118: Why Infant Mental Health Matters with Selma Bacevac

"Kids respond to their environment and learn how to survive." Being a baby is more complex than people think. Once born, a baby enters an entirely new world full of sights and sounds and feelings that they’ve never experienced before. Babies absorb it all—and it affects their mental health. Babies don’t “just forget” when something happens. Even without visual memories, their bodies hold onto those memories, they develop survival mechanisms as a result, and they bring those traumas or sense of security into adulthood, too. In this episode, I talk with Selma Bacevac about her work as a national consultant and promoter of baby mental health. Selma breaks down what babies remember from in utero and throughout infancy, and how those memories are stored within their bodies. Selma also shares insights into the power of a parent’s intention to do their best, and how to start making changes to ensure that your baby’s mental health is well taken care of. Take a listen to learn more about how to consistently communicate a sense of safety and security to your infant. About Selma Bacevac: Selma Bacevac is a licensed psychotherapist, mompreneur, national consultant and promoter of baby mental health. She is an expert on how attachment-related problems and developmental trauma affects infants and toddlers. She provides webinars, workshops, and online training to parents and professionals who want more information on this specific topic. Selma is the host of Raising Baby, a podcast devoted to helping parents and professionals understand the world from the baby’s perspective. Some Questions I Ask:
  • How did you find yourself working in the niche of infant mental health? (4:50)
  • What is infant mental health? (6:49)
  • How does a baby perceive that they are not safe and secure? (7:36)
  • What does a secure attachment look like? (14:17)
  • How does developmental trauma impact mental health and physical health? (42:04)
  • How can parents start to shift things for the better? (49:20)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
  • How focusing on baby mental health affects experiences in adulthood. (3:23)
  • How babies retain memories from in utero. (8:13)
  • What the signs are of a baby experiencing the world from a place of survival over learning. (12:05)
  • Why it’s vital to empower those about to become parents. (22:16)
  • How your brain changes the minute you decide you want to become a parent. (31:41)
  • The difference between self-control and self-regulation. (38:41)
Resources: Infant & Toddler Mental Health 101 Webinar Parent-Child Relationship Institute Raising Baby Podcast with Selma Bacevac