NBO training course information

NBO training course information

Newborn Behavioural Observations (NBO) training is offered by NBO Australasia based at the Women’s, the official training centre in Australasia for NBO, developed by the Brazelton Institute, Boston.

Since 2013, more than 2,200 professionals have participated in our online and in-person workshops. We have been honored to have had many First Nations participants. Professionals join our workshops from all across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong. Diverse cultural, professional, discipline and workplace perspectives therefore greatly enrich our courses. 

Training workshops in 2024

We will offer both on-line and in-person workshops in 2024.

  • NBO online workshop: Sunday 3, Monday 4 & Tuesday 5 March 2024 (completed)
  • NBO in-person workshop: Melbourne: Monday 29 & Tuesday 30 April of 2024 (completed)
  • NBO online workshop: Sunday 18, Monday 19 & Tuesday 20 August 2024.
  • NBO for High Risk Infants online: Sunday 13, Monday 14 & Tuesday 15 October 2024.

To register on our booking system, visit our NBO - EventBrite page.

Many workshops fill quickly and an early registration discount applies. The next New Zealand in-person NBO workshop will be in 2025. 

Who should attend?

We hope to train all professionals working with parents and newborns in the use of the NBO, so they can provide new families with the best opportunity for:

  • parental wellbeing
  • a healthy relationship with their new baby, and
  • optimal infant and family development. 

The NBO training program is relevant to a range of professionals who work with families with newborns and very young infants including GPs, paediatricians, midwives, lactation consultants, obstetricians, social workers, child and family health nurses, mental health workers, therapists and family support workers.

Workshop outline and objectives

The NBO workshops are run by two NBO Master Trainers, along with NBO trainers and/or experienced practitoners. There is an emphasis on interactive exchange and hands-on practice.

The workshops are either a two-day in-person workshop, or a three part-day online workshop. All learning materials are provided to participants on the user-friendly NBO Learning Management System.

At the end of the workshop participants will be able to:

  • identify, describe, and explain newborn behavior in the context of the NBO
  • administer and record the NBO
  • implement the NBO in a way that is developmentally sound and culturally responsive
  • practice effective relationship-based care in working with young infants and their parents.
What is included in your ticket price
  • NBO Kit*
  • Access to pre-workshop modules with PowerPoint, videos and optional further reading 
  • Either an online workshop for three half-days, or in-person workshop for two full-days (14 contact hours)
  • Printable handouts for each workshop day
  • Printable NBO Forms for use during and after the workshop
  • Group Mentoring Zoom session (optimal), four weeks after the workshop
  • Individual supervision session towards accreditation as an NBO Practitioner (optional). 

*NBO Kit

In-Person workshop: your NBO Kit will be available on Day One of your workshop.

Online workshop: Your NBO Kit will be posted to you about two weeks before the workshop. Your kit and postage within Australia are included in the ticket costs. (International postage is available at an additional fee). 

Optional pathway to becoming an accredited NBO Practitioner

After completing the NBO workshop, you will be ready to practise and apply the NBO system in your everyday practice, gaining confidence in its application, and a sense of how powerful this tool can be for both clinicians and families alike.

Your learning and confidence will further increase if you follow the steps below to become an accredited NBO Practitioner:

Step 1: Complete the pre-training, background reading and questions.

Step 2: Complete an NBO training workshop.

Step 3: Study NBO handbook and practice administering the NBO.

Step 4: Option to join a mentoring conference call, 1 month following workshop.

Step 5: Undertake 5 NBO sessions and complete the Parent Questionnaires and NBO recording forms for each. Video one of the NBO sessions. 

Step 6: Submit NBO recording forms and Parent Questionnaires and video. This material will be reviewed in a 1:1 supportive session with a senior NBO trainer for reflection, skills-building and accreditation.

Recommended textbook

Understanding Newborn Behaviour and Early Relationships - the Newborn Behavioral Observations System Handbook (soft cover) by J. Kevin Nugent, Susan O'Brien, Constance H. Keefer. ISBN:9781557668837.

You can purchase this book from Woodslane.

Please use the code Newborn15 at the checkout to receive a 15% discount off the Recommended Retail Price (RRP). 

Request training for your workplace or professional body

In addition to our annual calendar of workshops for multi-disciplinary professionals, we offer tailored NBO training on request.

If your workplace or professional body is interested, please email us. 

We have held many such workshops over the last 10 years, most recently for MacKillop’s Family Preservation and Reunification Response Service in 2020, and Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health in 2023.

Inspiringly in 2021, despite the COVID pandemic, Child & Family Health Nurse Services and the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health (AAIMHI) in South Australia co-funded training for the statewide workforce, with NBO clinician Valerie Aylesbury supporting on-the-ground implementation.

NBO Refresher Course

We are planning a half-day online refresher session in 2024 on ‘Using the NBO In Your Practice’.

If you are a professional who has previously attended NBO training, you are eligible to attend and apply for accreditation up to 3 months afterwards. Register your interest via this Google Docs form.


"I thoroughly enjoyed the course and think it is great concept to incorporate into a general practice setting. I have successfully incorporated elements of the NBO into the vast majority of my 6 week neonatal checks and the mothers have seemed universally enthusiastic about the concepts. In all cases I have felt an enhanced ability to model connection with the newborn, and my sense is that this has been viewed as both a helpful and novel approach."

Felicity Dent, General Practictioner, Melbourne

"Thanks for the training. I have done three observations so far and they have been incredibly powerful experiences, particularly for two of the families. And for me - it felt like there was this shared knowledge of the infant in the room with a level of detail I haven't been able to get to with families before."

Dr Shikkiah de Quadros-Wander, Clinical Psychologist, Melbourne

"A baby having a personality and communicating and responding to the world around them was something I had not given much thought to in 30 years of working in the field. I was amazed at the uniqueness of being able to involve parents interactively to help them get to know their babies. Performing these sessions was an amazing experience, observing subtle changes, pointing these out to parents, watching babies and parents respond. I find this is an extremely powerful tool to help parents engage more readily and bond with their babies and each other."

Katherine Hayward, Registered nurse, midwife and lactation consultant 

10 year anniversary newsletter

To read, see our NBO Australia & NZ 10 year anniversary newsletter.


A refund is available if a cancellation is made at least one week prior to the first day of the booked workshop.

If for any reason a scheduled training is postponed or cancelled, registrants will be contacted, and a refund of registration fees will be arranged.

Who can I contact for more information?

For more information on NBO training, please email Jacinda Joy.