This story originally appeared in Time.
On Tuesday, video-streaming company Netflix announced it would be offering its employees a year of maternity and paternity leave during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption. It’s a progressive move that got us wondering: What effect will it have on babies?
Though the specific effects of parental presence on children is not fully understood, there’s plenty of research on the importance of early parent-infant bonds for successful development. “We have decades of research that tells us how important it is that a bond is established between parents and young children beginning at birth,” says Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. “The need for time to form secure attachments is critically important. It’s one of the most important things you can do to build a foundation for a lifetime of healthy development.”
The first year of life is also full of milestones for infants. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during a baby’s first year of life they learn to focus their vision and are at the very earliest stages of language development. “The way parents cuddle, hold, and play with their baby will set the basis for how they will interact with them and others,” the CDC says.