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  • New babies grow so fast they need a milky meal eight to twelve times a day. Some people say they eat like “little pigs,” but piglets can’t hold a candle to our babies! Every day our little ones “snort down” three ounces of milk for every pound of their body weight. That’s like you guzzling five gallons of whole milk every day, seven days a week! 

    The wonderful 5th S  of the 5 S's feels extraordinary because it can both satisfy hunger and turn on the calming reflex. All this sucking means hours of pleasure throughout the day.

    Is your baby sucking on everything? Some babies will suck anything put in their mouths, but others are little gourmets. Two-month-old Liam refused to suck on anything–not pacifiers, not fingers, not even a bottle–with one exception: He loved sucking on his mothers’ upside-down second finger! 

    Doctors call infant eating nutritive sucking and call pacifier use nonnutritive sucking (because it yields no nutrition). Non-nutritive sucking helps babies stay calm amid the chaos of the world around them. Like baby meditation, paci sucking lowers the heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels; it even reduces crying after shots and blood tests. But as hunger builds, your baby will eventually spit the pacifier out, as if to complain, “Hey, I ordered milk – not rubber!”

    (After some great nutritive sucking – that is, a good feeding – she’ll happily accept the binky again.)

    Notes: As a special bonus, scientists have discovered that sucking a paci at bedtime can lower your baby’s risk of SIDS . . . even if she spits it out after falling asleep. (Although, doctors have yet to figure out how this bit of sucking works such wonders.)

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