Raising Resilience in Infants

Infant crying in shopping cart with raising resilience logo overlaid Feedings, diaper changes, sleep, more feedings, more diaper changes—parenting a newborn can be a lot. But did you know that even at this age, you can start to help your baby become resilient? Everyday moments—like soothing, and interacting and communicating with your baby—help create a trusting bond. And this special relationship between you and your baby helps lay the foundation for them to build resilience as they grow up.

Your baby can't tell you what they need or feel with words, so they communicate in other ways—through noises, gestures and facial expressions. Learning what your baby needs and feels, and how to comfort them, takes time, and what works one day might not work the next. You’re doing the best you can, so try to be kind and patient with yourself. Responding to your baby’s needs helps you build a trusting and caring relationship with your baby. Learning to trust is an important part of developing healthy relationships in the future.

Did you know that your baby’s brain triples in size in the first three years of their life? Their brain develops as they interact with the world, and they need your help to do this. Try singing to your baby, making silly faces, clapping your hands or blowing bubbles. Try taking a walk together, talking to your baby or playing interactive games (e.g., peekaboo or patty-cake). These sorts of interactions not only support your baby’s brain development, but they're also fun for both of you!

Even though babies can’t talk, you can still communicate with them, and it’s important to do so! You may feel silly talking to your baby when they can’t talk back. But hearing lots of different words, sounds and tones of voice helps your baby understand language and communication.

Use these resources to work on raising resilience with the children in your life.

Call or text 988 if you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, self-harm or any mental health crisis. You can also chat or text for support by downloading the MyGCAL app in the App Store. Any thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously.