What do infants dream about?


Ever saw your child smiling while asleep and wondered , “What do infants dream about?”

Is it you? Food? The next big prophecy?

Surprisingly, there is a chance that they are not dreaming of anything at all!
Some studies stated that children do not dream until the age of 2 at least. This is because children’s brains function differently – they are not ready to have nightmares as they may get traumatised. Not just that, but children do not have self-awareness, an important element of self-interstation in dreams.

You might wonder then, why do they sometimes smile?

A study highlighted that when children smile it means they got into what is called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase, which is the same phase adults get into when they dream. However, REM serves infants differently; it helps with brain development, but it is still unknown to what happens exactly during that time.

On the other hand, there are few researches that suggest that infants do dream, however their dreams are very basic, and it develops as they grow. The dream consists of the visuals that are stored in their brain, and due to their limited experiences, those pictures are mostly of their
mothers and toys.

It is debatable whether children dream or not, and more research and brain studies need to be done to find the definite answer. But till then, we make sure their reality is as dream-like as possible.


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About Author

Hanan Kazim is an Early Childhood Specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the United Arab Emirates University, and an alumna of Leadership and multiculturalism program at Almaktoum College of Higher Education in Scotland.

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