Every life-stage has its share of novelty—first kiss, first tax return, first job—but when it comes to new experiences most of us peak in infancy as we cycle through thousands of firsts. Some claim to remember being born, but is it possible to remember that or what life was like at such a young stage?
She says few adults actually remember being a baby. Scientists call this “infantile amnesia.” This refers to the fact that adults report very few memories from earlier than age 3 or 4 years. But research shows that infants themselves have excellent memories as they can recognize the faces, voices, and actions of people around them, learn names for things, and delight in special objects, familiar routines, and places. But there are large individual differences in how much we remember from infancy and early childhood. Some have clear memories from age two and earlier, while others report having virtually no memories until ages 7, 8 or 9.
Read the rest of Dr. Bahrick’s answer including how you can enhance your memory of being an infant and what some studies in her lab found.
As it turns out, science still hasn’t landed on why, exactly, we forget virtually all of our first few years alive, but there are plenty of compelling theories out there.