An infant may not know how to walk or talk yet, but that does not mean that their mental health is spared. The interactions that parents have with their children can affect their emotional stability as they grow up. Parents must create a stable environment and watch out for signs of mental health issues in their infants.

Infant Mental Health

Infant mental health is the mental health of children between zero and three years of age. Young children, as well as newborns, learn how to express emotions by mimicking their caregivers. What they learn at this age plays an important role in their mental health later in life. The environment we live in can impact our emotional wellbeing, as our brains and nervous systems pay attention to what we are surrounded by. Therefore, seeing how the adults in their lives handle negative emotions teaches infants and children how to cope themselves. 

Knowing if a Child is at Risk for Mental Health Problems

If a child is exposed to a highly stressful or explosive environment, it can have negative consequences on their wellbeing in the future. Whether it be neglect, poverty, unpredictability, or violence, children tend to suffer the effects long-term, manifesting in things like social difficulties and trouble at school. Traumatic or abusive events in childhood can lead to issues in adulthood, such as depression, cardiovascular disease, cancer, alcoholism, and even drug abuse. If the child has problems sleeping, feeding, or is under or over-responsive to things in their environment, these can also be signals of future challenges. The same can be said if there is poor attachment or bonding between the child and the parent. 

How to Improve Infant Mental Health

Early intervention is the best way to protect your infant’s mental health and ensure that their environment does not harm their development. Being educated on the subject of infant mental health will help you to recognize the early warning signs in your child, therefore allowing you to make the necessary changes for their wellbeing. For those seeking information on infant mental health, there are a variety of sources online. Furthermore, counselors and therapists are available for additional support. Remember that nourishing a strong bond between you and your child will foster a positive mental state. Therefore, taking proper care of your child and meeting their needs, giving them love and affection, and taking care of your own mental health are all crucial steps towards ensuring your child’s wellbeing.

The state of an infant’s mental health can have a serious impact on their mental and emotional wellbeing as they get older. They say that the first five years of a baby’s life will shape them into who they will be as adults. Therefore, the infant’s environment must be healthy, stable, and loving, to facilitate strong bonds and positive emotional attachments and coping skills. Remember that, as a parent, it is very important to ensure that your mental health is in the right place as well. Here at Alta Loma, we hope to help you manage and maintain your mental and emotional wellbeing to be the best parent you can be. Our transformative treatment facilities located in Georgetown, Texas can provide you with a variety of mental health tools like individualized therapy, therapeutic recreational activities, life and coping skills education, medication management, comprehensive care continuum, and more. Call us today to learn more about our services, at (866) 457-3843.