1 Million Neural Connections per Second. 

That’s how quickly a child’s brain is developing between birth and age three.
Research and clinical experience demonstrates that
the earliest relationships and experiences a child has with parents and other caregivers
dramatically influences their overall health and success in school and life.

Strengthening Families

Infant mental health refers to the well-being of infants and young children, with a focus on a child’s emotional and social growth, attachment to family members and important people in their lives and their overall development.

Mental health is formed in our earliest days,
even before birth.

When challenges become persistent or seem unchangeable, caregivers can experience anxiety,
feel overwhelmed and become frustrated, themselves.

We can help.

Our family-centered approach is tailored to meet each family’s priorities and their child’s needs.

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Mental health is a critical aspect of natural child development.

10 - 16%
of young children are impacted by a mental health disorder such as PTSD and anxiety.
For babies living in poverty, that number is even higher–22 percent.
1 out of 5
CDC estimates 1 out of 5 children experience a mental health disorder each year.
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Every Child has Unlimited Potential.

Managing the needs and logistics of your child can be a handful.
Recognizing social and emotional concerns are not as evident as physical delays like walking or talking.

Identifying early childhood mental health challenges
requires careful observation and an understanding of typical developmental milestones.

Here are a few signs that might indicate potential mental health concerns in young children:

  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Difficulties with feeding
  • Frequent crying
  • Intense separation anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Constipation, upset tummy, stomachache
  • Frequently feeling ill, fussy
  • Withdrawal or not exploring
  • Revisiting trauma in play
  • Anxiety and tension, distress, and fear
  • Lack of weight gain or failure to thrive
  • Failure to meet expected developmental milestones

It’s important to remember that each child develops at their own pace,
and some behavior changes are normal.

However, if you observe persistent and concerning behaviors that interfere
with your child’s daily life, reach out for support.

“Loving parental care has unmatched transformational powers in restoring the child’s developmental momentum in risk situations.”


Family Centered

Family Centered Care is integral to everything Steps does.
Strengthening the relationship between a parents/caregivers and their child is a priority for a healthy happy future.

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Build Confidence

We know that parents/caregivers know their child best.

Helping you recognize and respond to your child’s needs, explore concerns, and provide positive instructive feedback helps build confidence.

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Educate and Build Skills

Focusing on social/emotional learning is as important as meeting other developmental milestones.

We work with you to align our approach to meet your child’s specific needs.

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Guide their Journey

Helping caregivers find coping strategies starts by an understanding of the impact of mental health challenges.

Your child needs your help to manage and make sense of their emotions.

Getting Started

Your pediatrician, primary care provider, daycare providers, Department of Children, Youth, and Families, may refer you or you can self-refer.
Other Steps therapists may refer you if they have concerns for your child’s social-emotional development.
Knowing what to expect can often make the journey easier.


Infant Mental Health therapists support the development of young children through the lens of mental health. Visits are tailored to the needs of each child but can look like: play between you and your child to support positive interactions and relationships, conversation with an IMH therapist to better understand your child’s needs and signals, or outings in the community to help you feel more comfortable exploring new spaces with your child.

Engaging with the STEPS team is easy.

Unlocking Potential

Your child’s future ability to pay attention, adapt in flexible ways, learn in school and in life situations, make friends, and manage unpleasant emotions, such as anger, or anxiety all depend on early social emotional development and a secure attachment. This leads to your child’s ability to trust in themselves and others.

By working with you and your child, we can set a course for optimal emotional wellbeing and the best possible future.

Babies are born with unlimited potential, but it’s up to us to help ensure each child has the strongest start possible.

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Reach Out to Take Your First Step.

Whether you want to request an assessment for services or contribute to our mission, your first step is submitting the form or calling us at:


PO Box 633
950 SE Regatta Drive #101
Oak Harbor, WA 98277