Early Experiences Last a Lifetime

Duration: 4:14

The Positive Impact of Early Nurturing

The architecture of a baby’s brain is built through responsive and interactive relationships with parents and caregivers. When babies are held, touched and spoken to, in a back and forth way, called “serve and return”, from early in life, this fundamentally and positively affects the connections in the baby’s brain and lasts a lifetime. Early relationships prepare a baby to grow to be able to learn, form relationships with others and respond to the world. The first two years of life are critically important.

Critical Periods in Brain Development

Neuroscience and epigenetics teach us that there are windows, called critical periods, in a child’s development when children’s brains are more receptive to experiences and when these take place at the right time, they positively affect the child’s wellbeing and health for the rest of their life.

There is still a message of hope for those who have not had the early nurturing they need. Neuroscience also teaches us that new neurons and new connections between neurons can develop later in childhood and into mid-life, so all is not lost. However, the key message is early nurturing lasts a lifetime.


Dr. Thomas Boyce

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