your baby easily over stimulated, can he self-sooth,
how does he protect his sleep, how does he manage
his crying states and is he available for social
If you had a baby that spent some time in a nicu
environment, is premature, had intrauterine growth
retardation or a traumatic birth, do you know how to
read your baby’s stress signals without any monitors
showing your baby’s vital readings?
Is excessive crying really due to colic or cramps,
or does baby maybe have a problem regulating and
organizing incoming stimulus?
All of the above can now be explained through the
Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale.
It is the most comprehensive infant assessment to
date and was originally designed to document the
baby’s contribution to the parent-infant
Research has shown mother’s confidence and
self-esteem to increase; father’s proved to be more
involved in care giving especially the first three
months of baby’s life; improved parent-infant
interaction and improved developmental outcome.
The method is therefore mainly used to share with
parents the uniqueness of their baby by looking at
the baby’s strengths, his likes and dislikes and his
social interaction skills through the way he can
already follow and track certain objects, voices and
For parents who have to deal with a more challenging
baby, eg: where babies are born with Down’s or other
syndromes or babies with deformities, this
assessment is especially valuable as it highlights
the positive aspects of your babies personality and
helps parents to understand their baby’s signals and
appreciate his uniqueness.
In premature babies who spent some time in NICU or
babies who experienced a traumatic birth, at risk of
developmental delay, the Neonatal Behavioural
Assessment Scale is of value when a certified
examiner can help you read your baby’s stress
signals through colour change, hiccups, sneezing,
state organization, crying or lack of crying etc.
Babies are highly capable of controlling their
behaviour to adapt or change their care-giving
environment; they are organized creatures who play
an active role in their own development by
communication through behavioural cues; they are
social beings; each with a very unique personality.
Most parents have already picked up a lot of these
cues and the Neonatal Behavioural Assessment can
help parents have a better understanding of their
baby’s behaviour and validate the things they
The Neonatal Behavioural Assessment truly provides a
wonderful window into your baby’s individuality.
By: Marna Nel from Baby@Therapy 011-8693137