Infant mental health refers to children from birth to age six and their capacity to manage and express a full range of positive and negative emotions; develop close, satisfying relationships with others; and to actively explore environments and learn. Infant mental health is sometimes known as social/emotional health. It occurs when young children get what they need from their parents and all primary caregivers and when individual needs are recognized and responded to in warm, sensitive ways. Infant mental health is important because the most critical brain development occurs in the early years of life. What happens in society (crime, school failure, domestic violence, etc.) is often the result of what affects the brain during this critical period.
Relationships, Respect and Responsiveness are key!
For more information, talk to an Infant-Toddler Services provider or go to the Kansas Association for Infant Mental Health