Published: RTE Brainstorm
Author: Dr. Malie Coyne
Opinion: infant mental health is an important public health issue, as research shows the quality of the early relationship builds the foundation for virtually every aspect of human development
Babies are hardwired to develop a social connection with their primary caregiver, usually their mother or father. Without this relationship, they would not survive. We learn about who we are through our relationships. 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. “Infant mental health” refers to the child’s healthy social and emotional development in the first three years of life within the context of this “attachment” relationship with the primary caregiver.