Promotion of preterm infant nipple feeding with nonnutritive sucking

J Pediatr Nurs. 1995 Feb;10(1):3-8. doi: 10.1016/S0882-5963(05)80093-4.


Transition of preterm infants from enteral to nipple feeding is a necessary milestone for hospital discharge. This study tested the efficacy of one potential intervention to facilitate the transition process. Ten minutes of nonnutritive sucking (NNS) and a control condition were administered randomly before first nipple feedings. The sample consisted of 20 preterm infants (gestational ages 27-33 weeks, M = 31.6, SD = 1.7; birth weights 931-2, 140 g, M = 1,649, SD = 373) who served as their own controls. NNS resulted in fewer behavioral state changes during feedings and produced quiet, awake states more frequently during feedings. Heart rates did not differ between feedings following NNS compared with those in the control condition.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Nursing Research
  • Energy Intake
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology*