As a child, whenever I saw babies smile in their sleep, I thought they were having the time of their lives in dreamland, Showers of candy bars, lots of chocolate and cute toys. And when they cried instead, there probably was this scary looking man in their dream. I’m pretty sure I had thousands of partners who shared in my line of thought.
Babies don’t dream.
Dreams are made of experiences and thoughts. For the first few months of life , all the experience a baby has are of mum’s face, milk, his room and what have you, with not enough imaginative ability to even begin to conjure up a thought.
Smiles at this age are spontaneous and often happen while the baby is drowsy or during REM stages of sleep this smile has no emotional content (neonatal smiling). It is completely controlled by the sub cortex (a portion of the brain located below the cerebral cortex) in response to a stimuli which is in most cases auditory. As the baby grows older, such occurrences are reduced.
A smiling sleeping baby is about the cutest thing ever, and even with the knowledge of the fact that they actually ain’t having no cute dream or any dream at all for that matter, I’d still love to think they are seeing happy things behind those closed eyes, makes it even cuter.