When caring for infants, we parents tend to prioritize our children’s physical health over everything else. However, emerging research on the subject of infant mental health has pointed to the clear need to take an equally proactive approach to our children’s mental and emotional well-being.
Still a relatively new field of study, infant mental health refers to the “healthy social and emotional development of a child from birth to three years” (www.zerotothree.org). As young children can’t vocalize an experience very strong emotions throughout these early years and these can be a crucial factor for later development.
By the age of two, approximately 80% of a child’s brain has developed. These early years are a particularly intense developmental period and lay the foundation for lifelong mental and emotional health. Key to successful social and emotional development, are the relationships and attachments that infants form during this time.
Attachment can be defined as the emotional bond between a child and their primary caregiver. A critical element of early years development, attachment provides the bedrock no which parents/ caregivers can offer a safe environment perfect for children to explore and learn in. These attachments are important because they will shape how a child will interact with others for the rest of their life.
There are a number of recommended activities you can try out at home to help ensure healthy emotional, social and mental development. Many of these come under the broad categories of: Communication, Comfort, Play and Teaching. It is also important not to neglect your own mental health. Parents/caregivers set the tone in the home and as such they need to be aware of the ways in which their own feelings and experiences may affect their child.
If you are interested in learning more about infant mental health, why not take a look at this infographic guide from the team at Westcan Personnel. This highly informative infographic guide gives a handy overview on the topic and offers some basic steps you can try out at home to nurture positive mental health in your little bundle of joy.
Read the infographic below to find out more about infant mental health.
Westcan Personnel specializes in the placement of qualified, experienced Caregivers as Nannies, Au Pairs, Senior Caregivers, and Special Needs Caregivers under the Federal Caregiver Programs. Westcan Personnel and its predecessor companies Calgary Nannies Unlimited, and Calgary Nannies (1970) Inc. have served Canadian families for more than 40 years. We have helped many thousands of families in every province in Canada over the years. Our great wealth of experience is what allows us to give you the best advice for your unique family situation.