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Understanding your baby’s dreams


Your baby dreams…. a lot.

During the first 3 months of your baby’s life, you may not spend as much time dreaming as you used to. Partially this is because you’re awake more often, mostly it’s because we have fewer dreams as we get older. Experts say premature babies spend up to 80% of their sleep in the dreamy REM phase. This equates to 9 hours per day, much more than an adult, who can expect only 2 hours dreaming per night.

Do babies dream like adults? 

Firstly, the REM sleep phase means different things to different age groups. For adults, we digest our experiences, and, by linking events and thoughts, dreams are produced. For a baby, the REM phase is a building process. REM sleep for a baby is when they create neurological links. Basically, they are making pathways in their brain. These links help your baby make connections with the world around them. One critical area that REM develops is language.

What do babies dream about?

While some experts say logic dictates babies dream about their experiences, most agree their interpretation skills limit their dreams. Babies’ dreams develop their interpretation skills, specifically language skills. Seemingly, the focus on developing language overtakes any outside factors. 

It’s a strange thought that babies would dream about noises but it’s understandable too. Doctors note how children up to 5 years old have static dreams and they bear little emotional significance. In fact, paediatric psychologist David Foulkes believes children do not have vivid dreams until they reach 6 or 7 years old. 

Grunts and murmurs

While holding a sleeping baby, you will quite often hear them grunt or make sounds. As light-hearted as those moments are, they are key moments in your baby’s communicative development. You may be tempted to react every time you hear these noises, however, they are perfectly natural. Once a REM cycle comes to an end, babies are inclined to make noises as they briefly wake and fall asleep again.

Best sleeping practice

It is also worth noting that a baby’s natural sleeping environment is not one of utter silence. From month 7 of pregnancy, babies can hear what occurs outside of the womb. They are accustomed to heart vibrations and even gentle noise when they sleep. 

Noise Control: A tiptoeing policy, while tempting, may prove a little bit extreme and unnatural. Soft humming or consistent sounds hold the key for some babies to get the full benefits of their sleep. 

Movement: The womb is not a static environment, it moves, it shakes and heart vibrations are echoed in it. A new born baby can struggle to adjust to a still background. 

Shape: Imagine the shock for some new borns when they first lie on their backs to sleep. The transition from the upright stance in the womb to continually sleeping on its back can disorientate and even agitate some new borns.  

For unsettled babies who never seem to get enough rest, the Babocush is ideal. This uniquely designed comfort cushion holds babies in the ‘over the shoulder’ position which they love, and helps to relax and settle them before you put them to bed in their cot, where they will hopefully enjoy lots of sweet dreams!

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