Infant Feeding for NICU Babies

Bringing your child home from the NICU can be an exciting and frightening transition. Infants who are discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are often medically fragile and developmentally immature. An infant’s motor stability and state of regulation are key to successful feeding behavior. At Assential Therapies, our team of professionals will guide you through the challenges associated with the transition from the secure hospital environment to your loving home.

Common Feeding Challenges

  • Feeding tube dependency
  • Oral skills for feeding
  • Choking episodes
  • Volume intake
  • Hunger cues

Feeding Team

  • Speech-Language Pathologist/Feeding Specialist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Developmental Therapist
  • Dietitian

How we help

Infants experiencing feeding difficulties after being discharged from the NICU present a range of feeding skills and challenges. Due to individual variation in their development and medical fragility, a multidisciplinary approach is required for successful treatment. If oral feedings have been initiated, our feeding specialist will evaluate your child by observing a typical feeding. If your baby is tube dependent, we will assess oral feeding readiness.  Our physical therapists will evaluate and facilitate your child’s motor skills, including head control, trunk strength, and hand to mouth coordination to create foundational skills for oral feedings. Our developmental therapists will evaluate and monitor your infant’s global development until your child is on the right path. Following your evaluations, your feeding team will create an individualized plan of care to support your child and family.