Exploring When Babies Start to Dream
Dreaming is often associated with deep sleep and there’s a lot of speculation about when babies start to dream. Recent research has shed new light on the subject and we’re finding out more about what baby dreams look like and how their dreamtime can influence them during their waking moments.
When Do Babies Start to Dream?
Though we can’t be certain when babies start to dream, experts generally agree that it can happen as young as eight weeks for newborns. It’s thought that dreaming begins when a baby reaches very deep levels of sleep and enters the REM (rapid eye movement) stage.
It takes some time for babies to be able to distinguish between the dreamworld in their minds and their own reality. As they start to recognize faces, familiar sounds, and become used to the world around them this distinction becomes clearer.
How Can We Tell if Babies Are Dreaming?
We can tell if babies are dreaming by observing their sleep patterns. When babies reach REM sleep this is often with an active mind, from which we can tell they may be dreaming. Movements like twitching and sudden jerking may also point to a baby dreaming.
Parent’s also often notice that their baby might smile in their sleep. This is thought to come from the images babies may be seeing in their dreams and the happy emotions they’re feeling.
What Can Babies Dream About?
Since babies are so new to the world they may dream about sensory experiences. Visualizing colors, shapes, sensations, and faces.
Can Babies Learn from Dreams?
It’s thought that babies may retain some of the information they experience in their dreams, which can help with development. It’s thought that dreams can help babies learn to regulate the emotions they feel in everyday life.
Studies suggest that babies who have pleasant dreams during their REM sleep have shown a change in behavior and a “better disposition” when awake.
It’s fascinating to see how babies start to dream at such an early age and how this dreamtime can influence them as they grow up. While we may never know what babies dream about, it’s clear that dreams can play an important role in their development in life.
Examples of How Dreams May Help Babies Growing Up:
- Forming a sense of self
- Developing emotional intelligence
- Recognizing shapes and colors
- Experiencing empathy
- Exploring new concepts