Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Developmental Delay
Developmental delay is a risk factor for infant mental health concerns. Maternal sensitivity is a well-documented predictor of child development.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests developmental screening at nine months, 18 months and 24 or 30 months along with developmental surveillance at each well-child visit. Speech delay is the most common developmental area affected. At the nine month screening, the PNP should pay particular attention to the infant's hearing, vision, gross motor, fine motor, and receptive and expressive language. 

Developmental disorders may first show up with behavioral or emotional symptoms. 

References and Resources:

Early Motor Surveillance:  http://pathways.org/awareness/healthcare-professionals/early-motor-surveillance/

Dahl, S., Jones, A., & Lynch, B.  Appropriate use of the child development review. Pediatric Annals, 41: 117-120.
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Davis, D. & Logsdon, M. (2011). Maternal sensitivity: A scientific foundation for practice. Nova Science. ISBN: 978-1-61122-728-4

Four things a newborn should be doing by age one month:  http://healthfinder.gov/prevention/ViewTopic.aspx?topicID=89&cnt=1&areaID=1&TopicContentID=662

Recommendations for preventative pediatric health care:  http://practice.aap.org/content.aspx?aid=1599