What to Know About Your Infant's Mental Health
Infants, although not common, are known to suffer from mental health issues. Infant mental health or “early childhood mental health” is an important topic to understand for new parents ( BC Children’s Hospital). Being able to recognize the signs of mental health challenges your infant might be facing is essential for proper developmental growth. This article will go over some of the signs and causes of infant mental health challenges with some suggestions you can do to ensure that your infant is healthy mentally.
What Causes Infant Mental Health Challenges?
An infant's mental health largely depends upon their relationship with their caregiver. As a parent, you are the primary force that dictates your child’s behavior. Unlike a developed human, your infant lacks the ability to communicate or properly regulate emotions and behavior. Because of this, newborns rely on their caregivers to relegate their actions creating a deep bond between the caregiver and the infant. Many infants face mental health challenges when the bond between the caregiver and the infant is weak. When an infant is in a situation where they do not have a secure bond with their caregiver, the infant can face mental health challenges because of increased anxiety and stress.
What are the Signs?
Infants exhibit many of the same symptoms of mental illness as adults. If your newborn is suffering from mental health challenges you will notice things like difficulty sleeping and feeding, physical symptoms of anxiety such as restlessness, and inability to reach developmental goals (Stygar). If present in your infant, these symptoms should be taken seriously as they can affect your infant’s developmental health.
How to Prevent Infant Mental Health Challenges
The relationship between the caregiver and the infant is at the core of your infant’s mental health. It is essential that, as a parent, you do everything possible to fortify the relationship between you and your infant. What does this look like? Mainly, giving your infant the love and attention it needs to properly develop. Something simple like making continual eye contact with your infant can dually reduce levels of stress and strengthen the bond between you and your infant. Additionally, it is important to limit the number of stressors in your baby’s environment to alleviate any anxiety that your baby might be suffering from. In the room that your baby sleeps in, make sure that there isn’t anything that produces loud noise as this can disrupt their sleep and create anxiety. The investment in a product like a humidifier, for your baby’s room, could positively impact their mental health by helping your infant breathe easier. The Miro NR08M would be a perfect choice for your baby. The Miro NR08M has nearly silent operation and built-in humidity sensors that ensure the environment your baby sleeps in is properly humidified helping protect your baby’s physical and mental health. However, always consult your doctor if you notice that your baby is suffering from mental health challenges.