ArticlesState of the Science: Feeding Readiness in the Preterm InfantMcGrath, Jacqueline M. PhD, RN, NNP, CCNS; Braescu, Ana V. Bodea MS, MPH, RNAuthor Information College of Nursing, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. Corresponding author: Jacqueline M. McGrath, PhD, RN, NNP, CCNS, College of Nursing, Arizona State University, Community Services Building, Room 311c, PO Box 873008, Tempe, AZ 85287 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). The authors have no conflict of interest. Submitted for publication: August 2, 2004 Accepted for publication: August 16, 2004 The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: October-November-December 2004 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 353-368 Buy Take the CE Test Abstract Finding ways to consistently prepare preterm infants and their families for more timely discharge must continue as a focus for everyone involved in the care of these infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. The gold standards for discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit are physiologic stability (especially respiratory stability), consistent weight gain, and successful oral feeding, usually from a bottle. Successful bottle-feeding is considered the most complex task of infancy. Fostering successful oral feeding in preterm infants requires consistently high levels of skilled nursing care, which must begin with accurate assessment of feeding readiness and thoughtful progression to full oral feeding. This comprehensive review of the literature provides an overview of the state of the science related to feeding readiness and progression in the preterm infant. The theoretical foundation for feeding readiness and factors that appear to affect bottle-feeding readiness, progression, and success are presented in this article. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.