For Parents

First 1,000 days of life key to happiness, committee told (from the Irish Times, Dec 23 2015).

“The first 1,000 days of life shape how a person deals with adversity, friendships, success or happiness in later life, according to eminent Irish-American academic Prof Kevin Nugent……….” (Read the article in full here)

Infant Mental Health: Giving children the best head start (from the Irish Times, November, 2015).

“The first 1,000 days are vital, so infants must get the best care at this stage of their life………….” Read the full article by Paul D’Alton here. 

Books for expecting parents worth reading: selected by Pinterest

Click above to visit the Pinterest site which assembles an impressive range of books for expecting parents, 51 in all.

Books for first-time parents:  Your Baby is Speaking to You is one of four selected by Barbara F. Meltz in the Boston Globe. 

“In deciding what to give at a baby shower to my friend’s daughter who is expecting for the first-time, it probably will come as no surprise that I’m choosing some parenting books. Here are my choices:

1. “Your Baby and Child,” by Penelope Leach. The mom-to-be actually has this on her baby registry list and it made me smile to see that my friend Penelope, who I’ve interviewed many times over the years and shared tea with at the old Ritz in Boston, was still making a new mom’s must-read list. I couldn’t agree more!

2. “Your Baby Is Speaking to You,” by Dr. Kevin Nugent. I love this book, I’ve been waiting to have someone to buy it for since it was published last year. This is not a typical parenting book, in fact, it’s almost a cocktail table book with gorgeous photos by Abelardo Morell and an artsy format that you can dip into, reading only a page at a time. That alone is a sure sign that the author knows not only about babies but also about the life of a baby’s parents. Nugent is director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital, Boston.

3. “You Raising Your Child, The Owner’s Manual from first breath to first grade,” by Michael F. Roizen, Md, and Mehmet C. Oz, Md. This is one of those big, all-encompassing books, and I like it for its combination of simple explanations, practicality and common sense.

4. “Put Yourself in Their Shoes,
 Understanding how your children see the world,” by Barbara Meltz. You didn’t think I would have a list of books and not include my own, did you? It’s not written for parents of newborns — it kicks in at the tantrum stage — but surely it belongs on every parent’s night stand, don’t you think?

I hope you’ll share your suggestions for books for new parents”.

Speaking Newborn by Nathaniel Reade.

Babies may not come with instruction manuals, but you can learn a lot just by watching them……………………………Read the rest of Nathaniel Reade’s article here.

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.  Based on decades of research All Babies Cry will help parents get to know their baby and “figure out what works best” for both parents and baby.  This is 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 for further information on this essential resource.  See also Vida Health Communications –  Videos and resources for new and expecting parents.

Media and Parents: Claudia Gold’s Child in Mind Blog

I had the privilege this week to participate in the 95th birthday celebration of pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton on the occasion of  the  annual Touchpoints National Forum.    I even got to sit at the table with Dr. Brazelton for the birthday lunch!  We watched a wonderful animated video about his life, created by Exceptional Minds, an animation studio for young adults on the autism spectrum. We listened to songs written about and for Dr. Brazelton, sang “Happy Birthday” and shared birthday cake.

Click here for the rest of the article: Using Media to Promote change while celebrating Brazelton’s 95th. From Research to the Real world. Wellness and Learning.

What is Your Baby Telling You by Kelly Schmitt Gouss.

From the time they are born, babies are social beings who can recognize their parents’ voices and communicate their likes and dislikes. But how can new parents understand a baby’s unique cries, yawns and subtle facial expressions?

Innovative work by Kevin Nugent focuses on helping parents tune into their babies’ gurgles, coos and smiles. A pediatric psychologist and director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital in Boston, as well as a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Nugent is a co-creator of the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system. The NBO is used to describe infants’ capabilities and individuality in the first few months of life.  Read the rest of the article here. 

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. 

Baby Know How. 

New parents hear a lot about the rapid development of babies brains, and the importance of providing baby adequate stimulation. But rarely are parents given guidelines to know how much is enough and how much is too much? ………Clearly there’s a lot for parents to watch for, but in case you miss the more subtle cues, not to worry, baby will let you know by crying. The key thing to remember is that while baby’s thrive on stimulation, they also need down time as well. Don’t we all! One of my favorite books that describes the language of babies is Your Baby is Speaking to You by Dr. Kevin Nugent, director of the Brazelton Institute at Boston Children’s Hospital. It’s a beautifully written book with great photos that helps decode the subtle and sometimes not so subtle cues of newborns.  Read the rest of the article here.  

Phoenix Children’s Museum September 2012 – Dr. Nugent meets parents and their babies.

View here:

See also:

Baby Know How at Your Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Interactive on 8/28/2012.

“New parents hear a lot about the rapid development of babies brains, and  the importance of providing baby adequate stimulation. But rarely are parents given guidelines to know how much is enough and how much is too much? Many, many years ago, I remember leading a moms group and one of the moms discussed having recently taking an 8 hour road trip with her husband and their baby. Despite baby being perfectly content, showing no signs of distress, they made sure to stop every two hours, so that they could get out of the car, and stimulate baby”.   Read more about how to read your baby’s communication cues here.

Books For Expecting Parents Worth Reading

See Pinterest at  On facebook! at!/chanceofshowersonline

Your Baby is Speaking to You at # 4 in Denver Post best-selling non-fiction list for July 2012.  

Read more:Denver’s best-selling books – The Denver Post

Relationships: The Fourth Vital Sign by Claudia M. Gold, MD on April 7th, 2012 in the Boston Globe at

“When baby is born, if heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure are OK, our next priority is to support the primary relationships by carefully listening to both caregiver and baby. One way to accomplish this is to use a wonderful tool the Newborn Behavioral Observation system, developed by J. Kevin Nugent, colleague of T. Berry Brazelton. If problems are identified, such as a biologically vulnerable child whose cues are hard to read, or postpartum depression, or lack of social support for mother, we can address them. We will then be setting this new life out on a course of healthy development from the start”.  Read the rest of Dr. Gold’s column in the Child in Mind at


On a plane bound for Houston Wednesday, I read the most amazing story. Southwest Airlines’ Spirit magazine had a fantastic piece on Dr. Kevin Nugent. If ever there was a baby whisperer, he must be it. Having studied with the famed Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Nugent knows every nuance of how baby’s communicate. He reads all the little things the rest of us miss.

Where was Nugent when my middle child was an infant? I dinstinctly remember a family Christmas party that ended up being one of the longest nights of my life. I think everyone at that party made some attempt to calm my screaming 3-month-old during what ended up literally turning into three + hours of non-stop, screaming. Eventually, she wore herself out and fell asleep. If all the well-experienced mom’s in that house couldn’t calm her, I sure didn’t have any hope of fixing whatever it was.

Rarely, would I put my Kindle aside to read a story in an airline magazine. But after reading part of this one of the shoulder of the person sitting next to me, I couldn’t help myself. You should check it out, too.  Click on Baby Gaga by Nathaniel Reade, Cover Story on Spirit Magazine, March, 2011 for full Spirit article.

Your Baby is Speaking to You – Watch the YouTube video here.

Translating Newborn  by Sonia Shah© Wondertime Magazine

 You know your baby’s trying to tell you something, but what is it?  “See the slight pucker on her brow and her clenching hands?” baby researcher J. Kevin Nugent asks about 1-day-old Tess. “She’s saying, ‘Wait a minute. I’m still getting organized. Soon I’ll be relaxed enough to really look at you.’ ”  Read the full article here.

Know When to Hold ‘Em – can you spoil a baby?  WebMD Feature

Ask my 15-year-old if she knows any spoiled kids, and she’ll rattle off a slew of examples (with a hint of envy): one friend whose parents gave her a $2,000 shopping spree, another who got a new car at 16 … you get the picture. But if you’re the parent of a newborn, don’t sweat it, at least not yet. You can’t spoil a baby.  Read the full article here. 

Baby behavior: early language acquisition.  Dr. Nugent interviewed by Gene Lavanchy on FOX 25 Morning News, Boston.Thursday, 19 Jan 2012.

Most of us think of lip reading as an acquired skill. There is new research suggesting we learn to lip read as babies. In fact, that’s how we learn to talk. Dr. Kevin Nugent, Director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital Boston and author of “Your Baby is Speaking to You: A Visual Guide to the Amazing Behaviors of your Newborn and Growing Baby,” joined us to discuss this topic.  Click here to see full interview.

Fluent in Babies by Susan Flynn, Boston Parents Paper, June, 2011. 

“Seated in his office at Children’s Hospital in Boston, Kevin Nugent’s eyes light up as he clicks on a photo on his laptop and begins to tell the story of the mother and baby before him on the screen. In a soft, soothing Irish lilt, Nugent tells how this “beautiful” boy was born with Down Syndrome………”  Read Susan Flynn’s article Fluent in Babies in full.

What parent hasn’t wished at some point that their baby had come with a user’s manual? Now, there’s a book that decodes what your infant is trying tell you!  In his new book, “Your Baby is Speaking to You: A Visual Guide to the Amazing Behaviors of Your Newborn and Growing Baby,” Kevin Nugent actually provides parents with a visual guide to baby behavior.  Nugent is the director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital in Boston.  Click here to watch Kim Carrigan’s interview for more.

The Truth about Baby Milestones by Deb Abramson, Parenting 

“Waiting for that first babble or watching for that first step can turn otherwise relaxed parents — even those who don’t have a competitive bone in their bodies — into handwringers who keep close tabs on how their tot stacks up against his peers. “Milestones can be millstones,” says J. Kevin Nugent, Ph.D., director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital Boston “It’s a terrible burden for parents.”………”.  Click here to read the full article.

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