The first 1001 days of a child's life

Research on the most crucial period

The first 1001 days of a child’s life, from conception to their second birthday, are critical to the development of their complex brains and the cognitive skills that depend on them. This time marks the occurrence of milestones in motor skills such as sitting up and walking, but also language acquisition. Most of the process involved in learning to understand, speak and use your native language takes place in the first 1001 days of your life.


An interdisciplinary team works together with partners from outside the university on three focus areas


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Vrouw en kind met laptop

A digital test for the identification of DLD in multilingual children

If a multilingual child experiences language difficulties, it is often challenging to determine if these difficulties are caused by a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) or stem from insufficient language exposure. To support a more reliable diagnosis of DLD in multilingual children, a new test battery was developed: LITMUS. LITMUS-NL is a Dutch adaptation of this test battery and can be found in the online UU-DAB-environment.


Scientific research and experience from professional practice strengthen each other

Overview of collaborators such as the City of Utrecht, Buikpraat, Al Amal, Danone Nutricia, day care Partou, Auris, UMC Utrecht Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, Kentalis, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and NSDSK

By collaborating with experts both within and outside academia, we reach many stakeholders in the field of language development. This way we put into practice our scientific knowledge and we carefully monitor societal problems, which we can then investigate.

Manifesto — The 1001 Critical Days

A number of Dutch organisations (Dutch Association for Infant Mental HealthDutch Association of Psychologists, the Association of Educationalists in the Netherlands (NVO) and Stichting Babywerk) have developed a Dutch version of the manifesto The 1001 Critical Days, which underscores the importance of this developmental period.

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