What do babies dream?


Babies sleep a lot. A newborn baby, according to babycentre.com, sleeps for an average of 16 hours out of 24. This only drops to 15 hours at three months. Of course, your baby will wake up for feeds, but, even so, up to 50 per cent of this sleep is in what is known as dream (or REM) sleep. But what could they possibly be dreaming about?

Dozing off

LiveScience notes that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the sleep phase in which adults dream, and that during this phase of sleep newborns have twitching bodies, jerking eyeballs and a characteristic saw-toothed pattern of brain activity when measured on a brain scan. Despite this, LiveScience postulates that babies are using REM sleep differently to adults and older children.

They suggest that because dreaming is a cognitive process which only occurs later on in childhood, REM sleep in babies allows their brains to become more integrated, form pathways and, later on, develop language. They cite research done by Foulkes which reminds us that even at the age of four or five a child’s dreams are largely static and lacking in narrative, and also that babies have a limited environment, but, even so, they don’t remember their baby toys, for example.

The answer:

So the answer, then, would be that babies don’t dream of much at all- their brains are using the down time to develop as thinking machines.

That’s the science behind baby dreaming. We all have our own suspicions, though, that they may be dreaming of fluffy toys, blankies and boobies, right?

Well, here's a compilation of cute babies laughing while sleeping:

via Funnyplox/YouTube

If your slightly older child suffers from nightmares, bad dreams or night terrors, how can you cope with those?

Here are some tips for helping your older child through a rough patch if they are getting scared at night or experiencing night terrors:

Why toddlers have nightmares

Mommy don’t leave!

‘Worry Eater’ toy wins top award

Night terrors

How much sleep does your child need?

Parents take note

Does your baby do anything strange while sleeping?

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