This means that positive and nurturing early experiences can help the brain to develop well and negative experiences of neglect and abuse can cause some genetically-normal children to generate certain abnormalities. The lack of information about the critical role a child’s first experiences play in shaping his or her brain, led to a lack of focus on this particular stage of development. Most people used to think that a child wouldn’t remember those first experiences, but now we know they can actually impact a child physiologically, on a genetic level.
According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the role the environment and early experiences play in chemically marking and controlling the expression of genes, is true for both early prenatal or postnatal experiences. This sheds light on the importance of surrounding yourself in a positive environment and avoiding stress as much as you can while pregnant and also when your baby arrives home.
As parents, you play the most important role in providing a nurturing environment and the stimulation that your baby requires. It is your baby’s first experiences that will determine how he or she will interact with the world and how his or her brain will develop. So remember to foster your little one’s development by doing activities together, such as talking, reading, and singing to them from a very early age and playing imaginative games!