T. Berry Brazelton

By: Noah Bergmann

About Brazelton

  • Born and raised in Waco, Texas
  • Dr. Brazelton graduated in 1943 from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City
  • Brazelton trained in both pediatrics and child psychiatry and combined those interests to launch a hugely successful career

Teaching The Parents

He taught parents to get to know their babies and young children and to be aware of the kids' different behaviors, emotions and expressions. He also encouraged parents to trust their own judgment in rearing their children.

Brazelton's Work/Findings

(1) individual differences among newborns and the contribution of the neonate to the parent-infant dyad

(2) the development of attachment between parent and infant over the first four months

(3) cross-cultural studies of infant behavior and early parenting practices

(4) the importance of early intervention to at-risk infants and their parents

Brazelton's NBAS

One of Dr. Brazelton's foremost achievements in pediatrics is the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), published in 1973 and revised in 1984 and in 1995. Known as "the Brazelton," this evaluation tool is used worldwide, clinically and in research, to assess not only the physical and neurological responses of newborns but also their emotional well-being and individual differences. Increasingly, the NBAS is being used as an intervention to help parents understand and relate to their new babies, and new research is underway to study how it can be used to enhance early discharge from the newborn hospital.

What he Achieved

  1. broke new ground in explaining to parents the nature of their babies and young children.
  2. he was appointed to the National Commission on Children by the U.S. Congress, where he advocated with vigor for disadvantaged children.
  3. President Obama awarded Brazelton a Presidential Citizens Medal, given for exemplary service to fellow citizens.


"T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., The Brazelton Institute - Children's Hospital Boston." T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., The Brazelton Institute - Children's Hospital Boston. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016


Hellmich, Nanci. "At 95, Brazelton Shares 'A Life Caring for Children'" USA Today. Gannett, 01 May 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.