Background The World Health Organization has recommended that all infants under 6 months should be exclusively breastfed. An understanding of the trend of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) over years and over smaller geographical areas is crucial to monitor the progress made in improving the proportions of infants’ EBF. Methods Data on infant feeding practices on 2315 mother-infant pairs from 2002 to 2014 were extracted from cohorts of women who delivered in the Moshi Municipality. Descriptive statistics were used to establish the trend of EBF up to 1, 3 and 6 months across waves (2002/2004 = wave I, 2005/2012 = wave II and 2013/2014 = wave III), to relate EBF up to 6 months to wealth quintiles and to HIV status of mothers. Results The number of mothers in waves I, II and III were 1656 (71.5%), 256 (11.1%) and 403(17.4%) respectively. The percentages of EBF up to 6 months increased from 5.5, 13.7 to 16.9% from wave I to III. Overall, across the waves, the proportion of EBF up to 6 months among the mothers in the low wealth quintile was 4, 9 and 42%, and 7, 26 and 15% for the ones in the highest wealth quintile. The proportion of EBF up to 6 months has been increasing among HIV positive mothers while fluctuating among their counterparts across the waves. Conclusion The proportion of EBF up to 6 months has been increasing in the Moshi municipality but is below the national average. While establishing trends of EBF at the national level is commendable, research to establish trends over smaller geographical areas is needed to provide a true picture that may otherwise be masked.
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