Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Dawn says

    My grandson seems to have nightmares to where he cries and screams. He doesn’t wake up. I have watched him make horrible sounds and face while sleeping in my arms. This can go on for hours. He never opens his eyes. He just seems to be frightened. This started when my daughter brought him home from the hospital. He is 7 months old now. He still has this troubled sleep.
    I said he is dreaming of past lives. It hurts our hearts to see him so fearful!

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Dawn, thanks for writing to us. I am sorry to hear you are concerned about your grandson’s dreaming! Babies can be quite expressive when they sleep, and it is likely he is not remembering anything as unpleasant as he may look, especially since he is not actually waking up. I know I’m not giving you a clear answer about anything, but I hope it offers some comfort to know that you are not alone and that he likely isn’t remembering it.

  2. Vivek Hargovan says

    This is not a babies first life. They have many past lives and may have snippets of them in for of dreams. Impression are imprinted on their subtle bodies or subconscious.

    It is hogwash to say they dream of milk and poop.

    • Neosha says

      @Vivek – Thank you for commenting and for reading! Wondering about what goes on in babies’ minds and dreams can take us down some wondrous paths and we’re delighted to hear yours. Please keep reading and sharing!

  3. joe says

    I was wondering if my little few weeks baby dream. She grunt a lot and smiles at times during sleep. But thanks for the information. Am Joseph from Nigeria

    • Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site says

      Thanks for visiting us @Joseph! We hope our information is always very helpful for you and your family!

  4. Rachel says

    We’ve always joked that my baby is having “the milk dream” when he smiles or sucks in his sleep. Seriously, though, there have been a few times that something traumatic happened to him (we had to clip his tongue tie, I dropped him, he was in the car seat for a 9 hour trip) and for a few days afterward he would cry in his sleep. I know he was having “nightmares,” recalling those bad experiences and feelings, even at 2 months old. I felt awful.

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @rachel – I’m sure the “milk dream” is pretty cute to watch! The sleep-smiles are the best! Though, I’m sure the restless sleep he experienced after some rough times wasn’t so cute.

  5. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Melinda – awww, that sounds so cute! What a sweet memory that will be as he grows 🙂 And yes, you’re right – laughing is VERY preferable to crying!! 😉

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Melinda!

  6. Melinda says

    I think they do! My son (he will be a year old later this month) sometimes laughs in his sleep, and has been doing so since about 8 or 9 months old! I don’t know if he’s just going over events of the day, or if it is more imaginative (I have no idea when imagination really kicks in). Either way, I’m glad he is laughing, and not crying in his sleep. 🙂

  7. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Jan — good question! I don’t know that we’ll ever know for sure, of course – that is, not unless babies start developing the ability to speak a whole lot sooner! 😉 But if we’re making educated guesses…I’d guess probably not, on the nightmares. I think a true nightmare requires a bit of imaginative thinking. Even nightmares about real events have an imaginative quality to them, don’t you think? For example, someone who scares you in real life may show up in your nightmare with claws, or being 9 feet tall, or something. Since newborns aren’t capable of imaginary play yet, I’d venture to say they probably don’t have nightmares. In the case you mention, you’re no doubt spot-on — tummy trouble was probably the cause!

    Thanks for sharing your question and your experience with us, Jan! 🙂

    @ Anna – you don’t mention how old your child is? You said baby, but then you mention ‘he comes to me’…is your child a toddler? If so, then this may very well be a nightmare. It’s probably not a nightmare if your child is a baby, though…

    Hope this helps!

  8. Anna says

    I’ve had a similar experience. My baby boy is a great sleeper(many thanks to all the useful info on the babysleepsite) In the past week he has got up three times around 2 am crying hysterically. Now I’m a very heavy sleeper so my husband has the monitor closer to his side of the bed, so he’s the one that gets up and goes to him. After I finally wake up to the crying- I also go into the room. Every time my son sees me, he comes to me right away hugs me and stops crying. I then kiss him, put him
    Down and return to bed. He tosses and turns for a minute or two and goes back to sleep.

    What can it be? A nightmare?

  9. Jan says

    Great question, and I love your musings on the subject. Wouldn’t it be fun to know?
    I love your site, and refer my clients to it often! On that note, I have a question to throw out, and would love feedback. Do you think it’s possible that infants have nightmares?

    I had clients whose pediatrician told them that their 3-month-old baby was probably experiencing nightmares when he woke with distressed crying. He was a baby with a lot of tummy bubbles, and, from my observation, he woke often due to the tummy discomfort. When picked up and soothed and burped for a few minutes, he would quickly calm and go back to sleep. If I continued burping him, he would be able to bring up more burps, and be able sleep longer, and extend his naps from 30-45 minutes, to 1 1/2-2 hours. The parents, however, strongly resisted any suggestion that their baby had tummy bubbles or needed burping, so I suspect that the pediatrician wasn’t given the whole story.

    Love to hear others’ thoughts! 🙂