sucking behavior


Summary: Any suction exerted by the mouth; response of the mammalian infant to draw milk from the breast. Includes sucking on inanimate objects. Not to be used for thumb sucking, which is indexed under fingersucking.

Top Publications

  1. Warren J, Bishara S, Steinbock K, Yonezu T, Nowak A. Effects of oral habits' duration on dental characteristics in the primary dentition. J Am Dent Assoc. 2001;132:1685-93; quiz 1726 pubmed
    ..It may be prudent to revisit suggestions that sucking habits continued to as late as 5 to 8 years of age are of little concern. ..
  2. Qureshi M, Vice F, Taciak V, Bosma J, Gewolb I. Changes in rhythmic suckle feeding patterns in term infants in the first month of life. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002;44:34-9 pubmed
  3. Romero C, Scavone Junior H, Garib D, Cotrim Ferreira F, Ferreira R. Breastfeeding and non-nutritive sucking patterns related to the prevalence of anterior open bite in primary dentition. J Appl Oral Sci. 2011;19:161-8 pubmed
  4. Peres K, Barros A, Peres M, Victora C. Effects of breastfeeding and sucking habits on malocclusion in a birth cohort study. Rev Saude Publica. 2007;41:343-50 pubmed
  5. da Costa S, van den Engel Hoek L, Bos A. Sucking and swallowing in infants and diagnostic tools. J Perinatol. 2008;28:247-57 pubmed publisher
    ..At the same time, we searched for studies on the relationship between early sucking behavior and developmental outcome...
  6. Nieuwenhuis T, da Costa S, Bilderbeek E, Geven W, van der Schans C, Bos A. Uncoordinated sucking patterns in preterm infants are associated with abnormal general movements. J Pediatr. 2012;161:792-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Uncoordinated sucking patterns were associated with abnormal fidgety movements, indicating that uncoordinated sucking, swallowing, and breathing may represent neurologic dysfunction. ..
  7. Bishara S, Warren J, Broffitt B, Levy S. Changes in the prevalence of nonnutritive sucking patterns in the first 8 years of life. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2006;130:31-6 pubmed
    ..b>Sucking behavior data were initially collected from 797 children who were followed longitudinally from birth; the data came ..
  8. Doucet S, Soussignan R, Sagot P, Schaal B. The "smellscape" of mother's breast: effects of odor masking and selective unmasking on neonatal arousal, oral, and visual responses. Dev Psychobiol. 2007;49:129-38 pubmed
    ..This study shows that volatile compounds originating in areolar secretions or milk release mouthing, stimulate eye opening, and delay and reduce crying in newborns. ..
  9. Ovsenik M. Incorrect orofacial functions until 5 years of age and their association with posterior crossbite. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2009;136:375-81 pubmed publisher
    ..Mouth breathing and dummy sucking behavior were found to be statistically significantly different between the crossbite and noncrossbite groups of ..

More Information


  1. Raimbault C, Saliba E, Porter R. The effect of the odour of mother's milk on breastfeeding behaviour of premature neonates. Acta Paediatr. 2007;96:368-71 pubmed
    ..Brief exposure to the odour of mother's milk prior to early breastfeeding trials had a positive effect on sucking behaviour and milk ingestion of preterm babies, which in turn resulted in a shortened stay in the hospital. ..
  2. Amaizu N, Shulman R, Schanler R, Lau C. Maturation of oral feeding skills in preterm infants. Acta Paediatr. 2008;97:61-7 pubmed
    ..Differences in functional stability of particular outcomes confirm that maturation levels depend on infants' gestational rather than PMA. ..
  3. Ngom P, Diagne F, Samba Diouf J, Ndiaye A, Hennequin M. [Prevalence and factors associated with non-nutritive sucking behavior. Cross sectional study among 5- to 6-year-old Senegalese children]. Orthod Fr. 2008;79:99-106 pubmed publisher
    ..The identification of factors associated with non nutritive sucking habits would permit to develop and target recommendations for the prevention of such habits. ..
  4. O Connor N, Tanabe K, Siadaty M, Hauck F. Pacifiers and breastfeeding: a systematic review. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009;163:378-82 pubmed publisher
    ..Ongoing quantitative and qualitative research is needed to better understand the relationship between pacifier use and breastfeeding. ..
  5. Pickler R, Chiaranai C, Reyna B. Relationship of the first suck burst to feeding outcomes in preterm infants. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2006;20:157-62 pubmed
    ..The findings suggest that as infants gain experience at feeding, the first suck burst could be a useful indicator for how successful a particular feeding might be. ..
  6. Barlow S. Central pattern generation involved in oral and respiratory control for feeding in the term infant. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;17:187-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Cross-system interactions among these CPGs represent targets of opportunity for new interventions, which optimize experience-dependent mechanisms to promote safe swallows among newborn and pediatric patients. ..
  7. Montaldo L, Montaldo P, Cuccaro P, Caramico N, Minervini G. Effects of feeding on non-nutritive sucking habits and implications on occlusion in mixed dentition. Int J Paediatr Dent. 2011;21:68-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Several studies have determined the effects of non-nutritive sucking habits on malocclusions, but provided conflicting results...
  8. Medoff Cooper B, Shults J, Kaplan J. Sucking behavior of preterm neonates as a predictor of developmental outcomes. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2009;30:16-22 pubmed publisher
    The relationship between the pattern of sucking behavior of preterm infants during the early weeks of life and neurodevelopmental outcomes during the first year of life was evaluated...
  9. Scavone H, Guimarães C, Ferreira R, Nahás A, Vellini Ferreira F. Association between breastfeeding duration and non-nutritive sucking habits. Community Dent Health. 2008;25:161-5 pubmed
    ..Children aged 3-6 years who were breastfed for nine months or longer had a lower prevalence of non-nutritive sucking habits. ..
  10. Torrey S, Toth Tamminga E, Widowski T. Effect of drinker type on water intake and waste in newly weaned piglets. J Anim Sci. 2008;86:1439-45 pubmed publisher
    ..This excessive drinking and water wastage can be abated through the use of push-lever drinkers without negative implications for feed intake or growth rates. ..
  11. Diouf J, Ngom P, Badiane A, Cisse B, Ndoye C, Diop Ba K, et al. Influence of the mode of nutritive and non-nutritive sucking on the dimensions of primary dental arches. Int Orthod. 2010;8:372-85 pubmed publisher
    ..The aim of this study was to quantify the influence of the mode of nutritive suckling and non-nutritive sucking habits (NNSH) on the measurements of the dental arches...
  12. Gewolb I, Vice F. Maturational changes in the rhythms, patterning, and coordination of respiration and swallow during feeding in preterm and term infants. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2006;48:589-94 pubmed
    ..Coordination of swallow-respiration and suck-swallow rhythms may be predictive of feeding, respiratory, and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. ..
  13. Mizuno K, Aizawa M, Saito S, Kani K, Tanaka S, Kawamura H, et al. Analysis of feeding behavior with direct linear transformation. Early Hum Dev. 2006;82:199-204 pubmed
    ..The change in the eye-jaw distance was smaller than the changes in the eye-throat distance in gnormalh infants (p<0.001). The DLT method can be used to evaluate feeding performance without any special device. ..
  14. Tsai S, Chen C, Lin M. Prediction for developmental delay on Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale in preterm infants without brain lesion. Pediatr Int. 2010;52:65-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Close follow up and early intervention may be necessary for infants who present with a disorganized sucking pattern after 37 weeks post-conceptional age. ..
  15. Segami Y, Mizuno K, Taki M, Itabashi K. Perioral movements and sucking pattern during bottle feeding with a novel, experimental teat are similar to breastfeeding. J Perinatol. 2013;33:319-23 pubmed publisher
    ..There were no significant differences in perioral movements. Although the value was smaller, a hold pressure was observed during ET. From these results, the novel, ET may decrease BF problems related to bottle use. ..
  16. Delaney A, Arvedson J. Development of swallowing and feeding: prenatal through first year of life. Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2008;14:105-17 pubmed publisher
    ..Further related topics in other articles of this issue provide a comprehensive review of factors influencing oral intake, growth, nutrition, and neurodevelopmental status of children. ..
  17. Duncan K, McNamara C, Ireland A, Sandy J. Sucking habits in childhood and the effects on the primary dentition: findings of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood. Int J Paediatr Dent. 2008;18:178-88 pubmed publisher
    ..Both digit and dummy sucking were associated with observed anomalies in the developing dentition, but dummy-sucking habits had the most profound influence on the anterior and posterior occlusions of the children. ..
  18. Moimaz S, Zina L, Saliba N, Saliba O. Association between breast-feeding practices and sucking habits: a cross-sectional study of children in their first year of life. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008;26:102-6 pubmed
    ..Although we could not evaluate causality assessment, malocclusion prevention seems to be yet one more reason for promoting breast-feeding practices. ..
  19. Slattery J, Morgan A, Douglas J. Early sucking and swallowing problems as predictors of neurodevelopmental outcome in children with neonatal brain injury: a systematic review. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012;54:796-806 pubmed publisher
  20. Verrastro A, Stefani F, Rodrigues C, Wanderley M. Occlusal and orofacial myofunctional evaluation in children with anterior open bite before and after removal of pacifier sucking habit. Int J Orthod Milwaukee. 2007;18:19-25 pubmed
    ..008) and reduced the occurrence of tongue interposition during swallowing (P = .008). Lack of proper tongue rest posture was capable of preventing spontaneous correction of anterior open bite (odds ratio 17.50). ..
  21. Taki M, Mizuno K, Murase M, Nishida Y, Itabashi K, Mukai Y. Maturational changes in the feeding behaviour of infants - a comparison between breast-feeding and bottle-feeding. Acta Paediatr. 2010;99:61-7 pubmed publisher
    ..05). The increase in the amount of ingested milk with maturation resulted from an increase in bolus volume per minute as well as the higher number of sucks continuously for both breast- and bottle-fed infants. ..
  22. Schaal B, Doucet S, Sagot P, Hertling E, Soussignan R. Human breast areolae as scent organs: morphological data and possible involvement in maternal-neonatal coadaptation. Dev Psychobiol. 2006;48:100-10 pubmed
    ..In conclusion, the maternal endowment in AG may contribute to the infants' breastfeeding performance, early growth, and the mother's lactation onset. ..
  23. Lang W, Buist N, Geary A, Buckley S, Adams E, Jones A, et al. Quantification of intraoral pressures during nutritive sucking: methods with normal infants. Dysphagia. 2011;26:277-86 pubmed publisher
    We report quantitative measurements of ten parameters of nutritive sucking behavior in 91 normal full-term infants obtained using a novel device (an Orometer) and a data collection/analytical system (Suck Editor)...
  24. Rogers B, Arvedson J. Assessment of infant oral sensorimotor and swallowing function. Ment Retard Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2005;11:74-82 pubmed
    ..Further efforts are needed to develop clinical evaluative measures of dysphagia in infancy. ..
  25. Pickler R, Reyna B. Effects of non-nutritive sucking on nutritive sucking, breathing, and behavior during bottle feedings of preterm infants. Adv Neonatal Care. 2004;4:226-34 pubmed
    ..Behavioral state during feedings and feeding efficiency were not affected by prefeeding NNS. In this sample, the use of prefeeding NNS did not affect NS, breathing during feeding, or select behavioral characteristics of feeding. ..
  26. Mizuno K, Ueda A. Neonatal feeding performance as a predictor of neurodevelopmental outcome at 18 months. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2005;47:299-304 pubmed
    ..The sensitivity and specificity of feeding assessment were higher than those of ultrasound assessment. Neonatal feeding performance is, therefore, of prognostic value in detecting future developmental problems. ..
  27. Degan V, Puppin Rontani R. Prevalence of pacifier-sucking habits and successful methods to eliminate them--a preliminary study. J Dent Child (Chic). 2004;71:148-51 pubmed
    ..The most efficient method to end the pacifier-sucking habit was professional explanation; however, it was used less often. ..
  28. Viggiano D, Fasano D, Monaco G, Strohmenger L. Breast feeding, bottle feeding, and non-nutritive sucking; effects on occlusion in deciduous dentition. Arch Dis Child. 2004;89:1121-3 pubmed
    ..Children with non-nutritive sucking activity and being bottle fed had more than double the risk of posterior cross-bite. Breast feeding seems to have a protective effect on development of posterior cross-bite in deciduous dentition. ..
  29. Mizuno K, Fujimaki K, Sawada M. Sucking behavior at breast during the early newborn period affects later breast-feeding rate and duration of breast-feeding. Pediatr Int. 2004;46:15-20 pubmed
    ..It could become a helpful tool if babies sucking behavior at breast in the early neonatal period could predict babies at risk of short-term breast-feeding...
  30. Dewey K, Nommsen Rivers L, Heinig M, Cohen R. Risk factors for suboptimal infant breastfeeding behavior, delayed onset of lactation, and excess neonatal weight loss. Pediatrics. 2003;112:607-19 pubmed
    ..All breastfeeding mother-infant pairs should be evaluated at 72 to 96 hours' postpartum. ..
  31. Iida S, Harada T, Okamoto M, Inada Y, Kogo M, Masuda Y. Soft palate movement during sucking behavior. Dysphagia. 2003;18:96-100 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, the levator veli palatini muscle, whose activity was observed only during high-pressure sucking with an open jaw, may act to maintain tension in the soft palate against strong negative pressure in the oral cavity...
  32. Mizuno K, Ueda A. The maturation and coordination of sucking, swallowing, and respiration in preterm infants. J Pediatr. 2003;142:36-40 pubmed
    ..Feeding behavior in premature infants matured significantly between 33 and 36 weeks after conception, and swallowing infrequently interrupted respiration during feeding after 35 weeks after conception. ..
  33. Bingham P, Abassi S, Sivieri E. A pilot study of milk odor effect on nonnutritive sucking by premature newborns. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157:72-5 pubmed
    ..Further studies on the effects of nutrient odor on nonnutritive sucking by premature newborns must take into account the effects of nutrients given via gavage. ..
  34. Gibbins S, Stevens B, Hodnett E, Pinelli J, Ohlsson A, Darlington G. Efficacy and safety of sucrose for procedural pain relief in preterm and term neonates. Nurs Res. 2002;51:375-82 pubmed
    ..The combination of sucrose and nonnutritive sucking is the most efficacious intervention for single heel lances. Research on the effects of gestational age on the efficacy and safety of repeated doses of sucrose is required. ..
  35. Fox A, Dodd B, Howard D. Risk factors for speech disorders in children. Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2002;37:117-31 pubmed
    ..The relevance of risk factor identification for functional speech disorders is discussed. ..
  36. Warren J, Bishara S. Duration of nutritive and nonnutritive sucking behaviors and their effects on the dental arches in the primary dentition. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2002;121:347-56 pubmed
    ..b>Sucking behavior data were collected on 372 children followed longitudinally from birth by using periodic questionnaires ..
  37. Gewolb I, Vice F, Schwietzer Kenney E, Taciak V, Bosma J. Developmental patterns of rhythmic suck and swallow in preterm infants. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2001;43:22-7 pubmed
  38. Craig C, Grealy M, Lee D. Detecting motor abnormalities in preterm infants. Exp Brain Res. 2000;131:359-65 pubmed
    ..More accurate classification of a preterm infant's movement abnormalities would allow for early therapeutic interventions to be realised when the infant is still acquiring the most basic of motor functions. ..
  39. Karjalainen S, Ronning O, Lapinleimu H, Simell O. Association between early weaning, non-nutritive sucking habits and occlusal anomalies in 3-year-old Finnish children. Int J Paediatr Dent. 1999;9:169-73 pubmed
    ..We suggest that an early introduction of bottlefeeding, indicating a pattern of low-impact muscular activity, may interfere with the normal development of alveolar ridges and hard palate, and hence lead to posterior crossbite. ..
  40. McGrath J, Braescu A. State of the science: feeding readiness in the preterm infant. J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2004;18:353-68; quiz 369-70 pubmed
    ..The theoretical foundation for feeding readiness and factors that appear to affect bottle-feeding readiness, progression, and success are presented in this article. ..
  41. Neiva F, Cattoni D, Ramos J, Issler H. [Early weaning: implications to oral motor development]. J Pediatr (Rio J). 2003;79:7-12 pubmed
    ..In addition to several benefits of breastfeeding, it contributes to a proper oral motor development and also avoids speech-language disorders, regarding oral motor system. ..
  42. Lau C, Smith E, Schanler R. Coordination of suck-swallow and swallow respiration in preterm infants. Acta Paediatr. 2003;92:721-7 pubmed
    ..It is speculated that feeding difficulties in preterm infants are more likely to result from inappropriate swallow-respiration interfacing than suck-swallow interaction. ..
  43. Howard C, Howard F, Lanphear B, Eberly S, deBlieck E, Oakes D, et al. Randomized clinical trial of pacifier use and bottle-feeding or cupfeeding and their effect on breastfeeding. Pediatrics. 2003;111:511-8 pubmed
    ..Pacifier use in the neonatal period was detrimental to exclusive and overall breastfeeding. These findings support recommendations to avoid exposing breastfed infants to artificial nipples in the neonatal period. ..
  44. Mizuno K, Ueda A. Development of sucking behavior in infants with Down's syndrome. Acta Paediatr. 2001;90:1384-8 pubmed
    The aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of the development of sucking behavior in infants with Down's syndrome. The sucking behavior of 14 infants with Down's syndrome was consecutively studied at 1, 4, 8 and 12 mo of age...
  45. Lau C, Alagugurusamy R, Schanler R, Smith E, Shulman R. Characterization of the developmental stages of sucking in preterm infants during bottle feeding. Acta Paediatr. 2000;89:846-52 pubmed
    ..In addition, we propose that the present five-point sucking scale may be used to assess the developmental stages of sucking of preterm infants. Such knowledge would facilitate the management of oral feeding in these infants. ..
  46. Lau C, Schanler R. Oral feeding in premature infants: advantage of a self-paced milk flow. Acta Paediatr. 2000;89:453-9 pubmed
    ..The vacuum-free bottle is a tool which caretakers can readily use in neonatal nurseries. ..
  47. Viera C. [Risk of inffective breast-feeding: a nursing diagnosis]. Rev Bras Enferm. 2004;57:712-4 pubmed
    ..It is believed that the identification of the risks of ineffective breast-feeding during the newborn's hospitalization period makes possible a nursing care focused on the prevention of an 'ineffective breast-feeding' diagnosis. ..
  48. Bromiker R, Arad I, Loughran B, Netzer D, Kaplan M, Medoff Cooper B. Comparison of sucking patterns at introduction of oral feeding and at term in Israeli and American preterm infants. Acta Paediatr. 2005;94:201-4 pubmed
    ..Different practices in the care of preterm infants, such as postconceptional age at introduction of oral feeding, may play a role in the development of feeding and feeding organization at term. ..
  49. de Albuquerque S, Duarte R, Cavalcanti A, Beltrão E. [The influence of feeding methods in the development of nonnutritive sucking habits in childhood]. Cien Saude Colet. 2010;15:371-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The feeding methods presented significant association with the presence of nonnutritive sucking habits. As larger the duration of the exclusive breastfeeding, smaller the prevalence of sucking habits. ..
  50. Makzoume J. Complete denture prosthodontics for a patient with Parkinson's disease using the neutral zone concept: a clinical report. Gen Dent. 2008;56:e12-6 pubmed
    ..Based on this case, a slow-setting material of low viscosity was preferable for shaping the neutral zone. ..
  51. Liaw J, Zeng W, Yang L, Yuh Y, Yin T, Yang M. Nonnutritive sucking and oral sucrose relieve neonatal pain during intramuscular injection of hepatitis vaccine. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011;42:918-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Both nonpharmacological methods more effectively relieved newborns' pain, stabilized physiological parameters, and shortened cry duration during IM hepatitis injection than routine care. ..
  52. Ralli G, Ruoppolo G, Mora R, Guastini L. Deleterious sucking habits and atypical swallowing in children with otitis media with effusion. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011;75:1260-4 pubmed publisher
    ..Our data suggest a correlation between otitis media with effusion, deleterious sucking habits and prevalence of atypical swallowing. ..
  53. Bolzan G, Berwig L, Prade L, Cuti L, Yamamoto R, Silva A, et al. Assessment for oral feeding in preterm infants. Codas. 2016;: pubmed publisher