The musical pacifier, great for preemies!

The musical, preemie pacifier

I thought I had heard it all when I was first told about the musical pacifier, but when I began to understand all the benefits, I changed my mind!The smallest baby ever to survive was born just a few months ago, weighing in at just under 10 ounces — the size of a large apple. When premature babies are born, they need special care. Now, experts say two new techniques are helping even the tiniest babies survive and thrive.Aidan, Ella, and Zoe weighed less than a pound-and-a-half each when they were born, and they’ve been poked, prodded, and stuck with IVs and needles ever since. Now, these preemies are being massaged back to health.”It’s good for them,” mother Susan Gaugh says. “It helps them trust people more.”

Studies show massage helps digestion and helps these tiny babies gain weight. “It helps circulation, it helps with the immune system, it helps with sleep,” says Maria Thillet, a registered nurse.

“They love it,” Susan says. “They calm down. They’re very relaxed when they get the massage.”

This musical pacifier is doing more than calming these babies. The pacifier teaches premature infants the “suck-swallow-breathe” reflex. When they do it right, music plays. When they do it wrong, the music stops.

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“They’re quick to learn that once the music turns off then they need to start sucking again,” says Amy Robertson, M.M., M.T./B.C., a music therapist at the Florida Hospital in Orlando.  Studies have shown babies who use musical pacifiers eat twice as much as those who do not use them. Experts say the faster a preemie learns to eat, the quicker their recovery time, and the sooner they get to go home — and that’s music to many babies’ ears.This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, click on: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

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