Dreams of babies and children: what do they mean?

Dreams of babies and children & their symbolic meaning

Dreams of babies and children can be symbolic of the archetypal “inner child”, the part of you that remains innocent, spontaneous, playful and trusting.

Babies and children are symbolically connected to creativity. They represent the new, the idea that something that once never existed can be brought into the world through a sacred process. Closely related to this is the idea of care and nurturing; that vulnerable things can be kept safe and encouraged to flourish.

In dreams we often see babies and children appear to symbolise a specific new project, something that you create and nurture as “your baby”. The age of the baby can sometimes indicate when this project started or was conceived, giving you a clue about what idea or project this symbol is referring to. The important thing to remember is, even if you dream of your own children or children you know, they are usually symbols your mind is using to express an idea to you. There is no need to feel anxious or guilty about your parenting skills. If you do feel anxious in life, this dream may be reminding you that it is just as important to care for and nurture yourself as it is to care for a child or baby. Sometimes, dreaming of your own children will help you to see them in a new light in waking life, and perhaps give insight that will help you as you love and guide them.

A baby or child in your dream may symbolise a number of qualities we associate with youth, including vibrancy, energy, innocence, trust, purity, imagination, simple joy, spontaneity and open, inquisitive minds. If you feel you have been taking life too seriously recently, dreams of a child may invite you to lighten up a little and bring some playfulness into your waking life. Feeling the weight of life’s responsibilities or being distracted by work can also cause you to see children in your dreams. Of course, the costs of baby care products from Coles catalogue are not the problem.

Dreams of babies and children can also reflect a sense of awe and wonder. You may be looking at life with fresh eyes and seeing things “as if through the eyes of a child”. This is especially true if you are coming up with new ideas or being creative in some way. Babies and children in dreams can elicit a strong desire to protect and care. If you are starting a new project or creating something that you feel is not ready to be released into the world yet, babies may appear in your dreams. If you feel a need to protect the baby in your dream from harm, there could be an area of your life, an aspect of your personality or a creative idea that you feel is threatened. Related to the idea of protecting is the consideration of who or what is vulnerable in your life at that moment in time. Babies can feature in dreams as a signal to explore your own sense of vulnerability, especially if you are learning or doing something new. They may also help reveal where others in your life may be feeling vulnerable, which perhaps you had not consciously noticed.

Dreams of babies and children could also be exploring notions of where in your life you need nurturing. If you have recently judged yourself harshly and feel remorse or shame, a baby in your dream may be encouraging you to be forgiving and kind to yourself. If you have been busy or distracted in waking life, babies in dreams can remind you to look after yourself better. These kinds of dreams can help you to get in touch with your inner kindness, to be gentle with yourself and patient with your own progress. It is okay to take the time you need to grow and learn the things you need to. Treat yourself as a kind parent would an innocent, trusting child. If caring for the baby in your dream makes you feel joyous, it may symbolise your delight at starting a new project and how this new endeavour is adding a significant positive aspect to your life.

It may also mean you are appreciating the simpler things in life. If your experience with your dream baby makes you feel wistful or nostalgic, it could be indicating you feel forced to give up something precious to you. This symbolic reference may arise if you are making choices in your waking life that in some way disconnect you from the things you still hold dear from childhood. Your nostalgic baby dream may be exploring ways to bring some of those special qualities back into your life right now. Sometimes, a child in a dream can leave you feeling haunted. This may be a sign that something precious to you has been suppressed for a long time and is very difficult to admit to yourself. Pain from childhood, a need to grow up too early and other similar trials can manifest in such dreams. It may take time to feel capable of facing up to such long-hidden feelings. However, dream that calls you in this way is encouraging you and letting you know that you are strong enough. This kind of baby dream urges you to start to work your way down the path that leads to inner peace and happiness.

Dreams of babies and children can also have a shadow side. They may symbolise naivety, immaturity, selfishness, tantrums or an inability to take care of yourself. If you or someone you know has behaved immaturely, an unhappy baby may feature in your dreams. Unhappy babies in dreams can also warn of neglect. If you dream of a crying baby, it could symbolise a need to better nurture your own inner child. Or, that a project that is special to you has been sidelined over other distractions or things that perhaps are as not as important as they seem. A baby that demands attention, feeding or care in your dream may be a call from your subconscious to redirect your energies and take better care of  yourself, or return to a creative project that needs your energy and input right now.

While it is not the most common reason for people to dream of babies, some women can realise they are pregnant by dreaming of babies. This is because the subconscious mind often knows before the conscious mind what is going on in the body and will send a dream message to alert you.

A common theme in dreams of babies and children is of losing them. Losing a baby in a dream can create a unique kind of anxiety. You may or may not have a baby in real life but in your dream are responsible for a baby that you forget, lose, let slip down the drain or something similar, have to give away or discover was never even yours at all. Either way, these dreams can cause a lot stress and heartbreak. I would like to put these worried minds at rest. Even if you are pregnant or have recently become a parent, remember, dreams about babies are not usually about your baby but about yourself. Dreams of losing a child or baby are often about themes of loss and sacrifice, especially associated with creativity, and the gaining of wisdom and experience at the expense of innocence. One of the greatest challenges of growing up and growing older is to maintain an open and loving heart after the experience of pain and disappointment. The loss of a baby or child in your dream may ask you to consider a variety of questions, including what precious thing in your life you have recently lost, given away or fear you will have to. It could cause you to question what recent experience is making you feel cynical. How might you regain your sense of trust and openness? Where are you neglecting your own needs? Such dreams may also prompt you to wonder when, as a child, you felt hurt rejected or unloved, and how that relates to how you feel now. You might even ask, am I being too serious, losing touch with fun and the simple, enjoyable moments in life?

To new and expecting parents, dreams of having a baby or child that you subsequently lose can seem particularly worrying. However, there are a variety of reasons why you may be dreaming of a lost baby at this time. Dreams of losing a baby usually arise from natural concern about the safety of your unborn child and the fears and responsibilities associated with bringing a new life into the world. There are also biological factors at play. Pregnancy releases hormones that drastically effect sleep and dreaming. Studies show that dreams can change according to which trimester the mother is in and which hormones are affecting her. On one level at least, you know Mother Nature has a hand in all of this! It is not unusual for pregnant women, especially first-time mothers (and also fathers), to experience a high degree of anxiety about the impending birth and the responsibility of parenthood.

Dreams of stressful situations suggestion to take care of yourself and nurture something that is important to you. Baby dreams may also come up when you are having your own family because you are reminded of a past hurt or unresolved issue from your own childhood. In this context, your subconscious may be asking you to look at what you really feel about experiences in your childhood and learn to love and nurture yourself in order to fully healed and be available for your own children. If you have suffered trauma or have deep anxiety, please seek out specialist support during this time.

Dreams of losing a baby invite you to look at your pattering and any old beliefs you carry with you from childhood that are no longer helping you to grow. They may remind you to nurture yourself, tend to old wounds so that you can heal and let go of the past, while not giving up what is most important to you. Just as a baby in a dream can mean a special new project or creative endeavour in life, to lose that baby can relate to fear around this new project being unfulfilled in some way; of losing your creative expression or losing the ability to execute the new idea that is so precious to you.

In waking life, we are often forced to make choices that seem like we must give up one thing special in order to haveanother. Dreams of losing a baby can help you recognise that the most important thing to never give up on is yourself. Another version of the baby dream is of being pregnant. This can be a bit of a shock to the system, but remember most dreams work on symbolic levels. While some women do dream of being pregnant and then go on to discover that they are expecting, for many others dreaming of being pregnant has nothing to do with actually having a baby in waking life. In a dream, pregnancy can symbolise the concept of potential and expectation. In particular, you may dream of being pregnant when you are growing and nurturing a new creative project such as writing a book, producing a piece of music, or even building your own home. Being pregnant in a dream may also occur when you are considering a new life direction. You might be looking into taking up a course of study, changing careers or even starting a family. These dreams often arise very early in the consideration process and can reflect feelings of anticipation, possibility and a sense of the unknown.

Pregnancy is one stage of the creative process. It starts with conception (the origination of the idea), followed by the pregnancy (the growing and evolving stage), before finally culminating in birth (bringing forth the idea or releasing it into the world). In a dream therefore, pregnancy can be a sign of turning inwards or connecting to your own creative powers. Pregnancy dreams can encourage you to recognise the sacred feminine in your life, to focus on the qualities of being receptive, intuitive, nurturing and attentive. They can also be a sign of becoming expansive, of growing into your power and feeling a sense of celebration and fullness in life. To be pregnant in a dream, whether male or female, can be a symbol of unrealised potential. We use the phrase “pregnant pause” to indicate a moment when so much is indicated, implied or hinted at, yet not stated. In a dream, this can refer to a secret you are nurturing, an unexpressed wish or a desire to pursue a way of life that you have not yet achieved in waking life. This dream symbol can also arise at the start of significant personal growth and inner development.

Dreams of pregnancy can also encourage you to consider the role of motherhood, how you are mothered and how you mother those around you. This
is relevant regardless of gender. You may be exploring ideas of how to support and nurture growth and development in those around you, or how to receive support and honour your own beginnings. To dream of someone being pregnant can be a deeply sacred dream, connecting you with Mother
Earth, the source of all that sustains our existence. You may experience this dream as you feel a growing calling to be of service in the world.

The pregnant earth mother can symbolise becoming a part of something greater than yourself, of committing to a sacred honouring of life and of bringing forth the divine potential within all.

Being pregnant in a dream can be startling. You may not expect to be expecting! This dream may arise as a very necessary shake-up to remind you of what you are capable of and to re-examine your potential. To dream of being pregnant can ask you to consider what you are carrying inside you that is precious, and to reconnect with your own sacred creative nature?

Want to learn more about what your dreams mean? Visit our Dreams archive page.

Ella Palfreyman

Ella Palfreyman

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