There’s a lot more going on in those little brains than we sometimes realise! –
Infants spend most of their time sleeping, waking up for just a few hours total every day. A lot of growth happens during those spans of shut-eye, though. Research shows that sleep is just as formative for babies’ development as are the scattered bouts of consciousness when their eyes are open and their ears are perked up. As with adults, sleeping likely helps infants retain or protect memory and learn language; some evidence also suggests it promotes healthy physical growth.
n the 1960s, as the journalist Alice Robb explains in her forthcoming book Why We Dream, the psychologist David Foulkes theorized that children seldom remember their dreams before age 9. Foulkes continued his research into pediatric dreaming over the decades and in his 2002 book on the topic concluded that humans are dreamless in their first few years of life.Just because they can “perceive a reality,” he wrote, doesn’t mean they “can dream one as well.” Instead, he found that children don’t start dreaming until they’re a few years old and can imagine their surroundings visually and spatially. Even then, he argued, the dreams tend to be static and one-dimensional, with no characters and little emotion. It isn’t until age 7 or so, according to Foulkes, that humans start to having graphic, storylike dreams; this phase of life is also when children tend to develop a clear sense of their own identity and how they fit into the world around them.