Written by Editorial Team
Are you wondering when will my baby start remembering things and people? Guess what? She already is remembering things and people.” Remembering” requires two steps. The first one is about memorizing or storing information in the brain. Your baby is, of course, not doing this knowingly as an older child memorizes for an exam. Your baby, from infancy, is noticing things happening around them, registering faces that she can see and colorful things that she can notice. She is continuously recording these things in her little brain
The second step is to understand her memory, recollect them and link them to a current experience. This is in short “remembering”. This step happens much more gradually than the first step. However, this does not mean that small babies cannot remember anything. When we say that your baby can recognize the mama’s voice from the third trimester of pregnancy, it in fact means that your baby has memorized your voice and can recollect that memory successfully
Similarly, from birth, a baby can recognize their mama’s smell after just one week, especially if she is breastfed. This is another example of active remembering
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Face recognition starts after the first few weeks, starting with the mama’s face, which the baby sees most often up close during the constant and regular breastfeeding sessions. So within a month, your baby will be able to tell your face from a stranger’s face. However, this mostly goes unnoticed because the baby cannot express it well yet.
In the weeks following, your baby will start remembering those other faces that he most often sees – like the dad’s, grandparents’, or even nanny’s. The more they see, the more they will remember. If the grandparents live away, then your child may take a year or two to know who they are.
It is repetition that strengthens the memory. By the time the child is 8 or 9 months, he will be clearly able to distinguish between the “faces he knows” and “faces of strangers”. This is when stranger anxiety steps in. A baby who was comfortable with anyone picking him suddenly starts to fuss and cry when a newly met friend of mama picks him. This is not a sign of crankiness. It is a sign of your child’s memory and recollection strengthening.
We mentioned earlier how the child will recall those faces better than he sees most often. This is true for not just faces, but for things and experiences as well. The crib, the mobile, the toys, the cushions, and the playmates that the child sees every day are engraved in his memory. So are the rattles he plays with.
Similarly, if you sing the same song, again and again, day after day, your baby will start recognizing the songs. Or if you play a simple game like peek-a-boo with your baby, you will notice that after just a few days, he will start giggling even before you say boo and show your face. This is him, remembering the game and anticipating your next move. This is such a beautiful example of how even small babies remember things.
Research shows that till the time a child is 10, his or her memory is constantly refreshed and replaced by new memories. So if you ask a four-year-old something that happened when he was three, he might remember it. But if you ask the same question when the child is 8, you are likely to get a blank face back. Another set of researchers also says that memories before the second birthday are very hard to be registered for a long time.
However, thanks to parents who are more aware and technology that is more advanced, it is now not necessary that your child forgets his babyhood. With the help of baby videos, photographs, and baby books, parents now actively store the precious memories of their baby’s childhood. By leveraging these methods, and by constantly telling your child stories of his own past, you can help create a strong link between past and present in his memory, thereby ensuring he has more and more beautiful stories to tell as he grows older.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
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