This Explains Why You Can't Remember What It Was Like Being A Baby

Ever wonder why you can't remember what it was like being a baby? Well, it turns out, you're not supposed to.

According to SciShow, at around the age of 8 or 9 years old, you start to forget some of your earliest episodic memories. These are the memories that have to do with specific events and details, such as your first birthday party or being born.

This loss of early childhood memory — most of us won't recall things that happened before the age of 3 — is caused by something scientists call childhood amnesia. No, it isn't caused by a head injury, it's how the brain naturally develops.
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More specifically, how the hippocampus develops — this is the part of the brain that helps us form and store episodic memories. It is also the part that continues to grow as we age, developing new neurons that seem to lead to our early forgetfulness.

"The new neurons shuffle around with the old ones to form new memory connections," SciShow explained. "And this could make it harder for the brain to find where earlier memories were kept."

As NPR reported, a 2014 study found that though our brain is sophisticated enough to form memories in infancy, those memories are fragile and easily lost to brain development.

"It doesn't mean they're not working at all," Patricia Bauer, a professor of psychology at Emory University, said of the brain's circuitry. "But they're not working as efficiently — and therefore, not as effectively — as they're going to be working in later childhood, and certainly in adulthood."

Scientists are only starting to understand childhood amnesia and still have many more questions to answer, specifically why certain memories from childhood are lost and others are not. They do, however, know that everyone human goes through the process.

So, when someone asks, "What was your first memory as a baby?" don't panic, just remember it's actually a trick question.
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