childhood and adult life, dreams are known to affect our
intellectual and emotional
is a scary dream.
is quite different: it is not a dream
but a confused state when waking from deepÂ sleep.
an overview of
how to recognize dreams, nightmares and night
and how you can help.
How can you
tell if your baby is dreaming?
A dream occurs
in a specific phase of sleep, called REM sleep - Rapid Eye Moment. A
sleeping baby spends more time in this phase than any other. And so she
time dreaming than not dreaming
the dream phase,
: she'll make (funny) faces,
stretch and clutch fingers, wiggle arms and legs about, make soft
If you look closely, you can see the
eyes move behind the eyelids
going quickly from left to right (that's the
rapid eye movement
How to avoid waking up from baby dreams?
(Why) Does a baby dream?
Do babies dream?
Yes, most sleep experts agree thatÂ babies dream. And the
younger, the more they dream ... even before being born.
Scientists have suggested that an unborn in the womb dreams almost all
time. The function of that prenatal dreaming would be for
A newborn still dreams most of the time when sleeping and so does a
young infant. The brain is still in full development.
Very gradually the amount of dreaming becomes less. Adults still dream,
but not most of the time. The function of dreams is then less obvious
but dealing with emotional situations is one of them ...
dreams are gentle and won't disturb nap and nights.
But some babies wake themselves up fromÂ waving their arms and
legs about. Often this is just a short wake -
then they go back to sleep again.
Sometimes it wakes them up completely, over and over again. And
that can really make
- babies usually go straight to a dream
phase when drifting off.
To avoid your little one waking
tuck her in
, arms well tucked under the blankets and in
toe to feet
position (feet at the foot end of the bed to avoid sliding under the
covers for a safe
Alternatively, use a
The right size sleeping bag gives a good tuck and nicely
keeps her legs still.
When you hold your little one while she drifts off, for example after feeding,
and securely her arms.
If she continues to wake up frequently, and your baby has the right age for it to be safe, consider
I recommend checking with a medical professional to make
sure swaddling is still safe for your baby.
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 15+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books. Also, Baby Sleep Advice was awarded "Most Trusted Infant's Sleep Solutions Company 2023" in the Benelux Enterprise Awards 2023.
Heidi continually conducts personal research and participates in continued education and in that way stays up to date with current scientific and pyschosocial infant care.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.
Niedermeyer E., Da Silva F.L. - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,
Ontogenetic Development of
the Human Sleep-Dream Cycle
Howard P. Roffwarg, Joseph N.
Muzio, and William C. Dement -
Vol. 152. no. 3722.
Dreyfus-Brisac C. -
Reviews in Perinatal Medicine
Vol. 3. p.397, 1979