What is Non-Nutritive Sucking?

Non-nutritive sucking is an essential life skill that helps newborn infants feed, breathe, comfort themselves, and grow, both physically and neurologically. But pre-term babies leave fetal gestation too soon to reach this critical developmental milestone.

The development of non-nutritive sucking begins for fetuses at 28 weeks, but continues to develop through weeks 32 to 34. When babies are born pre-term, this development is abruptly stopped. The survival of premature babies relies upon them being taught how to suck productively and develop the breathe-suck-swallow reflex outside of the womb.

PAL® is critical in overcoming this challenge. Capitalizing on a baby’s natural appetite for music, the PAL® uses lullaby therapy to stimulate non-nutritive sucking.