Thirty preterm infants were randomly assigned to one of three milk temperature groups: 37 degrees C, 24 degrees C, and 10 degrees C. Infants were fed by gavage every two hours, and gastric residuals were measured immediately prior to the next feeding. Feeding tolerance was determined by dividing the volume of gastric residual by the total volume of the feeding. Abdominal and axillary skin temperatures were monitored half-hourly. Tolerance differed significantly among the three milk temperature groups, using ANCOVA, F(2, 26) = 41.06, p < .01, accounting for 75 percent of variance shared. Post hoc Scheffe's procedure on adjusted means indicated that the infants fed the warmer milk (BT group) had significantly smaller gastric residuals (6 percent) than those fed the colder milk (RT group, 22 percent and CT group, 18 percent). No significant differences in body temperature for any of the three milk temperature groups were found. Warming milk to body temperature may promote greater feeding tolerance in the VLBW infant (< or = 1,500 gm). Results from this study provide objective data that will help nurses provide optimal nutrition to preterm infants.