1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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An infant with colic will cry inconsolably, some-times for hours each day, exhausting the infant and frustrating parents and providers. New theories frame colic as a consequence of a poorly developed ability to regulate the "sleep-wake cycle," the movement through different states of arousal. In one effort to address this problem, pediatric nurses conducted a series of home visits over a four-week period to help families cope with infant irritability and promote the infant's regulation of the sleep-wake state. The program is called REST, which stands for Regulation, Entrainment, Structure, and Touch.


Nurses tested the protocol in 121 families with colicky infants between the ages of two and six weeks. Infants received a physical examination to rule out a physical cause of their irritability, and the parents received instruction in the REST protocol. The nurses taught the parents about infant cues, establishing daily activity patterns and rituals, and holding and rocking and other soothing contacts. The parents also received information about infant irritability and instructions to provide a period of quiet for themselves to promote rest and recovery.


At entry into the study, parents reported that the infants cried between five and six hours per day. At eight weeks, families receiving the intervention reported average crying times of less than an hour a day, while families in the control group, who received standard care, reported four hours of crying per day.


Keefe MR, et al. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs 2005;30(4):230-6.