The following is by Raimundo Rojas, National Right to Life director of Hispanic Outreach, posted with his permission. (Thanks, Rai!)
(UPDATED and edited to comply with Dr. Greene’s copyright, for the full article on infants and dreams, see his website. )
It’s 3:30 AM. I was woken up about an hour ago by my grandson (10 months old) screaming from his room. I jumped out of bed and got to his crib just as his mom (my daughter) was picking him up. He was asleep but crying inconsolably. She gently bounced him and rocked him to no avail – he kept sobbing. I turned the light on in his room and woke him. He was startled and looked around the room at the two familiar faces staring back at him. He took three or four deep and heavy sighs and completely calmed down. My daughter sat down in the rocker and after a brief rocking and a lullaby he went back to sleep.
I opened my laptop upon returning to my room and asked (Ask.com) “do infants have nightmares?” The answer is below: (emphasis is mine)
The truth about dreams, nightmares, and night terrors will surprise you. By Dr. Alan Greene
Infants 3 to 5 months old dream much more than infants 6 to 12 months old do. 18-month-olds dream almost twice as much as 3-year-olds do. By age 3, the amount of time spent dreaming per night is in the same range as that of young adults. As the wheel of time turns throughout life, each year we dream a little less (Science, 1966; 152:604).
If children dream from the moment that they are born, might they dream before that time? We now know that they begin to sleep at as early as 4 weeks of gestation (Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 1975; 38:175). REM sleep waves have been found at as early as 28 weeks of gestation, and REM sleep waves accompanied by the eye movements of dreams by 30 weeks of gestation (Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine in the Child, WB Saunders, 1995). It seems dreaming begins 2 or 3 months before babies are even born!
Knowing that children are allowed to die in broom closets is devastating to me. But now the added realization that an abortion surviving baby left to die in a utility closet in a Chicago hospital may have been dreaming as her life ebbed away is going to keep me up tonight and many other nights. What a nightmare.