Baby Behaviour  

Is 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 interaction?

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 relationship.

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 faces.

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 already observed.

The Neonatal Behavioural Assessment truly provides a wonderful window into your baby’s individuality.

By: Marna Nel from Baby@Therapy 011-8693137



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