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Author Topic: What do newborn babies dream about?  (Read 1142 times)

Offline chiralSPO

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What do newborn babies dream about?
« on: 02/04/2016 15:12:49 »
I recently held a 2-day old newborn as he slept. I could tell that he was dreaming because I could see his eyes moving under his eyelids (REM). Suddenly his breathing increased in rate dramatically, and his little limbs started flailing (as well as they could in the swaddle), and he started making little grunting/whining noises. Then he started and awoke suddenly.

I'm pretty sure he had a nightmare, but what the heck does a newborn have a nightmare about? I suppose his recent birth was fairly traumatic, and may have been the subject of a bad dream, but I feel like the typical subject matter of a nightmares really wouldn't apply ("oh no! I forgot I had this final exam, and I haven't studied at all" or "I'm driving and the breaks stopped working!" or "I'm giving a presentation to the rest of the faculty, and I seem to have misplaced my pants...")


 

Offline agyejy

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Re: What do newborn babies dream about?
« Reply #1 on: 03/04/2016 16:19:10 »
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-does-consciousness-arise/ <- This seemed somewhat relevant.

Basically whatever is happening inside the head of an baby (dreaming or awake) is probably very very different than what goes on in an adult brain. Generally speaking based on what we think we know of dreaming any nightmares a baby has are probably strongly related to the trauma of birth.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: What do newborn babies dream about?
« Reply #2 on: 04/04/2016 02:10:00 »
Even if baby dreams were relatively contentless, I would think they could still experience a variety of emotional states, like contentment, fear, anxiety without it coming from the stories or images running in the head. (I once heard a doctor describe accidentally being mainlined with epinephrine at a dentists office and the overwhelming sense of fear and panic he felt, even though as a doctor, he understood why he was feeling it. )

But it's hard to conceive of contentless dreams. One night I woke up in a panic because I thought my daughter was choking in her sleep. She was only a couple of months old. I jumped up and turned the light on, and she was laughing her tiny little head off in her sleep, and we wondered what could possibly be so funny to an infant. Maybe it was just her brain practicing  being  happy some day.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: What do newborn babies dream about?
« Reply #3 on: 04/04/2016 10:07:26 »
Babies are exposed to the sounds of the mother's voice in utero, plus ambient music, and are also exposed to components of various foods the mother has eaten; these have all been show to affect what a baby likes once it has been born - so there is some learning going on here. They would also feel motion from walking or being in a car, and detect the transition from being inside a house into bright sunshine. I am sure these are all wonderful inputs to dreams before birth.

Following birth, there are many more sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches that must be integrated into their experiences through REM sleep.

Some of the emotional responses that babies show seem to be hard-wired at birth, (and in adults) so that parents bond and respond to the baby. It would not be surprising to see these coming out in baby dreams.
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: What do newborn babies dream about?
« Reply #4 on: 04/04/2016 12:14:28 »
The human personality is built upon personality firmware. These firmware are empty at birth and will progress over time; stages of life.  The personality firmware underly human nature and characterize humans as a species. The lion or dog will have different firmware. The advancement of these firmware will output and often become the basis for dreams. 

As an analogy, a tomato plant seed, contains the DNA needed to define a mature tomato plant that bears its characteristic red fruit. The seed begins in a very simple way. It is essentially formless relative to its final steady state shape. Its internal genetics define how the seed will unpack and grows toward a mature tomato plant; human nature develops from simple beginnings.

Besides internal genetic potential, external potentials also play a role in tomato plant development. Things like the sun, lighting, soil, water, pH, virus, rocks, etc., all impact plant development, from the sprouting seed to fruiting. However, the seed is very flexible in terms of sprouting. The earliest infant dreams are more than likely connected to the sprouting of the firmware.

Like any seed, sprouting has very limited needs. It only needs water, since the seed contains all it needs to sprout and develop over the first week or two. The water analogy for the firmware seeds, comes from the mother; sensory stimulation. Without stimulation; water, the seeds don't sprout properly.

The birthing process dream is more than likely urban mythology. This is based on inference, while lacking knowledge of the personality  firmware. This urban myth works under the assumption only sensory input data is important for dreams, wth the birthing process drastic enough to register even in a small brain. This assumes we can grow tomatoes without seeds. But if you sift the dirt, before adding water , you realize that the seeds contain the genetic potential, used to drive collective human propensity; baby dreams and other milestones of human child development.




 

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Re: What do newborn babies dream about?
« Reply #4 on: 04/04/2016 12:14:28 »

 

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