baby development

What can my baby remember?

When does your baby’s memory really start to work?

Your baby’s memory

Understanding your baby’s mind and memory

Babys memory 474

Your baby’s tiny memory muscles are working hard from the moment they’re born. In the early days your little one is reliant on their procedural memory - a part of their long-term memory that is responsible for knowing how to do things. The procedural memory, as the name implies, stores information on how to do certain things so it helps them master motor skills like sucking, swallowing, grasping, making sounds, and later on rolling over, sitting, crawling and walking.

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Every new little thing you do with your baby encourages them to learn and helps their little brain make new connections among their nerve cells, all helping grow that procedural (unconcious memory).

It's your baby’s long-lasting, conscious memory that recalls specific events and that doesn't actually develop until they are around 14 to 18 months old.

Fun and new

Show them something new and fun every day, whether it’s how to rattle a noisy toy or squeeze a bath toy, it all helps to get their memory developing. Even when they're young, playing hide and seek with a favourite toy is great for this. Show your baby the toy, then while eyes are on the toy place a muslin or blanket over it so it’s hidden. At an early age, they will forget what’s under the tissue, but as time goes on you’ll notice your baby starts to remember what’s under there!

Building your baby's memory

Babies rely on these 5 memory types to trigger their development.

  • Visual: Remembering sights they have seen, such as your face
  • Auditory: Hearing familiar sounds, such as having their name repeated
  • Olfactory: Familiar tastes and smells, such as their milk or the smell of a comfort toy or blanket
  • Kinaesthetic: Familiar movements such as squeezing a bath toy or the sound of a rattle
  • Semantic: Remembering the meaning of language through the repetition of hearing words

Mix it up

It will help your baby’s memory to mix up these memory types by regularly introducing familiar sounds or favourite squeezy toys to help strengthen the memory.

Chat away

Even with young babies, it’s never too early to talk to them. Smiling, making eye contact, talking to them all helps them to absorb new words and regular verbal interaction has been proven to help them start to talk earlier.

Add a smile

Whatever little fun exercise you’re doing with your baby to help boost their little mind, make sure you put on a smile to help your little one associate what you’re doing with happy times.


Repetition is another strong way to get that memory working and developing. So sing to your baby, sing the same song the next day and day after that. You will start to see your baby react to hearing the same song again.

What can my baby remember?