Objective: To ascertain the effectiveness of an individualized multidisciplinary residential programme for managing young unsettled infants and whether changes in unsettled behaviour were maintained.
Methods: One hundred and nine clients of a Tresillian residential unit with singleton infants aged less than 20 weeks were studied before, during and after intervention. Mothers completed a 24 h infant activity record prior to admission, during the stay and 1 month after discharge. Intervention consisted of settling techniques, parent education, support and counselling.
Results: By day 4 of admission, the mean duration of unsettled (fussing, crying) behaviour had decreased significantly and mean sleeping time and awake/content times both increased significantly (P < 0.001). These changes were maintained 1 month after discharge. Changes in behaviour were particularly marked for very unsettled infants.
Conclusions: In the absence of formal controls, the individualized programme appears effective in managing the behaviour of unsettled infants.