From the website of Ottawa Public Health: Infants and young children have mental health. It is the developing capacity of the child from birth to six years of age to form close and secure adult and peer relationships, experience, manage and express a full range of emotions, and explore the environment and learn - all in the context of family, community and culture. It is comprised of multiple interrelated components.
It is also important to recognize that brain development begins in pregnancy. Therefore, the prenatal period must also be considered in relation to infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH).
Perinatal mental health: refers to the mental health of the mother pre pregnancy, during pregnancy, and in the postpartum period.
Parental mental health: is more than the absence of a mental health condition or illness; it refers to striking a balance in all aspects of the caregiver's life: socially, physically, spiritually, economically and mentally.
Brain development: Brain Development begins in pregnancy and undergoes its most rapid period of growth during the first 2000 days - It is the most important time of brain growth.
Attachment: Is a deep and lasting connection babies form with their caregivers. Babies need to feel safe, cared for, and protected. When caregivers respond consistently in a manner that is warm and sensitive a secure attachment develops. A secure attachment is foundational to positive developmental outcomes and future relationships with peers and partners.
Temperament: Is a set of personality traits that people are born with. A child's temperament can shape their outcomes and influence how others respond to them.
Self-regulation: Refers to how efficiently and effectively children deal with stressors and then recover from them.
Resiliency: Develops over time and is the ability to bounce back from adversity in a positive way.
Sense of agency: Is the child's ability to make choices and decisions that have an influence in their environment. It is linked to having a sense of control over matters that affect them.