Babies & Nightmares

Reading on the message boards recently, someone asked if newborns have nightmares. I thought it was an interesting question.

On one hand, they have working brains and gain experience and memories throughout the day.

On the other, I don’t think they have much imagination. And if they’re in a solid, happy, safe and secure home, what would they know to fear? My first thought was “probably not.”

So I did some research.  Multiple studies have been done on the topic; one in 1966 by Roffwarg and associates suggested that we dream more in the first 2 weeks of life than at any other time. That babies 3-5 months dream more than 6-12 month-olds. And 18 month olds dream twice as much as 3 year olds, and every year, as we get older, we dream less.

So what would a baby dream about? Everything that they experience in their day. A brother being noisy, the new sounds and smells at Grandma’s, Daddy smiling, Mommy giving him a bath.  So nightmares would consist of being left alone for a couple minutes, shots at the doctor, or even being hungry.

I learn something new every day. 🙂