The study of infant brain development and early relational health is advancing quickly. Below are resources to learn more.

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

What is Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health?

ZERO TO THREE, a leading nonprofit in the field, offers a working definition of infant and early childhood mental health.

The Worldwide Burden of Infant Mental and Emotional Disorder: Report of the Task Force of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. Karlen Lyons-Ruth

Lyons-Ruth et al summarize the challenges inherent in assessing and diagnosing the mental health of young children, and the impact on children, families, and society

Mental Health During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period

What are Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders?

Postpartum Support International offers a working definition of the challenges many women experience during pregnancy or postpartum, and helpful resources for parents and providers.

2020 Mom

2020 Mom offers education and advocacy resources for parents, communities, and providers interested in improving perinatal mental health.

Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance

Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the mental health of childbearing women in the United States by advocating for universal education, screening, referral, and treatment of postpartum depression and related maternal mental health conditions.

Foundational Relationships and Early Relational Health

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement (2016), Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and the Role of the Pediatrician: Translating Developmental Science Into Lifelong Health

The American Academy of Pediatrics calls out the importance of safe, positive, secure relationships for development, and the importance of the health system in supporting those relationships.

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2007). The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture: Working Paper No. 5

The Harvard Center for the Developing Child’s scientific council emphasizes the essential nature of early relational experiences to build brain health.

Early Childhood Trauma

How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Over a Lifetime (Dr. Nadine Burke Harris)

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, an internationally recognized pediatrician, advocate, and founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, explains the impact of trauma on development.

NCTSN - The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

The NCTSN was founded by Congress in 2000 to improve care and access to services for traumatized children, and offers a wide range of resources on trauma-informed care for children and their families.

Resources on ACES:

ACES Too High offers a compilation of resources to help readers better understand adverse childhood experiences.

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

The Center on the Developing Child explains key principles of early childhood brain development, illustrating the impact of trauma and stress on young children as they grow.

Policy and Practice


ZERO TO THREE works across sectors to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.

Child Trends

Child Trends leads research in the early childhood field across many issue areas, offering important tools to policymakers and advocates as they seek to improve outcomes for young children.

Mental Health Consultation Center of Excellence

The SAMHSA center for excellence develops and shares best practices for infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC).

Every child begins the world again.

Henry David Thoreau