Imagine having any one of the following dreams:
You are working in the kitchen and suddenly realize you’ve forgotten to feed your baby or change him for days
You’re driving and realize your baby girl is rolling around on the backseat, helpless and frightened.
You realize you’ve left your baby in the bathtub for hours. You fear he’s drowned.
You are holding a newborn and realize you have no memory of giving birth.
You’re nursing a newborn.
You’re giving birth and think “how did I get myself into this situation?” I can’t handle another baby.
You realize I’ve forgotten who is caring for your baby, and realize you have not seen him for days.
Babies appear in our dreams for as many reasons as there are dreamers. There is no one reason that we dream of babies, but dreams featuring babies are considered a universal or archetypal dream.
The baby archetypal dream symbol appears in dreams worldwide and often has significant meaning to dreamers across the world. Dream experts consider the baby (or child) symbol as an ambivalent symbol – it can represent innocence, simplicity, curiosity, purity and instinct, as well as helplessness, dependency, immaturity and irresponsibility. This child can appear in our dreams as a baby, as the Divine Child (Jesus, Moses, Buddha or Mohammad), a baby animal, or even us as a child.
When the child appears in our dreams it is important to connect to the feeling we had when confronted with this archetypal symbol. Did we feel awe, guilt, responsibility, joy, panic, anxiety, or wonder?
When we dream that I’ve forgotten to take care of a baby, our unconscious might be telling us that we’ve neglected to stay on top of important details of a project at work. Conversely, it might remind me that I’m not nurturing the baby (child) in me. Perhaps I’m ignoring my need to express a part of myself that is incubating inside of me. Or perhaps I’m unsure if I can handle a new responsibility in my life.
When I dream that I’m giving birth, my unconscious may be reminding me to bring forth my own creativity that has been inside me for too long. Or perhaps I’m involved in a relationship or project that literally makes me connect to the pain of “giving birth”. Perhaps I’m going through a period of renewal or rejuvenation in my life – bringing out new parts of myself that has been dormant?
When dreams of babies occur I might try asking myself questions to reveal my unconscious’s message:
- How did I feel about the baby?
- How did I feel about my own actions?
- How would I describe the baby?
- What were my thoughts in the dream?
- Is someone in my life behaving childishly?
- Was the child’s behavior innocent or demanding?
- Can I create a bridge between the baby in my dreams and a “baby” in my waking life?
Carl Jung believed that the child archetype “always points to the future and carries within itself the seeds of its own completion”. The child archetype may embody the idea of destiny. Thus when the child appears in our dreams it may be signal that we are undergoing change and transformation, or the child may be bringing us a message of hope. Dreams of babies or young children in our dreams should be considered important and meaningful archetypal dreams. We must pay close attention to these dreams to reveal clues regarding our fears of responsibility, helplessness or dependency, or alternately our emerging creative and changing self, ready for a butterfly-like transformation.