A baby’s mental health is every part as important as her physical health.
Good mental health matters for her brain, body, and behavior — now and for her whole lifetime.
So, what is good infant mental health?
Good infant mental health means a baby is nurtured and protected by caring adults – most often her parents – in a way that provides the basis for a secure parent-child relationship. It is within these special relationships that babies build a strong (or weak) foundation for all emotional, cognitive, and social development. And, research has also made the link between these strong early relationships and a child’s lifelong physical health.
Good infant mental health looks like this: when parents and other caregivers are responsive, protective, and stable, babies become confident, resilient, and better able to manage their emotions.
Formally, infant mental health (IMH) is defined as