Eat, Sleep, Console Approach: A Family-Centered Model for the Treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Adv Neonatal Care. 2019 Apr;19(2):138-144. doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000581.


Background: The opioid epidemic in the United States has resulted in an increased number of drug-exposed infants who are at risk for developing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Historically, these infants have been treated with the introduction and slow weaning of pharmaceuticals. Recently, a new model called Eat, Sleep, Console (ESC) has been developed that focuses on the comfort and care of these infants by maximizing nonpharmacologic methods, increasing family involvement in the treatment of their infant, and prn or "as needed" use of morphine.

Purpose: The purpose of this evidenced-based practice brief was to summarize and critically review emerging research on the ESC method of managing NAS and develop a recommendation for implementing an ESC model.

Methods: A literature review was conducted using PubMed, Cochrane, and Google Scholar with a focus on ESC programs developed for treating infants with NAS.

Finding/results: Several studies were found with successful development and implementation of the ESC model. Studies supported the use of ESC to decrease length of stay, exposure to pharmacologic agents, and overall cost of treatment.Video Abstract Available at

Publication types

  • Review
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Evidence-Based Nursing
  • Family Nursing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Models, Nursing
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome / nursing*


  • Analgesics, Opioid