Ab Initio International | Books, Articles, Videos, Blogs


The Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale
4th Edition by T. Berry Brazelton and J. Kevin Nugent. Published by MacKeith Press, 2011

The Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) is the most comprehensive examination of newborn behavior available today and has been used in clinical and research settings around the world for more than 35 years. Since the time it was first published, the NBAS has been used in hundreds of studies to examine the effects of a wide range of pre- and perinatal variables. The first part of this book describes in detail the procedures involved in administering and scoring the NBAS. This is followed by chapters setting the assessment in the context of psychological influences around birth, the relationship between the examiner, infant and parents, and what we know about newborn motor behavior. After a chapter on the use of the NBAS in research settings, the final part comprises descriptions by professionals around the world of its use in clinical practice.


Autor: J. Kevin Nugent, C. Keefer, S. Minear, L. Johnson, Y. Blanchard. TEA Ediciones, Madrid, Espana ©2011

Este manual recoge los principios del conocido Sistema de observación conductual del recién nacido y proporciona al profesional un procedimiento sistemático para ayudar a los padres a responder adecuadamente a las necesidades individuales del niño durante los tres primeros meses de vida. Contiene un instrumento de observación breve y fácil de usar y una guía completa que explica paso a paso y con ilustraciones cómo utilizarlo. Además, incluye sugerencias específicas para favorecer el desarrollo del niño.




The Newborn as a Person: Enabling Healthy Infant Development Worldwide
J. Kevin Nugent, Bonnie Petrauskas, T. Berry Brazelton. Published by John Wiley and Sons, 2009

Advances in the fields of psychology and psychiatry have bolstered the perspective that infants are not the passive recipients of sensory stimulation as it was once thought. Built on T. Berry Brazelton s paradigm-shifting work on the individuality of infants, this book provides relevant information on the necessity for family-centered intervention in the newborn period. Coverage is wide-ranging, authoritative, and practical. This landmark collection includes contributions from T. Berry Brazelton, Tiffany Field, Rachel Keen, and many others. Pediatric professionals will receive practical guidance to support families, immediately beginning in the newborn period.



Understanding Newborn Behavior and Early Relationships: The Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) System Handbook
J. Kevin Nugent, Ph.D., Constance H. Keefer, M.D., Susan Minear, M.D., Lise C. Johnson, M.D., and Yvette Blanchard, P.T., Sc.D., with invited contributors. Published by Brookes, 2007

Giving babies a “voice” helps parents understand their baby’s unique strengths and needs. This observational tool and handbook, complete with beautiful four-color photographs by a Pulitzer prize-winning photographer, gives professionals a systematic way to help parents respond with confidence to their baby’s individual needs—and build positive parent-professional relationships in the process. Flexible, easy to integrate into everyday practice, the NBO is based on more than 25 years of research. An essential resource from the co-author of the highly regarded Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) and his colleagues, this system is just what clinicians in hospital, clinic, or home settings need to help new mothers and fathers get to know their baby, increase their confidence and competence as parents, and support their child’s growth and development. See Review by Nancy S. Woods, PsycCRITIQUES, vol. 52, 50, 2007. (APA PsychNET, American Psychological Association)


Your Baby is Speaking to You: A visual guide to the Amazing Behaviors of Your Newborn and Growing Baby
by Kevin Nugent with photos by Abelardo Morell. Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2011

From an international expert on infant-parent communication, Your Baby Is Speaking To You is destined to become a parenting classic. Through intimate access to babies and their families, Dr. Kevin Nugent and acclaimed photographer Abelardo Morell capture the amazingly precocious communications strategies babies demonstrate from the moment they are born.

Your Baby Is Speaking to You illustrates the full range of behaviors—early smiling to startling, feeding to sleeping, listening to your voice and recognizing your face. The newest research—including information on subtle and fleeting behaviors not seen or explained in any other book—illuminates the meaning of the things babies do that concern and delight new parents:

  • the language of yawning

  • the rich range of cries, and how to understand their meanings

  • baby’s earliest “sleep smiles” and sleep states, and what they signify

Your Baby Is Speaking To You delivers the information parents crave in gentle, accessible style while giving parents the confidence they need to respond to their own baby’s way of communicating during the very first astonishing days and the months beyond.

“No other book so beautifully captures and decodes the way babies ‘speak’ to us.” (T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. )



Nurturing Children and Families: Building on the Legacy of T. Berry Brazelton? by Barry M. Lester and Joshua D. Sparrow.

This volume celebrates the work and influence of T. Berry Brazelton, one of the world's foremost pediatricians, by bringing together contributions from researchers and clinicians whose own pioneering work has been inspired by Brazelton's foundations in the field of child development. The book includes contributions from experts influenced by the work of Brazelton from a wide range of fields, including pediatrics, psychology, nursing, early childhood education, occupational therapy, and public policy.  It provides an overview of the field of child development, from the explosion of infant research in the 1960s to contemporary studies.

"This very impressive collection of papers by outstanding scholars is a fitting tribute to our nation's greatest living pediatrician. Like Brazelton himself has done, these papers move pediatrics from children's illnesses to their behavioral development with an emphasis on the all-important parent/child relationship." —Edward Zigler, Yale University.



The Neurobehavioral and Social-Emotional Development of Infants and Children by Ed Tronick

In this book, Edward Tronick has gathered together his most influential writings in a single, essential volume. Organized into five parts—(I) Neurobehavior, (II) Culture, (III) Infant Social-Emotional Interaction, (IV) Perturbations: Natural and Experimental, and (V) Dyadic Expansion of Consciousness and Meaning Making—this book represents his major ideas and studies regarding infant-adult interactions, developmental processes, and mutual regulation, among other topics.




Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child's Eyes (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Claudia M. Gold MD

In this new book for parents, Pediatrician (and Brazelton Institute faculty member), Dr. Claudia Gold, shows parents "how to be with a child".  One of the key themes in the book is that "crises are defused when children feel truly heard and validated; this is how they learn to understand, and, eventually, control themselves".  Dr. Gold’s insightful guide uses new research in developmental psychology and vivid stories from her practice to show parents how to keep a child in mind and deepen this central relationship in their lives. “Readers seeking a comprehensive approach to child-rearing will welcome this thoughtful book.” (Publishers Weekly)




Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, and Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) by Connie Lillas and Janiece Turnbull.

The well-written and well-organized book by Connie Lillas and Janiece Turnbull presents a conceptual framework for interdisciplinary collaboration. Examining the issues of infant mental health and early intervention from a brain-based perspective—one that cuts across all domains—the authors address the need for individual practitioners to incorporate the whole picture in relation to their part in assessing and intervening with each individual child and parent, and provides a global framework for team collaboration.

"This book is an amazing synthesis, in which development, clinical experience, and neuroscience inform each other in a clear and applied way. As anyone who has worked with challenged infants, young children, and their families knows, understanding the complexity and interaction of all the components involved is a daunting responsibility. The authors’ neurorelational framework reconciles theory, clinical observation, and research in a manner which inspires the reader’s thought and insight. It is a guide to academic and clinical interdisciplinary practice which should become the standard for all!” (Serena Wieder, Ph.D., ICDL, Co-Author of The Child with Special Needs, Engaging Autism and the DIR® Model )

Development of Children and Adolescents by Penny Hauser-Cram, J. Kevin Nugent, Kathleen Theis & John F. Travers. Hoboken, NJ.: John Wiley & Sons (to be published in 2013). 


The First Relationship

Joanna Hawthorne and Betty Hutchon, the Brazelton Center, UK, have produced a superb new video, called “The First Relationship". It covers the use of both the NBO and NBAS in clinical settings, using what is termed, “the Brazelton approach'. The focus on recognizing the baby's cues and language is at the heart of the film and the message of allowing the baby to speak for himself or herself is clearly presented, so that parents will find this film very helpful. Because you see Joanna and Betty walking or driving to the house for home visits, it is also a really good teaching tool for practitioners. There is also footage of Joanna and Betty and Eileen Hayes, in which they share their philosophy with the viewer, but integrated in a way that makes the film visually seamless and thus extremely effective as a teaching tool. For further information on this soon-to-be-released video, see: www.brazelton.co.uk

All Babies Cry - tried and true tips for comforting your newborn and yourself
This DVD and booklet by Vida Health Communications is designed to help parents know what to do when their babies cry. This resource is designed to promote healthy parental behaviors and prevent child abuse in the first year of life. “All Babies Cry” is a new evidence-based program funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. An invaluable resource for families, the program includes: an 11-minute video program for hospital closed-circuit TV systems, a DVD for families to take home, a 28-page booklet with checklists, ability to stream the videos online, an online training course for staff implementation, and a Facebook community. All materials are in English and Spanish. Click on www.allbabiescry.com for further information on this essential resource. See also Vida Health Communications – Videos and resources for new and expecting parents.



McManus, Beth M. and Nugent, J. Kevin (2012). A Neurobehavioral Intervention Incorporated into a State Early Intervention Program is Associated with Higher Perceived Quality of Care Among Parents of High-Risk Newborns. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 2012. 1–8.

McManus, B. M. and Nugent, J. Kevin (2011). Feasibility study of early intervention provider confidence following a neurobehavioural intervention for high-risk newborns. The Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. Vol. 29, No. 4, September 2011, 395–403. 

Blogs (for parents)

Thriving: Boston Children’s Hospital Health Blog

The Child in Mind by NBO faculty member Claudia Gold at the Boston Globe:

Let’s Talk (with NBO faculty member, Claudia Quigg)

Kevin Nugent’s home page (for parents):