Definition: Childhood amnesia, also known as infantile amnesia, is the common inability of adults to remember the earliest years of their childhood. The amnesia generally covers events from birth until around 4 years old.


Infantile or childhood amnesia is characterized by the relative absence of memory before 3 or 4 years of age. It is important to note that the term does not refer to complete absence of memories, but the relative scarcity of memories during infancy. Additionally,The cause of infantile amnesia remains a mystery to psychologists.

Simply Put...

  • Not remembering or having a difficult time remembering anything that happened when you were younger than 3 or 4 years old.
  • The body seems to remember traumatic or first time events rather than traditions or repetitive actions.
  • Not recalling early childhood because your brain was making important connections, leaving no time to collect a lot of memories.
  • Having a difficulty with retrieving memory from your storage.
  • The boundary is malleable and can be influenced by both individual experiences and cultural factors.


  • I can't remember anything before going to see my baby brother in the hospital for the first time when I was almost three. Other than that, I have no memories until preschool when I was 4.
  • I can't remember anything before my first day of preschool, my best friend at the time cried and clung to her mom for at least fifteen minutes.
  • I can't remember anything except getting bit by my dog when I was 3, it was so painful and scary.
  • I can't remember my parents taking me to Canada, but my brothers remember because they were 4 and 6.
  • My mother told me when I was 2 that we were in the mall in a small play area and I pushed a child over and kicked him. ( I have no recollection of this event.)

See Also

  1. anterograde amnesia
  2. retrograde amnesia,