Do Babies Dream? Signs, Effects & Interesting Facts You May Not Know

Joan Agie
Oct 24, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Nov 10, 2021
Beautiful baby sleeps on the bed in white sheets.

Have you ever seen your little one making faces while sleeping, is it that they are dreaming?

Do babies really dream? And even if they dream, then what do they really dream about!

Well, there is only a little information available on baby or kid dreams. Dreams happen in the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of our sleep and babies and kids spend around 50% of their total sleep time in the REM phase.

So obviously they dream, but the question is what do they dream about! Maybe they dream about what they see in this world while awake or maybe some meaningless things like flying milk bottles or swimming horses or maybe a table that sings!

Like there are so many possibilities! In this article let's discuss this matter in detail.

And if you like reading such facts, then you will also like our facts on how to use hair oil, and how to use an abacus.

Do babies have dreams?

There is actually very little information available about a toddler's dream or a toddler having a dream. It is not really known how a baby's brain works exactly. But still, it is certain that babies also dream when they sleep.

The grasping power of a baby's brain is very high. Babies tend to learn things very fast so it becomes obvious that they imagine things very often.

These imaginations may result in dreams when they are sleeping. And to add more, newborn babies spend most of their time sleeping which might result in the development of more dreams.

A newborn baby's brain is almost empty of thoughts and they tend to create pathways to add more things to their memory. Researchers say that babies pay attention to what their parents are speaking or even better how they are speaking. Newborns subconsciously capture images in their head also which later results in dreams when they are asleep.

Babies do have a bigger sleep cycle than adults but their sleep pattern is similar. So when babies are in the REM sleep stage, they also dream.

What do babies dream about?

Babies and adults have similar sleep patterns according to researchers. Babies also dream when they are asleep just like adults, but telling what they dream about is a tough thing.

Dreams can be both meaningful and bizarre in adults but when it's a baby, we can assume that the dream is bizarre only. Like we can wonder what babies dream about!

Babies or infants spend most of their time sleeping and during that time, the development of dreams takes place. Adults spend around seven to nine hours sleeping while infants spend 9-10 hours. Newborns spend even more time sleeping.

According to research, infants mostly have meaningless dreams as their brain is devoid of meaningful thoughts. Who knows what they dream about! Maybe they dream about some images, words, or maybe some abstract things.

Just like adults, a baby's brain also goes through the REM sleep stage. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is the stage of sleep when dreams happen. According to research, newborn babies spend 50% of their sleep time in the REM stage.

What kinds of dreams do babies have?

Well, babies also have dreams just like us. Just that a few weeks old baby will develop more meaningless dreams as their brains are almost empty of thoughts.

Baby brains also develop good dreams and nightmares related to something that they have seen or heard while they were awake. Maybe they dream about some fictional characters or maybe some sceneries!

We can say that an adult's dream and grown-up children's dreams are similar to an extent but no one knows what a baby dreams about. A lot of neuroscientists and experts believe that babies also dream even early to their birth when they are in their mother's womb.

Maybe they dream about the feelings they experience or sense inside their mother. Dreams happen in the rem stage of our sleep cycle.

There are two phases of our sleep cycle namely the REM sleep and the non-REM sleep phase. In the non-REM phase, both the body and mind stay in complete rest and in this stage.

The process of repair and growth happens in this stage. While in the rem stage, the body stays at rest but the mind becomes active and causes dreams related to our life and experience in the world and sometimes totally bizarre.

The sign of rem sleep is the rapid movement of the eye. Newborn babies of some weeks sleep around 15 hours a day and spend 50% of the sleep in rem stage around seven to eight hours.

So it is obvious that they do dream. Maybe they search for something in their dream or connect to characters.

What do babies dream about when they cry?

You may see your baby smiling or sometimes crying in their sleep. Well, is this a medical issue? Nope! It's just the baby is dreaming. Maybe a good dream or a nightmare. What babies dream about is something that is not describable as we know very little about it. But we can assume that their dreams are mostly meaningless.

Seeing babies and even kids smiling or giving expressions of them being scared is a sign that they are having dreams, which can be good or bad! When you see your kids crying in sleep, it's just that they are having nightmares.

If they seem very much scared and suffering then just wake them up and give them some water. There is no medical emergency.

Researchers believe that humans process things that they see or hear in their real-life into dreams when they are asleep. Kids lack that level of self-awareness and that results in bizarre or meaningless dreaming. But never awaken a person from sleep with a sudden push.

This gives a jolt to the brain which is very bad for humans. Rather try calling them softly when slow and mild tilts.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for do babies dream, then why not take a look at how to make a waterfall, or how to tell if silver is real.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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