Feeding preterm infants. Schedule or demand?

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 1991 May-Jun;20(3):212-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.1991.tb02533.x.


Weight gain, length of hospitalization, and feeding behaviors were compared for preterm infants who were fed on demand (n = 15) with preterm infants who were fed on a schedule (n = 14). Weight gain and hospital stays were similar for both groups, and self-regulated feeding was found to be safe for physiologically stable infants. Benefits related to feeding behaviors included longer rest periods between interventions and the opportunity for infants to demonstrate hunger cues. The study findings indicate that feeding on demand may enhance contingency interactions between parents and their preterm infants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Cues
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Hunger
  • Infant
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant Care / standards
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Infant, Premature / psychology
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Nursing Care
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Gain