Pregnancy and early childhood

When babies are born into this world they already have a nine-month journey behind them. This period inside their mother’s womb, as well as the first postnatal years, are extremely important ‘sensitive’ periods for later development. What happens then will even partly dictate how happy and healthy the child will be in their adult life and how they will age. Early life is hence a period of risk, but also a window of opportunity. By paying close attention to how the baby develops and to what the needs of the baby are, we can consolidate a developmental pathway to a good, healthy life. 

Our research center studies these early influences in children’s lives and does this by combining biology and psychology in new ways. The types of early influences that we study are diverse and include among others: the mother’s worries and stress during pregnancy, interactions between parents and babies, the baby’s sleep and feeding patterns, center-based childcare, and the bacteria in the baby’s intestines. We are also interested in studying how to best support parents during pregnancy and the child’s early years. We believe that investing in the baby is investing in society as a whole.