition and health in childhood as well as in adult life. IYCF practices are influenced by local culture as well changes in education and health care interventions.
Methods Cross-sectional study. All mothers of children from 6 months to 5 years of age visiting Paediatric Outpatient Department were administered the questionnaire consisting of 39 questions relating to feeding practices and health of the child.
Results A total of 781 mothers were surveyed. More than half of the mothers (57.5%) started feeding within an hour of birth, 67.2% gave exclusive breastfeeding for six months, 51.6% continued breastfeeding for more than a year, 58.3% of the mothers breast fed 6–8 times, 24.6% more than 8 times and 17.1% less than 6 times, 30% of the mothers gave night feeds for 1–2 years, 18.2% of the mothers bottle fed the babies and 15.6% had problems during breastfeeding in first 6 months. 67.7% spend <3 h daily on feeding the child. Multivariable logistic regression showed that early initiation of breastfeeding (p = 0.037), hand hygiene (p = 0.03), food hygiene (storage: p = 0.02, Washing utensils: p = 0.005) and duration of exclusive breastfeeding (p < 0.001) were significantly associated with hospitalisation of child. The predictive value of the model was fair with correct classification rate of 68.8%.
Conclusions Current rates are well below the guidelines for IYCF feeding. Interventions to improve these practices need to be developed.