Sucking instinct: what you need to know about him

Sucking instinct: what you need to know about him

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Sources do not match. Some say that from the 12th week of pregnancy, others that from the 15th week of pregnancy the first attempts to suck the thumb by the developing baby in the mother's belly can be observed. This is the first one very strong instinct, which already appears in utero. Scientists have no doubt that it is the most active and most important of all reflexes that allows surviving the emerging life. His parents' biggest mistake, in turn, is silencing him ...

Not just nutrition

In times of glorification of breastfeeding, it is often forgotten that sucking is not just food for a newborn baby. The more important functions of this reflex are often overlooked, and among them is still too rarely spoken of the need for closeness, a sense of security and calmness, or calmness.

Newborns are not hungry right after delivery. Throughout the whole delivery they receive valuable nutrients from their mother, directly from the umbilical cord. Therefore, when looking for breasts, they do not want to eat, but just looking a way to calm down. It is an innate method for them to calm down.

However, this is not all ... the sucking reflex is designed to regulate the baby's body. When sucking the breast, the newborn is forced to breathe through the nose, which allows creating coordination between sucking and nasal breathing. It is only sequentially that these two activities are swallowed. Only mastering these three skills: sucking, breathing through the nose and swallowing allows for calm and satisfying breastfeeding.

Regulation of the body's work

Sucking is a way to regulate the work of the entire baby's body. It allows you to have a positive influence hormonal reactions, internal organs, emotions, behavior, physical condition.
Suction at the first stage of life is necessary to improve and regulate the work of the esophagus, intestine and stomach.

Sometimes, during or just after feeding, the baby needs a moment of sucking, without food (this is possible when the breast is emptied) or by giving a pacifier. Some babies are grateful for the opportunity to suck a pacifier for a while while feeding, especially when they are restless. After such a break, the baby often returns to food. When the toddler is full, he calmly lets go of the breast. At this point, according to many experts, you need to give him a moment of "peace."


Many have heard that breastfeeding does not require belching. What's the truth? Experts have no doubt that if the feeding takes place in a quiet atmosphere, both mom and baby are relaxed and not in a hurry (which is often obtained during the night), there is actually no such need.

Bouncing is sometimes considered to be the invention of "overzealous parents", which causes disruption of the digestive system. There is a theory that after feeding you should give your baby time to lie down and fall asleep or slowly move to wakefulness, and bouncing in this case is unnecessary ...


A sucking reflex that stimulates bowel function, facilitates defecation. What is important at every stage of a child's development, not just at the very beginning, when meconium is so important.

Strong suction instinct

Not every newborn baby has the same sucking instinct. Only the beginnings of everyone look the same when a child is able to over a dozen or so hours after delivery crawl to breast. However, after a few hours this reflex definitely weakens, which means that women receiving a baby a few hours after delivery may have problems with natural feeding. Therefore, if we care about breastfeeding, the test should be carried out as soon as possible.

Sucking breast and pacifier

There is no doubt that in terms of the development of the speech apparatus breast sucking is better for the baby, which activates up to 220 small muscles: lips, tongue, throat, palate, face, neck, neck, chest and even the diaphragm. During natural feeding, cranial nerves are stimulated, which are responsible for innervation of the most important organs: stomach, spleen, liver, pancreas, kidneys, etc.
Feeding through a teat, in turn, activates only 40 muscles of the mouth ...


The newborn and the infant have no other options like calming down by sucking. He cannot control his emotions otherwise. Sucking is like air to him. No matter how it can meet this need: sucking a breast, teat or blanket, a child needs proper reflexes for proper development.

Of course, if we are frustrated with breastfeeding every time the baby wants to calm down, we don't have to do it. We can try other known methods: embracing, hugging or feeding a teat, which in the case of a strong sucking reflex (a very individual matter) is invaluable.

A wisely used teat is not an enemy of parents. Is an ally. It allows you to meet an equally important need as the need for sleep or food. Especially among children who are not satisfied with breast-feeding.

Suction reflex and speech

The newborn uses for sucking lips, tip, middle and back of the tongue and muscles. He learns oral activities that he will need when speaking. Thanks to it, it trains breathing in and out, muscles of the chest and diaphragm, lips, tongue and facial muscles.


Suction reflex:

  • stimulates and stimulates the brain,
  • activates the work of the entire nervous system,
  • regulates the work of internal organs,
  • regulates emotional states

Symptoms of sucking reflex dysfunction that you should consult your doctor: