We asked young scientists to “name a discovery that inspired you and then describe it in exactly six words.”


Prechtl’s general movements

Non-invasive neuro diagnosis. Baby approved! (6 words)

Source: Science

More info: Prechtl’s General Movements Assessment is simply a video of your baby lying on their back whilst they are awake, calm and alert. The assessment can be completed from birth up to 20 weeks of age (corrected for prematurity). It is non-invasive and non-disruptive.

From the information above, I guess"baby approved" means"baby is normal". I am not sure.

  • Looks like headlinese.
    – Nat
    Jul 8 at 2:34
  • 1
    Would it have been clearer with a hyphen? Jul 8 at 8:34
  • 2
    @user3840170 Agreed. In standard written English, this should be, “Baby-approved.”
    – Davislor
    Jul 9 at 6:23
  • I disagree that the hyphen is required. For example, I see no hyphen (because you don't need it) in this American earplugs product: #1 Doctor Recommended Brand to help prevent swimmer’s ear infections"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 9 at 11:59
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA I would argue that should be hyphenated as well. It's the #1 product that doctors recommend, not a product recommended by the #1 doctor.
    – chepner
    Jul 10 at 15:36

3 Answers 3


There have been many baby products which were advertised as "Baby approved!" This is a play on common phrases like "Doctor approved!" or "Dentist approved!" as a seal of authority on a product. These ads with "Baby approved!" were funny because babies aren't authorities on anything and because of reference humour. They also indicated that babies enjoy this product.

In your context, "Baby approved" is a reference to these funny ads, humorously suggesting that babies enjoy and therefore approve of Prechtl’s General Movements Assessment.

  • 4
    And quite likely disapprove of any tests requiring invasiveness or handling, loudly and with great voice!
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 10 at 12:10

The literal meaning of "Baby approved!" is "The General Movements Assessment has been approved by babies!" or, in other words, "Babies have said that the General Movements Assessment is okay."

Of course, the statement is not meant literally, because babies aren't actually able to say whether they approve or disapprove of the assessment. The statement "Baby approved!" is a humorous way of saying that the General Movements Assessment is not uncomfortable or unpleasant for the baby.

  • 8
    The last sentence is key. Babies "approve of it" precisely because it's non-invasive.
    – Thierry
    Jul 8 at 2:40
  • 5
    While they may not be able to express their approval in words, their attitude can generally be inferred from their behavior -- if they smile and laugh, they approve of something. This is how many studies of infant psychology is done.
    – Barmar
    Jul 8 at 14:19

Since the other answers haven't said so explicitly, it's worth mentioning that in this context "baby approved" is an adjective phrase, rather than a sentence with "baby" as the subject and "approved" as a past-tense verb.

"Doctor-approved treatment" follows the same pattern as "computer-generated music" (music generated by a computer), "US-led research team", "government-sponsored enterprise", and so on.

  • Exactly, and it there weren't a six-word limit, this might have been written as "Approved [of] by babies!" or "This is a baby-approved procedure! Jul 9 at 10:45

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