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Monday, 18 January 2021
Young Children Remember; Recollections of a 3-year-old Print
Over the years, we’ve heard many stories from parents indicating that young children remember much more of their past than we give them credit for. The following submission is particularly poignant because it illustrates how a seemingly neutral item may be packed with intense emotional meaning.

Submitted by Jay and Rosalea…

I think it is totally possible (in fact likely) that our girls remember things from China. I think it will always be in their subconscious; as their language develops we might hear more and more.

Something happened with our 3.5 year old daughter just last week. She (like most of her travel group) is very, very, VERY attached to her hand towel that we "borrowed" from the White Swan. We were told the girls were given towels in the SWI instead of "blankets" and they use them as security items. Our daughter still has the towel and will NOT go to sleep without it. She actually COVERS her head with it every night. I have often wondered why she covers her whole face and head with her towel while she sleeps, but just thought it was a security thing, maybe how the towel felt or smelled close to her face. From time to time I have thought maybe it was bright in the SWI and she got used to covering her eyes with the towel. Anyway, it has never been discussed.

The other night we misplaced the towel at bedtime. Our daughter KNOWS the difference between this towel and any other. Substituting was not gonna work. She was SOBBING for her towel and I was getting crazy looking for it. Finally, (sort of exasperated) I said, "C'mon honey, it's one night. We'll find it in the morning. Why do you need that towel anyway??"

She replied, "Because it will be TOOO LOUD if I don't have my towel." I kind of laughed and said, "Too loud?? It’s not loud in your room, honey."


I was speechless and tore up the house for the towel...which she promptly put on her head and went to sleep.

Oh yes...they remember... [a. 16mo, OR]

Additional "remembering" stories can be found on this page. We would like to add other illustrations of young children remembering to the website. Please post your story below or email us using the contact button in the main menu.

Remembering their prior life
Written by Guest on 2007-10-31 16:14:39
My son spent his first 14 months in a Russian hospital. When he was three we showed him a picture of a old fashioned crib when we were trying to improve his vocabulary and asked him what it was and he couldn't remember "crib" so we said what is it used for and he said: "That is where you put dead babies."
Remembering Orphanage
Written by Guest on 2007-10-31 22:55:24
My daughter is now 4 years old. She was in an orphanage from 12-18 months of age and then fostered until she was 3 years old. 
When I showed her photos of the orphanage last month she saw all the cots and immediately said "I don't like that place. It was scary at night time" It has been 2 and a half years since she was there.
playing bad guy themes
Written by MeDenne on 2007-11-01 11:43:12
Our daughter would play about babies being hurt with knives on their heads. I often wondered if that memory came from seeing babies being given IV's in the scalp. It is common practice in China to give IV's when a child is sick, and the top of the head is one place they are typically administered. I know for a fact my daughter remembers things from the orphanage.
Vivid memories of baby hospital
Written by Guest on 2007-11-02 15:09:32
My daughter was adopted at age 10 months from a Russian baby hospital. In the past year as we have dealt with some trauma issues that finally reared their ugly heads...at about 5 YEARS home...I was shocked by the details that she remembers from Russia. The details are things that only my husband and myself would know and we never shared with her. The most surprising is about her roommate a 5 month old "little girl who had dark hair and eyes and had a terrible cough." She also remembers that she was alone often and that she did not get enough milk bottles (she was given mainly apple juice.) So yes, they can and do remember.
Orphanage memories
Written by Guest on 2007-11-20 00:19:52
My 3.5 year old daughter spent nearly her first 15 months in a small Guangxi orphanage. She says she remembers thunder being in her crib during thunder storms and crying, but no one would come to her.
Memories under the age of 3
Written by Guest on 2007-11-27 14:11:18
My daughter, adopted at 10 years old told me of a memory of her mom carrying her, her eye hurting, her mom crying, the moon was full and everyone was walking and walking. When we found her birth mom it turns out she was remembering walking from the refuge camp. She was just over 2 years old. 
I have a memory of feeding my 6 month old brother (I was 30 months old. I remember being in s speed boat and being unset that my brother got to drive and I didn't. I remember plam trees and tall buildings going by. Turns out my brother was in a seat that had a toy steering wheel. Mom says that was Miami and we were in a speed boat and i was 31 months old.  
I have other isolated memories of when I was two as well. I am sure I had more when I was younger as I recall we were discussing some fo them and my mom would say, "Oh you couldn't possibly remember that - you were to young" yet she had no other explanation, but at 54 I have fotgotten many of them.  
A friend's 4 year old told her, on the way to the doctor, that "this time I will pee in the diaper". She was remembering something from when she was 9 months old!

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