Research with the NBO

Many studies have been conducted with the Newborn Behavioural Observations system all over the world, looking at the benefits to parents and babies and the way it changes practitioner’s practice.

Have a look at a short summary of the evidence below and then you can explore our most recent evidence too!

Summary of Results using the NBO

Research shows that the majority of practitioners attending the NBO course:

  • Report increased confidence and skills working with babies and their families
  • Integrate a great deal of what they learned into their practice
  • Are using the tool with fathers and mothers
  • Particularly enjoy sharing with parents their baby’s social skills and consoling strategies

Mums and dads who have an NBO session tend to:

  • Feel closer to their baby
  • Feel they know their baby better
  • Trust their practitioner
  • Have enhanced engagement and relationship with their baby
  • Feel more confident in reading their baby’s signals and cues

Evidence also suggests that the NBO could be an effective intervention tool in preventing postnatal depression symptoms in first-time mothers.

Several national and international studies, including randomised control trials, are currently being developed to provide us with more robust evidence regarding the effectiveness of the NBO.

NBO References

This is a selection of some of the most recent publications in the NBO. If you are interested in a specific subject or on previous studies, please contact us.

Recent Articles

Cheetham, N., & Hanssen, T.A. (2014). The Neonatal Behavioral Observation System: A tool to enhance the transition to motherhood. VÅRD I NORDEN, 14, 48–52

Gibbs, D.P. (2015). Supporting the Parent-Infant Relationship: Using the Neonatal Behavioural Observation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Journal of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists, 6, 1, 26-34.

Halliday, J. (2017). Newborn Observation: A closer look. Community Practitioner. January: 35-37

Hawthorne, J. (2015). Influencing Health Policy in the Antenatal and Postnatal Periods: the UK experience. Zero to Three Journal, 36, 1, 21-27

Hawthorne, J., & Nicolau, S. (2017). Health Professionals’ use of the Newborn Behavioural Observations (NBO) system: benefits and opportunities for integration into practice. Journal of Health Visiting. 5,7, 346-350.

Lee, P., & Mee, C. (2015). The Tameside and Glossop Early Attachment Service: Meeting the emotional needs of parents and their babies. Community Practitioner, Aug; 88(8):31-5.

McManus, B. & Nugent, J. K. (2012). A Neurobehavioral Intervention Incorporated into a State Early Intervention Program is Associated with Higher Perceived Quality of Care Among Parents of High-Risk Newborns. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 1-8

McManus, B., & Nugent . J. K. (2011).Feasibility study of early intervention provider confidence following a neurobehavioural intervention for high-risk newborns. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 29, 4, 395-403.

Nicolson, S. (2015). Let’s meet your baby as a person: From Research to Preventive Perinatal Practice and Back Again with the Newborn Behavioral Observations. Zero to Three Journal, 36, 1, 28-39.

Nugent, J .K. (2015). The Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) System as a Form of Intervention and Support for New Parents. Zero to Three Journal, 36, 1, 2-10.

Nugent, J. K., Bartlett, J.D., & Valim, C. (2014). Effects of an Infant-Focused Relationship-Based Hospital and Home Visiting Intervention on Reducing Symptoms of Postpartum Maternal Depression. Infants & Young Children 27 (4): 292–304. doi:10.1097/iyc.0000000000000017.

Nugent, J., Bartlett, J., Von Ende, A. & Valim, C. (2017). The Effects of the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) System on Sensitivity in Mother-Infant Interactions. Infants and Young Children. 30. 257–268. 10.1097/IYC.0000000000000103.

Slinning, K., & Vannebo, U.T. (2015). The Training of Infant Mental Health Practitioners: the Norway Experience. Zero to Three Journal, 36, 1, 40-45.

Current studies in development

Greve, R.A., Braarud, H, Skotheim, S., & Slinning, K. (2018). Feasibility and acceptability of an early home visit intervention aimed at supporting a positive mother-infant relationship for mothers at risk of postpartum depression. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. 10.1111/scs.12589

Guimarães, M.A., Alves, C.R., Cardoso, A.A., Penido, M.G., & Magalhães, L.C. (2018) Clinical application of the Newborn Behavioral Observation (NBO) System to characterize the behavioral pattern of newborns at biological and social risk. J Pediatr (Rio J). 94:300–7

Høifødt, R.S., Nordahl, D., Pfuhl, G., et al. (2017) Protocol for the Northern babies longitudinal study: predicting postpartum depression and improving parent–infant interaction with The Newborn Behavioral Observation. BMJ Open;7:e016005. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016005

Kristensen, I.H., & Kronborg, H. (2018) What are the effects of supporting early parenting by enhancing parents’ understanding of the infant? Study protocol for a cluster-randomized community-based trial of the Newborn Behavioral Observation (NBO) method. BMC Public Health.  BMC Public Health. 4;18(1):832. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-5747-4

Nicolson, S., Carron, S., Newman L., & Campbell, P. (n.d.). The UNA Project (Understanding your Newborn and Adapting to parenthood): A randomised controlled trial of the NBO (Newborn Behavioural Observations) among first time parents at risk of maternal postnatal depression.

Simkin-Tram, K., Harman, B., & Nicolson, S. (n.d.) Maternal and Child Health Nurses’ Experience Using the Newborn Behaviour Observation System with Infant-Mother Dyads: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study.

NBO Books

Nugent, J. K., Keefer, C. H., Minear, S., Johnson, L. C., & Blanchard, Y. (2007). Understanding newborn behavior and early relationships: The Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system handbook. Baltimore, MD, US: Paul H Brookes Publishing.

Improving our Evidence

Developing our tools and training courses based on robust evidence is vital to us. We are especially interested in more culturally appropriate research in the UK, with parents and newborn babies. Are you or your organisation interested in developing a research project with our tools? We’d love to hear from you! Please get in touch using the form below.

01223 314429

Contact Form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.