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Does your newborn remember the song that made him laugh yesterday? Or will he remember the soothing touch of his grandmother’s hands? Just when does a newborn’s memory develop?
As parents we have this question in mind – when do babies start remembering things? Is it right from birth or may be a little later, after a year or so? Moreover, since babies learn to speak almost when they are a year old it’s hard to tell what our babies are thinking and how good their memories are, since they can’t communicate verbally. Well, there has been research around the area of memory development of children that is quite interesting.
New Age Research on Your Baby’s Memory
Some of the new age research challenges the concept that very young children do not have memories at all. It has been found that they do develop memories as early as they are born and even in the mother’s womb. Psychologists say that these memories are directly stored in the sub conscious mind of the child. When a child is newly born there isn’t a stark difference between conscious and sub conscious mind. All experiences are easily transferred from the conscious mind to the sub conscious mind. We feel that children do not have memories, however the real fact is that the memories are stored deep down in the sub conscious mind.
Pre-Natal Memory Development
A study in early 2000’s found that children begin to develop short term memory right when they are in the mother’s womb. A very common example of this relates to mothers who listen to a particular song repeatedly during pregnancy and enjoy it or feel happy after listening to it. After the birth of the child, even the child shows similar reaction when that same song is being played!
What Do Newborns Remember?
Newborns remember or rather recognise some of the things they have heard when they are in mother’s womb. In the first two months, your baby can recognise familiar faces and voices, especially the ones he has heard every day. Newborns can recognise their mother’s voice at birth. This indicates some level of short term memory development.
Your baby’s recognition memory increases dramatically in the first year of birth. Some experiments on this subject show that at three months, babies can remember new pictures or toys shown to them a few days ago.
Memory Development Between Six to Twelve Months
During this period there is a stark development in the memories of babies, leading to recognition of familiar places and people. This also leads to an emotional reaction in the baby which means development of a positive or negative reaction to a person or place. This reaction depends on the experience and recognition of that person or place in the memory of the baby.
Your Role in Baby’s Memory Development
Remember this- most of the memories during infanthood are short term memories. Hence a child can remember things or recall memory from three years onwards. It takes time for an infant’s brain to form long term memory structure.
Your role is very important in the development of a child’s memory. Through various memory boosting exercises and games, parents can enhance the memory development of their child. Baby sign language is another good way for parents to help older babies develop their working memory.
So yes, babies do remember things. Which ones, we do not know for sure, but we’ll learn that as we discover our little ones more!