Babies Start Dreaming. Dreaming is a fascinating experience. Not only is it a form of sleep, but it’s also the time when we make all of our biggest decisions. It’s the stage in life where babies take their first steps and gain language skills.
At around 2 months old, most babies start dreaming for the first time. In this blog, we’ll learn about dreams and dream development in newborns. We’ll also touch upon what newborns dream about and how long they sleep for at that age.
Do Babies Have Dreams?
According to a paper by the National Sleep Foundation, newborns spend half of their sleep in rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep), which is different from dreaming. In dreams, a person’s brain is active and can process memories and emotions. This is not possible during REM sleep, which only allows for rapid eye movement.
During this sleep stage, the brain goes through rapid eye movements that can trigger dreaming. During this stage, babies experience vivid dreams about the environment around them. However, older children may not have nightmares as vivid dreams usually occur around ages seven and eight. People who have had anxiety-inducing experiences may be more likely to have negative dreams because of their ability to process abstract thoughts and distinguish ‘self’ from ‘not-self’.
Research has found that babies who are exposed to anxiety-inducing experiences such as crying or loud noises may have negative dream experiences as well. This indicates that dreaming requires self-awareness and the ability to process abstract thoughts for children to become conscious of their surroundings.
When Do Babies Start Dreaming?
Most children start actively dreaming around the age of 3, with the typical peak of dreaming occurring between the ages of 7 and 9. Vivid dreaming may start to happen around this time as well, though it’s not clear exactly when it begins.
Some researchers have suggested that babies may begin to dream during the last trimester of pregnancy, but it’s more likely to occur shortly after birth. Studies have found that babies sleep for about 15 hours per night on average, and they may spend some time dreaming in the womb. For example, fetuses have been shown to experience REM sleep as early as 23 weeks into gestation, suggesting that they may start dreaming at this stage. However, little is known about babies’ dreams during the first year of life.
A study published in Pediatrics in 2012 looked at 99 newborns’ sleep habits and found that those who had longer sleep durations started dreaming around the age of 6 months, while those who had shorter sleep durations did not start dreaming until they were older, between 18 months and 2 years of age.
This suggests that babies’ sleep habits are linked to their development of vivid dreaming skills.
Do babies dream when they sleep?
It is not known for sure if babies dream, but neuroscientists believe that the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep experienced by babies when they sleep serves a different purpose than dreaming. In particular, neuroscientists believe that the REM sleep experienced by newborns helps develop their brain and body, especially their motor skills. This is because newborns spend half of their sleep in REM sleep, which is the stage in the sleep cycle during which humans are most likely to dream.
The length of time newborns spend in each stage of sleep is also of interest to neuroscientists. The length of time newborns spend in non-REM and REM sleep has been linked to their development and health. Compared to older children and adults, newborns spend more time in non-REM sleep than in REM sleep. Ultimately, neuroscientists believe that newborns experience the same stages of sleep as older children and adults, with occasional awakenings from one stage to another.
Vivid dreams are said to happen more around ages seven and eight, implying that newborns may not experience nightmares as much as older children or adults. However, this does not mean that newborns don’t dream at all; it just means that they don’t experience nightmares nearly as often as older children or adults do. Besides, it’s important to note that not everyone experiences vivid dreams or nightmares during childhood or adulthood, so it’s difficult to generalize about the experience of young children dreaming in general.
When Do Babies Start to Dream?
Babies start dreaming as early as two weeks of age, and nightmares typically occur around age two. By age three, infants and toddlers have dreams, though they may experience them differently than adults. These dreams often involve the baby acting out roles or scenarios that they are familiar with from their own lives or the lives of others.
By the age of four, children begin to dream in realistic ways and often have more complex and interesting dreams. By the age of five or six, children may experience vivid sleep-related dreams and nightmares. As children grow up and begin to comprehend their own thoughts and experiences, they begin dreaming about these topics more vividly.
What Do Babies Dream About?
Dreaming likely occurs in babies, but the specifics of their dreams are unknown. It is believed that dreaming begins around 6 months of age, and babies’ sleep cycles may reflect their own development, with sleep periods becoming longer and more frequent over time. At this stage, babies may smile or move in their sleep, without necessarily dreaming.
However, by the time babies are between 12 and 24 months old, dreaming may begin to occur more regularly. Researchers believe that dreaming may help baby to learn how to deal with fear and anxiety. By exploring their thoughts and feelings in sleep, babies can gain a better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.
Sleep Very Deeply
Babies may sleep a lot and sleep very deeply. However, they do show signs of sleeping restlessly, such as moving their arms or legs, sucking on a finger, or making irregular breathing or movement. They also make sounds that show they are sleeping. It’s possible that their sleep patterns change as their brains develop and adapts to the changes in their environment. To learn more about baby sleep, go through the blog ‘Baby Sleep: A Guide for New Parents’ here