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Neonatal Behavioural Observation for your baby (NBO)

The Neonatal Behavioural Observation (NBO) is an exciting opportunity offered to some parents which allows you to explore your baby’s individual behaviour alongside your health visitor. It helps parents to interpret their baby’s behaviour and gives you the opportunity to consider how your baby is communicating with you. The NBO can be used with babies between 0-3months of age. All of our Health Visitors and Public Health Staff nurses received specialist training from the Brazelton Centre UK throughout 2022 meaning we are really luck to be able to offer NBO when it could help.

The NBO is not a test, and your baby can not pass or fail. The practitioner will give you tips and ideas which may support your baby’s development. Each session is individual to your baby and you but can include exploring:

  • Different behavioural states your baby might show you
  • Sleep and your baby
  • Your baby’s responses to faces and voices
  • Your baby’s responses to sound and light when sleeping
  • Strategies to understand and support crying and soothing
  • Activity and reflexes that can support your baby

Many practitioners will cover aspects of the NBO within your routine contacts or you may be offered the opportunity to complete an NBO together. It will provide a time where we can think together about your baby to support your relationship through communication and positive interactions.

You can find more information regarding NBO and your baby’s language at: Parents – Brazelton Centre UK


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Devon County Council runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens. You can also call our Public Health Nursing hubs on the numbers listed below.

If you are concerned about the safety of a child in Devon, contact our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email with as much information as possible.

This page was last reviewed on 11-05-2022

This page will be next reviewed on 11-05-2025