Florence Robertson Baby Steps Developmental Clinic

North Shore Medical Center pediatric patient high risk infant
The Florence Robertson Baby Steps Developmental Clinic at MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Medical Center provides comprehensive evaluations and follow-up services for children from birth to age two who may need medical or developmental support. Our specialists work with you and your child's primary care physician to maximize your child's developmental potential.

Multidisciplinary Evaluation and Follow-Up

Our multidisciplinary team is made up of dedicated and qualified professionals with expertise in the care and management of at-risk infants and children in the hospital, home and community setting. Our team consists of board certified neonatologist (program director), pediatric registered nurse practitioner, occupational therapist and neuropsychologist.  Other professional disciplines are available to the team as indicated by the patient's needs.

Full examination includes:

  • Complete physical exam
  • Standardized neurologic exam
  • Standardized developmental exam
  • Nutritional status evaluation
  • Occupational therapy screening

Referral criteria:

  • Birth weight at less than 1500 grams (3 lbs., 5 oz..)
  • Gestational age less than or equal to 32 weeks
  • Apgar score at 5 minutes of 3 or less or at 10 minutes of five or less
  • History of neurological abnormality or intraventricular hemorrhage (grade two or above), seizure, stroke, meningitis and treatment with therapeutic hypothermia
  • Oxygen and/or diuretic dependent chronic lung disease
  • Positive drug screen/maternal substance abuse necessitating in-hospital care for withdrawal
  • Severe intrauterine growth restriction
  • ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) use in neonatal period
  • Stage III or greater retinopathy of prematurity

Car seat evaluation

A car seat evaluation is recommended for all babies born before 37 weeks gestation. The evaluation ensures that a premature baby is able to safely travel in a car seat without experiencing any difficulties breathing (such as desaturation, apnea, or bradycardia). Infants who are found to have breathing problems while in a car seat are instead placed in a type of car seat that allows them to lie flat (a car bed). A follow-up screening determines when it is safe for the premature infant to start using a traditional car seat.

Early Reading Program

NSMC’s Early Reading Program encourages reading to infants and children while in the hospital and throughout their early childhood years in order to promote early language and brain development. With your donation, we can ensure that every one of our patients in the Florence Robertson Baby Steps Developmental Clinic and Special Care Nursery are read to during their visit and have a book to take home to build their personal library. Book donations can be dropped off at the NSMC volunteer office (Axelrod 6) Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, please call 978-354-2710 or email nbachiri@partners.org. Books must be new or gently used per infection control.