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Can babies have nightmares/bad dreams?

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My 3.5 week old was sleeping soundly last night and she started whimpering in his sleep. I rubbed his chest like I usually do to calm him and he stopped. A minute later he started screaming...I've never heard him scream like that. he was still asleep but woke himself up. After that he just cried. He wouldn't let me go and as soon as started dozing again he would start crying again. The whole night. He's sleeping well now because he was exhausted but. It worried me.

I had really bad nightmares when I was a kid (and even today) and my husband said the way he woke himself up crying is the way I usually wake up screaming as well.


But I didn't think a baby could have a bad dream. I checked him for bites (like a spider or bug) or to see if he was too cold/hot or being pinched or anything...all was fine. He just wanted me.

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Replies (11-20):
tennisgal
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:21 AM
1 mom liked this

flashbacks of being born. that would be terrifying!


Quoting Junebaby18:

At 3.5 weeks, what would they be afraid of? We have nightmares when our subconscious is trying to deal with things in life. Maybe he had a gas bubble or something.



KW1280
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:54 AM
3 moms liked this
Yes because they left their comfortable environment to the unknown. In the uterus they heard mom all the time abd was comforted by her heartbeat. Now baby doesnt hear moms voice while sleep and there is no comforting heart beat. So the change in environment scares them. Try recording yourself reading a book and play it on low for your baby.
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abigailesmommy
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:12 AM
5 moms liked this

I asked my daughters doctor this when she would cry/ scream in the middle of the night but would still be asleep. He said it isn't like our nightmares with people or things that are scary but all the colors and sights they are seeing for the first time can be overwhelming, disorienting, and even scary. Also, they aren't physically attached to you, warm in your dark womb and that can be a little shocking too. Dreaming and not having their comforts right there. The last thing he said I found really interesting. You know how sometimes you have the dream or feeling like you are falling and wake up startled? With babies limbs being free... the point in sleep when your body can't move can be scary. He suggested wrapping her tight at night time to keep her warm and to keep her arms close to her body so she wouldn't use her falling reflex when her arms get stretched out and she is on her back. He said to put her on her side and then roll her on her back when she is asleep. IT seemed to help. Good luck. 

Lynette
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:20 AM


Birth trauma and circumsion come to mind.

Quoting Junebaby18:

At 3.5 weeks, what would they be afraid of? We have nightmares when our subconscious is trying to deal with things in life. Maybe he had a gas bubble or something.



lovelife350
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:22 AM

i wrote a post about this a few weeks ago. i guess it is pretty common. my son will have night terrors every onces in a while. he just turned three months.  he will be screaming in his sleep then suddenly stop and he is fine. i have woken him up a few times though cause it was scary. just comfort him.

Dinimon
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:43 AM
I'm not sure, I always thought something had to happen for them to have night terrors.


Like toddlers seeing horror movies or falling down or even just a regular movie with something scary/sad happening.Every day life.

I never thought newborns brains were developed (for lack of a better word) enough to comprehend things like that.
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EmmaZate
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:45 AM
Babies get night terrors sometimes... Someone told me once that they are dreaming of labor because its sometimes traumatic for them.
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Pessema
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:58 AM

I believe officialy the jury is still out on that one. But yes.

nataliesmom2012
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 2:24 AM

DD does the same thing every once and a while. It started when she was just a few weeks old. I asked her doctor about ti and she said babies begin to dream while in the womb so it was quite possibly just a bad dream. She said she was probably just dreaming that she needed something and nobody came to get her.

aimhawk
by on Jan. 21, 2013 at 2:29 AM

yes, both of my children do/did. they are night terrors. DH has them as well.

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