Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Infants communicate in many signs and signals. The infants ability to convey his/her needs through different cries begins by age two months. Maternal sensitivity to these needs and communication strategies strongly impacts secure attachment and optimal social-emotional development. When an infant has a sensory disorder or delay, a lenghty hospitalization, or a chronic condition, needs and communication may be more difficult to interpret.

There is some evidence that early skin-to-skin care, kangaroo mother care and infant massage may improve mother-infant interaction (Conde-Agudelo, Belizan & Diaz-Rossello, 2011: Moore, Anderson & Bergman, 2009: Underdown, Barlow, Chung, Stewart-Brown, 2009).

References and Resources:

Trotnick, E. & Beeghly, M. (2011). Infants' meaning-making and the 
development of mental health problems. American Psychologist, 66: