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Perfect Preemie Pacifier

Early infants give it a thumbs up

(HealthDayNews) -- Low-birth-weight infants, better known as preemies, need non-nutritive sucking even more than full-term babies do. All infants need to suck, but for the preemie, the behavior is an important part of development.

That's why the School of Nursing, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, felt it was important to create a pacifier designed just for preemies.

As reported in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, infants using the new pacifier were found to be in an alert state more often than babies using traditional designs.

But how did researchers design it? According to the report, they followed a "naturalistic approach" and followed a pattern that every infant loves. The new pacifier looks just like a thumb.

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