Babies are hardwired to develop a social connection with their primary caregiver, usually their mum or their dad. Without this relationship they would not survive. It is within the sacred crucible of the most important first relationship, the parent-infant bond, that our sense of self and the world develops.
Positive infant mental health is synonymous with a child’s ability to form secure relationships, to regulate their emotions, to explore their environment and to learn and develop cognitive capacities across the lifespan.
The quality of the child-parent attachment bond is the foundation for a child’s emotional regulation, which will provide them with a "psychological immune system" for dealing with stressful situations in the future and promote emotional wellbeing and future resilience.
Research points to a critical window of opportunity that exists in the first three years of life, where the brain develops as much as 90% of its wiring, which is impacted significantly by the baby's experience of everyday interactions with their caregiver.
Originally derived from Unicef and the W.H.O. Baby Friendly Initiative, Galway Parent Network alongside the Galway City Early Years Committee, created 4 posters containing simple evidence-based messages positively framed to emphasise human's innate abilities to look after their babies, to promote the child-parent attachment and to dispel common parenting myths. Our aim was to show how everyday parenting moments provide us with precious opportunities to build connection and strengthen our children's resilience.