What Do Babies Dream About- Is It A Nightmare?
Wondering what do babies dream about when they are smiling while snoozing? You are not the only parent curious to know what do babies dream about. Your little ones might have a lot going on in their mind.
You might have noticed that your baby sleeps a lot during the first few months. A one-week-old baby sleeps for nearly 16 hours, and a one-year baby will sleep for 13 hours or so. Sleeping for such a prolonged duration, what do babies dream about? Experts believe babies dream a lot as they spend most of their sleep in REM sleep.
Let’s see what REM sleep is and what do babies dream about for so long.
Do babies dream more compared to adults?
All of us go through various sleep cycles. The stage when we start to fall asleep is known as light sleep. It is pretty easy for us to wake up again by light noises at the light sleep stage. After this stage, the deeper seep stage arrives, where our brain rests and recovers. Then, we again go back to the light sleep stage. This cycle takes nearly 90 minutes.
Dr. Alan Greene, instructor of Paediatrics at Stanford University, describes that even newborns must sleep to refresh their brains and bodies. But babies’ sleep cycles are shorter than adults’, and they shift from light sleep to deep sleep after every 50 minutes.
Dreams occur in light sleep, and as babies have more courses of this light sleep, they manage to dream more than adults. Now that you know your little one dreams more than you do, what do babies dream about? Let’s find out!
What do babies dream about?
We do not know what babies dream about since there isn’t a way of questioning them, but as per Professor Greene, dreams enable babies to make meaning of their experiences. We all are familiar that when your baby is in your womb, they can smell and hear, and even during this time in your womb, they process their amniotic world and try to make meaning of most of it.
Even when the baby is born, these processes are always carried out since all other things around them are new and overwhelming. Dr. Greene also mentions that even if we do not understand what babies dream about, we will still have some hints of what type of dreams the baby is having. You can determine this by the way the baby awakens, either crying or smiling.
So what do babies dream about if they are smiling? If your baby seems happy and smiling when they wake up, then they likely dreamt about something pleasing. And what do babies dream about if they cry? If your baby is crying and creating a lot of fuss, they must have undergone some less pleasant dreams.
You cannot precisely determine the situation or instance your baby might be dreaming about, but you can look for possible signs your baby is dreaming while they sleep. Find out how to do this:
Possible signs your baby is dreaming
There is nothing as peaceful and innocent as watching your baby asleep. There are three principal signs the baby is dreaming, and these may leave you to stand over the crib:
1. Eye Movement
If you catch their eyes moving rapidly underneath their eyelids, it is most likely that the baby is dreaming. Researchers at Tel Aviv University discovered that when the settings in our dreams start to change, our eyes begin to flicker back and forth rapidly when we sleep.
Have you noticed your baby twitch when they are asleep? Researchers at the University of Iowa believe that such small movements reveal which physical skill the baby is presently working on. This suggests that if you catch your baby twitching their neck, they will likely begin supporting their head when they wake up.
During their sleep, if you ever notice the baby smile spontaneously even within the first month, then they are probably relishing that spot of their dreaming during their REM stage of sleep.
Now that you know what do babies dream about and possible signs your baby is dreaming, have you ever wondered if your baby has nightmares like adults? The mere thought of nightmares may scare parents. Let’s see if they do.
Do babies have nightmares?
Dr. Greene thinks that nightmares mainly tend to happen in children between three and six. This is due to this age, the visions or dreams of children take off, and they become capable of thinking about things they have not considered yet, in reality, perceived themselves. They also begin to develop a sense of dread or fear by this age.
One of the most useful things you can accomplish to help the children having nightmares is to process such dreams as bad dreams or nightmares help the baby make meaning of things they are afraid or anxious about. When your baby is old enough, you may ask them to draw images of the bad dreams and nightmares they are getting and let them inform you what occurred.
When they let you know the whole story, you can motivate them to learn and look for a better positive element. It is significant to remember that each dream your child has, either bad or good, has a purpose in your kid’s development. Dreams assist them in making sense of the environment around them.
Does sleeping with no dreams help a baby’s development?
Many professionals think that when REM sleeps occurs without dreams; it benefits the babies in multiple ways. It permits them to create pathways in the brain, incorporate the neurological systems, and even grow a few other skills such as language.
Sleep is highly crucial for the newborn’s growth as when the baby is asleep; their brain activity is being fuelled. Nevertheless, it is considered that dreams begin to take shape as we mature. Therefore, when your baby grows up, they immerse and process visuals as dreaming evolves into a mental process.
If you think that your baby does dream, the simple question is, what do babies dream about. Within adults, we would largely agree that many of us dream about all those things we undergo every day or certain past events and stuff we have heard or read about. So if we consider that logic with the babies, they would presumably dream about a lot of crying or pooping. When your baby grows up, they become aware of their surroundings and possibly dream about their mom and dad or even their family dog.
More information on what do babies dream about
Toddler dreams are generally only snapshots, seeming much more similar to a slideshow than a movie, unlike dreams of adults. They primarily feature animals or other everyday sights, like pictures of people eating.
Kids aged between 5-9 start noticing shifting images and characters in motion. Dreams currently include numerous events tied together, one after the other. Kids begin acquiring a greater capacity to recall dreams. Still, that is not always the circumstance: When awakened during their REM sleep, 25% of the babies in Foulkes’ analyses had no memory of their dreams, a trend that persists through age 9.
Generally, at about age 8, kids emerge as the central characters in the dreams. Dream descriptions become highly complex and more prolonged. Not only do the children dream up the activity as it develops, but they also dream about having feelings and thoughts within their dreams.
Babies and circadian rhythms
Newborn babies’ sleep does not pursue a specified circadian rhythm. A baby’s entire sleep cycle is roughly half compared to an adult’s sleep cycle. Short sleep episodes confirm that a hungry newborn gets provided with milk and regularly monitored by the parents—this aids in reducing the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Melatonin hormone is accountable for causing drowsiness, affecting the baby’s rest habits before birth. But circadian rhythms do not begin to occur during the first few days of life after delivery or out of the womb.
Once infants become habituated to sleeping most of the night, the time consumed in the REM stage will slowly shorten, and they will have more prolonged episodes of deep sleep.
The Bottom Line
Sleep in the first weeks or months of a baby’s life allows the baby’s brain to grow and process details. At any age, sleep aids in consolidating memory, which will enable us to integrate our adventures and expand our knowledge.
As babies also go through the procedure of solidifying knowledge or information about their surroundings, paediatricians cannot exaggerate the significance of sleep. You might not know what the little one is dreaming of, or even if they are, as you listen to sighs or grunting or see your baby’s eyelids flutter. But now you understand that while they might be sleeping, their brain is always very active.