If you are a newbie in the wonderful world of parenthood, you certainly wonder does your little angel dream. You may not be a parent yourself, but this question comes to minds of all people; once upon a time, we were babies, as well.
Do babies dream and what they could possibly dream about, you might ask.
According to scientific researches, professionals agree that babies’ dreams are ‘real’, just as ours are; these tiny humans do dream, but they cannot tell us what the subject of their dreams was.
This makes many parents anxious and nervous. There is nothing to worry about that much.
There are various amazing facts about babies’ brain that we simply oversee or know nothing about. Certain parts of human brain, those that shape our ‘dreamy’ nature, develop in an early stage of our existence.
In fact, these brain parts are active even before we are born. You know that babies sleep far more than adults do.
Actually, until they reach the third month of age, babies spend about fifty percent of their time in REM phase of sleeping, which is exactly the stage of sleeping pattern related to the activity of dreaming.
What you probably did not know about a baby’s brain
The thing is that babies’ brains are more active compared to brains of adults. Babies are born with fully developed brain cells and these neurons count the full amount of brain cells a person would ever have.
There are about of one hundred million of neurons in our brains; however, during the first months of age, for about a year, these neurons are being connected with others.
These connections create an incredible net of synapses responsible for perception and understanding the world that surrounds the child. After only one year, a baby’s brain grows to be about two times of its original size.
There is no other moment in a human being’s life, in which so many neuron connections are made.
Therefore, it is suggested to all parents to expose their baby to as many different sources of various information from surroundings, because, during that time, a baby’s brain is the most capable of accepting new info.
At the same time, it is capable of fully resting during sleep. Only watching the world around develops a baby’s brain in an incredible way.
In addition, all babies are experts in the art of sleeping, so you could just imagine how colorful their dreams might be. Everything they see stimulates their brains and, of course, reflects in babies’ dreams.
Science proves that babies spend about a half of their sleep time in the REM phase, the dreaming phase. Just for comparison, adults spend about twenty-five percent of their sleeping routine in the same phase.
Although no one could certainly tell what exactly a baby has dreamed about, all agree on idea that babies’ dreams have to be extremely visual, because in an early age, human beings still do not have a capacity to comprehend and embrace language skills.
In addition, babies’ are not as prone to nightmares as adults are; until two to three years of age, children still do not have real fears and worries.
However, there is a phenomenon called a night terror, which is actually a medical issue, not a consequence of a real nightmare or a fear.
So-called night terrors are actually moments of a baby being over-excited in a way and this happens during passing from one to another stage of sleep. Many parents get terrified hearing their baby is crying in sleep and they often think that something is hurting the baby or the child has a nightmare.
Chances that these ideas are true are low. It usually means that the baby is excited and its brain reacts to natural course of events that happen during a sleeping pattern cycle.
Do babies dream?
We have agreed babies definitely do dream, but their dreams remain a mystery. Many people wonder if little ones are capable of dreaming, simply because they are too young to be able to tell us how their sleeping experience was.
However, we have learned that babies’ brains are incredibly active.
Everything that happens around a baby is almost miraculous to them. Everything is new, fresh, interesting and fascinating.
A baby might not have a full understanding of what are things and phenomena around, but little ones literally absorb everything they get in touch with or see. Parents often wonder what signs are proving that their baby is dreaming.
By carefully observing a baby during the sleep, you could notice its eyeballs are actually moving very fast, behind the eyelids.
It appears as a baby is watching something, only the eyelids are closed. It appears as if a baby is watching something that no one else can see.
This is a completely natural phenomenon and it happens to all of us during the dreaming, REM phase of sleep cycle. It is also interesting to note that babies dream before they are born.
Ultrasonography proves that a fetus develops REM phase of sleep as early as in the first month of pregnancy. Certain studies claim that during this period, between twenty-fourth and thirty week of pregnancy, a fetus dreams almost every single minute!
Newborn babies dream a lot during their first two weeks of age, more than any time later in life. After this stage of life, the full amount of dreams gradually reduces.
When a child is one year of age, the amount of time spent in dreaming reduces to be the half of original time. Until the third birthday, a child dreams the same as an adult person. The world of dreams is definitely a mystery.
What do babies dream and what is actually happening during the sleep time is what we will try to explain in following paragraphs.
What do babies dream about?
No one can tell what do babies dream about with certainty. Even adults have difficulty remembering their own dreams. How could we possibly tell what did someone else have dreamed about?
Imagine what a challenge is for a newborn human being, who still does not posses a developed image of the world around, to remember their dreams?
However, there some opinions on the subject and ideas of what could babies’ dreams possibly consist of.
According to various psychological researches, exams, experiments and studies, a great deal of our dreams could be based upon our waking life experience. These evidence claim dreams serve as a channel to resolve certain conflicts we have; emotional and thinking conflicts, that does not necessarily have to be negative, but they trouble our mind, simply by being unresolved.
Therefore, it is most probable that babies actually dream about their waking life experience. Having in mind everything in the world is fascinating to a little baby, it is logical to assume that these things would reflect in a baby’s dream.
Babies probably dream about something they have seen or experienced just before sleep time or several hours before that.
A newborn baby is exposed to new sounds, images and sights over the whole day. All of these stimulate all of babies’ senses. You probably take such things for granted, because you already have them in your experience, so you do not give a thing about those. However, for babies, these things are like little miracles!
Babies’ dreams are probably related to some of the most common daily activities for us.
Eating, playing, changing clothes, bathing, going out for a fresh air, those are all experiences that are exciting to a new human being, while we see them common. According to psychologists, dreaming stage is a phase in which a child is learning; dreams serve as a ‘sponge’ for lessons from their waking life.
It appears to us that babies are just resting, but evidences prove that their brains are very active during sleep. For one part of the sleeping routine, a baby is really resting. However, as we have seen, a great deal of time is spent in dreaming.
You could notice how a baby’s eyelids are moving; at the same time, a baby could produce some sounds and its legs and arms could be moving, as well. Nothing to worry about, it just shows that your little one has another amazing experience-the experience of dreaming.
The conclusion on the subject is this: babies definitely do dream, we cannot tell what exactly they dream about with certainty, but, most probably, their dreams reflect their experiences from waking life.
During babies’ sleep, many things could happen. One of the phenomena we should mention is crying in sleep. What does it mean and how it is related to babies’ dreams?
What if a baby cries in sleep?
Scientists suggest that babies cannot actually have nightmares as adults could, because they still have not learned what an actual fear is. However, some experts do not agree. There is an alternative opinion that all human beings are susceptible to nightmares, despite of their age and experience.
Everyone who has heard a baby crying in sleep would suspect the child is having a bad dream. Many parents are particularly worried about it.
How could they be not, when their beloved little one is crying and cannot calm down during the time it is supposed to have a rest?
This is a typical situation that happens to many families and new parents; a baby that is only a couple of months old, healthy, active, of a good appetite and everything else, suddenly starts to cry in sleep and it does not seem to cease.
Minutes pass by, parents are trying somehow to calm down their little one, but it does not stop crying.
Nothing seems to help, neither singing lullabies, cuddling, shaking, nothing…Parents usually get desperate and take the baby to the nearest ambulance or type the emergency dial in panic.
Is it supposed to happen and does it have to be that way. Is it dangerous?
Not exactly. Let us explain what most probably actually happens. Why does a baby cry in sleep, with no apparent reason, such as an illness or so? Does a baby have a bad dream?
Inconsolable crying that lasts for long surely is an alarm for parents.
They are naturally worried if something is not right with their baby. There are several reasons why would a baby cry during sleep or wake up crying in night.
None of these is actually related to dreams, many scientists claim. Night crying and crying in sleep in little, newborn babies occurs for several reasons. A baby cries when he or she is hungry, but this is usually a cry that lasts only until the baby is fed. Mothers can usually easily recognize this type of cry.
The other and a very possible reason, the one that make us think a baby is having a nightmare are cramps.
Babies often experience gas problems and colic, due to not fully developed digestive system and other factors. Colic usually goes away on its own and it is still a kind of mysterious phenomenon. It occurs in newborn healthy babies and terrifies parents, because a baby may cry on and on and nothing seems to improve situation.
It could also happen in night, so new parents could thing their baby had a bad dream. Nevertheless, it has nothing to do with it.
Other reasons vary. They are usually nothing serious, but it is always good to check it out.
One of the most common reasons is a stuffed nose or a minor mouth or nose infection. It could also happen that a baby has a rash, which could sometimes be quite annoying, even painful. There are various other reasons for baby to experience pain during night, so it awakes in tears.
The thing is, it is usually something physical, rather than emotional, such as dreams would be. The thing is, our natural response to pain also vary during the day. What annoys us during daytime always gets worsen in nighttime.
That is because our tolerance of pain decreases as the day goes on. If a baby experiences something like that, the only thing he or she could do is to cry!
However, most probably, the baby has not terrifying dreams.