baby mental health challenges

While we often focus on teen and adult mental health, babies can face mental health challenges. Getting treatment early often produces better outcomes. Therefore, consider these pertinent facts if you are the caregiver of a child under three.

Signs of Mental Health Challenges in Babies

One of the advantages of seeking care from a psychiatrist is that they are both a doctor and a mental health worker. Therefore, they can help you identify if the issue is physical, psychological or a combination of both.

Signs of mental health issues in infants include:

• Poor sleep patterns
• Restlessness
• Difficulties eating
• Frequent crying bouts for no apparent reason
• Upset stomach
• Diarrhea
• Anxiety
• Failure to thrive
• Lack of weight gain
• Delayed development

What Babies Are Most Prone to Mental Health Challenges?

While any baby can have a mental health condition, some infants are more prone to having them. Children born to a person with a mental health issue are the most susceptible since up to 50% of mental health issues can be genetics.

Other commonly seen scenarios include:

• People with substance abuse issues
• Single parents without a support system
• Financial stress
• Domestic violence
• Neglect or abuse in a caregiver’s background
• Relationship conflicts
• Temperament mismatches between infant and caregiver

How Are Mental Health Challenges Treated in Babies?

Doctors usually treat Mental health issues in babies by working with the parents. This is often done through home visits so the parent and child are in their natural environment. Usually, treatment looks like playing with the child so that the child gets an idea of what they need to do. Other times, the mental health worker may ask the parents to watch videos or perform another activity that teaches them how to interact with the child. Parents with substance abuse or mental health challenges may be encouraged to seek treatment for their mental health.

A baby’s mind is more moldable at birth than at any other time. If you suspect a baby you care for has mental health challenges, contact us. We are here to help.



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