Once upon a time, when my girls were little, I’d love those moments when they’d sleep. Not just for the brief break I’d get, but also for how beautiful they looked. Laundry be damned, I was going to just sit there and stare at those sleeping infant faces.
At some point, though, you’ll notice facial expressions on your baby during these sleeps. At nighttime or naptime, they will make them. And I bet you’re wondering what they mean, aren’t you?
Not to worry since this is all very normal. Here’s what’s behind those facial expressions baby makes while sleeping.
- Daydream believer
Sometimes, it’s just a dream. Your little one picks up so much even in their newest days of life. All that information goes through the brain during the sleep cycle, and it’s very likely baby is just dreaming…maybe even dreaming of you!
- Improvements to sight
Babies do not have the best eyesight. At the newborn stage, they only see roughly 8 to 12 inches in front of them. With weak eye muscles and poor vision, it can cause funny faces, even as they’re sleeping.
- Muscle development
On top of that, babies have weaker facial muscles in their newborn days. Often, they make some strange faces when they’re sleepy. It can be an excellent cue for you that naptime needs to happen. You may see a slack jaw while the eyes are fixated on something else. It’s pretty funny when your baby makes these uncoordinated faces and no cause for alarm.
- Imitation and flattery go hand-in-hand
You’ve likely spent just about every waking (and sleeping) second with a baby in those early newborn days. And it’s a pretty surefire thing to say your baby absolutely adores you. She wants to be just like you, so she’ll widen her eyes just like you do or open and close her mouth as you talk. It’s all so charming. You will notice this happening when they’re awake, but it will happen when they sleep too. As their little brains recycle all the things of the day, they continue to make facial expressions in their slumber.
- Go-go gas!
And finally, perhaps the biggest reason either of my kids made faces in their sleep has to be gas. Their little digestive systems are still growing. As such, gas can be a big culprit in fussiness. It can even disrupt sleep, though before they wake up and cry, they may squirm, make little squeaks, and make funny faces to go along with it.
This is funny:
Once, my husband and I were standing over our sleeping eldest when she was just a wee thing. “She’s so beautiful,” my husband beamed. Suddenly, she scowled, made a soft squeak of a sound, and then, she emitted this grand baby fart.
Oddly, she didn’t wake from this. She just settled back down with a content look on her face. Both my husband and I had to flee the room before we burst into laughter. We still laugh about it to this day!
Anyway, that’s why the baby is making funny faces during sleep. So enjoy them, and try to snap some photos if you can!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs. She loves eating too much sushi, exercise, and jamming out on her Fender.