Keys to Infant Caregiving

What is Keys to Infant Caregiving?

  • A research based educational program for professionals that provides essential information on newborn and infant behavior
  • Includes information on infant cues, infant states, state modulation and the importance of the feeding interaction

How does Keys to Infant Caregiving benefit the parent-child relationship?

  • Increases both provider and caregiver’s knowledge of the infant’s amazing abilities
  • Builds confidence and competence in parent/caregiver’s care of their infants
  • Assists providers in effectively sharing this knowledge with parents

Who uses Keys to Infant Caregiving?

  • Public Health Nurses, Hospital Nurses, Infant Caregivers, Pediatricians, Social Workers, Doulas,  Childcare Providers, Infant Mental Health Specialists, Early Childhood Educators

Is training available?

  • There are two ways to learn the Keys to Infant Caregiving content: 1) take the self-guided e-learning course and receive a certificate of completion, OR 2) purchase the videos and watch them with your team. The program contains five classes with background reading, video instruction with examples, questions to test your knowledge, “homework” assignments to apply this new content to your practice, all designed to enhance your understanding and reinforce your learning.

How is this latest version different from the previous Keys Program?

  • New video footage with a broader range of racial and ethnic diversity, including male caregivers
  • Quicker pacing of content
  • “Thought Bubbles” to help identify a babies’ needs and wants
  • Preservation of some of the most valuable archive footage of newborns, only hours old, are included as part of the e-Learning course or as an additional video on the DVD program.


“Keys to Infant Caregiving has increased our knowledge of infant behavior, states and communication patterns and has helped parents to know and understand their infant. Many parents have provided feedback indicating they feel an increased understanding of their child rather than just learning parenting strategies.”  Hospital MCH Nursing Director  

Research on Keys to Infant Caregiving

1.  Mother-Infant Interaction: Achieving Synchrony. Leitch, D. Jan-Feb 1999.

2.  Improving adolescent parent-infant interactions: a pilot study. Letourneau N. February 2001.

3.  Supporting Parents: Can Intervention Improve Parent-Child Relationships? Letourneau N, Drummond J, Fleming D, Kysela G, McDonald L, & Stewart M. 2001.

4.  Interventions with depressed mothers and their infants: Modifying interactive behaviours. Jung, V., Short, R., Letourneau, N. & Andrews, D. July 2006

Keys to Infant Caregiving in Practice

Viewing and studying the Keys to Infant Caregiving videos are an essential part of using the Parent Handouts with families. The handouts are written at a 6th grade reading level and are an adjunct to the discussion/teaching session with a family. The professionals working with families need to have a deep understanding of the content in the parent handouts to support learning and answer questions effectively. Viewing the videos with a group facilitator promotes discussion about integrating the content in practical ways with families. Brief homework assignments bring the material to life when applied to an intervention done with a family.

Engaging parents in open-ended, reflective questions about infant states, infant cues, infant behaviors, state modulation, and how important the feeding interaction/relationship is, provides the framework for giving instructional feedback. Using the parent handout Infant Cues is an excellent way to reinforce the learning that occurs when a family watches the BabyCues®: A Child’s First Language video and uses BabyCue Cards as a teaching tool.