Today I came across this video via the Birth to Five Policy Alliance featuring an interview with Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., the director for the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University:
As Dr. Shonkoff mentions in the video, the brain is prepared to be shaped by experience. “Serve and return” experiences have a direct relation to a child’s learning capacities, behaviors, as well as physical and mental well being.
And as many a parent knows, a lot happens to the brain in the first three years of life that make it crucial for a child’s basic needs to be met. This includes an accessible supply of diapers.
It means, for example, there is less chance of diaper rash and a crying baby; and more of a chance that a caregiver will be less stressed out and may be able to concentrate on pressing family matters.There are many more reasons and you can find them here.
So it’s really not for the love of diapers that this work continues. It continues because all of you put a value on healthy children and know that they have a better chance at growing up to be healthy people when their initial “serve and return” experiences support positive cognitive and social development.
At the most basic level, this means that children must be given the chance to be kept in a clean and dry diaper. And because of many of YOU, more babies are able to have better experiences that will benefit all of us in the long term.