A coworker asked if I knew the answer to the following question:
Do Babies Dream in the Womb?
My first instinct would be yes, babies do dream in the womb. However, I don’t think that being eight months pregnant alone qualifies me to know the answer to such a grand question. I believe that is highly likely because there is plenty of evidence showing that babies dream after birth, so why not before? Newborn puppies and kittens move around and whine in their sleep, so it’s obvious that they dream. If a newborn animal can dream, a newborn baby can certainly dream thanks to their advanced brain.
I think the real question is: At what point is a baby’s brain developed enough to start dreaming in the womb?
According to the article, Baby’s First Dreams from the American Institute of Physics, a seven month old human fetus will spend most of its time asleep. It’s stated that during sleep, an unborn child is cycling back and forth through the states of rapid-eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. We know that humans dream during REM sleep and that seven month old fetuses experience REM, so it is easy to conclude that babies do dream in the womb.
If you enjoy spiritual mysticism, there are several stories floating around the internet about people actually remembering dreams before their birth. They are able to recall dreams through a New Age therapeutic breathing technique called rebirthing. I personally do not have any experience with rebirthing, nor do I know anyone who hold pre-birth memories, but it is very interesting.
If babies dream in the womb, what do they dream about?
I assume that unborn babies dream about all of the sensations around them, similar to how we dream. When I was a small child, if I had to go to the bathroom while asleep, I would dream about actually finding a toilet to relieve my bladder. Now, if I’m doing repetitive tasks, I will go to sleep and continue dreaming about the tasks whether I want to or not.
It’s possible that babies dream about the different shades of light passing through the mother’s belly. It’s well known that a baby can follow light moving across the belly so maybe their brain tries to process the mysterious light during sleep. They might dream about the soothing voice of their mother, music, or strange noises like a vacuum cleaner or car siren. Maybe they are able to smell our breastmilk being produced and dream about that. The possibilities are endless, but more than likely, our tiny unborn babies are dreaming of the simplest shapes and sounds that surround them.