Module 1: Promoting Mental Health in Infancy

Pbserving Parent-Infant InteractionsObservations of Parent-Infant Interactions

Developmental and behavioral observations help to identify strengths, issues, and potential risk factors.

In order to accurately interpret observations, it is important for the provider to learn about the norms and expectations of the populations served.

During each visit, providers should observe:

  • Do the parents appear content, happy, depressed, angry, anxious, fatigued,
    overwhelmed, or uncomfortable?
  • How do the parents and baby respond to each other (gazing, talking, smiling, holding,
    cuddling, comforting, showing affection, providing toys for play and distraction)?
  • How do the parents respond to the infant’s cues and needs?
  • Are the parents comfortable and confident with the infant?
  • How do the parents comfort the infant when he cries?
  • How do the parents attend to their infant during the examination?
  • Are the parents’ developmental expectations appropriate?
  • How do the parents stimulate the infant with language and play?

At 6-9 Month Visits:

  • Is the infant free to move away from the parent to explore and check back with the
    parent visually and physically?
  • How do the parents respond to their infant’s autonomy or independent behavior?

Copyright Georgetown University Georgtown University Infancy