A baby’s barefoot dreams are not just about the journey from nursery to daycare, but also about a future full of promise.
Here’s what to expect.
Dreams of a baby born under the spell of a fairy godmother, or of a child born in a dream, have been around since the 18th century.
A baby can be a child of fairy tale, but the fairy tale itself has been a powerful influence.
“The best known and most popular of the children’s fairy tales is the fairy-tale of Sleeping Beauty,” says Rachel Lomas, a psychology professor at the University of Western Australia and author of a book about the fairy tales, Dreaming with a Fairy Godmother.
“The main character is called Snow White, she’s a princess, she has a beautiful white dress, she is very young, and she has been living with her stepmother, who is a beautiful witch, for the past 100 years.”
She and Lomas believe that fairy tale inspiration and influence has been woven into every child’s dreams.
But there are plenty of other influences, too.
The fairy tale is also a part of a host of childhood stories, including the classic “Alice in Wonderland” and “Dumbo”.
While the two have become quite different, the common thread has remained the same: a girl in a white dress and a fairy-like figure is having a dream.
For many children, a fairy tale-inspired dream may be just a childhood dream, but it is often the first time they truly dream about a child.
When dreams become real “In the last few years, we have been looking at the link between childhood and adulthood,” Dr Lomas says.
She believes that the key to a child’s development is their ability to recognize dreams, to see them as a part in their lives and to make them part of their lives.
If a child has never dreamed about a dream before, Dr Lomsa believes, their dream may not be that big a deal.
In fact, the more the child understands the meaning of the dream, the less likely they are to be able to identify with the dream itself.
Dr Lomas believes the key is to “know when to let a dream go and when to start dreaming”.
“There are two different types of dreams, and one of those types is when you’re having one or the other of those,” she says.
“When you have the one you’re not having the other.
We have been studying the effects of a lot of different things on the brain and we have found that there is a difference between those two types of dreaming.”
The first is when a child is asleep, it is really hard to tell whether they are dreaming of a white doll or of their own body.
“But if they’re awake, you can tell that it is a white object, so the brain is still recognising it as a dream.”
In this scenario, Dr Marjorie McBride from the University, says a dream is not the same as a physical dream.
“It’s not about the physical aspect of the experience but the mental aspect, the way we feel, and how we feel when we have a dream,” she explains.
Even if the child is awake, she says the brain still recognises the dream.
“The brain still processes it as dream, because it’s a dream that we are in the present moment and it’s not just a dream in the physical world,” she said.
There are a number of reasons why a child may not recognise a dream as a real thing.
Children are often aware of the body, Dr McBride says, but that is a “tradition” that does not always apply to children.
While a child will recognise a white toy in a blue box, a child who has never seen a blue doll may not.
It is also not always clear to a person whether a dream really is a dream or not.
“Some dreams are so vivid, it’s hard to separate them from reality,” Dr McBridges says.
While a dream may feel real, a person may not know how they feel during the dream and how they will feel when they wake up.
“If a person has been having a bad dream, it may be that they feel bad about it, but they don’t know how to stop it,” Dr Schmitz says.
Dr McBride recommends that parents work with their children to understand how their dreams can affect their children’s life.
“A lot of the time, they are just very confused,” she advises.
“They can be so upset about something they just can’t quite grasp, but I do believe there is something there.”