For Parents

HOW CAN I PROMOTE OPTIMAL INFANT MENTAL HEALTH IN MY CHILD?

 

As a parent or caregiver of a young child you have a special role in helping that child develop into a happy, healthy person. One way to do that is to be aware of the many things that can impact a child’s mental health.

From before a child is born, they are connecting with those around them. In the womb, as an infant, as a moving toddler and as a curious preschooler, children are always engaging, learning and making sense of their world. As a caregiver, here are some ways to encourage optimal mental health:
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  • Provide nurturing routines
  • Meet your child’s needs with consistency and predictability
  • Allow the freedom to safely explore while being present as a ‘safe base’ for them to return to you
  • Accept the expression of a range of emotions in your child
  • Learn about what to expect at different ages and stages of your child’s life
  • Nurture your own optimal mental health and ask for help when you need it

Here are some links with information for you about how to nurture your child to encourage optimal infant mental health:

Parent-child Attachment: Basic Concepts

BC Family Resource Programs

Parenting Resources Website – Vancouver Coastal Health

Zero to Three

Manitoba Attachment Network

Screen Sense: Technology and Children (from Zero to Three)

Words for Life: Talk to Your Baby handouts (in many languages!)

UBC Infant Technology Study – Please participate!