Health visitors have always been faced with change and challenge to their role, partly as a result of health visiting being underpinned by a set of ‘soft’ skills that are difficult to articulate. This article suggests that the relationship-building skills of health visitors can now be underpinned by evidence from developments in neuroscience. In this paper, the aspects of neuroscience behind many of the core interventions health visitors have always used are discussed and their relationship to managing emotions and stress are addressed. Neurohormones such as oxytocin, cortisol and dopamine are described in the context of health visitor–parent relationships and how this can benefit babies. This paper explains important brain structures and how health visitors can work with these.