Memories

Dr. Greene’s take on baby memories…

Babies have a deep body memory. Your baby remembers the foods you ate when you were pregnant. She remembers the foods you ate while nursing her. She will remember the foods she sees you eat now.

She will also remember interactions. An interesting study from St. Francis Xavier University and Yale University introduced babies (at the starting-solids age) to two different strangers on video screens. One stranger on the screen could see and hear the baby and interacted directly (what we call a contingent interaction). The other stranger was a tape replay of that person interacting with another baby (a warm, but noncontingent interaction). Babies were much more interested in the one interacting with them personally. No surprise. But a week later, they still preferred that person, even if both strangers were now responsive. Babies prefer and remember interactions in which someone is paying attention to their cues.

The same thing is true with babies. toys. Select toys where the play value is in response to your baby’s actions, rather than just acting on their own. We call these .contingent toys.. These are more fun, last longer, and support your baby’s development.

This is an excerpt from: From First Kicks to First Steps: Nurturing Your Babys Development from Pregnancy Through the First Year of Life, McGraw-Hill, 2004, p. 283

Published on: January 27, 2006
About the Author
Photo of Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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