Baby Laughing in His Sleep – Why do Newborns Laugh in Their Sleep?
Why do newborns laugh in their sleep? Why do babies smile while sleeping? Why do babies laugh for no reason? We have answers to your questions in this article.
Laughing during sleep is a prevalent condition in infants. It is a natural reaction of newborns, and It is a way for them to process information. Does your baby often smile while sleeping? Many parents think that the baby is awake, but the test showed that babies are still sleeping.
So, why do your babies laugh in their sleep? Let’s learn about your baby’s sleep cycle with us to find the answer to your questions. The most important thing is that you will know how to react with your little one when he is sleeping and smiling.
Why Does Your Little One Laugh in Their Sleep?
First, you should know that even adults can laugh when sleeping. If you often stay up late, sometimes you find your partner laughs when he or she is sleeping. It is not clear why this is happening, but there are a few theories about this condition:
If your baby laughs while sleeping, it could be a natural reflex. Your Babies have known to dream since they were still in the womb. After birth, your babies will continue to dream. Sometimes, laughing during sleep is only a natural reflex in the baby’s REM cycle (Check out what REM is at the following part), especially during the active sleep phase.
During this sleep, your baby will have unconscious movement, such as smiling or waving hands at rest. These smiles are only reflexive smiles, and it is not because of emotion or interest in something.
A Safety Feature of Children
Many people, including experts, think that your baby’s smiles are a type of safety features which make your newborns more appealing, loveable and cute. It is like you have a sexy body; your baby has a smile to attract people.
And these smiles will keep them safe and prevent them from becoming abandoned. Even if you are in anger, you can throw it away when your little one smiles at you. And the moment when your darling smiles in sleep are adorable, too.
These features come with so many other features of infants, including big eyes, smooth skin, cute expression, and more. Everything in your baby can activate your instincts to love unconditionally and take care of them.
Your Child is Processing Information
In the first few months of life, babies are going through a continuous learning process. They start with learning to open their eyes, smiling, crying, to finding ways to move parts of their body. There is always so much news for your little one. Therefore, the baby must still process new information.
Besides, from birth, your baby has to interact with the light and sound in a different framework. They also face so many different objects with different shapes, colors, and sizes. And this thing will make your babies feel overwhelmed.
Therefore, it is only at bedtime that babies have time to process this vast amount of information and express it out by crying or laughing. You can believe that when you are sleeping and smiling, your baby expresses a lot of emotion that he learned.
The Cycle of a Newborn’s Sleep
Each sleep cycle of your baby will last about 90 minutes, including five stages. The first four stages are Non-rapid eye movement (NREM). In the fifth stage, new eyes are rapidly moving (REM). And below is precise information on each step:
This stage is when your baby starts going to sleep, so it is a relatively “shallow sleep.” This stage lasts for a short time, just a few minutes after your baby falls asleep. When the breath slows down, your baby’s muscles begin to relax, and brain waves slow down.
This stage accounts for about 50% of the sleeping time. At this stage, you can barely find any movement in your children's eyes. And also, at this point, the brain activity becomes slower than the previous step.
Stage 3 and 4
At this stage, your babies have fallen into a deep sleep. The body has completely rested. Besides, the baby’s temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, and even blood pressure are all reduced to the lowest level. At this time, the brain waves are also slow down.
REM sleep usually occurs from 1.5 to 2 hours in healthy sleep. When your sleep reaches the REM stage, your eyes will move quickly, always having dreams. At that time, the baby’s breathing is irregular; the baby’s heart rate and blood pressure will be the same as he is awake.
However, your body is temporarily paralyzed so that your babies do not act like what they saw in the dream. That is why you often see your baby cry, laugh, and even startle during sleep.
Baby smiles during sleep
Laughter during sleep often occurs when your baby at the REM stage, but it doesn’t mean that it does not happen in the earlier stages. Also, laughing during sleep can sometimes be due to insomnia or sleep disorder. Some babies will have this condition from a newborn.
Compared to adults, the REM sleep of a baby is usually shorter and lasts only 30-50 minutes. The duration of this sleep phase will increase as your baby gets older.
The Meaning of Your Baby’s Smile
There are a few answers to your question of “why do babies smile while sleeping,” including emotions, reflexive REM sleep cycle, and more. But do you know that your baby has a different type of smile with various meanings? Researchers divided your baby’s smile into three groups: reflexive, responsive, and social.
As mentioned, reflexive smiles often happen in infants. You will see your baby smile before he gets six weeks old. At this time, your baby’s body experiences some physiological changes to activate and develop some reflexes, and smiling is one of them. These smiles are a natural way for your baby to learn and practice different skills.
Warm smiles often appear when your baby is six to eight weeks old. It is time your little one smiles to react with the surroundings since he can see and recognize somethings. It is only the emotional reaction but not a social response.
By 3 to 4 months, your baby wants to connect with the world. He can recognize that mom and dad are the primary caregivers, so he will smile when seeing you. Besides, your baby will laugh when you make unusual sounds, funny faces, peekaboo, and more.
Baby Also Dreams
Babies dream more than adults. Before six months old, babies will usually imagine more than half of their sleeping time. And as mentioned, they even dream since they are still in the womb. The dreams often help your little one to understand their experiences.
Therefore, right from the womb, when your baby only knows to listen and smell, he will dream of amniotic fluid and try to learn about it. This process will continue to happen in the first months.
After birth, although your child still cannot tell you what your child is dreaming about, you can always rely on certain clues to decipher the dream of your baby. In particular, the most significant evidence that mothers need to pay attention to is their babies' behavior during sleep and when they wake up.
If your baby smiles during sleep and after waking up, he or she may have had a good dream about things. If your baby becomes cranky and cries, she is likely to have had a bad idea. Although bad dreams often come latter, your baby can develop a sense of fear from a young age.
What Should Parent React with Baby’s laughter?
You will not see it very often. But sometimes your infants have seizures which lead to uncontrollable laughter. So parents should check carefully. The symptom of seizures is your baby can laugh continuously within 10 to 20 seconds. And it often when children get ten months old. If this symptom happens often, take him to the pediatrician.
Besides, you should not wake up your baby when he is sleeping even if he smiles or cries because it can disrupt your baby’s sleep and make him angry.
Every child is different. So, keep in mind that some infants and toddlers can fall asleep very quickly. In contrast, others sleep less deeply for about 20 minutes before falling asleep. So parents, please don’t worry if your babies laugh or don’t laugh during sleep. It is based on the sleeping phase.
When having a child, it is not only your baby who has strange emotions, but even mom also feels very weird. And while your baby learns how to open eyes, cry, laugh, move the body, and the world surrounding, you have to learn your baby.
Parents need to get used to the routine of your little one and also their habits and expressions. However, if you find your baby laughing in his sleep, don’t make you stressed by keep asking, “why do babies laugh for no reason.” It is a natural process that your babies need to experience to develop fully.