In the media

First 1,000 days of life key to happiness, committee told (by Tim O’Brien, The Irish Times, Dec.23, 2015)

Prof Kevin Nugent, founder of the Brazelton Institute in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, said “sensitive care” in the first weeks of life are essential to development of “a happy, well adjusted person”……….

Infant Mental Health: Giving children the best head start. 

Dr. Nugent was featured in The Irish Times, Nov 25th, 2015 in an article by Dr. Paul D’Alton, President of the Irish Psychological Society.  


The article summarizes the address Dr. Nugent delivered to the Oireachtas health committee in Leinster House, Dublin, at the invitation of Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer and the plenary address he gave to the Irish Psychological Society at their annual meeting in Galway. “The first 1,000 days are vital, so infants must get the best care at this stage of their life……”.

Dr. T Berry Brazelton Receives Presidential Citizens Medal at the White House.

130215_Berry_Brazelton_barack_obama_honorIn recognition of his 60-years of pioneering contributions to pediatrics and child development, President Obama presented Dr. T. Berry Brazelton with the Presidential Citizens Medal on Friday February 15th 2013.   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. We know so much more now than back when I began practicing pediatrics more than 60 years ago. But we must do more to act on what we know if we are to ensure that all children grow up to become adults who can cope with adversity, strengthen their communities, constructively participate in civic life and nurture the next generation to be prepared to do the same.”

Watch the video here: Dr. Brazelton receives the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal

Arts Book Review: Your Baby is Speaking to You Oct 2012.

PR News Press Release Sept 20, 2012.

World-renowned expert sheds light on newborn ‘speak’ at Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  Harvard professor, author helps mark launch of Strong Families AZ; newly aligned home visiting network. Read the rest of the article here. 

New campaign starts small, dreams big

Read about Dr. Nugent’s support for Home Visiting Programs in Arizona. 

PHOENIX – GMAZ interview by Stella Inger at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.  Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Dr. Kevin Nugent, founder and director of the Brazelton Institute at Boston Children’s Hospital, Department of Developmental Medicine, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts and author of “Your Baby Is Speaking to You: A visual guide to the amazing behaviors of your newborn and gorwing baby,” visited Children’s Museum of Phoenix Thursday.   3TV’s Stella Inger had the chance to chat with him about the ways babies communicate with those around them.  Click her to see the interview on 3TV. 

The Boston Globe: Books for First-Time Parents: Your Baby is Speaking to You selected by Barbara Meltz in her Child Caring column published in the Boston Globe, July 30th, 2012.

“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.

Click here to read Barbara Meltz’s Child Caring column at

Your Baby is Speaking to You listed at #4 on Denver’s best-selling book list, July 2012, by the Denver Post.

The Denver area’s best-selling books, according to information from the Tattered Cover Book Stores, Barnes & Noble in Greenwood Village, Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins and the Boulder Book Store is published in the Denver Post.
Read more: Denver’s best-selling books – The Denver Post

Gestational age and academic achievement: relationships at risk by Claudia M. Gold in the Boston Globe, July 3, 2012 

“A study published in the July issue of Pediatrics suggests that babies born at what is considered full term, but at 37-38 weeks, have lower academic achievement in third grade than those born at 39-41 weeks gestation. They found this effect to be independent of birthweight or other social or economic risk factors………As I have written about in previous posts, the Newborn Behavioral Observation system offers a wonderful tool to support potentially at-risk mother-baby, and father-baby, pairs”  Read Dr. Gold’s complete article here.   

Giving Troubled Young Children a Voice by Claudia M Gold in the Boston Globe at May 14, 2012.

” It is hard to believe that just two years ago I was drowning under a pile of prescription refill requests for ADHD medication in a busy pediatric practice. As those who have been reading my blog since its beginning know, I was disturbed by the over-reliance on psychiatric medication to treat complex problems, problems that I increasingly recognized had their origins very early in life. This approach was in effect silencing these children.  I left that practice to devote my time to prevention, both through clinical work with young children and their parents, and teaching. I wanted to bring the wealth of new research at the interface of developmental psychology, neuroscience and genetics, largely coming out of the discipline known as infant mental health, to my colleagues in pediatrics. This research offers opportunity for meaningful intervention in the early years, when the brain is most rapidly growing”.   To read the complete article click here.

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

Dr. Gold is a behavioral pediatrician who uses the NBO in her practice but also writes widely about parenting and is committed to helping parents solve everyday problems by seeing behavior problems from the child’s point of view.  Her newly published book, Keeping Your Child in Mind, is steeped in contemporary research on child development and infused by thoughtful examples gathered from her practice as a pediatrician.  This refreshingly wise and compelling book is not another “how to parent” advice book.  Rather than focusing on “what to do” to help the child, “Keeping Your Child in Mind” helps parents understand why their child is behaving the way he or she is.  Dr. Gold is committed to helping parents understand behavior in terms of their child’s level of development.   These developmental principles are applied to each developmental phase: infancy, toddlerhood, preschool, school-age, and the teenage years.   Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and other everyday Behavioral Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child’s Eyes is not only an indispensable resource for parents but it is also an invaluable resource for professionals who work with children and their families.

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

Childbirth: A Love story (sometimes derailed) by Claudia M. Gold in The Boston Globe at

“She gazes into his eyes and speaks to him in soft murmuring tones. He follows her every move with rapt attention. For both, the other is a person full of light and color, while the rest of the world has faded to a kind of uniform pale background. She is obsessed by thoughts of him and worries that something terrible may befall him. He is constantly attuned to her whereabouts.  In this week of Valentine’s Day, you might think I am describing romantic love. But I am, in fact, describing a mother and her newborn son. Physicians, nurses and other professionals who work with pregnant women and newborns have the frequent privilege of bearing witness to people falling in love. When all goes well, the period of time when a newborn, who is wired for successful communication from the start, meets his or her caregivers, is a time of joy and bliss.

It is particularly devastating, therefore, when this first communication, this early developing relationship, is less than successful. But if one thinks of these problems as disruptions in a love relationship, it makes sense to work with parent and child together (to continue the analogy- it’s kind of like couples therapy.) Recent research suggests that working with mother and baby together, with the specific aim of supporting successful communication, may be effective in preventing long-term negative effects on child development. Among the most well studied of these interventions is the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system.  This tool was developed by J. Kevin Nugent and colleagues as a practical, clinical application of T. Berry Brazelton’s Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) Brazelton was among the first, in the early 1970’s to recognize the range of capabilities of the newborn, and their contribution to the parent-child relationship”.  Click here to read the full article by Dr. Gold. 

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.

Are babies natural lip readers?    Read more in TRIPP UNDERWOOD‘s blog on JANUARY 20, 2012 in Thriving, Children’s Hospital Boston Health Blog.

New research suggests we all learn to “read” lips as babies, and studying mouths plays a very big role in how and when babies learn to talk.  

Family works: Decoding Baby Behavior. Fox Morning News, Boston. TV Interview.  

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.  Watch Kim Carrigan’s interview for more.

BodyLanguage by Caroline Schaefer in Parents, January 2012. 

“I’m a celebrity-magazine junkie, so I consider myself an expert when it comes to reading the body language of all those A-listers. I know that Angelina’s tug on Brad’s muscular shoulder is her way of telling the world that he’s taken. And it’s obvious to me that when J. Lo tilts her head about 60 degrees while judging American Idol, that contestant is so not making it to the big time.  Despite the fact that Addy is my third child, I’m often hopeless at reading her hiccups, head bobs, and odd hand positions. Yesterday, for example, I assumed that her intense sucking on her fists meant that she was hungry, so I fed her until she spit up all over her shirt and mine. Tuning in to your child’s gestures is crucial, especially before she can speak. “Baby behavior definitely conveys messages that tell you what your child needs,” says J. Kevin Nugent, Ph.D., director of the Brazelton Institute, in Boston, and author of Your Baby Is Speaking to You.  “Being able to read and respond will make your baby happier, as well as help you learn a lot about her personality and temperament.” For the parents (like me) who get lost in translation, infant pros offer insight into interpreting some common baby moves. Use these tips to understand your own little VIP”.  Read the rest of this article here.

Celebration for Kevin Nugent’s book, Your Baby is Speaking to You, April 6, 2011 at the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Boston.

The Boston Institute for the Development of Infants and Parents along with the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, and The Infant-Parent Training Institute of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Greater Boston celebrated the publication of Kevin Nugent’s book, Your Baby is Speaking to You: A Visual Guide to the Amazing Behaviors of Your Newborn and Growing Baby, on April 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Jewish Family & Children’s Service, 1430 Main Street, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Pediatric Views: News and Insights for Health Care Professionals, Oct 2011.  

The Book Corner features Your Baby is Speaking to You and the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale.

The Emily Rooney Show, WGBH, Boston, Radio Interview.  

Is your baby speaking to you? Dr. Kevin Nugent, an international expert on infant-parent communication, thinks so. His fascinating new book offers a photographic primer on just what your newborn is trying to tell you.  Listen to the interview here.

Baby Gaga by Nathaniel Reade, Spirit Magazine, March, 2011. 

“An athletic, 29-year-old advertising executive with auburn hair and hazel eyes, Grace had daydreamed throughout her pregnancy that she and her newborn daughter would cuddle happily together, like all the other new families she’d known. Everyone told her that having a child would feel wonderful. Why then, the day after becoming a mother, did she feel despair?…..”  Read the full Spirit article by Nathaniel Reade, entitled, DON’T KID YOURSELF. EVEN WITHOUT WORDS, NEWBORNS (and THEIR NEWLY MINTED MINDS) ARE TALKERS FOR THE AGES. 

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.

Know Your Baby (1), by Sheila Wayman, The Irish Times, July 26, 2011

Know Your Baby (2) by Sheila Wayman, The Irish Times, July 28, 2011

Babies can tell us who they are and what they need if we can recognise the signs, according to Irish psychologist Dr Kevin Nugent. Read Sheila Wayman’s articles from the Irish Times.

Today’s Child, June 2011

“Acclaimed infant-parent communications expert, Dr. Kevin Nugent, brings you this ground-breaking book, Your Baby is Speaking to You”, according to Today’s Child, June 2011. “Nugent, a member of Today’s Child National Family Coalition, captures the many precocious communications strategies babies demonstrate from the moment they are born”.

Neonatal Behavioral Observation System Supports Parents With Newborns – School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin.

“Noah just turned 18 days old, but he’s already communicating with his parents and the outside world.  He is capable of eye-to-eye contact and has good muscle tone – both good signs for someone not even three weeks old.   Noah’s parents agreed to have him participate in the Neonatal Behavioral Observation System (NBO), which was demonstrated recently before participants in the University of WisconsiInfant, Early Childhood, and Family Mental Health Certificate Program“.  Read the rest of the report.

What is your baby saying?  Listen to an interview with Dr. Nugent by Matt Bubala on Good Parenting Radio. Part I.  

Dr. Nugent shares more tips on recognizing what your baby is saying before he can speak.  Part II. Good Parenting Radio interview by Matt Bubala

Talking Points from In the Loop, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst 

“Babies are truthful. Babies are articulate. They are so truthful and articulate, in fact, that we ignore their efforts to communicate at our peril, says the School of Education’s Kevin Nugent”. Read more in Talking Points.

Listen, your infant is speaking to you.  Listen to the podcast of Matt Vogel’s interview with Dr. Nugent on Radio Curious. 

Regarding Baby, July, 2011.

“Newborn babies communicate with us from birth, in a language all their own. Their body posture, cries, subtle changes in expression, even the reflexes they are born with, speak volumes, but it can be a little bit hard to “understand” a baby’s way of “speaking” if you haven’t spent a lot of time hanging out with them. Well,  thanks to the new book  Your Baby Is Speaking To You,  a visual guide to the amazing behaviors of your newborn and growing baby, by Doctor Kevin Nugent, with photographs by Abelardo Morell, decoding your baby’s subtle cues just might be a little easier and less perplexing”.  Click her to read more.  

Translating Newborn by Sonia Shah, Wondertime, 2009.  

“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 Sonia Shah’s article from Wondertime.

Writing in the Republican Herald, Katie Campomizzi-Clews explores the unique challenges of balancing work and parenting. Who doesn’t relish, cherish and look forward to those milestones in your baby’s life? The first smile, the first crawl, the first tooth, the first word, the first steps — these and other precious moments you hope to capture on film and in baby books. When you see relatives’ and friends’ little ones achieving these things but yours isn’t, it’s natural to get a little concerned. Read more.

Reviews for Your Baby is Speaking to You

Library Journal Review –

Bella bambino! In this gorgeous book on early infancy, physician Nugent and photographer Morell provide a stunning layout combined with rich, graceful text. From the different looks (and purposes) of light and deep sleep, to the “fencer response” (picture baby on back: en garde!), to the sleep smile, the authors beautifully capture these universal reactions and explain their role in infant communication and development. Parents of colicky babies can play, too: there are wonderful images and descriptions of “not very cuddly” and “not easily settled” babies, as well as distressed and startled infants. Each page features a large photograph with three to five paragraphs of text, which render the book easy to read and browse. This is, quite simply, a beautiful and elegant book, appropriate for anyone who has ever loved, or wants to love, a baby.

Julianne J. Smith, “Parenting Short Takes,” BookSmack! –

“If you bring a book to the hospital with you when you give birth, this one would be perfect as it can be read in short little parts whenever you have a few minutes……..It’s a great book for parents to be, either new or seasoned, especially if its been a while.

SMS Book Reviews –

“One can tell this book was created with love and deep patience. The best word I can think to associate with the experience of perusing is “gentle.”

Reviewed by Katherine Kuzma-Beck at Artworks Suite101 –

 “A baby book is not something that readers will typically associate with art books. However, the photography included in Your Baby Is Speaking to You is heart-warming and makes the book a great one to leaf through, even for those of us who do not have children and for those of us who are not usually captivated by other people’s off-spring”.

Bookreads –

“Easy to read with short chapters and lots of lovely pictures to illustrate the text.  I think this would be a great book for those expecting their first born, a perfect gift for new parents.

Escape in a Book Blog review –   

 “First off, the pictures are gorgeous. You can absolutely see what emotions Dr Nugent and Mr Morell were trying to capture in every single shot. Dr Nugent’s text is also gentle and illuminating, and provides quite a bit of insight into the ways babies communicate”.

Review from Goodreads –

“Love this book. Beautiful pictures, beautifully written…babies do communicate with those around them and this book captures those precious moments is a very sweet way”.

Review from Goodreads –

This book is incredible and a must for first time parents. Your Baby is Speaking to You is a visual guide to the amazing behaviors of your newborn and growing baby. This book has helped me in countless ways. As us mamas know you eventually learn to distinguish babies cries from pain, hunger, boredom etc…but this book helps offer up cues to babies wants long before a cry is reached. Is your baby overstimulated, focused intently on learning, enjoying your gaze and interaction or finding it all just too much? By watching the movements, eyes and even the corners of our babies mouths we can more easily enjoy, troubleshoot and provide the best environment possible for our littles.

From –

“a brand spankin’ new release that is going to be added to my default baby gift list. It’s a great addition to the library of new parents. It’s tenderly written, easy to read and the photography is stunning.

Each two-page spread has a full-page photo of an infant smiling, sleeping, crying, holding a finger or gazing into space, with an eloquent and non-judgemental explanation of what the child is communicating to you non-verbally. As a new parent, it provides invaluable knowledge and just may keep you off the phone with your pediatrician or health-link nine times out of ten.

From –

“I loved the fact that this book was an easy read. The chapters were nice and brief. I love the fact that Dr. Nugent did not use jargon-filled text that was dry. As I read this book, I imagined my son throughout! As I read the chapter on crawling, I watched as my own son was learning to crawl! I have read many baby books, but I still learned some new facts from Dr. Nugent’s book. For example, I couldn’t understand why my son fusses when my daughter is trying to play with him on the floor. I realized after reading this book that he’s fussing because he’s overstimulated. My daughter tends to place numerous toys in front of him and he must be fussing because he doesn’t like it. Since I read this, I have been quick to intervene and remind my daughter about this. I then give him one toy and remove the others”.

Reviewed by –

It’s hard to explain exactly what this book is. In the intro, the author says, “Parents and other caregivers lament…that babies do not come with an owner’s manual.” In large part, that is really what Nugent has created here. It’s a simple “technical manual” that tells you, and also, with breathtakingly gorgeous photography, SHOWS you what to expect from a newborn.  He hits all the major reflexes and explains what they are and why they occur (stepping, fencing, crawling rooting, etc.). He shows phases of sleep, basics of activity — overstimulation, gazing, reaching and more. He deals with variation in babies — this is not a “one book fits all babies” manual.

The “parenting advice” woven into the text is outstanding. As a student of Berry Brazelton who is now the current director of the Brazelton Institute, and an unqualified expert on newborn behavior and infant development, Dr. Nugent provides such a lovely guide to approaching infant behavior (and how NOT to interpret it, which is just as important). This is not some corny “baby language translation” book — but a subtle examination of what babies do and why”.

Review by Erin Sheehan

We’ve all wished, at one time or another, for that ever elusive infant manual; the one that clearly and successfully decodes your infants every cry, every expression, and every need. While such an oracle does not exist, Your Baby Is Speaking to You: A Visual Guide to the Amazing Behaviors of Your Newborn and Growing Baby begins to unlock the mysteries of babies’ behavior.

From Baby Know How, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School

When I first laid eyes on the beautiful book “Your Baby Is Speaking To You: A Visual Guide To The Amazing Behaviors of Your Newborn and Growing Baby” by Dr. Kevin Nugent, I knew I would be reviewing it. I also knew exactly who I would be passing it on to……. I appreciated a disclaimer offered in the introduction: “This book does not set out to offer advice on how to care for your baby. There are many wise books for parents, and indeed, many wise people in your community to whom you can turn for advice.” This is not a parenting manual. It’s different, and it’s more. As I flipped through, reading passages here and there, it made me wish that this resource had been available to me when my girls were first born.   “This is a must read”.

From Behind Spirit’s March Issue by Jay Heinrichs

The Big Theme this month is how the brain works (and, in my case, how it often doesn’t). Like most magazine staffs, we love to argue about what should go on the cover. Our choices narrowed to two approaches: a pixilated photo of Albert Einstein, and a baby. We chose the baby.

The Einstein picture is cool because it’s part of a gallery of barely recognizable historical figures and celebrities. Our brains are able to recognize complex objects like faces with very little data. The eyes see stuff, and the brain fills in any gaps. Still, the baby won out because—well, because it’s a baby, but also because babies are much smarter than we give them credit for. Veteran writer Nat Reade spent some quality time with Kevin Nugent, a pioneer in baby-speak. He helps parents interpret what their newborns are trying to say. Which, it turns out, is a lot.

Click on Baby Gaga by Nathaniel Reade, Spirit Magazine, March, 2011 for full Spirit article.

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