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Right from the start - children's early years

baby; babies; mothers; mum; fathers; dad; attachment; bonding; learning; development; brain; spoiling; feelings; crying; safety. ;

When you have a baby you want to do all you can to give your baby the best start in life. Learn how to make the most of your child's early years... right from the start.

The early years of a child's life are the building blocks for the future, but why do the first few years matter so much? In recent years there has been new research into how babies grow and develop. We now know how important it is to care for babies and provide experiences that help to prepare a strong base for their future.

Babies learn and respond right from the time they are born. A baby's brain grows more in the early months than at any other time.

When a baby has loving, caring experiences the connections in the brain for feeling good and learning are strengthened. The same happens with the connections for talking, learning, exploring, thinking and all the other things babies will need.

When a baby feels unhappy or stressed a lot of the time, or has little stimulation (like not being touched, noticed or talked to very much) the connections in the brain that react to stress are strengthened. If this happens, as babies grow they may be less able to learn and develop in the very best way.

Another topic on our site that you might be interested in is Attachment.

The Raising Children Network has many topics about babies and their development, The Raising Children website is produced with the help of an extensive network including the Australian Government.

The Parenting SA website has several Parent Easy Guides including

Parenting SA is a partnership of the Department for Education and Child Development and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network - South Australia.

Resources

South Australia

  • Parent Helpline: Tel 1300 364 100
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week for advice on child health and parenting
  • Child and Family Health Centres: Tel 1300 733 606
    9am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday to make an appointment at your local Centre

Websites

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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