What does your baby dream about?

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We know that babies sleep even in the womb. But while they’re in there, do they dream? And if they do…what do they dream of? The science is out on this one, but we’ve got a few ideas.

When do we dream?

Dreaming happens when we are in what’s referred to as “REM sleep,” or rapid eye movement. It’s a period of sleep when our eyes move about behind our eyelids, as if seeing something that isn’t there (dreams!).

An adult is in REM sleep for about 20% of their sleep cycle, but a baby spends about 50% of their slumber in REM. That’s more than twice as much REM, which might mean twice as much dreaming.

What do dreams contain?

You probably think of your dreams as almost like movies with characters, dialogue, and storylines. Usually you’re the main character, or an observer watching events unfold all around you.

For babies, it must be different. After all, how can there be dialogue when they can’t talk? How can there be storylines when they don’t know what stories are? If only babies could talk and say what they see when they dream.

One study showed that children four and five described dreams as still images, with no characters and few emotions. As they got older, around seven and eight, their dreams began to be stories. This is right at the age that they begin to understand their sense of self, which seems to also be the earliest they can imagine themselves as a character in the drama of their dreams.

It’s all about memory

Some science suggests that dreams are a part of how our brains create memories. Because babies get so much REM sleep, it might be that their brains are creating lots and lots of new neural pathways. They’re rapidly learning, creating the most basic kinds of memories, like how it feels to move their feet or what the color blue looks like.

When they are in the womb, the only thing baby has to make memories of is the rhythm of your heartbeat and the warmth of your body. In the first few months of life, baby will sleep and maybe dream of your face, the colors of their mobile, and the sound of your voice as you read to them.

The sweetest dreams

There will be so many new sensations for baby to dream about and make memories of! The taste of milk, the softness of their diaper, and the smell of your hair. The more senses you indulge and delight, the sweeter your baby’s dreams are likely to be.

The GentleAbsorb* Liner in Huggies® Little Snugglers Diapers has tiny, soft pillows that provide a cushiony layer of protection for your baby. Set them down to sleep, for gentle cushion filled dreams, with Huggies® Little Snugglers and keep them clean with Huggies® Natural Care® Wipes.

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