This third program of research follows on from the Foundation’s 2009/11 research study. “Assisting infants to achieve self-regulated sleep: The KIDSCODE ® baby process”; Australasian Journal of Early Childhood Vol 36 No.3. The foundation’s first research study in 2007/9 involved a small group of families, all with children aged 2 – 11 yrs.. Results of this study are available on request.

2015 Research Program Objective:

The objective is to identify the first signs of anxiety in new borns. A baby’s stress is easiest to alleviate when treated as close to its onset as possible. Reaching babies at this early stage can be difficult. Parents aren’t usually aware of the signs of infant stress and, as they are often anxious themselves, they are not always able to ask for help as soon as they need it.

The Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) was developed in 1973 by Dr.T. Berry Brazelton and his colleagues.

The scale represents a guide that helps parents, health care providers and researchers understand the newborn’s language. “The Scale gives us the chance to see what the baby’s behavior will tell us,” says Dr. Brazelton, professor emeritus, Harvard Medical School. “It gives us a window into what it will take to nurture the baby.”

The Scale, looks at a wide range of behaviors and is suitable for examining newborns and infants up to two months old. By the end of the assessment, the examiner has a behavioral “portrait” of the infant, describing the baby’s strengths, adaptive responses and possible vulnerabilities. The examiner shares this portrait with parents to develop appropriate caregiving strategies aimed at enhancing the earliest relationship between babies and parents.

Studies have clearly shown that infants identified as anxious at 3 days olds are more likely to develop into toddlers with anxiety with a myriad of associated problems.

2015 PILOT STUDY – Reducing Anxiety in Infants using The Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) assessment tool and KIDSCODE ® therapy approach.

This pilot study will look at a small sample of babies assessed at risk using the NBAS. The parents of these infants will be invited to use the KIDSCODE ® process as an intervention to support change in their infants health.

The results of this pilot study will hopefully be presented at the next WAIMH (World Association for Infant Mental Health) conference in Prague. 2016.

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