Why Are The First Five Years Of Life So Important

by Oct 9, 2019


The first five years of life are the most important years for childhood development which sets the trajectory for adulthood. Become more aware of how you as a parent impact your child’s development during ages 0 to 5.


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.


Take advantage of the first 5 years of your child’s life. I learned this early on as a new mom. I don’t even remember where I learned it, but it stuck in my head, and I never forgot it. It’s one of the best pieces of advice I ever heard as a new mom. And now I want to share it with you!

Recent research confirms that the first five years are particularly important for the development of the child’s brain, and the first three years are the most critical in shaping the child’s brain architecture. Early experiences provide the foundation for the brain’s organizational development and functioning throughout life. They have a direct impact on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities.Facts Of Life 

Most Important Years of Life


I am writing this today because my second daughter is turning 5 in a week, and I feel like this is a milestone birthday. It’s the birthday where my child’s personality is revealed.

For me this is the year where I can go back and evaluate myself as a mom who raised a 5 year old. I can look back at how I helped my child enjoy the most important years of her life.

Did I instill good habits? Did I teach her our family values? Am I bringing Christ’s word into our household where my daughter understands the importance of Jesus and faith? Am I teaching the importance of independence? Is my child respectful? Does my child elicit emotional control? Am I disciplining my child the correct way with consistent tactics?

These are all self-evaluative questions I ask myself as a mom of a 5 year old.



Did I raise her up to be a 5 year old girl where I can look back and say I’m proud of myself as a mom? And am I proud of my 5 year old?

And to answer that, I’m going to say, ‘Oh Yeah!”

I put a lot of effort into raising my children the first 5 years, and I will tell you, it’s going to pay off big time as they are older. There is a lot of research regarding a child’s development in the first 5 years, before they enter kindergarten. So let’s dive deeper into why this is so important for moms to know.

Brain Development The First 5 Years Of A Child’s Life


There is a short window of time when critical brain development occurs which can largely determine the personality of your child.

Every parent needs to be aware of this period of time. It’s the time from birth to age 5 years when the child’s brain is developing at a lightning fast pace.

Neuroscience research has concluded that parents with children in this stage of life have a crucial window of time to have a large impact and help mold their child the right way, and it should not be neglected.

Ninety percent of a child’s brain development occurs from ages 0-5. Wow, that’s amazing. Let that sink in for a moment.

“At birth, the average baby’s brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Incredibly, it doubles in size in the first year. It keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90% – nearly full grown – by age 5”Firstthingsfirst.org


So then that means from age 6 to 96 only 10% of our brain develops. That’s crazy.

Let’s just put that into perspective and realize how important it is to feed your child’s brain with healthy stimulation as much as possible those first 5 years. Wow! 


Importance of The First Five Years of A Child’s Life 

The earlier we invest in our childrens’ lives, the better payoff we will have in their future.

The tone you set in your household, your lifestyle and your beliefs will help set the trajectory for the rest of their life.

Since the human brain develops the most in the first 5 years, why not feed your child with as much information, good healthy information as possible. You have the advantage of more time with your child from 0-5 years. It’s a time before they enter kindergarten. Your child looks up to you and wants to be like you. As your child gets older, there will be other outside influences to compete with, but at a young age, you are the primary influencer. So definitely take advantage of that opportunity. 

Children who don’t develop sufficient language skills in those first years are up to six times more likely to experience reading problems in school. When children fall behind in reading, every other aspect of education suffers.”Dr. Bill Frist

Being present, spending time with your child and incorporating learning into your daily activities like talking, singing, reading and playing, will stimulate brain development and dramatically influence your child’s future health, learning and behavior.

So what can you do to ensure you are raising your child in a way so she is set for developmental success intellectually, physically, socially, spiritually and emotionally? 

Be sure to check back next week where I break down a list of developmental activities for each specific age group ranging from 0 months to 5 years. 

But until then, you will definitely want to check out this amazing child development screening tool that will help you evaluate how your child is doing developmentally.

This child development screen can be done by using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The ASQ is a tool you can use to check on your child’s development. It’s fun, doctor-recommended, and teaches you to recognize developmental milestones and support your child as they grow. Click the image below to learn more.

What is the best advice you ever received as a new mom that you instill in your child’s upbringing and is a pillar to your parenting style? Comment below with your answer so other moms can benefit from your advice. 


Keep Smiling,

Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

About Dr. Jena Bradley

About Dr. Jena Bradley

Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey.  She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visitng her ABOUT page. 

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Hi there, friend! I’m Jena, a mom of 4 and a Physical Therapist with a passion to motivate moms! I want to inspire you to be your best self by sharing my experiences and trusted advice on motherhood, health and fitness.

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