Infant mental health is the social and emotional well-being that results when infants and toddlers are supported by nurturing relationships, as evidenced by their developing ability to:
- Communicate needs
- Be soothed when upset
- Recognize emotions in themselves and others
- Express feeling in appropriate ways
- Explore their environment and learn
A dependable relationship with a nurturing, responsive caregiver is the key ingredient for healthy social and emotional development. Children’s well-being is at risk when they experience trauma such as abuse, neglect, loss of caregiver, or other significant events. Early experiences lay the foundation for life long physical and emotional health and success in school and life.
Across the disciplines, best practices have been identified to promote healthy outcomes and support children and their families in overcoming early challenges.