Page 3 - The First 60 Days Magazine - October 2023
P. 3

Early Nurturing is Significant

                                                           An abundance of research over decades has
                                                           demonstrated the importance of relationships on the
                                                           developing brain. Studies have shown that humans are
                                                           biologically designed for relationships and now there are
                                                           new research findings on the significance of timing.

                                                           Babies are born with a primary need to have someone
                                                           care for and provide for them. A newborn is completely
                                                           dependent on at least one relationship with another
                                                           person. Through having someone lovingly and
                                                           consistently respond to expressed needs in a nurturing
                                                           way, brain pathways for optimal development are being

                                                           If an infant’s needs for touch, nutrition, warmth, security
                                                           and sleep are responded to repeatedly, timely and
                                                           predictably in a caring way, this will create the feelings of
                                                           connection, safety and trust that the immature brain
                                                           craves and requires.

                                                           Since early relationships directly impact the way that a
                                                           brain develops, they can have an effect on relationships,
                                                           health, behavior and learning in many ways.

                                                           Children whose needs are not met consistently or with
                                                           harshness will more likely have an extensive focus on
                                                           survival, develop controlling behaviors, stress related
                                                           illnesses, may develop a belief in unworthiness, have
                                                           difficulty with learning and more.

                                                           Continuous research reinforces this knowledge. It is
                                                           importantly also providing enhanced understanding that
                                                           nurturing relationships have a significant influence in the
                                                           first two months.

                                                            “The basic finding is that the experiences of the first
                                                                 two months of life have a disproportionately
                                                               important impact on your long-term health and
                                                              development. This has to do with the remarkably
                                                                rapid growth of the brain early in life, and the
                                                             organization of those all-important core regulatory
                                                                           -Bruce D. Perry, M.D, Ph.D.

                                                                                        By Deborah McNelis, M.Ed

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