It is absolutely blissful to watch your baby smile in their sleep. That innocence they have in their smile can make up for anything bad that is around. That carefree smile can make anyone’s day.
We all have witnessed a newborn smiling in sleep or a baby laughing in sleep, but has it ever crossed your mind why that happens? Why do babies smile in their sleep? Anyone would keep staring at them just to see them smile once again, but there is a deeper meaning to it. Let’s find out what those are in this article.
Why Do Babies Smile In Their Sleep?
Whenever we see a baby smiling in their sleep, we hear the mother saying that that baby is seeing angels or talking to the angels. But there are scientific reasons beyond that that talk about the reasons why babies smile in their sleep.
REM Sleep Cycle
Let’s start this with the different stages of sleep. Both adults and infants have different stages, but most two the REM or rapid eye movement stage and the non-REM stage. The REM stage is when we make a lot of eye movements in our sleep. While we are sleeping, we go through different phases of non-REM and REM sleep. In the non-REM phase, there is absolutely no movement under the eyelids. The different stages of sleep are:
Stage 1: this is the stage where a baby goes to sleep, from being awake to drowsy to dozing off, and then finally sleeping. This is a very short period. In this stage, their muscle starts to relax, and their breathing slows down along with the slowing of the brain waves. This is a very crucial stage, and even a very low noise can wake them up.
Stage 2: This is the stage when they are in a light sleep. Their breathing and heart slow down further, and their muscles relax even more than before. Their eye movement stops, and brain activity slows down even more in this stage.
Stage 3: this is the sage when they are deep in sleep, this is when all the movements stop. This is the stage when their heartbeat, brain waves, and breathing are at their slowest. Waking them up from this stage would be a little difficult, as their bodies are in standby mode. This is a very important stage, as this is the time when the body repairs itself and regrows tissues and muscles, and builds bones. This also strengthens the immune system as well.
These smiles are generally short and happen without any kind of reason. When do babies start to smile? They begin to smile around the age of three months. Studies show that babies smile inside their mother’s womb from around week 33 of pregnancy. This is a part of their reflex action, just like sucking the thumb or kicking inside the womb. These happen without any reaction and do not need any visual stimulation.
Dreaming And Smiling
There are plenty of people who will question the ability of a baby to dream, as dreams are complex ad are made from memories, interactions, and experiences. They involve speech and dialog and knowledge about other people as well as themselves. But as newborns, they do not have those skills developed.
In the first few months, why do newborns smile in their sleep? It is because of the subconscious response of the brain, and this happens mostly when the baby is drowsy and falling asleep.
The babies are exposed to sights and sounds when they are awake, and their brain tries to record all of it, and those information gets processed while they are sleeping. The happy thoughts or emotions they receive while processing the new knowledge make bring out that precious smile or laughter in their sleep. Hence, this can be a part of their evolving emotions.
Generally, babies start passing social smiles around the age of three months or four months. If you catch your baby smiling in the first few weeks, it may be because they are passing gas. Not all researchers support this point; it is a fact that it brings relief to colic babies when they pass the built-in gas. This can be a reason behind the angelic smile.
Can It Be Dangerous If They Are Smiling In Their Sleep?
It is a common question that often arises why do newborn babies smile in their sleep? But we never think deeply about it as that innocent smile has our heart all to itself. It is not always something to be worried about, but keeping a few things in mind is important when you are dealing with a newborn.
- Muscle twitching in REM sleep: Babies spend a significant amount of time in REM sleep, and it is associated with dreaming. In this phase, the facial muscles can twitch and make certain involuntary movements, like smiling. They are harmless and indicate normal brain functioning.
- Pain or discomfort: Sometimes, a smile is accompanied by signs of pain and discomfort. This may be grimacing, crying, or showing restlessness. Do not ignore these signs, and investigate further to check if your child is in some kind of pain.
- Unusual duration: Giving occasional smiles while sleeping is something that is normal for a baby, but if they are smiling for a long period, then it may be alarming. If they are showing any signs of this sort, then check with a professional to rule out any kind of concern.
- Gelastic seizure: This is not something common, but it can make a person laugh uncontrollably. One-third of people who get this condition start showing symptoms when they are infants. These seizures can last for 10 to 20 seconds and come with symptoms like moaning, smiling, wriggling, and laughing.
And It’s A Wrap!
Keep in mind that every baby is unique, and their issues may vary; some may laugh just like that, and some may smile because they are developing some health conditions in them. Another question that comes with why do babies laugh in their sleep is why do babies smile in their sleep spiritually. There can be several meanings to it like it can be a sign of good luck if you are going through some hardships lately.
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