What Do Babies Dream About When They Sleep?

What Do Babies Dream About When They Sleep?

Watching your baby sleep has become a new hobby. Their long eyelashes (jealous!), those cherubic cheeks, and perfectly shaped lips can just make your heart burst with love.

Every once in a while, you may catch a grin while your baby is in la-la land. You can also see their eyes moving behind their eyelids, and little grunts and noises fill their sleepy silence.

With all the sleeping they do a day, you must wonder if your baby is dreaming. If so, what are they dreaming about? Are they dreaming of taking a ride on the family dog? Or maybe they are dreaming of a giant bubble bath where their bath toys come to life?

What Is a Baby Sleep Cycle

REM, or rapid eye movement, is a stage in our sleep cycle when most of our dreaming occurs. You may not experience a dream during every REM cycle, but this will be the stage you’ll likely experience it in if you do dream.

REM sleep is where your brain has the most activity, and it can be observed by the eye movements that we make during this stage. For babies, REM sleep is believed to aid the brain in building pathways they will later need, especially when learning a language.

For adults, REM sleep accounts for about 20% of our sleep time during the night. However, for babies, their REM sleep accounts for around 50% of the time they are asleep. Since infants need a vast amount of sleep during the day, REM sleep can take up a large portion of your baby’s day, up to seven to eight hours. That is a lot of ZZZ’s!

Does My Baby Dream?

The answer to this question can be a little difficult to pin down since our babies are unable to communicate with us other than crying right now. However, the answer can lay within the fact that babies do experience a much more REM sleep while they are still newborns than at any other time during their lives.

Since REM sleep is when dreaming occurs, we can speculate that our babies dream of bottles and their parents' faces during this time. Our babies have probably not been exposed to a great deal during the early months of sleeping most of the time, so they do not have a great deal of material to work off of if they visit dreamland while asleep. It would be safe to think that they would dream of people and things that they interact with on a daily basis.

However, scientists are a little more skeptical about infants being able to dream of a never-ending bottle or dancing pacifiers. They have deduced that if babies do dream, it would likely mimic how they feel when they are awake, like the warmth of a cuddle or the filling feeling of being fed. They may even dream of the warm glow and muffled voices they experienced in the womb.

Since our baby’s brains are still developing, their little noggins aren’t quite there when it comes to their imagination being able to visualize pictures in their mind’s eye. Dreaming is quite the skill your brain develops over time, and your little one’s mind may not be developed enough when it comes to being able to create a new dream world while they are snoozing away. This doesn’t completely knock out if our babies can dream or not, but it may be a different type of dreaming than we experience.

Sleep experts agree that dreaming in the form we know it begins around three to four years of age. If you have older children, you may have experienced this if your toddler has woken you up in the middle of the night due to a scary dream.

Although the jury is still out on whether babies dream, we know that it is essential to instill quality sleep habits so our little ones can get the rest their little body needs.

Understanding Your Baby's Sleep Needs

Understanding your baby’s sleep needs is essential for ensuring they get the quality sleep that their constantly growing body requires. Your baby grows at a fantastic rate during their first year of life, and sleep is one of the most important things to make sure their little body can recharge and keep growing every day.

While your baby is a newborn, they will require around fourteen to seventeen hours of sleep.

Your baby will sleep for about three to four hours until they wake to eat. Your little buddy has a little tummy, and they will need to refill it throughout the day and night. Speaking of day and night, your little one will not know the difference when they are born. They won’t realize that you need rest too, and most of that rest occurs during the nighttime hours.

You can gently guide your little one into the transition to sleeping more during the night by keeping things low-key and sleep-friendly during the night. Keep the lights dim during feedings or diaper changes, and speak in a low, soothing voice. It may be challenging, but don’t interact with your baby past what you would normally say during their feeding times. If you get them riled up, it may be harder for them to go back to sleep. It may take some time, but eventually, your sleepy head will sleep more during the night than during the day.

Building a Bedtime Routine

No matter if our babies can be the architect of their own dream world or if they aren’t quite developmentally ready for the task yet, they still need a consistent bedtime routine. Setting your baby up with healthy sleep habits is essential to ensure that they have the rest they need for their little bodies and minds to continue growing.

A consistent bedtime routine is how we get there. Every night before bed, start winding down the same set of activities. Simple is best, and your little one can learn an easy routine in no time. Top off their tummy, take a warm bath, get cozy in comfy jammies, cuddle and read a book or sing a song, get tucked in, and turn the lights off. These steps will have your sleepy head unwinding and feeling snoozy in no time.

The predictability of a consistent routine is comforting to your child, and they will have a sense of security knowing that they get to spend this quality time with you every day. A consistent bedtime routine is also beneficial to your child’s sleep health. With quality sleep, your baby is more likely to be in a better mood and have better behavior. A sleeping baby with a promise of good behavior later? We call it a win-win.

Rest Easy, Little Yawn Has You Covered

Add Little Yawn Collective to your child’s bedtime routine. Our sleep solutions help make bedtime a breeze and help give you peace of mind as our products are melatonin free and naturally sourced. Pediatrician and dermatologist approval is an added plus!

Use our Soothing Shampoo and Body Wash with Calendula as the perfect complement to your baby’s bathtime. Calendula extract and chamomile are gentle on your little one’s skin and help create a cozy environment as your little one starts to wind down.

After drying off, moisturize your baby’s skin from tip to toe with our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter. This dreamy lotion is gentle on your little one’s skin and features scents like lavender and cedarwood to help take that sleepy feeling from the bathtub to the bed.

Spritz our Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray, and then snuggle your baby to sleepy town. As the cherry on top of a sundae, this sleepy spray will help create a restful environment that will help your baby soundly snooze.

Conclusion

Although we may not know for certain if our babies do dream, what we definitely can say as a fact is that they look so sweet when they’re sleeping soundly.

With your guidance and a little help from Little Yawn Collective, you’ll be certain that your little one will be ready for dreamland no matter if they visit it tonight or a few years down the road. You can rest easy using us to help make bedtime a breeze until then.

Sources:

Sleep and Your Newborn (for Parents) | Nemours KidsHealth

Infant Sleep Cycles: How Are They Different From Adults? | Sleep Foundation

What Do Babies Dream About? | Live Science

Perfecting Your Child's Bedtime Routine | Sleep Foundation

Infant Sleep | Stanford Children

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