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Online course

Babies in Mind: Why the Parent's Mind Matters

Find out how parents and caregivers influence children’s minds, from conception through infancy, with this online course.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

Babies in Mind: Why the Parent's Mind Matters

What influences a child’s developing mind from conception through infancy?

We will take you on a journey that begins in pregnancy, exploring the importance of the ability of the mother-to-be to think about her baby while still in utero, alongside the impact on the unborn baby of mental states such as anxiety and depression.

We will then explore what the research tells us about the way in which the parent’s emotional and cognitive mind, can shape the interactional context of the baby during the first two years of life, and the impact of this interaction on the baby’s developing mind.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 secondsThis course is going to be looking at the way in which the parent's mind influences the child's development. We're going to be looking at two aspects of the parent's mind, their emotional mind and their cognitive mind, and the way in which these aspects of parent's mind shapes the interactional context of the infant.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsThis course is going to be addressing key questions such as, how is it that a parent's mind can influence the development of a baby before they're born? What processes are taking place in the postnatal period that influence the way in which the baby's developing mind takes place? What are the processes by which a parent, who has experienced trauma, transmits that through to the infant and what it is that we can do during pregnancy and the postnatal period to support parents who are experiencing difficulties? I'm going to be talking to a range of academics and clinicians working in the field of infant mental health. Each week, I will be presenting video material that summarises some of the key issues.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsThere will be then opportunities for you to engage with further videos and reading to explore some of these issues in more detail. And there will also be lots of opportunities for you to engage with fellow students on the discussion forum.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 secondsSo if you're interested in learning more about the way in which we, as primary caregivers, can shape a baby's development, come and join us on what we hope will be a highly stimulating journey from conception through to the second year of the baby's life.

What topics will you cover?

Throughout, we’ll seek to answer questions such as:

  • How does a parent’s mind influence the development of a baby before he or she is born?
  • What processes take place in the post-natal period that influence the baby’s developing mind?
  • What can we do during pregnancy and the post-natal period to support parents who are experiencing difficulties?

You will get the chance to hear from expert academics and clinicians working in infant mental health, and share your views with other parents and caregivers around the world.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Who is the course for?

This online course is aimed at everyone who has an interest in promoting the well-being of their own baby, or the parents and babies they work with. You do not need any prior knowledge of infant or child development, just a desire to learn about parents and babies, and the way that early interaction shapes later development. The course is based on the latest research in the field and you will be introduced to key concepts relating to infant psychology and attachment.

Throughout, we’ll seek to answer questions such as:

  • How does a parent’s mind influence the development of a baby before he or she is born?
  • What processes take place in the post-natal period that influence the baby’s developing mind?
  • What can we do during pregnancy and the post-natal period to support parents who are experiencing difficulties?

You will get the chance to hear from expert academics and clinicians working in infant mental health, and share your views with other parents and caregivers around the world.

Who will you learn with?

Jane Barlow

I am Director of Warwick Infant and Family Wellbeing Unit, where I run a programme of research focusing on promoting maternal and infant wellbeing during pregnancy and the postnatal period.

Dawn Cannon

I am the Course Director for Infant Mental Health Online (IMHOL), Senior Teaching Fellow at Warwick Medical School, MBChB Child Health Lead (phase 1) and Honorary Secretary of AIMH (UK)

Who developed the course?

The University of Warwick is forward-looking, entrepreneurial and globally connected. With new ways of thinking and achieving it stands out from its competitors as an inspiring place to study.

Who is this accredited by?

The Association for Infant Mental Health

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $59 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

Image access mobile

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Statement of Participation

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course.

Image statement mobile

  • Prove your hard work when applying to jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your commitment to learning
  • Help your CV or LinkedIn profile stand out

To receive a Statement of Participation you need to mark 50% of the steps on the course as complete.

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Why babies need experiences
    Why babies need experiences
    video

    Watch this video. Professor Jane Barlow introduces the concepts of experience-expectant and experience-dependent brain development.

  • Bonding with the unborn baby
    Bonding with the unborn baby
    article

    Read this article about how parents starts to bond with their child even while the child is in the womb

  • Interview with Tessa Baradon: Part 1
    Interview with Tessa Baradon: Part 1
    video

    In this interview Professor Jane Barlow talks to Tessa Baradon who is a parent-infant psychotherapist and Clinical Director of the Anna Freud Centre.