Our mental health is shaped by our earliest relationships in the first year of life.
We believe building these relationships and connections should not depend on ‘expert’ knowledge.
We believe the things needed to support healthy human development should belong to each person, family, neighbourhood and community.
Get involved and be a part of our work:
Train with us!
Nationally accredited and industry endorsed, this course qualifies you to teach the First Touch Program to families, using cue-based infant massage and other activities to help support and promote early social, emotional and mental health development.
Support our work:
We worked with Molly in 2013, after she suffered horrendous abuse at the age of 7 months old. We don’t receive any government funding or grants, and we need your help to reach another 300 babies in similar circumstances to Molly.
Read more about the science of infant mental health, and how our First Touch Program can play a role in early social development.
For parents and health services: Find a Certified Educator
Find a First Touch Program in your area, with a Certified educator trained to national accreditation standards. Our educators provide community-based and public programs, private groups (e.g. for mothers groups), as well as contract sessions for health and community services. Search now.
This course and the resultant qualifications are recognised as fundamental professional development within all our child and parenting programs. These include programs with a mental health focus, parenting skills, family support, therapeutic services to families within homelessness and domestic violence services. This short course is, to my knowledge the only accredited training available with a focus on infants and parents relationships, is cheap, and cost effective to run. The course is excellent.Deb LockwoodManager, Children's Services Relationships Australia SA
I just love the connections that come for parents attending the First Touch Program. Parents coming together to share time with their babies and each other, they become so much more aware of how much babies communicate right from birth. Seeing a mother and baby interacting in this way is so beautiful!Jill HembryPaediatric Physiotherapist
I trained with Baby in Mind to continue my journey to help parents recognise their baby's cues, reflexes and behaviours. It has now developed further, to empower families to build relationships and to also respect the infant. I feel rewarded and relaxed each time i facilitate a first touch infant massage course- it is not all one way! Some mums have not had a nurturing and respectful childhood or adulthood, and some have physical and mental health issues. Seeing the group 'bond' and feel comfortable enough share and have fun and learn and feel confident is so rewarding.Sue SaundersMidwife, IBCLC
I became interested in touch communication because I was working in Neonatal Intensive Care. I realised that the babies had a lot of problems with touch, and how profound the change in parent-infant bonding can be through supporting parents to be with their babies using touch. I then did the First Touch Program training with Baby in Mind. Using the skills I learned to support parents, is as if the baby becomes fully switched on and present, and the parent becomes aware of that presence. A whole different relationship starts to develop.Julie McNallNeonatal Intensive Care Nurse
The whole ethos of Baby in Mind and the First Touch Program, is about supporting parents to understand their babies cues, to slow down and observe their babies, to connect with their babies that is so rewarding and means so much more long term for that baby's well-being.Caroline HeckendorfPeer Educator
The saying that ‘all babies are different’ has become a bit of a cliché, though there is a truth to it and it does explain – at least in part…
Warning: contains details about child abuse. Since we launched our most recent campaign, many of you have asked about Molly. So here is her story in full. I will begin…
Warning: This article discuses death, suicide, violence and child abuse. This year, in Australia, an estimated 315 babies and pre-schoolers will be diagnosed with cancer. Most of them will go in to…
Subscribe for FREE to our magazines (we deliver them via website or mobile app – leaving your email in-box clear!)
The Hippo is our magazine of professional development, training and education opportunities for people who work with babies and their families.
Keeping the Baby in Mind is our official magazine, keeping you up to date with all the latest news and trending topics about infant mental health development.
Parent Support Matters is our magazine for medical, health, welfare and early childhood professionals working in parent education. Topics include industry updates, sector news, private practice and business resources, and self-care.
*From ARACY/ Australian Association of Infant Mental Health – It is estimated that 20% off all children starting school show signs of mental health vulnerability. Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, an average of 320,000 children start school each year – meaning that around 64,000 will have signs of difficulties, delays, challenges or risk in relation to their mental health development. Mental illness costs the Australian community around $190billion each year, with at least half of all mental illness believed to be preventable in childhood, particularly during infancy – before mental health vulnerabilities begin to emerge. A greater emphasis on prevention to fosters early social emotional development during infancy, as well as on supports which help prevent and address parent-baby relationship difficulties are the two primary recommendation for reducing rates of mental illness in Australia.