Intrauterine life: do babies sleep and dream inside the belly?
Have you ever asked yourself if babies sleep and dream in the belly? Intrauterine life can be very curious for moms and dads, especially first-time parents.
The fact is that for most of the 40 weeks, the baby sleeps. They are, on average, sleeping 18 hours a day, being only 6 hours awake, when mom usually feels those little kicks of love!
How is the intrauterine life of babies?
With so much sleep, it would be reasonable to think that babies still dream in their mother's womb. Since dreams are reflections of experiences, how could someone in formation without knowing anything about the world have this experience?
But yes, it does! Prenatal psychology is an area of study that studies intrauterine life and has grown more and more with the emergence of new technologies in the medical field. Studies that used ultrasound images, ultrasound and electrocardiogram exams identified that, between the 32nd and 36th weeks of pregnancy, small children have rapid eye movements.
This indicates that they are in the active sleep cycle or REM (Rapid Eyes Movement) sleep, which is when we dream. As the baby spends 80% of his sleep time on the REM stage, he can dream a lot! Even in premature babies, REM sleep was identified as early as the 28th week of pregnancy.
The dreams that happen inside the belly are some of the baby's first cognitive movements, since they are thoughts accompanied by emotions. Some even laugh!
What do babies dream of in their mother's womb?
It is not possible to know for sure what babies dream in intrauterine life, however, it is believed that they dream about experiences and sensations lived throughout the day, in the moments when they were awake.
Who knows, your love may not have dreamed of the affection in your belly, the voice of mom, dad or a song that has marked your pregnancy? Therefore, the more the family talks to the baby, tells stories or puts music on for the baby to listen to, the more it will contribute to the development of his brain still in his belly. Wow! right?
Small experiences inside the womb
It may not seem like it, but life in the womb is quite hectic! He sucks his finger, blinks his eyes, pees, swallows and expels the amniotic fluid, plays with the umbilical cord, sobs, somersaults, yawns and even shows his tongue. Check out the characteristics of each quarter:
- 1st trimester: at two months of gestation, the baby perceives the outside world through hormonal stimuli and is already able to feel the contact with the mother, perceiving chemical changes such as stress, euphoria and anxiety;
- 2nd trimester: at four months, a good part of your cells already transmit nerve impulses, such as those of touch and hearing. With that, the nerves of the little body are already able to feel pleasure with the massage that the mother makes in the own belly;
- 3rd trimester: almost all of the little ones' senses already work! At six months, he cries and almost smiles. Its first visual stimuli allow to distinguish light from dark. Hearing is fully developed, being able to hear maternal and external sounds. The taste of something different that Mom ate also changes the taste of the amniotic fluid, making it more bitter or sweet.
Do babies also have nightmares in the womb?
Yes, the mother's negative emotions can be felt by the baby in intrauterine life. These influences would make the baby's sleep more restless. This happens because of physiological signs, such as increased heart rate, body movement and release of hormones transmitted by the placenta.
At the end of pregnancy, the areas of the brain responsible for memory formation begin to function and these experiences would be stored in your unconscious. These moments also develop your first affective emotions and personality traits.
But rest assured! Throughout pregnancy it is impossible for the mother not to experience moments of stress, anguish or tension. In order to balance, it is important to balance your feelings when listening to music you like or to perform pleasant and relaxing activities.
Remember to strengthen the bond with your baby! After all, when he says “have good dreams”, he really will have them!