What is Infant Mental Health?

Infant Mental Health is the developing capacity of the child from birth to age 3 to:

  • experience, regulate, and express emotions
  • form close and secure interpersonal relationships, and
  • explore the environment and learn 


All in the context of family community, and cultural expectations for young children. Infant mental health is synonymous with healthy social and emotional development. ~Zero to Three Infant Mental Health Task Force

For more IMH definitions see:

Details of Zero to Three Definition: click here

Center for Early Education and Development at University of Minnesota

Tip Sheet for IMH Definition: click here