Techniques previously designed for seizure detection in newborns using the electroencephalogram (EEG) have been relatively inefficient due to their assumption of local stationarity of the EEG. To overcome the problem raised by the nonstationarity of the EEG signal, current methods are extended to a time-frequency approach. This allows the analysis and characterization of the different newborn EEG patterns that are intended to be the first step toward an automatic time-frequency seizure detection and classification. An in-depth analysis of both the autocorrelation and spectrum seizure detection techniques identified the detection criteria that can be extended to the time-frequency domain. The selected method uses a high-resolution reduced interference time-frequency distribution referred to as the B-distribution (BD). Here, the authors present the various patterns of observed time-frequency seizure signals and relate them to current knowledge of seizures. In particular, initial results indicate that a quasilinear instantaneous frequency (IF) can be used as a critical feature of the EEG seizure characteristics.