8:30am - Registration and Refreshments
Defining Infant Mental Health
An infant’s wellbeing cannot be dissociated from that of the mother or main caregiver. This first session takes a historical look at the infant in society and, in so doing, sets the scene for the remainder of the seminar. It includes:
- Taking a historical look at infants in society
- Why infant mental health is now considered so important
- What we now know about the infants’ mind
- The importance of the pre-birth period
Why Parent-Infant Attachment Matters
It is well known that the quality of an infant’s attachment profoundly influences long-term development. However, different theories of attachment have emerged over the years. This session unravels some of the complexities around attachment theories and includes:
- How useful are theories of attachment and separation in our day-to-day practice?
- What are the early signs of poor mother-infant attachment?
- How to assess attachment disorders
- What is meant by the “fourth trimester”?
10:30am - Morning Tea
The “Still Face Experiment”: The Meaning of Maternal Sensitivity
The “Still Face Experiment” originally conducted by Edward Tronick, an American developmental psychologist, has significantly influenced our understanding of children’s first relationships and their critical importance in normal social and emotional development. This session will screen a short video followed by a discussion that will further highlight the significance of adult-infant communication and the importance of functional attachment to an infant’s sense of self.
Separation Anxiety and the Clingy Infant/Toddler
Separation anxiety is normal emotional development; however, occasionally, it can become problematic. Some babies persist in needing increased amounts of comfort and seem insatiable in their needs for maternal attention – all of which can have profound and unwanted consequences. It includes:
- What can parents do about clingy behaviour that persists beyond the reasonable developmental stages?
- Do babies “grow out” of this behaviour?
- How can you help parents who do not wish to follow evidenced advice?
1:00pm - Lunch and Networking
Controlled Crying – Good or Bad? Ways That Babies Communicate
Understanding how an infant communicates has meant that allowing babies to cry without responding to their needs is no longer desirable. The introduction of controlled crying as a settling technique is now criticised for a range of reasons. This session will look at when infants communicate through crying. It demonstrates how a parent’s response needs to be based on evidenced principles that promote infant mental health. It includes:
- Teaching parents to understand the different types of infant communication
- How to respond to a baby that seems to cry incessantly
- Controlled crying - good or bad...
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea
Managing Attachment Disorders When Weaning from Breastfeeding –
Many babies wean from their mother’s breastfeeding without issue. For others, weaning can be quite a difficult process either for the mother, the baby or both. In this final session of day one, we will look at the issues associated with problematic weaning. It includes:
- How can understanding what it means for the baby or the mother help at this potentially difficult time?
4:15pm - Close of Day One of Seminar