Infant behavior states include: quiet sleep, active sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert, and crying. The quiet alert state is when the infant feeds best, attends well to the environment, and is most responsive to social interaction.
Behavioral indicators of infant mental health include: emotional regulation, ability to communicate feelings to caregiver, and active exploration of the environment.
Infants who are extremely irritable, less responsive to interaction, do not mold when held, and/or are uncomfortable with touch present difficulties in the optimal development of the parent-infant relationship.
References and Resources:
Ryan-Wenger, N. (2007). Core Curriculum for Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. St. Louis, Missouri: Mosby Elsevier.