New Musical Pacifier Helps Development in Premature Babies

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Premature babies enter the world and are immediately faced with a mountain of difficult obstacles.  In response, Florida State University professor Jayne Standley has designed a device to help premature infants quickly learn the muscle movements that are required for sucking and feeding.

FSU has announced the release of the Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL) to hospitals around the world.

The specially wired pacifier and speaker provide musical reinforcement every time a baby sucks on it correctly. The musical lullabies are gentle and comforting for the baby, making them want to continue the sucking motion so they can hear more of the lullaby.

“Unlike full-term infants, very premature babies come into the world lacking the neurologic ability to coordinate a suck/swallow/breathe response for oral feeding,” said Jayne Standley, Florida State’s Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Music Therapy and inventor of the PAL. “The longer it takes them to learn this essential skill, the further behind in the growth process they fall. PAL uses musical lullaby reinforcement to speed this process up, helping them feed sooner and leave the hospital sooner.”

Clinical studies conducted by Professor Standley have shown that infants will increase their sucking rates up to 2.5 times more than infants not exposed to the musical reinforcement.

Further research shows that the innovative device can reduce the length of a premature infant’s hospital stay by an average of 5 days.  The Pacifier Activated Lullaby Device not only helps babies become healthy, but it also provides their parents with a chance to connect with them during a crucial stage of development.  The PAL is being sold through a partnership with Powers Device Technologies Inc.

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Florida State University, via FSU News. The original article was written by Tom Butler.

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