End of 2023 newsletter

Thanks to Joana, our R&D Officer, for making this beautiful Brazelton bauble with her digital cutting machine! 

Welcome to our final newsletter of 2023…

As we near the end of 2023, I hope you will be able to take a break and spend some time with family and friends. Reflecting on our year at the Brazelton Centre, there have been so many exiting activities we have had the opportunity to work on. Here are just a few:

  • Funding awarded to a group of midwives and maternity staff for our newly-launched project ‘Baby Communication in Maternity’.
  • Appointment of Joana, our Research & Development Officer and Maggie, our Research Consultant.
  • Launch of two new resources for new parents – How your Baby Communicates and My First Language.
  • Meeting and planning the future with our International Brazelton Network in Dublin, in the month of July.
  • Growing connections with practitioners in low-middle income countries through our Reach Beyond Bursary including NBAS Certifications in Zimbabwe and Egypt.
  • Development of a new pathway for those becoming an NBAS and NBO Trainer
  • Baby Communication Week highlighting the amazing capacities of newborn babies through talks and a series of animations.
  • Updating learning materials and building a brand-new learning platform for our trainees (due for launch in early 2024!).

As well as all of these we have seen a ‘record-smashing’ year in our NBO and NBAS training, welcoming more individuals onto our courses than ever before! We are delighted that more and more organisations are requesting in person training, as we do enjoy meeting people in person. We very much hope we can meet many of you in 2024! On that note, the year ahead already has so much in store for us at the Brazelton Centre with even more exciting initiatives planned for promoting baby communication and early relationships. We look forward to sharing these with you in the coming months.

To close, I would like to thank you all for your continued work with families and for being such a special part our vision for babies – ‘…a world where newborn babies are listened to and understood, enabling strong relationships and healthy lives.”

May I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year!

With warmest regards,

         Inge Nickell

          Brazelton Centre UK Director




What a (record-breaking) year!

The enormous momentum in demand for training in Newborn Behaviour over the last few years has shown no signs of slowing… 2023 has been a record-breaking year in every area of our training activities!

You can see all the amazing figures in the infographic above including 947 individuals welcomed on an NBAS or NBO course this year and 400 certifications completed. On top of these numbers we have also had 32 Refresher Course participants and 14 on our Advanced Course: Using the NBO with High Risk Infants.

It has certainly been a very busy year again for our staff team and trainers, but we are very grateful for this – the more individuals trained, the more families we can reach with the support to understand their baby’s language.

A very special thanks goes to Tiffany our Training Manager and Isabel, our Office Assistant, for organising this epic number of courses, and to our team of trainers for the huge effort in delivering our NBO and NBAS training with such passion, enthusiasm, and expertise.




Promoting the baby’s voice in maternity services

In the middle of the year, we launched a new project called ‘Baby Communication in Maternity’, awarding funding to 8 midwives to certify in the NBO.

All 8 individuals awarded a place in the project have now undertaken their NBO 2-day training and are working towards their certification. It has been so exciting to see the enthusiasm from each of the midwives to bring the conversation about baby communication into antenatal and postnatal care.

Here is a wonderful testimonial from Caroline and Natalie.

In June 2023 we were awarded with 2 funded places on the Newborn Behaviour Observation (NBO) training. As Specialist Parent Education Midwives, we were keen to enhance our knowledge of newborn communication and strategies to empower parents to recognise themselves as experts in their own babies to facilitate individualised and responsive parenting.

We received pre-course materials both online and via the post, which provided us with everything, we needed to prepare for the course and complete the NBO’s. The training provided was of a high standard. Despite the workshops being online they were engaging and very interactive with a variety of visual aids and activities included. There were many opportunities to practice hands on skills and consolidate the learning over the 2 days.  We enjoyed meeting and networking with other practitioners both during the sessions and afterwards. It is also wonderful to be able to access post-training support from the Brazelton Centre.

Having learnt how to conduct and document an NBO, we are now busy exploring how the tool could be used within maternity services and more specifically within our parent education role. The ethos, approach, and vision of Brazelton aligns well with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative standards and supports responsive, individualised parenting. This makes it easy for us to employ the tool and utilise the Brazelton resources without compromising the wider vision and requirements of our maternity service.

As we provide a bespoke parent education package- known as Birth & Beyond- at the Royal Surrey Hospital, we have numerous opportunities, to weave the knowledge and resources we have gained from training with Brazelton in to our many classes and workshops. We are already providing Brazelton leaflets and images via our Maternity Parent Portal- an online platform for class bookings and a library of information- for all parents and expectant parents to access. In addition, the training has enhanced our knowledge of Baby states and communication, topics we discuss in our 4-week postnatal course. The soothability steps discussed to help calm a baby have also been added to our in-person Baby Care Workshop as a practical tool for parents to utilise. All changes and additions were made immediately after attending the training due to the synchronicity of our shared approach.

Looking to the future we are now researching and planning a new pregnancy workshop for expectant parents to attend to learn about baby communication, responsive parenting and the importance of instinctive approaches from pregnancy and in to the postnatal period.

For those not working within parent education or without the opportunity to provide NHS parent education on a large scale, we would still recommend the training. As a clinical midwife the knowledge gained would help with antenatal and postnatal conversations regarding responsive parenting and how to build close and loving relationships. The approach to performing an NBO as a partner with the parents and a tool to facilitate open, client led conversations is useful to all health care professionals in our opinion. The NBO tool itself also has multiple opportunities for enhancing care already provided. For example, providing the opportunity to discuss communication, responsiveness and empower parents when done alongside a NIPE. We can also see a number of uses for building rapport, facilitating parent empowerment and baby led care with vulnerable groups of parents.

In conclusion, we encourage all midwives to look at the information provided by Brazelton via their website and social media platforms and to consider how the NBO could enhance their care and provide numerous opportunities for professional development.


We will hear more from our midwives about the project and it’s implementation stage in 2024.




Exciting adventures in Egypt!

Supporting NBAS and NBO trainees in Cairo by our Senior Trainer Rita Al Minyawi (pictured above fourth from the left).

One thing that always stands out to new trainees about Brazelton training is the heartfelt care and passion of our trainers for trainees. It’s no doubt that this passion comes from their own experience of being captivated by the Brazelton approach and having a desire to see all parents supported in the very first days and weeks after birth.

A delightful example of this is the dedication shown by one of our senior trainers, Rita Al Minyawi. Rita spent her career as a senior Neonatal Nurse in Cambridge, England. Despite her retirement 3 years ago Rita still spends much of her time supporting Brazelton trainees – especially those who have received our Reach Beyond Bursaries.

In November Rita spent a packed 3 days with NBAS and NBO trainees in Cairo who have been recipients of our bursaries. This included (post course) mentoring to help the trainees become more confident in carrying out the NBO and NBAS. Many families with newborn babies were able to come into the clinic and Rita would take time to demonstrate how to observe and interpret the baby’s behaviour and individuality. As well as the mentoring, Rita was able to certify one trainee – Marwa – in the NBAS, a great achievement.

Rita and Asmaa (our first Egyptian certified practitioner) have given their time to build connections among the group in Egypt so they can continue to be a support to one-another.

We asked Rita for a short reflection on her recent trip:

“In-person mentoring has been wonderful, exhausting, exhilarating and humbling. The motivation and commitment of the trainees here is phenomenal. They all show up and are very appreciative to the Brazelton Centre for their support and bursaries.

Families are so wonderful to work with. All are really appreciating the NBAS and NBO. Very easy and relaxed working with them all. I smile as their parenting questions are no different to those in Cambridge and the Brazelton approach really just makes perfect sense to them. The wonder and amazement as they watch their baby’s capabilities is always so rewarding.  I love having the grandmothers present as well because they generally are directing those early months at home, especially for first time mums, so to get them on board through the baby’s behaviour is so much more powerful than trying to challenge centuries of tradition.”


Our connections built with practitioners in low and middle income countries through our bursaries continue to be a source of great joy for us. Our most recent Reach-Beyond bursary winners who will train in 2024 are from Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iran, Egypt, India and South Africa.

The Reach Beyond bursaries will open again in the summer of 2024 and we are planning to also introduce discounts for low & middle income countries in 2024.




You heard it first here!

We won’t be making an official announcement on social media until the new year however you can hear it here first!

We have been working behind the scenes with friends and colleagues across the world to translate our resource ‘How Your Baby Communicates’ into a variety of languages. The first group of translated copies will be available in the Spring of 2024: These are Bengali, Ukrainian, Spanish, Zulu, Urdu, French, Danish, Portuguese, Arabic, Welsh and Cantonese!
How Your Baby Communicates: Formerly ‘The First Relationship’ leaflet which has been given a fresh design and updated wording. This A5 booklet written for new parents, helping them see how their newborn baby is communicating with them through his/her behaviour, encouraging more confident and responsive care.  The leaflet covers: understanding the 6 states of alertness in babies; soothing a crying baby; playing and talking with your baby and signs for babies needing a break (where they may be overstimulated). This guide really is the perfect companion for parents as they get to know their new baby as a unique person.

View the whole ‘How Your Baby Communicates’ booklet online HERE

A note about using this resource:
As many organisations aim to use less printed materials and move to electronic methods of presenting information for parents, we wanted to support this development and ensure our information on baby behaviour is available in a variety of formats.  If your organisation uses an electronic educational/resource platform for parents, such as Padlet, and would like to integrate our resources please do get in touch with ‘sarah.lam@brazelton.co.uk’.



See all our resources here

Save the date for this event in 2024!


We want to invite you to make a BIG impact to the newborn babies and their families in your local area. We want to invite you to be part of ensuring there are no barriers to new parents accessing support to building the relationship with their baby and understand their baby’s communication.

It is our belief that:

  • The opportunity to learn about baby communication should be available to every new parent.
  • Understanding newborn behaviour is foundational knowledge for all practitioners working with newborns.
  • That support of the parent-infant relationship through highlighting the baby’s contribution to the relationship (through their behaviour) should be an integral and embedded part of all newborn-related care services.

The most effective, inclusive and impactful way to do this is to ensure whole teams/organisations/workforces are both trained in the Newborn Behavioural Observations AND implementing it into care provision.

We are so excited to be holding an Information and Inspiration Webinar for those in managerial and leadership positions in any kind of newborn and parent service, to learn about the NBO training and how it can be embedded into care pathways in

  • Neonatal Care
  • Health Visiting
  • Perinatal Mental Health
  • Local authority and voluntary groups/services (including Dad groups)

The event will be held online on Wednesday 13th March 2024 in the morning… and is totally free!!

All attendees can expect to:

  • Enjoy a brief introduction to the NBO and what is involved in the training and certification from our Director.
  • Hear about how the NBO can be embedded into care in a range of settings to bring transformative benefits for parents, babies and practitioners.
  • Hear about logistics’- funding, care pathways, mentoring, targets.
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions
  • Access post event support to get plans in place for your organisation.

Please do check on our website and social media channels in the new year when we will be sharing the speakers, programme, and opening registration for this event.

We can’t wait to see you there!




My First Christmas downloadable poster


What is it like to be a baby at Christmas time? The festive season brings with it many sensory experiences for all of us, but it can be especially stimulating for newborns who are having their very first Christmas!

We’ve put together a free printable PDF with some ideas for new parents (and the rest of us!) on enjoying the Christmas period with a new baby and tips on how to keep the baby’s perspective in mind during this time of year.



View and download the poster here!

Look out for our Spring newsletter in March 2024