Poor sucking reflexes are often an underlying issue found in babies who are born prematurely. This is a grave problem considering it leaves them helpless and incapable to eat properly. To address this issue, a new device that will work through gentle behavioral modification, teaching the preemies to suck for milk; has been developed. The device is currently being tested at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital for the aforesaid function and is called Pacifier- Activated Lullaby (PAL).
Considering that babies love lullabies, it can be hoped that they would even work for them. The device, PAL is a pacifier. It can detect whether or not the baby is sucking on it. In case the baby is, the baby gets to hear a lullaby in return. The lullabies are pre- recorded. The parents of the baby can record them, with the objective of encouraging the kids to connect with their family that may or may not be around them while they are in the neonatal unit.
Though the technology is still in a phase where it is constantly being tested by clinicians, the results of the tests have given a 70% positive outcome. 70% preemies improve their use of a pacifier when they are using PAL. The process ensures a connection on the emotional front between the parents and the kids. Additionally it is an active way for kids and parents to participate.