General Question

klaas4's avatar

How far back in your life can you remember?

Asked by klaas4 (2166 points ) February 26th, 2008

For example: you’ll never remember how you were born, only from your mother telling or a video tape.

How far can you go? Me, around my 6th, without seeing videos of me as baby.

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32 Answers

daniel89x's avatar

I can remember things vaguely when I was around 5–6. but alot of times it takes someone to remind me of something that happened and then I tend to remember right away.

tekn0lust's avatar

What a fantastic question. I have thought about this alot. I have tried in subtle ways to build memories for my children to see how far back they can remember when they are older.

I can remember very vague details of my home and play yard at about 4 1/2. There is no video of me until the age of 18(i’m 34 now). But there are pictures and some of the pictures conflict with my memories. That has always bothered me a little bit.

PupnTaco's avatar

I can remember a few specifics events from the short time we lived in San Antonio, Texas – when I was two years old.

kevbo's avatar

3 or 4. I remember lots of details about the street I lived on, a fried chicken dinner, barfing up Spaghetti-O’s in the middle of the night, getting pissed and shoving all my toys under my bed, having a dream about getting a roomful of new toys (and then waking up to avery disappointing reality), a boy telling me that the tooth fairy lived down the street.

caly420's avatar

When I was 3 my parents apparently took me to the bahamas and there are 2 images in my head i can still recall. My dad had his pilots license so he flew us down there and I can remember leaning in my moms lap and looking out the window and she told me that is where fairies lived..ha…and then i can also remember being on the beach and i picked up this huge ass pink/white rock….two images that are just ingrained in my head

syz's avatar

I have very minimal childhood memories – I don’t really remember much before third or fourth grade.

Tennis5tar's avatar

When I was 3, at nursery.

scamp's avatar

I remember getting spanked for climbing on the kitchen counter when I was 2.

susanc's avatar

I can remember watching the pines flow by when my ma drove to Florida during WWII. She went there to join my father, who was wounded and on leave.
This was when they conceived my brother, who is 2 years and 6 weeks younger than me, so let’s say I was 2.
The psychologists tell us we have a lot of trouble holding on to experiences we can’t yet put words on (which is why psychedelic experiences are hard to describe – the language centers are suppressed, the visual centers expanded).

Randy's avatar

I can remember one experience when I was around two. I planned on eating a yellow jacket but when I picked him up I, of course, was stung. Other than that, probably age 4 or 5.

christybird's avatar

I have some memories from when I was 2. The most vivid was when I put my blankie on the space heater (because I wanted it to be warm, like when mom took it out of the dryer) and it caught fire. I remember thinking that it was a good idea to put it on the space heater, and then my confusion and fear when it was in flames. I cried and cried! But it all turned out ok – after that my blankie had a big charred spot in the middle of it, but I still loved it.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Three years old, playing with my best friend in day care.

skfinkel's avatar

I have heard that your earliest memory is usually very significant, from a psychological point of view. ie. was it a happy memory? were you frightened? And usually, these memories are from around 3 years old. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish a memory from what we have heard, or even seen in a picture.

I just learned that what I thought was my earliest memory—being terrified in a glass bottom boat in Hawaii when I was about 2—really took place in Florida when I was about 3. At least, it was a real event—glad I didn’t just imagine the weirdness of being able to look down into the sea forever.

ezraglenn's avatar

I remember a lot from when I was three, maybe a little bit into my twos, but not as vivid.

boffin's avatar

Late two, early three. The first experience was helping mom and dad in the yard. I picked up a hoe and thought I was helping. I was, I helped stir up a nest of Yellow Jackets that nested in a rock border around the big cherry tree. Got stung dead center of my forehead. The other remembrance, my parents hung out the flag on holiday observances. We lived on the side of a slope with two stories above street level and two below . A basement and sub-basement (came in handy during tornado season) the flag was hung in an arch at the top of the outside stairs, two stories of steps. No matter how many times I climbed those stairs when I got to the flag it moved (blew) so I could walk under it without touching it.

gooch's avatar

I remember when when I was 3 years old being dropped off at an orphanage by my mother.

Zaku's avatar

Hard to how much are direct memories, and how much are memories from others telling stories. I think I remember at least parts of at least four activities/events/friends from before I was 2, more from 2–3, then quite a bit from 4–5 and beyond.

peggylou's avatar

I remember back to just short of 5. I was anxiously waiting for my mother to take me to register for kindergarten. I joined my little sister in the sand pile while waiting, and tried to dig to China so that I could hide and escape my anxiety.

mjtan's avatar

I can remember so much when I was three. The memories are still clear to me, especially the time when my sister took away my doll and hid it behind our television. I cried so much—too much—that she was forced to give it back.

towens0808's avatar

to be honest with you the farthest i can remember back in my life was when i was 2 years old and i fell face first out of my grandparents camper.

rosadrake's avatar

I fell down from a wall and broke my bones when I was 3 years old.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I remember being an egg and then this one idiot, outrunning a million other idiots, came barging up the sidewalk. Before I could answer the door, he barged right in and then, all Heck broke loose! Multiply, divide, multiply, divide, ad nauseum.

mpjt2005's avatar

I get random memories, but nothing before the age of 5.

Kraken's avatar

Perhaps 3 1/2 years during my Sesame Street / Electric Company & Zoom Shirt days. Did I lose you there?

Kraken's avatar

@Kraken Clearly I was heavily influenced by PBS but we only had 4 channels to watch back then.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

My earliest distinct memory happened when I was two. We were moving into our new house. I don’t remember anything about the old house, but I remember standing up in the seat of my uncle’s truck and backing up to the porch. I even remember the sidewalk cracked.

Val123's avatar

My first memory is my dad picking me up so I could see inside the bassinet. They were saying, in hushed tones “oh, looky at the baby!” I remember distinctly thinking ”What is the big deal?” Then I went to play. I would have been right at 3.
@gooch Are you serious??? :(

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I have memories of events that happened around photos of when I was about 2½ and pretty much everything from my 3rd b-day on. I feel lucky about that since I had some really neat childhood experiences.

Val123's avatar

I think it’s interesting that a 6 year old can remember a lot things that happened when they were 2 or 3, but….at the age of 20 they can’t remember things that happened at the age of 2 or 3

Arewethereyet's avatar

Age 3 for me, I have a memory of being given a kitten by a neighbour, turned out the kitten had ringworm and so did I! Had my first boyfriend at 3 as well and remember that, he was the neighbour from the other side.

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