IMG_8784This site features news about Professor Kevin Nugent, Director of the Brazelton Institute, the Division of Developmental MedicineBoston Children’s Hospital and Professor Emeritus, the University of Massachusetts and Lecturer, Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Nugent and his colleagues, Drs. Keefer, Minear, Johnson and Blanchard, developed the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system, which is being used in clinical settings across the world. He is the author of many books and scientific articles on newborn behavior and parent-child relationships and is co-author with Dr. Brazelton of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS).  (Click below to view a short introductory video on the history of the NBAS featuring Berry Brazelton and Kevin Nugent).  He is also the author of Your Baby is Speaking to You, the highly acclaimed, top-ten bestselling book for parents.

Dr. Nugent address the Irish parliament (Oireachtas) Dublin

Leinster House, Dublin: From left: Catherine Maguire, J. Kevin Nugent, Paul D’Alton, Aoife Menton

Read more about Kevin’s recent lectures in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Nagoya, Rome, Prague, Lisbon, Galway and Dublin.  News about the Master Lecture he delivered at the World Association for Infant Mental Health Congress in Prague in June 2016 and the NBO training he and colleague Professor Campbell Paul, Royal Women’a Hospital, Melbourne, presented in Hong Kong and in Toyko and Nagoya in Japan in September of this year are also described.  A recent highlight was the address Dr. Nugent gave to the Irish Parliament (Houses of the Oireachtas), the Joint Committee on Health and Children, at Leinster House, Dublin in November 2015.   The main thrust of the address to the Senators and House Members was that was the first three years of life are a time of massive brain development, with lifelong implications for future mental health.  Policies that support families are critical as the strength and quality of the relationship between parents and family and their children are fundamental to the effective development of children’s brain’s functions and capacity. (For the Minutes of the Committee hearings click here: Child and Infant Mental Health:…: 12 Nov 2015: Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees (KildareStre). 

Psychological Society of Ireland

On his visit to Ireland, Dr. Nugent was also awarded the 2015 Psychological Society of Ireland Presidential Citation by Dr. Paul D’Alton, President of the Psychological Society of Ireland.  The citation read: “In recognition and deep appreciation for your significant contribution to infant mental health and the resulting betterment of the human project”. 


You will find information on NBO and NBAS training workshops, news about his public lectures and media appearances, his ideas about children and parenting.  Professor Nugent is Editor of Ab Initio International, the on-line publication of the Brazelton Institute.  To read Ab Initio International click here:  AB INITIO INTERNATIONAL and for more detailed information on NBO and NBAS news, click on the Brazelton Institute web site at:  http://www.childrenshospital.org/brazeltoninstitute

NBO and NBAS trainers at Harvard Faculty

Reception at Harvard Faculty Club for NBO and NBAS Trainers with special guests T. Berry Brazelton and Jean Cole.

In the International section, read about the NBO and NBAS International Meeting which drew NBO and NBAS trainers from over twenty countries and which took place at Harvard from Nov. 2nd – 4th., 2015 and read about the first NBO training programs that were conducted in Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, China, Brazil and Africa and trainings conducted across the USA and the UK and in Australia, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. Dr. Nugent conducted an Introduction to the NBO in a workshop presented by the Irish Infant Mental Health Association and the Irish Psychological Society in Dublin on November 16th, 2015.

kevin-at-nagoyaIn the Research and Training section you can read about Dr. Nugent’s recent visits to the Hong Kong, Tokyo and Nagoya, Czech Republic, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, China, Norway, Portugal and Australia.  He gave the Open Lecture at the University of Nagoya, Japan in September 2016.  He was invited to present a Master Lecture at the 15th World Congress for the World Association for Infant Mental Health in Prague on June 1st. 2016.  He was also the Keynote Speaker at the 25th Nordic Infant Mental Health (NFSU) Jubilee Conference in Oslo, Norway on March 10th, 2016. Unni Tranaas Vannebo, NAIMH President and NBO Trainer introduced the conference. The title of his talk was: Beginning in the Perinatal Period – a unique opportunity for preventive intervention and support for parents. Participants came from all over Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Finland. Other speakers included Professor Emeritus Lars Smith, Sari Ahlqvist-Björkroth and Mette Sund Sjøvold.

Professor Nugent was also the keynote speaker at Irish Psychological Society Meeting at Galway in November, 2015 and was the keynote speaker at the International conference entitled, “Mi fido di te – I TRUST YOU! ” – A tribute to T. Berry Brazelton, which was held in Rome on March 13-14th, 2015.  He was also the keynote speaker at the NCAST 15th Biennial NCAST Programs Institute in Seattle in Washington in June 2014 and also keynote speaker at the Montclair State University TODD OUIDA CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION CONFERENCE in May of the same year.  He also spoke at the BIDIP conference, “Beyond the NICU: Addressing the Emotional and Developmental Health of NICU Graduates and their Families” on Sat. Nov. 22nd, 2014 at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.

NBO and NBAS Trainers at Harvard

NBO and NBAS Trainers at Harvard with Berry Brazelton

In the International Section, the recent NBO trainings at Ubulele in Johannesburg, South Africa, Belo Horizonte in Brazil are also featured and read about the Conference in honor of Berry Brazelton organized by Professor Gherardo Rapisardi in Rome in March and about the recently completed Brazelton Centre UK NBO Trainers meeting held at the Møller Centre, Churchill College, at the University of Cambridge, England. You can find out about the  NBO Training which took place in Xi’an in China, as well as the eminently successful NBO/NBAS meetings that took place at Edinburgh University on June 12-13th 2014, at the time of the 14th WAIMH (World Association for Infant Mental Health) conference.  Drs. Kevin Nugent and Joanna Hawthorne coordinated and hosted the meetings on both days. The meeting was attended by the 96-year-old Dr. Berry Brazelton and by NBO and NBAS trainers and trainees from around the world who gathered to share their experiences and their ideas with colleagues. (Here is a short video clip of his words of thanks at the Traditional music evening in Edinburgh). Professor Colwyn Trevarthen’s engrossing and elegantly presented keynote address “What infants (and my colleagues) teach us about being human; how to share their conviviality and care for them” set the tone for the program of lectures that followed.  Click here to view the June 13th programme: Understanding the baby and supporting parents using the NBO and NBAS: International perspectives and click on the photo gallery on the right to get a flavor of the atmosphere at the Edinburgh meeting.

NBO Denmark groupIn this section, you can also read about recent NBO training conducted in Reykjavik, Iceland, by Drs. Lise Johnson and Yvette Blanchard on Sept 18-19th., 2014.  NBO training was also conducted in Thisted in North Jutland, Denmark in October by NBO Trainers Jeanette Appleton and Inge Nickell (UK). (NBO group photo on left with convener and organizer, Merethe Vinter).



New NBO trainees in Lillehammer, Norway.

New NBO trainees in Lillehammer, Norway. Nov 2014.

Read about the recent NBO training conducted in Lillehammer, Norway, by Kari Slinning and Nancy Moss (on the left, see NBO group photo with Nancy Moss and Kari Slinning). Read also about Dr. Nugent’s visit to Melbourne to establish a new NBO Training Center, where he also presented Grand Rounds at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Click here for information on Australia NBO training.

Campbell Paul and Susan Nicolson with NBO trainees in Shapparton, Australia

Campbell Paul and Susan Nicolson with NBO trainees in Shapparton, Australia


Read also about NBO training in Australia.  On the left is a photo of Drs. Campbell Paul and Susan Nicolson with the NBO trainees in Shapparton, Central Victoria.





NBO conference, Xi'an Children's Hospital.

NBO conference, Xi’an Children’s Hospital.

Here on the left, is the photo of the Xi’an NBO Conference Speakers and the NBO trainers and trainees on the occasion of the welcome ceremony at Xi’an Children’s Hospital. Included are Drs. Susan Nicoloson (Australia), Chuen Wai Lee (UK), Hui Li (China), Shohei Ohgi (Japan) and Kevin Nugent.  Mr. Anmao Li, Dean, Mr. Lei Wang, Mr. Lu Wang represented the Xi’an Children’s Hospital.

Click here to view brief video: NBO and NBAS in Xi’an.


Professor Nugent speaks in the Irish Parliament – Oireachtas. 

Professor Kevin Nugent was invited to speak before the Joint Committee on Health and Children, Houses of the Oireachtas, Leinster House, Dublin, on November 12, 2015.  He was joined by Dr. Paul D’Alton, President of the Irish Psychological Society.  The title of his talk was: The first three years of life are a time of massive brain development, with lifelong implications for the child and society.  The main theme of the presentation to the Committee was that the foundations of sound mental health are built early in life, so that early experiences—including children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—interact with genes to shape the architecture of the human brain. Neuroscience has highlighted the fundamental importance of early experiences on the developing brain and the associated risks of poor-quality experiences and environments during the first three years.

Kevin and Una Nugent at the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas)

Leinster House, Dublin: Professor Nugent and Una Nugent

The presentation ended by focussing on policy issues.  It was pointed out to the committee that policies supporting families are critical as the strength and quality of the relationship between parents and family and their children are fundamental to the effective development of children’s brain’s functions and capacity. Preventive intervention in the first years results in much higher economic returns than later interventions. “It is never too late to intervene but by the time the child enters school it is very late”.  Read the full text of Professor Nugent’s testimony to the Oireachtas Committee here: Oireachtas Written Submission Nugent



Dr. Brazelton and President Obama

Pediatrician Brazelton smiles as he receives the Presidential Citizens Medal from US President Obama at the White House in WashingtonIn the photo on the left, Dr. Brazelton smiles as he receives the Citizens Medal from President Obama at the White House.  See the Media section for more.  “It is my distinguished honor to award these individuals the 2012 Citizens Medal for their commitment to public service. Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country.” Says Dr. Brazelton, “I may be 94 years old, but I’m not done. We must all speak up for the children we care for who so often are unable to speak for themselves”.   Watch the White House presentation here. 

In the International and Research sections, read tributes from around the world to our dear friend and colleague, the late Professor Daniel Stern, which appeared in Perspectives in Infant Mental Health, the newsletter of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

Drs. Nugent, Brazelton, Gomes-Pedro and Tronick

Professors Nugent, Brazelton, Gomes-Pedro and Tronick celebrating Dr. Brazelton’s 95th birthday at the Lisboa conference.

Over 1000 people attend the   International Conference “Valuing Baby and Family Passion – Towards a Science of Happiness” at the Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon.  The Conference was hosted by Professor Joao Gomes-Pedro and the Fundacao Brazelton/Gomes Pedro. Among the speakers were Joao Gomes-Pedro, Berry Brazelton, Joshua Sparrow, Barry Lester, Ed Tronick, Marilyn Davillier,  Stefan Klein and Kevin Nugent. Click here to read Kevin Nugent’s presentation in full: The Newborn Period – where hope and happiness meet.  All these presentations are included in a new book,  “Valuing Baby and Family Passion – Towards a Science of Happiness”, which has just been published – see the Books section.

Click here to see the full program.

Finally, read Nathaniel Reade’s article, Speaking Newborn, in the For Parents section.  “Babies may not come with instruction manuals, but you can learn a lot just by watching them…….”, he writes.

(Photograph at the top of the page is of a one-day-old baby tracking the red ball during the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO)

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