Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Babies at the Movies

by Sallie Porter on 07/22/12

Stress relief, desire for adult activities, family togetherness, and lack of a baby sitter due to economic constraints, safety fears, or no family/friends available are some reasons parents might wish to bring a young child to a movie theater.

But there are some concerns about young child movie-going:

Hearing/Noise: Decibel levels in movie theaters can get LOUD especially in special-effects laden films.

Development/Violent Images: Children under eight have difficulty differentiating between fantasy and reality.

Sleep: Routines may be disrupted and violent images may result in nightmares.

Germs: Some movie seats have bacteria on them including E. coli and Staph.

Safety: Popcorn, hot dogs, and hard candy can be a choking hazard.

Nutrition: Supersized candy, popcorn, and soda can make healthy choices difficult.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners can help families make choices appropriate for their individual circumstances and help parents explore caregiving alternatives, available economic resources, and stress-relief strategies.




Open Acess to WAIMH's The Signal newsletter

by Sallie Porter on 07/02/12

The World Association of Infant Mental Health's newsletter THE SIGNAL is now open access:

Babies and Sleep

by Sallie Porter on 06/27/12

 People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one. ~Leo J. Burke

I am reading an article that is a good start for PNPs wanting a basic introduction to sleep and children in primary care: Evaluating Sleep and Sleep Disorders in the Pediatric Primary Care Setting by Debra A. Babcock MD.  It is from the Pediatric Clinics of North America 58 (2011) 543-554. Doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2011.03.001

The article imparts that in infancy when it comes to evaluating sleep AGE AND DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE COUNT. As the infant matures their sleep needs and processes change.

The PNP should:

  • Share with parents normal sleep parameters, and the ‘physiologic processes of sleep’, and stages of sleep.
  • The importance of back to sleep positioning.
  • Discuss risks of cosleeping and impact on nighttime arousals.
  • Support parents around stress related to their baby’s sleep habits.
  • Discuss with parents how to develop good sleep habits in their older infant including set bedtimes and a pre-sleep routine.

For more information on infants and sleep:

The June 2012 issue of Contemporary Pediatrics also has two articles that may be of interest to blog readers on:

1.  Adolescent Anxiety Disorders and 2.  Postpartum Depression:

Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Tip: Before a visit ends try to find a positive aspect of this particular mother-infant relationship to comment verbally upon. And if you can’t find something, be sure to get the family the help it needs to improve the parent-infant relationship. 

Nurses Week

by Sallie Porter on 05/06/12

Happy Nurses Week. The comprehensive holistic view nurses bring to patient care and to infant mental health makes a difference.