Adiponectin and leptin are involved in appetite control and body weight regulation. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between breast milk adipokine levels and short-term growth of preterm and term infants. Thirty-one preterm (median=35.3 weeks) and 34 term (median=38.7 weeks) infants were enrolled. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect adipokines in mature milk. Infant growth was followed during the first 3 months. Although weight gain in the first month was insufficient, positive linear growth was observed in the following months for preterm infants, while term infants had positive steady linear growth. The median level of adipokines was found to be higher in preterm infants (P>0.05). Adiponectin showed significant negative correlations with some anthropometric measurements of term infants. However, in preterm infants, adiponectin was negatively correlated with length increment and positively correlated with body mass index (BMI) increment in the second–third month. In addition, leptin was negatively associated with the head circumference at birth in preterm infants and the triceps skinfold thickness increment in the first–second month term infants (P<0.05). In linear regression models, while gestational age, adiponectin and leptin were not related, maternal age and pre-pregnancy BMI had effects on body weight increment in 0–1 months (P<0.05). In conclusion, adiponectin may affect short-term growth, while leptin has no important effect. It would be beneficial to carry out longitudinal studies to evaluate the effects of these adipokines on the growth of infants.