What And When Do Babies Start Dreaming?

4 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

What And When do Babies Start Dreaming

It’s a joy seeing your little one sleep. Noticing their every expression gives us joy and a sense of satisfaction. While your baby is sleeping, you must have noticed them changing expressions. This would have automatically given rise to the question if your little one is dreaming, and if so, what are they dreaming about? When do babies start dreaming and what do they dream about?

Dreams are a common and vital part of human lives; hence, babies can get them, too. And that’s pretty natural. Many adults solve this search by communicating what transpired during their dream. However, on the other hand, babies can’t express what and how they feel in detail apart from crying. In this article, we will provide a detailed interpretation of babies’ dreams and what they dream.

In This Article

Do Babies Have Dreams?

Yes, babies do have dreams. Human beings rapidly experience REM sleep, which is rapid eye movement. In babies and infants, the ratio of REM is too frequent. Since babies spend half of their sleep in the REM sleep cycle, which is a responsible factor for dreams, we can assume that babies have tons of dreams.

However, neuroscientists believe that rapid eye movement serves a wholly different purpose for infants. It helps in other bodily activities than dreaming only. While babies experience REM, it helps them with their brain development pathways, making connections, and eventually, learning languages.

What Age Do Babies Start Dreaming From?

What Age do Babies Start Dreaming From_

Asking babies about their dreams, whether they dream or what they dream of, is impossible! So, researchers have come up with creative trails to determine when babies might start dreaming in the womb. Researchers and scientists have used various methods to conclude a result.

Adults have REM sleep almost 20 per cent, and babies have it nearly 50 percent. Researchers say – babies perhaps start having REM and dream in the womb from around 23 weeks. Since grownups don’t always dream during REM, it’s not confirmed whether babies do either.

However, toddlers start dreaming at the age of two, which are usually much like snapshots, more like slideshows. Their dreams generally feature animals or familiar sights, images like people eating, etc. On the other hand, 5 to 9 years kids can see moving objects, pictures, and characters in their dreams with action. And, with time, they develop the ability to remember their dreams.

What Do Babies Dream About?

You might notice your newborn having a large smiling face or getting scared during their sleep. Perhaps they are conjuring up giant-tongued dogs licking their toes, big smiling faces, mama playing with them, or adoring them. The frequency of babies’ dreams is quite often more when compared to an adult human due to loads of REM.

However, many of you may worry about whether your baby will have a nightmare. A newborn or an infant is at the stage of brain development – it doesn’t allow them to experience any nightmares. Moreover, nightmares stem from overthinking, overactive imagination, exposure to trauma, and everyday life stress. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that infants and newborns don’t have nightmares.

What Are the Signs Your Baby is Dreaming?

Signs Your Baby is Dreaming

There is nothing more peaceful than watching an innocent baby sleeping. The following are some possible signs to recognize if the baby is dreaming.

1. Eye Movement

If your baby rapidly moves the eyes beneath the eyelids, they are possibly dreaming. Since the frames of dreams change frequently, human eyes flicker swiftly forth and back. It indicates the person is dreaming.

2. Smiling

During sleep, babies often smile spontaneously, even in the first month after birth. It shows that they probably enjoy or have fun with that dream during REM sleep.

[Read : When Will My Baby Give Her First Smile?]

3. Twitching

Does your baby often twitch while sleeping? Contrary to popular belief, twitching doesn’t indicate a bad dream or a seizure. Scientists believe that these small movements indicate which physical skill your newborn is presently working on. Sleep is a time when your little one is forming thousands of brain connections as a part of brain development. Twitching often happens due to these internal changes.

What Do Babies Dream About When They Are Sleeping?

It is difficult to understand what newborn babies dream of since we can’t ask them, or they can’t express what they feel. According to researchers, dreams help infants and newborns make sense of their experiences. Since infants can smell and hear from the womb, they continue in their amniotic world and try to explore most of it. So, even after they are born, they still carry out the same process around what is new and overwhelming.

However, you can still figure out what your baby is dreaming of, whether something good or scary, once they wake up smiling or crying.

Now you no longer have to wonder about your baby’s dreams and when will babies start dreaming. Babies do have dreams. Until the age of two, they don’t experience any vivid dreams. When their brains develop properly and can catch their history, they start having dreams and nightmares only at that stage. So, if your baby seems stressed or frightful, probably other factors are bothering them.

[Read : Top Reasons Why The Baby Is Crying]


1. Do Babies Have Nightmares?

Newborns and infants don’t have nightmares since their brains are in a developing stage. Older babies or toddlers start seeing images as their brains keep developing, which can cause nightmares often.

2. Why Do Babies Suddenly Cry in Their Sleep?

During the sleep phase, babies can experience night terrors, which cause sudden screams and cries.

3. Why Do Babies Smile in Their Sleep?

Babies smiling in their sleep is solely a natural state. It can mean a simple reflex reaction. Or, perhaps, this can merely mean they are enjoying a happy moment in their sleep.

Read Also: Natural Sleep Remedies for Babies

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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