Much remains to be understood about children’s dreams. In fact, no one knows for sure whether infants and very young children really have dreams at all, since children under the age of two do not have sufficient language skills to describe such experiences. Sings that infants experience REM sleep are obvious. They twitch their eyes, kick their feet, such, smile and grimace in slumber. Some experts argue that this is not necessarily proof of dreaming. They speculate that the child’s brain, like a computer running a program, is simply rehearsing reflexes for actions like sucking, smiling or moving the arms and legs. Others believe that the REM sleep activities are indeed physical reactions to primitive dreams about sensory experiences.
What is clear is that when a child first begins dreaming, bits and pieces of recollected dream images lap over into her daytime consciousness and become mixed up with real experiences. Consequently, your preschooler may ask questions about unfamiliar people and events that you cannot possibly answer, because they refer to things that took place in her dreams. These seemingly nonsensical questions may be the first clue parents have that their child has indeed begun to dream.