What is Infant Mental Health?

Infant Mental Health (IMH) is the mental health treatment of infant's ages 0 to 5 years old. Although infants and toddlers have a limited capacity for understanding the larger world around them, they are absolutely impacted by it. They also have little to no words to effectively communicate their thoughts, feelings, or emotions. All parents have to go on is what little words they have and their infant's behavior. Parents/Caregivers can experience great difficulty understanding their child's behaviors and can feel at a complete loss as to how to most effectively deal with it. This can, in turn, lead to a feeling of being disconnected from their child. Every parent is doing the best they can with what they know how to do. There are so many parenting "manuals" out there that it can be overwhelming to sort through. IMH helps support parents/caregivers to increase their ability to more accurately read their child's cues/behaviors, opening up a deeper form of communication. It also helps parents/caregivers to discover new ways to support their child's development, gain new parenting skills, and most of all create a secure attachment with their child.

Behaviors that may indicate a problem and could benefit from the participation in Infant Mental Health Treatment:

 

Infants/Toddlers:
*Excessive or lack of crying
*Difficulty being soothed
*Not making developmental gains
*Shows little interest in sounds, sights, or touch
*Does not seek help or comfort from familiar adults
*Sudden behavioral changes
*Rejects or avoids playing with others

 

Preschool Aged Children:

*Excessive tantrums
*Difficulty self soothing
*Aggressiveness to self/others

*Withdrawn
*Fearful of others
*Sudden behavioral changes

*Regression in behaviors (ie accidents after potty training)
*Excessive energy; difficulty following directions
*Communication delays

**Please note the above list in not a comprehensive one. If you have any further questions I am happy to do a free 15 minute consultation to determine if services would be appropriate for you and your infant.

World Association for Infant Mental Health
Association to promote research, knowledge, and care of infants. You can also find helpful articles and resources.

Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families
Supports research, knowledge, and public policy.  Helpful articles and resources.

Children's Therapy Center
Non-profit pediatric therapy program offering various forms of therapies to children 0-18 yrs old ranging from play groups, parent groups, occupational therapy and more.

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