Children's early memories

Young children can recall memories from the age of 18 months, it has been found. New research from Memorial University of Newfoundland - which appears in the journal Child Development - suggested toddlers could have the language and cognitive abilities for such actions.

However, the study also revealed that children struggled to remember the events between the ages of four and seven.

Carole Peterson, a Psychology Professor, noted very young kids had plenty of memories that they could bring to the forefront of their minds.

She explained: "The whole phenomenon of infantile amnesia is clearly a moving target in children, because as children move from four to ten, their [earliest] memories get later and later."

By the age of ten, however, youngsters appear to crystallise their memories, Professor Peterson added.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Sinead Rhodes said: "This study fits well with what we know about the development of memory across early and middle childhood."

"It is now established that children can only retrieve events from the past in the same way as adults from 11 years onwards (this is what British Journal of Development Psychology paper shows) which this study supports."

"This study highlights that language plays a role in this development and earlier memories may be accessible - as young as 18 months - but are possibly lost due to underdeveloped language skills. Later childhood memories then become more accessible."

Researchers from the Universities of Oxford, York, Essex and University College London recently found that infants who are breastfed by their mothers are less likely to experience behavioural problems than those who are not.

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