Do Babies Have Nightmares : The First Thing To Know
Do babies have nightmares would be one of the most frequent asked question by many people. Since we cannot communicate with the babies yet, all we can do is just guessing whether they have a nightmare or not. But before knowing about do babies have nightmares, how about if we get to know about sleeping phase first?
Do babies have nightmares : Sleeping Phase
Do you know that there are two different phases that happen to our body once we fall asleep? Those are rapid eye movement phase and non rapid eye movement phase. You do not need to worry. Every person definitely goes to both phases because the phases happen alternately. The first phase is rapid eye movement phase and the second one is non rapid eye movement phase.
Rapid eye movement phase is the phase where your brain is not ‘shutting down’ yet. what it means actually? This means, your body is still working. This is also the time when you can be waken up easily just by hearing some little noises. For adults, this phase happens for about 30 minutes or so. And after that, we usually go to the second phase which is non rapid eye movement phase. Where we are in a deep sleep and cannot be waken up easily. There is a difference between an adult and a baby. For babies, they will experience a longer time in rapid eye movement phase. The percentage of a baby having rapid eye movement phase is up to 50%. This state answers the question why baby can be waken up crying easily. Because they are not in their deep sleep phase yet.
Do babies have nightmares : About Dreams
After knowing the two sleeping phase which are the rapid eye movement phase and non rapid eye movement phase, we are ready to learn the second thing. Due to the brain that is still working and has not ‘shut down’ yet, we are most likely to get a dream. Either a nice sweet dream or a nightmare. Same goes to the babies. Since they have a longer time in rapid eye movement phase, they are more likely to have a higher chance of getting a dream. But there is also another thing that we need to consider about dreams. We have a dream or nightmare because our brain restore all the memories that have already happened on us. We remember it and keep it in our brain. What we see, what we hear, what we learn, everything is restored in our brain. Different with babies, they have not develop their memory yet. Even their vision is still blurry. This is the reason why, it is unlikely for a baby to have nightmares. Again, we cannot assure a hundred percent that nightmares are impossible to happen for babies. But we also do not know it for sure since babies cannot talk and explain to us, right?
Rather than nightmares, the more possible condition to happen on a baby is a night terror. Some people mistaken it as nightmares. But actually, nightmares and night terrors are two different thing. If nightmares happen during the rapid eye movement phase, night terrors happen during the non rapid eye movement phase. This is where we fall into a deep sleep. The symptoms of night terror is that your baby suddenly wakes up, sit upright with fear on his face, sweating all over his body.
Do babies have nightmares : How To Overcome It
Even we are not sure whether our babies really have a nightmare or night terror since they cannot explain it yet, the least thing that we can do is to put our babies to the most comfortable zone when we want to put our babies to sleep. You can start it with setting the light off or dimly lit environment in your baby’s room. Sing a lullaby for your baby and rock them until they fall asleep. With this comfortable things, you can prevent your babies to have a nightmare or night terror.
Other thing that you can do to reassure that your babies do not get any nightmare or night terror, is to make sure that your baby is not overtired. Overtired can lead your baby to have a nightmare or night terror, besides that it would be even really hard to put your babies back to sleep. You can start to arrange your baby’s sleep schedule. If it is too troublesome for you to write it down, you can just set up an alarm to remind you, your baby’s nap time, sleep time, and feed time. With this, you can reassure that your baby will not overtired himself.
The next thing that you can do is to make sure that your baby knows you are with him. If not, it is possible for your baby to experience a separation anxiety. Separation anxiety itself can lead to a fight sleep and make you need to stay longer with your babies once they fall asleep. So parents, please make sure that you do not leave your baby until they are in their deep sleep phase.
New environment also can lead to a nightmare or night terror. It is because your baby has already adapted to his usual environment. Usual crib, usual room, usual light, and many usual things that your baby has already familiar about. So once you bring your baby to another different place, let’s say for a trip, it is more likely for them to not feeling comfortable as they usually feel. It is best for you to keep your babies really close to you. It is also easier for you notice if there is anything happen to your baby.
In the end, there is no definite answer to do babies have nightmares since they are not able to talk or explain what they feel to us. All we can do is guess by the theory and facts about babies and nightmares. Moreover, the least thing that we can do is to put our babies as comfortable as possible so that we can prevent bad situations happen to our babies. Cheers!