Table 2 - Five primary stages of sucking in preterm infants

From the following article

Swallowing and feeding in infants and young children

Joan C. Arvedson

GI Motility online (2006)



Source: Adapted from Lau et al.8

1aNo suction; arrhythmic expression
1bArrhythmic alternation of suction and expression
2aNo suction; rhythmic expression
2bArrhythmic alternation of suction and expression; sucking bursts noted
3aNo suction; rhythmic expression
3bRhythmic suction and expression; suction amplitude increases, wide amplitude range, prolonged sucking bursts
4Rhythmic suction and expression; well-defined suction, amplitude range decreased
5Rhythmic, well-defined suction and expression; increasing suction amplitude; sucking pattern similar to term infant