Breast-feeding has many known health benefits, but there’s still debate about how it may influence kids’ behavior and intelligence.
Now, a new study published in Pediatrics finds that children who are breast-fed for at least six months as babies have less hyperactive behavior by age 3 compared with kids who weren’t breast-fed.
But the study also finds that breast-feeding doesn’t necessarily lead to a cognitive boost.
Researchers studied 8,000 children in Ireland. At ages 3 and 5, the kids took standardized tests to measure cognitive abilities. Overall, the breast-fed kids scored a tad higher.
“But [the difference] wasn’t big enough to show statistical significance,” says study author Lisa-Christine Girard, a child-development researcher at University College Dublin.