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  • Systematic Review
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Nest positioning on motor development, sleep patterns, weight gain in preterm infants: systematic review


The aim was to evaluate the effects of Nest Positioning (NP) on motor development, sleep patterns, and weight gain in preterm newborns (PTNB) hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This study was constructed based on PRISMA guideline criteria. Systematic research was carried out in electronic databases: MEDLINE via PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and VHL-BIREME following the PICOS strategy. Studies with PTNB populations who were hospitalized in the NICU and received therapeutic NP as an intervention strategy in this population were included in this study. We sought outcomes related to sleep patterns, weight gain, and motor development. After selection, 12 studies were included in this systematic review, of which 5 (41.7%) evaluated motor development as their primary outcome, 6 (50%) sleep–wake cycle patterns, and 1 (8.3%), weight gain and, subsequently, hospital discharge. Qualitative results indicate that prolonged exposure to decubitus variations may favor PTNB hospitalized in NICUs acquiring flexor postures, stimulate their midline, and increase their total sleep time. Studies reported no adverse effects regarding the use of NP. Evidence suggests that NP benefits motor development and sleep pattern in PTNB hospitalized in NICUs.


  • Nest positioning improves sleep quality in preterm newborns hospitalized in neonatal intensive care unit.

  • Nest positioning improves motor development in preterm newborns hospitalized in neonatal intensive care unit.

  • No evidence of nest positioning on weight gain was observed.

  • Half of the included clinical studies showed good methodological quality.

  • Nesting positioning is a secure and cost-effective method.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during the current study are available from the corresponding author on request.


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Grant sponsor Programa de Bolsa de Monitoria de Pós-Graduação da Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina; FAPESC (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Santa Catarina); PROAP-AUXEP (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior).

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M.M.C.C. was responsible for the conception, design, acquisition, drafting the manuscript and for giving final approval of the version of the manuscript. S.N.S.R. drafted and critically revised the manuscript. N.A.M. was responsible for drafting the manuscript, data acquisition, analysis, interpretation of data, drafting and for giving final approval of the version of the manuscript. R.O. was responsible for the interpretation of data, drafting, critically revising manuscript and for giving final approval of the version of manuscript. D.M. was responsible for interpretation of data, drafting, critically revising manuscript and for giving final approval of the version of manuscript. L.S.S. was responsible for conception and design, training the student on data acquisition, interpretation of all data, critically revising the manuscript and for giving final approval of the version of manuscript.

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Correspondence to Luciana Sayuri Sanada.

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Carneiro, M.M.C., Ribeiro, S.N.S., Menegol, N.A. et al. Nest positioning on motor development, sleep patterns, weight gain in preterm infants: systematic review. Pediatr Res (2024).

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