Babies look their cutest when they are sound asleep. You can see them all cosy and warm in their crib with not a care in the world and that sweet smile on their sleeping faces can make anybody’s day.
While capturing this adorable smile makes a great addition to the photo book, have you ever wondered why a baby smiles in sleep? Is it related to their sleep cycle or are they dreaming something funny?
Let’s take a closer look at why a baby smiles in sleep and why could be a cause for concern sometimes.
Why A Baby Smiles In Sleep
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There are many who think that babies see angels while sleeping and this is why they smile. While that’s a plausible explanation for many, it’s not the most scientifically accurate one out there.
Instead, here are some common scientific reasons as to why your baby smiles in sleep:
These smiles are usually short and may occur without any real reason. You may have noticed that your baby started to smile at around three-months-old
. In reality, it was much before that and possibly when your baby was still tucked in your tummy.
33 weeks of gestation. This smile is often referred to as the reflex smile. They can happen without any reaction much like kicking or sucking the thumb. They usually don’t need any visual stimulation to occur.
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Around three months of age, you may notice a change in the way your baby decides to pick and choose moments to smile. It’s an important developmental milestone.
By this time, your baby has picked up some social cues and social smiles appear around this time as a sign of attention and engagement with an interactive caregiver.
At this point, you may want to interact even more with your baby by making comical faces or by simply talking to him to increase more occasions for social smiles.
One of the most common reasons for your baby to be smiling during sleep is that they are passing gas.
The notion is not supported by any concrete scientific research. But it’s known that colicky babies tend to remain irritable and fart helps to bring relief to them, and hence the smile.
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Our body typically goes through two basic types of sleep, rapid- eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep. If you happen to notice your baby laughing or smiling in their sleep, it’s possible that they are in their REM sleep cycle.
This phase usually occurs after about 90 mins of sleep.
Studies reveal that babies mostly experience smiles, grimaces, body twitches, and sucking in this phase of sleep.
As there is no way to know if babies dream and what they dream about it may be a safe assumption that their smiling is typically a reflex action and is most likely involuntary.
However, in the event where your baby might be dreaming, then the smile can be a reaction to a memory that occurred during the day.
Can Baby Smiles In Sleep Be Dangerous?
Catching a baby’s smile is a sheer pleasure to watch. But there are some rare occasions when this smile can be a sign of something more serious at hand.
It is an extremely rare form of epilepsy, making up for about one per cent of all epileptic cases. It is accompanied by uncontrollable fits of laughter.
In some cases, the laughter may be combined with the face contorting into a smile. It can also feature flashing and altered breathing.
In rare cases, like fits can manifest in unceasing laughter. If you notice other major symptoms such as weight loss, frequent bouts of irritability in him, trouble while sleeping, don’t delay further, and instead rush to the doctor.
And as far as seeing angels in their dreams is concerned, your little one is your angel so there’s a good chance they are seeing themselves perhaps.
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