What Does It Mean If You’re Having Dreams About Babies?

Hello, baby, what do you mean? Photo: Getty Images/Tuan Tran

A familiar dream conceit: I suddenly, inexplicably, find myself in possession of a baby, an alarming discovery for me, a person who — in waking life — has no aspirations toward motherhood. Just where did I get this baby, hmmm? And how do I incorporate a baby into my daily life, the plans I already made for myself, when an infant was something I never anticipated? Sometimes I understand the baby to be my own; sometimes, I understand it to be someone else’s. Either way, it makes for a stressful sleep, and I come out wondering why my subconscious would want to disrupt my peaceful slumber this way. How rude.

My literal interpretation may miss the point, though. According to professional dream analyst and author Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, baby dreams tend to symbolize things coming to fruition — the culmination of a personal goal and a new start, a sort of follow-up to a pregnancy dream. “Usually baby dreams are a really positive sign that represent growth or development, either with you personally or with something that you’re working on,” Loewenberg says. “It’s a messge from your subconscious saying this new thing is great, it’s time to focus and nurture it. It’s time to get busy.”

Maybe you’ve just finished school and finally gotten a degree; maybe you’ve finished a book and must now brace for publication; maybe you are finally launching your much-anticipated nonprofit entity after some high-profile false starts. “Even a new relationship can show up in your dream in the form of a baby,” Loewenberg says. Whatever the long-awaited, labored-upon item is, your subconscious, she explains, wants you to “understand the potential of it, and the need to nurture it and focus on it so it can grow.”

Here’s what it means if you’re dreaming about babies.

If you dream about a sick baby…
Say your dream baby has a fever, or heavy infantile sneezes: that tells you “something new in your life isn’t going well,” Loewenberg says. “Maybe it’s a new relationship in your life that isn’t healthy, or maybe you’ve got this project now that you’ve been working on forever and it doesn’t seem to be going well. Your subconscious will show it to you in the form of a sick baby so you can find ways to breathe new life into the project or the relationship,” or whatever the ailing thing is.

If the baby won’t stop crying…
Similarly, if your dream baby is crying inconsolably, “That’s a very good indication that there is some element of this new thing in your life that needs your attention,” Loewenberg explains. “There’s some element that needs to be fed, some element you need to put more focus on. So ask yourself: this new thing in my life — this new job, this new project, this new relationship, this new thing — what area of it do I need to focus on more?” The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

A colicky baby could also have a more literal meaning: “Ask yourself if you or anyone involved in this new element of your life is being a baby about it.”

If you dream you find an abandoned baby…
According to Loewenberg, this could be your mind prodding you to revisit a task you’ve abandoned in real life: “There’s some idea or project you’ve neglected, like maybe something you had started working on a year or two ago that you put aside and never got back to, so your subconscious is saying, Hey, remember this? This was your baby for a while. Let’s get back to it.

If your baby is in the hospital…
If you dream about a newborn in a hospital, that may indicate “there’s something new in your life that needs healing.” Is there a problem in a new relationship that needs fixing? A new idea you’ve been kicking around needs adjusting before you put it in action?

If you have children and you dream they’re babies again…
Parents who dream their children, particularly their adult children, have reverted to babies may want to assess any tendencies toward helicopter parenting. According to Loewenberg, this is a very common dream theme, and it typically means that “you are still babying [your kids] to some degree. Maybe your child is married but you’re still calling and making sure they’re wearing their sweater in the morning.”

If you dream about a baby with a full set of teeth…
Apparently, this startling visual comes up a lot in dreams. If you’re pregnant and, in your dream, you give birth to a baby with a full set of chompers, “that is reflective of your desire to finally have this baby and finally communicate with it,” Loewenberg believes. “Teeth in dreams are all about communication. If you get that dream and you’re not pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, that would indicate you’ve given birth to a new way of communicating with someone. How are you communicating differently lately?” Do you find yourself babbling exclusively about this denture baby prowling your dreams? It would be understandable if so. It’s a haunting image.

If you find yourself with a baby you didn’t want, or isn’t yours…
My dream baby scenario may indicate that I sense myself to have inherited a problem I don’t want to manage. “The thought process is what you need to focus on: what are you currently dealing with right now that you didn’t ask to deal with,” Loewenberg says. Ask yourself: “why am I in this situation [if] I don’t want to be in this situation?” That may help you pinpoint a similar scenario in waking life, which in turn brings you one step closer to resolving the issue.

Likewise, if your dream self is caring for a baby that does not belong to you, according to Loewenberg, that suggests you may have taken on responsibility for someone else’s project. “Maybe you’re trying to help a friend get their business off the ground, or maybe someone you work with has asked you to help them with their project,” she explains. “Just ask yourself: what are you feeling responsible for right now that you did not generate, and is it worth it for you to continue nurturing this project?”

What Does It Mean If You’re Having Dreams About Babies?