The Neonatal Eating Outcome (NEO) Assessment’s purpose is to assess age-appropriate oral motor and feeding skills in preterm infants prior to and at term equivalent age. A preview of the assessment can be found here. This assessment attempts to gauge normal versus abnormal progression of feeding across differing postmenstrual ages (PMA), when lack of feeding success can be either a flag for abnormality or part of the normal process of maturation. It can be used with breast or bottle fed infants. Scoring of the NEO is based on the infant’s PMA at the time of assessment.
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The full assessment is appropriate for infants who have initiated oral feeding (approximately 30-32 weeks PMA) through approximately 4-6 weeks post-term. An abbreviated form can be used for infants after 30 weeks PMA who are not yet orally feeding.