Preterm infants experience a range of morbidity related to the immaturity of their organ systems and to concurrent disease states. There is concern that an unfavourable environment in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) may compound this morbidity. Modification of the environment could minimize the iatrogenic effects. Developmental care is a broad category of interventions designed to minimize the stress of the NICU environment. These interventions may include elements such as control of external stimuli (vestibular, auditory, visual, tactile), clustering of nursery care activities, and positioning or swaddling of the preterm infant. Individual strategies have also been combined to form programs, such as the 'Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program' (NIDCAP) (Als 1986).