Wednesday, 20 December 2017 09:01

Infant mental health Featured

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The role of infant/toddler mental health in promoting mental health

The primary aim of infant mental health services is to promote and support social-emotional wellness. Infant/toddler mental health plays a role in promoting mental health, preventing the occurrence of mental health problems and also treating the mental health needs of children in order to support toddlers to return to the positive developmental progress. The role of promoting mental health is normally focused on supporting the early development of functional, safe, loving, and nurturing relationship between the infant, their parents, and other caregivers (Seibel & Parlakian 2002). Promotion of mental health is related to improving life quality and the potential for health instead of ameliorating symptoms and deficits.

The promotion role of infant/ toddler mental health usually encourages and supports social-emotional wellness and good mental health. Promoting mental health usually encourage parents to play with their children. Play is usually the true work of childhood and children tend to be very busy when they are playing. Thus, the role of toddler mental health is to make sure the child's mental health is perfect, and this may be possible when children get the chance to play which also provides them with the chance to learn. Promoting social-emotional skills usually provide children with self-confidence that they need to build supportive and loving relationships in their lives (Korfmacher 2014). It is not possible to separate infant mental health from healthy development. Caregivers, parents, and family members tend to contribute to the early development of mental wellness.

Explain how supporting infant mental health emerges from daily interactions

Toddlers and infants usually develop a sense of what they can expect and who they are through their daily interactions with parents and also other significant people in their lives. Infants usually depend on care-givers, to assist them in organizing their emotions and focusing their attention. Toddlers tend to interact with teachers and parents and observe how teachers and parents interact with one another. When doing this they achieve a less or more positive sense of social and emotional well-being, and they start to explore and learn about the world (Korfmacher 2014).

Parents, caregivers, family members, and the community normally contribute to infant development of mental wellness. It is possible to promote social-emotional health in many environments where the toddler and infant and parents encounter in their daily lives (Greewald et al. 2006). The relationship that an infant develops with other people helps in shaping their mental health. Relationships usually shape how a toddler will express their unique blend of characteristics that she or he brings in the world.

Fun activities with an infant usually support their mental health and help the infant to grow. Daily experiences usually support the mental health of a baby through shaping their brain. Babies need to play and live in healthy spaces and can learn and grow. The mental health of the baby is influenced by their surroundings. For example, a parent should engage in playing games with the baby so that to help her learn. Playing games will help the infant learn about the people and the world around them. It is also essential to keep talking to the baby as you continue with your daily routines and help them to see interesting things. This will support the mental health of the infant by helping them to develop their sense such as touch, taste, hearing, and smell.

Strategies professionals can use to develop partnerships with families

Infants and toddlers usually want their caregivers and family members to work together as partners. When working together as partners, it is possible to learn a lot about the child than when alone. Professionals should ensure that they develop partnership with parents and also families. A strategy that can be used in developing partnership between professionals and families is through talking together. Talking to one another tend to enable the professional to understand the family members and you are open to sharing anything about the child with the parent (Greewald et al. 2006). Talking together is beneficial to the infant and both parties and mostly because the infant gains everything from the partnership. Another strategy essential in developing partnership is to ensure that you avoid situations that may isolate families. Everyone usually benefit when families and professionals work together as partners and in this case; the infant will benefit a lot in their mental health. If it is possible, the professional should consider recruiting more families and ensure that they have the opportunity of knowing one another and talk about their expectations and goals.

Another strategy of developing partnership is through finding meaning ways in which families can contribute. Something such as constructing meetings will give families a role and voice in the meeting. Partnership is essential for all child development professionals as it helps an individual to determine how to meet the needs of the child and also nurture her interests and skills (Carter & Rebecca 2004). It is essential for child development professionals to ensure that they partner with families as this tends to create an enjoyable learning opportunity for infants and toddlers and also nurturing and safe environment.


 Mangione, P Lally, J & Greewald, D (2006). Concepts of care California, WestEd

Korfmacher, J (2014). Infant, toddler, and early childhood mental health competencies retrieved from

Carter, A & Rebecca, D (2004). Handbook of infant, toddler, and preschool mental health assessment New York, Oxford University Press

Seibel L & Parlakian, P (2002). Building strong foundations: Practical Guidance for Promoting the Social-Emotional Development of Infants and Toddlers Washington, Zero to Three Press

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