The effect of nonnutritive sucking on oxygenation in healthy, crying full-term infants

Appl Nurs Res. 1994 May;7(2):52-8. doi: 10.1016/0897-1897(94)90033-7.


Crying in healthy, recently born infants has been associated with decreased oxygenation, which may prolong adjustment to extrauterine life. This research investigated the use of nonnutritive sucking (NNS) as an intervention to reduce crying and prevent any decreases in oxygenation that may occur in crying healthy term infants between 9 and 72 hours of life. Twenty-nine experimental group infants, who received a pacifier (NNS) immediately after crying was induced by a heelstick, had statistically significantly higher transcutaneous oxygen tensions (tcPO2S) compared with baseline values than 30 control (ONNS) infants who did not. Infants who received NNS also had higher tcPO2S after crying than infants who did not. NNS, which attenuates crying, may alleviate crying-induced oxygen decreases in healthy, transitional newborn infants.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous
  • Crying / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Oxygen / physiology*
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology*
  • Time Factors


  • Oxygen