What Do Babies Dream About and How to Make Them Sleep Better

What Do Babies Dream About and How to Make Them Sleep Better

what do babies dream about

Have you ever wondered what do babies dream about? If so, you're not alone, especially since there's nothing more peaceful than a sleeping baby.

It's easy to wonder if they go through the same sleep cycles of adults or drift off with no thoughts.

Little do most know that the sleep cycle of babies is quite similar to that of an adult.

Using resources such as Baby Sleep Miracle, you can learn more about infant sleep patterns and how to establish your own.

The better your baby can sleep, the healthier their development will become.

How to Track Babies' Dreams

It would be easier if parents could simply ask their babies what they were dreaming about.

However, the only way to track your baby's dreams is to analyze their brain waves while asleep.

Babies enter REM sleep between 25 and 28 weeks while in utero. Like adults, rapid eye movement sleep is the most likely time when they can dream.

There has been plenty of speculation about what babies dream about, if anything.

Considering brainwaves can only provide researchers with the level of sleep babies obtain, it doesn't give a perfect answer.

Researchers and doctors can determine when a baby is asleep and what stage, but not what the baby dreams about.

Unfortunately, this technology has yet to be developed and appears to be something more out of a science fiction movie.

What Do Babies Dream About?

There are two camps when it comes to deciding whether babies can dream or not.

Since we can't ask them ourselves, it's impossible to know what goes through their mind when they enter REM sleep.

One side of the spectrum believes that babies can dream, while the other says they lack the self-awareness to be able to.

The most fundamental notion is that babies can dream about emotions and feelings rather than physical objects.

For example, a baby wouldn't dream about an elephant since they have a preverbal form of consciousness.

Antonio Zadra, a researcher at the Center for Advanced Research in Sleep Medicine, believes babies can dream of feelings.

He states that similar to how adults go through the way they felt the day before sleeping, babies do the same thing.

The only difference is that their cognitive abilities aren't as developed as an adult.

So, babies could be quite likely to dream about the warmth of being close to a parent or the feelings they have while feeding.

Do Babies Have Nightmares?

Another common question from parents is whether babies have nightmares, which is also incredibly unlikely.

If they cannot dream of actual objects, they can't experience fear from dreams.

It's more likely that if they cry while sleeping, it'd be from recalling something like loud noise.

Many parents believe their babies do have nightmares, as they might wake themselves up by twitching or flailing their extremities.

Typically, these movements are followed by crying and will be noticed between four and six months.

This event is known as the Moro Reflex or the startle reflex.

Instead of being a reaction to scary stimuli, babies of a young age have yet to control their arms and legs.

When they flail or twitch in their sleep, it appears to be an involuntary reflex, causing them to wake up at night.

It's difficult to determine whether babies can have nightmares or not, as they cannot speak for themselves.

What Are the Dangers of Unhealthy Infant Sleep Patterns?

Similar to adults, infants must get enough sleep nightly for their sanity and yours.

Without an appropriate sleeping schedule, you have to deal with emotional outbursts throughout the day.

Also, if the poor patterns persist, it could negatively impact your children in several ways.

Here are some of the most important reasons why your babies need to get enough sleep:

1. Excessive Exhaustion

All babies have different sleeping patterns, so you will need to consider which is best for them.

One of the most significant disadvantages to babies not sleeping enough is excessive exhaustion, which can lead to several ailments.

Being overly tired affects their emotions, but it could also result in a loss of appetite, blurred vision, and more.

These issues will be far more prevalent in young children, such as toddlers.

A few of the easiest ways to see excessive exhaustion in kids is to look for the following:

  • All-day drowsiness
  • Frequent yawning
  • Lack of motivation
  • Decreased creativity
  • Difficult with learning
  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty waking up
what do babies dream about

2. Poor Physical and Cognitive Development

Healthy infant development is essential because it enables infants to establish higher cognitive development.

Dreaming has been shown to correlate directly with an abundance of cognitive elements.

For example, infants and young children who dream have a more positive experience with language, memory, and executive functions.

Experts suggest that having a healthy sleeping schedule can help infants' cognitive and physical growth.

Without a healthy sleeping pattern, infants are less likely to experience robust growth.

Instead, they are likely to struggle with other physical elements, such as obesity.

You should ensure your infant gets enough sleep for your mental health, but theirs as well.

Otherwise, you could face further cognitive difficulties down the road.

How Much Should a Baby Sleep?

As mentioned, every baby is different, and you will likely have a separate schedule from other parents.

There are a few guidelines that you can consider to help make sure your baby or toddler is getting enough rest.


Total Hours of SleepTotal Nighttime Sleep Hours

Total Daytime Sleep Hours


16 hours8 to 9 hours

8 hours

1 month

15.5 hours8 to 9 hours

7 hours

3 mos

15 hours9 to 10 hours

4 to 5 hours

6 mos

14 hours10 hours

4 hours

9 mos

14 hours11 hours

3 hours

12 mos14 hours11 hours

3 hours

How to Establish Healthy Sleep Patterns

One of the most challenging parts of parenthood is to make sure your baby gets enough sleep for the day ahead.

Here is a list of our favorite tips to help make it easier for both you and your newborn:

1. Baby Sleep Miracle

As a solution that works for nearly every child who has tried it, Baby Sleep Miracle is a phenomenal tool.

Parents will have access to practical and hard-to-find information in a comprehensive guide to regulate sleep patterns holistically.

All of the program's information is based on research from Harvard Medical School and the Stanford Center For Sleep Science and Medicine.

Baby Sleep Miracle was developed by a mother with over 20 years of clinical psychology experience, providing you with professional advice.

Once you get access to the guide, you'll learn plenty of great tips and tricks and get professional guidance.

Some of the information includes:

  1. A seven-step system for putting any baby to sleep
  2. Knowing how to release anxiety in five minutes
  3. Learning how to get your child tired properly
  4. Special tricks for boosting the productivity of your child's sleep
  5. All-natural ways to promote healthier development

Instead of relying on drugs and unhealthy ways to get your newborn to sleep for recommended periods, this guide is incredibly useful.

Also, it's highly adaptable to new parents and experienced parents alike.

2. Creating Bedtime Routines

Another highly popular way for parents to get their newborns ready for bed is to make sure they have a solid bedtime routine.

This behavior can also be brought into your toddler's life to help them soothe themselves before bedtime.

Whether it be with books, reciting a rhyme, baths, or all of the above, establishing a routine is essential.

3. Providing Reassurance

Throughout the night, you're likely to experience your baby waking up and crying.

Often, it's because they need reassurance rather than you taking them out of their crib to rock them to sleep.

By gently patting and soothing them while still in their crib, you'll be promoting healthier, independent sleep cycles.

It's also a great idea to take advice from Baby Sleep Miracle to help you with midnight awakenings.

Baby's Sleeping Patterns and Dreams

We may never have an answer to what do babies dream about, especially with our current technology.

It's easy to assume they likely don't dream like adults since babies lack the self-awareness needed to dream.

However, they could recall emotions from the previous day and dream about how they felt.

Regardless, establishing a healthy sleeping pattern with Baby Sleep Miracle is essential for cognitive development.


Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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