Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

The use of non-nutritive sucking to promote functional sucking skills in premature infants: An exploratory trial

Non-nutritive sucking appears to promote an infant’s readiness to begin oral feeding. This small pilot study examined a non-nutritive sucking programme to facilitate the transition to full oral feeding in premature infants. The results suggest that the non-nutritive sucking programme implemented by a speech and language therapist positively benefited the feeding development of neonates. Issues raised by the pilot study should be investigated in a larger scale study.

Celia M Harding, Professor James Law and Professor Tim Pring