Babies Recognize Conflict


These resources are now owned and operated by Child Health BC who is making them freely available to parents, caregivers, families and anyone supporting healthy child development in the early years.

Babies are More Aware Than You Realize

From the beginning of life, and even prenatally, babies and young children detect emotions. They can hear the difference in tone between a conflictive voice and a kind, nurturing voice. Ongoing conflict in the family, such as yelling and anger, are a form of adversity and stress that can affect children’s lifelong well-being as they can affect development at the level of brain circuitry and the immune system.

Even Prenatally Infants Sense Anger and Violence in the Environment

A newborn recognizes its mother’s voice as compared to the other voices it has heard from the womb. Babies are born having already learned to perceive emotions. Early adversity can create vulnerabilities to lifelong illnesses and mental disorders.


Dr. Thomas Boyce