A child’s brain develops more rapidly during infancy. A new born baby is very vulnerable to the outside world and hence more care is required. An infant always tries to imitate the outside sources, in this way they develop their language and motor skills. The period between a child’s birth and early childhood, is crucial to their mental health and well being.
Children experiencing some form of a mental health issue, may tend to exhibit certain signs and symptoms right from infancy. It becomes really difficult to assess mental health problems in infants who do not speak, express their feeling or thoughts.
Have you heard of depression and anxiety in infants?
Yes, there are some cases where infants have anxiety, stress and depression problems. There are specific behaviors and environmental factors that pose a risk for babies to have mental issues in future.
When infants are recorded to have episodes of crying severely, for approximately 3 to 4 hours, they are known as colic babies. If your baby seems to be excessively colic than usual for a long period of time then consider consulting a counsellor or a psychologist. There may be chances of mental health problems and an early assessment may help you better cope with this issue.
Early intervention and treatment in the case of psychological issues, results in better recovery. This makes it essential for parents and caregivers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health problems. With the help of a child psychologist, infants falling in age group 0 to 3 years can also be assisted.
Attachment and bonding between the child and the caregiver is very important for the children’s future emotional development. An attachment disorder usually occurs when an infant is neglected for a long period of time, which makes them lose trust. Some symptoms of this kind of disorder include avoiding eye contact, excessive crying, no smiles, rejects your attempts to pacify, lack of interest in playing, etc.
Sometimes babies may be overly responsive. Symptoms such as excessive crying, excessive call for feeding in a shorter span of time, disturbed sleep, and tensed muscles are some signs of concerns. If you notice these behaviors, do consult a professional who specializes in working with children.
Genetics do play a vital role in mental illness, therefore another factor may be parents addicted to drugs and alcohol. Their babies are at greater risk of developing mental illnesses. There may also be a higher risk of permanent behavioural, cognitive, emotional and psychological damage in these children.
Keep a lookout for signs in your baby. If your infant exhibits very few signs of interacting, or prefers not to be touched or held by anyone including caregivers and parents, it may be a major cause of worry. In such cases one must visit a psychologist, as these behaviours may point to early symptoms of autism, developmental disorders or other mental health issues.
In some cases , food is major struggle for some children. Parents sometimes notice their children in taking either excessively small amount or large amount of food in their diet. These signs may be pointing out to eating disorders.
Eating disorders in children can lead to a low self-esteem, depression, mood swings, lack of concentration, fatigue, irritation, etc. There are many kinds of eating disorders that should assessed by showing these problems to a professional.
Some children are not very responsive to sensory inputs; they do not notice or react much when they are wet or dirty, temperature extremes or when they are touched. Usually when infants are tired, hungry or require changing they may fuss. In fact, if your infant doesn’t, it should not be overlooked. They may have less energy and feel lost. In these cases there might be a possibility of having Sensory Processing Disorder.
Children who show a lot of stress and anxiety should be assessed. Due to major brain development occurring in the early stages of childhood it is in this period as this would help them develop and grow better.To lessen the risk that your child will have a psychological issue, visiting a professional may prove beneficial.
Counselling can help you learn and understand your child’s needs and cope with the situations that can arise. With the help of information and resources provided by our online counsellors, it would be easier to deal with infants having mental health issues.