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  • Newborn Behavioural Observation


    The Newborn Behavioural Observation (NBO) was designed to help practitioners sensitise parents to their child’s competencies and uniqueness as these contribute to the development of a positive parent - infant relationship from the very beginning.


    The 18 NBO items include observations of the infant’s

    • Capacity to habituate to external light and sound stimuli - demonstrating how well the infant protects his or her sleep
    • Quality of motor tones and activity level
    • Capacity for self-regulation (including crying and consolability or soothability)
    • Response to stress ( indices of the infant’s physiological stability and threshold for stimulation )
    • Visual auditory and social-interactive capacities ( degree of alertness and response to both human and non-human stimuli )


    The focus is on the infant’s individuality and provides the infant with a voice, a signature.

    Understanding newborn behaviour and early relationships with their mother and father is foundational to the care of neonates and their family.
    Each newborn infant has their own unique cues and behaviour to enable them to interact with their world.

    Recognising an infant’s subtle cues, and guiding parents in reciprocating and attending to their baby appropriately has the potential to create attachment and bonding that has lifelong implications in the health and welfare of the infant and their family.




    It was wonderful to attend this training in May 2019, along with colleagues from many areas of New Zealand.

    My training group included midwives, child development physiotherapists, occupational therapists, well child providers, nurses, doctors and mental health professionals. All passionate in enhancing maternal / paternal infant attachment and enabling gentle, loving care individualised for each and every baby.

    ( Further assessments enable attendees to complete the training )


    The trainers were a doctor from Melbourne, Australia and a nurse from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Each very skilled in their knowledge of NBO and in presenting.

    I consider the Newborn Behavioural Observation workshop integral for every health profession working with families and neonates / infants up to 3 months.

    It lays the foundation for each infant and parent to feel safe, secure and nurtured within the mother / father infant bond.



    A further area I quickly recognised on the training, is the potential to apply this knowledge in working with clients within Matrix Birth Reimprinting consultations. Learn more 

    Each newborn infant has their own unique cues and behaviour to enable them to interact with their world. Recognising an infant’s subtle cues, and guiding parents in reciprocating and attending to their baby appropriately, has the potential to create attachment and bonding that has lifelong implications in the health and welfare of the infant and their family.

    Whether this is in current time or when a client is guided back to their newborn time the benefits can be very powerful. 

    Bringing the knowledge of Newborn Behavioural Observation into Matrix Birth Reimprinting sessions, provides further opportunity for healing early traumatic newborn experiences and enhancing feelings of love and belonging.

    It has potential for a whole new learning and feelings of safety, attachment and connection in the individual’s life now.



    If this resonates with you and you would like to know more, Gaylene offers a 15 minute free chat.        Link ...