Can Babies Have Nightmares & Why Do Babies Cry At Night For No Reason?

A newborn baby is a creature who has just been expelled from paradise. Infants can’t talk however they express their feeling through godly smiles and sorrowful cries. As parents, we immediately respond when the baby cries. Soothing can vary depends on the reason. Some try to calm down the baby through breastfeeding or playing soothing music or a gentle movement.

Have you ever come across a situation where your child has ever had a nightmare? Although we do not have any idea when a nightmare starts but medical studies have conducted close observation about the different sleep disturbances and ways to handle. There are instances during which the child can have night terror as well. Night terrors are way more dramatic than nightmares and the child would be inconsolable during such moments.

Can Babies Have Nightmares?

When babies cry during the nighttime, most parents often have a feeling of whether their baby is experiencing a nightmare. There is no evidence to determine at what age does the nightmare or night terror starts. Night terrors usually happen about 2 or 3 hours after a child falls asleep when the child sleep drifts from non-REM sleep to REM sleep.

They are more common among boys. One of the primary reasons for nightmares or night terrors is the genetic factor. Kids inherit from the family member who already has a problem of sleepwalking or sleep disorder. Your baby may cry or scream suddenly without a reason. They, in fact, do not even realize that they caused some commotion when they wake up in the morning. 2.

Why Do Babies Cry For No Reason?

Newborns, until they get used to regular sleep cycle wake frequently and make strange sounds in their sleep. Besides, crying is the only form of communication for young children. This is developmentally normal unless they have some signs and symptoms of illness. As the infant develops ways to express themselves, they utter or cry to indicate that they are having a nightmare or sleep terror. Some of the common reasons for the baby cry are

  • Hunger
  • Stomach related problems
  • Overstimulation
  • Tiredness and sleepy feeling
  • Needs cuddling

Infant sleep-wake cycles are a mess in the first few months of life, therefore infants are in the inconsolable crying bouts in the first three to five months. When babies cry for no reason, use the tried and true method to soothe your crying infant. 3. 4.

Baby’s Sleep Patterns

Babies are perhaps restless sleepers particularly when they are newborns. Although infants sleep for 16 – 20 hours every day the sleep breakdown varies. Generally, newborns sleep about 8 to 9 hours during the day and approximately 8 hours at night. Newborns have a tiny stomach; therefore, they feel hungry quickly, so they wake up every few hours to eat.

The newborn sleep cycle two different phases

Stage 1: When the baby falls into sleep, they immediately drift into active sleep which is pretty similar to the REM sleep cycle of the adults. Generally, a newborn will spend almost half of the sleep cycle in this stage. However, when it comes to adults, they spend only 20%.

Stage 2: When the newborns are in the half-way through the sleep cycle, they drift into a restful sleep that is characterized by slower, more rhythmic breathing, little movement, and no eyelid fluttering. This stage is perhaps the end of the sleep cycle, with this the baby may either wake up nor fall into active sleep.

Babies as they grow especially after 6 months of age, start to resemble adult sleep patterns and their duration of the sleep lengthens. They can have 8-12 hours of sleep without interruption. 1.

References

  1. REM Sleep cycle of your baby https://www.nestedbean.com/pages/your-babys-sleep-cycle
  2. Is my baby having a nightmare https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/baby-crying-in-sleep#infant-sleep-patterns
  3. Why do babies cry in their sleep? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324327.php
  4. Reasons why baby cry https://www.babycenter.com/0_12-reasons-babies-cry-and-how-to-soothe-them_9790.bc

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