Being infant and early childhood mental health informed means using knowledge, skills and reflective experiences to guide our work with infants, toddlers, and families, regardless of our formal role or relationship to children and families.

As a mental health clinician, being “informed in infant and early childhood mental health” means understanding:

  • Relationships are critical and that the best way to support babies is to support their parents/families to build and strengthen nurturing relationships with them.
  • Theories that guide core beliefs in infant mental health principles, including: attachment theory, family systems theory, and trauma-informed care.
  • Babies exist in the context of their caregiving relationships and within the cultural context of their family.
  • Experiences during pregnancy and in the first three years lay the foundation for all future development.
  • There can be both ghosts and angels in the nursery that will impact emerging attachment relationships.

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Information retrieved from Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) at