Send to

Choose Destination
J Pediatr. 2001 Sep;139(3):374-9.

A feeding protocol for healthy preterm infants that shortens time to oral feeding.

Author information

Division of Patient Services, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.



To test the hypothesis that healthy preterm infants randomly assigned to a semi-demand feeding protocol would require fewer days to attain oral feeding and have a satisfactory weight gain compared with control infants receiving standard care.


In 2 neonatal intensive care nurseries, 81 infants 32 to < or = 34 weeks' postconceptional age were randomly assigned to the control (n = 41) or experimental (n = 40) protocol for transition from gavage to oral feedings. The control protocol followed the standard practice of gradually increasing scheduled oral feedings, whereas the experimental protocol used a semi-demand feeding method contingent on infant behavior. Analysis of variance techniques were used to compare the study groups for number of days to attain oral feeding and weight gain.


The semi-demand method shortened the time for infants to achieve oral feeding by 5 days (P < .001). There were no differences in weight gain between the study groups, and both groups had satisfactory weight gain.


The semi-demand method for the transition from gavage to oral feeding in healthy, preterm infants 32 to < or = 34 weeks postconceptional age promotes faster attainment of oral feeding and does not compromise their weight gain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center