The importance of the first years

It’s only in recent years that we’ve truly come to understand the importance of the first three years for brain development. It’s during this time that the brain is hard-wired and the foundation laid down for how a person will feel, think and behave for the rest of their life.

While that may sound overwhelming, it’s all pretty simple. Forget flash cards, gimmicks and expensive toys, the most important thing a child needs is at least one adult who loves and cares for them. They need someone to respond to their needs, have fun with them and provide them safe opportunities to explore the world.

This attachment teaches children how to form relationships and enables them to reach their full potential. It creates a template for how they will get on with others and the types of relationships they will form throughout their lifetime.

Sadly, not getting the care and attention they need in the early years impacts on a child’s IQ and puts them at greater risk of developing emotional disorders, learning problems and behavioural issues.

Surviving the first six weeks

The first few weeks with a new baby can be overwhelming. You may feel like you’re in survival mode, just coping with the relentless cycle of feeding, changing and tending to your baby’s many needs. There’s no routine, everything’s unpredictable and your hormones are raging. It can be all-consuming – and very, very exhausting.