Background: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for the first six months of life is critical for the wellbeing of the child. In the mean while, timely initiation and starting nutritionally-adequate, safe, age-appropriate complementary feeding at six months is recommended for the better health and development of infants. According to the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey 2011, timely initiation of complementary feeding in Ethiopia at the 6th month was only 51%. The purpose of this study is to determine the magnitude of timely initiation of complementary feeding and associated factors in Mekelle town, Northern Ethiopia. Methods. An institutional based cross-sectional study design was conducted among 422 mothers of infants aged from six months to one year selected from six public health facilities. Sample size proportional to the patient flow rate of each institution was allocated and systematic random sampling method was used to get the study participant. An exit interview using structured questionnaire was conducted about their experience on complementary feeding and related experience. The questionnaire was pretested among 21 mothers. Data were entered with EPI info version 3.5.1 and cleaning and analysis was done by using SPSS version 16. Frequencies distribution, binary and multiple logistic regressions were done. OR and 95% confidence interval was computed. Result: The prevalence of timely initiation of complementary feeding at sixth month was 62.8% (265/422, 95% C.I: 58.1, 67.31%). Educational level, occupation of mother, parity, having ANC follow up, and birth preparedness were found to be independent predictor of timely initiation of complementary feeding. Conclusions: Almost two-third of mothers initiated complementary feeding at six month of child' age as recommended. This was relatively higher prevalence than most developing countries. However, significant proportion of mothers still did not initiate complementary feeding timely. Mothers who are illiterate and completed only primary school need more attention. All mothers must be encouraged to make antenatal care follow up.
- Complementary feeding
- Timely initiation