Why am I dreaming about babies? Allow an expert to explain

Crying babies, newborn babies, baby bumps. Oh, baby, do they have a dream message and a meaning that may surprise you!

As a professional dream analyst and author of The Alchemy of Your Dreams, I help people come to insights about recurrent patterns and symbols that pop up in their dreams, like dreams of babies.

Dreams about babies can have various interpretations depending on the context and personal experiences for the dreamer, and are different than dreams of pregnancy.

Below, find explanations of a few possible scenarios.

If you dreamed of a baby when you're not pregnant...

This kind of dream may be alerting you to something "tangible" in your life that you should nurture and grow, just like you would baby. Babies are a part of us, so the tangible thing in this case is likely to be something closely associated with you. It could be a creative project, a job or something so precious it feels as if it is an extension of your identity.

The idea with this kind of dream is to take action, and at the same time to protect and nurture your new endeavor like any good parent would.

If you dreamed you dropped a baby...

A dream scenario like this can symbolize feelings of insecurity, a fear of making mistakes or concerns about your ability to care for something vulnerable. You may feel nervous about something nascent inside you, like a new desire or way of relating to the world. Or, the anxiety could stem from something external, like a project or business deal.

The dream is alerting you to the fact that you may not feel ready for the occasion, or that you are simply not taking good enough care. As such, you may drop the ball — or baby, in this case.

This kind of dream could also represent a fear of letting others down or a sense of guilt related to a time you couldn't protect something vulnerable. If this is the case, simply acknowledging how you feel and releasing guilt may help you to move forward.

The baby in this kind of dream could represent a part of you, like your younger self. It is worth reflecting on how well you are currently nurturing your inner child. Ask yourself this important question: How did I feel when I dropped the baby? That answer is likely the emotional key to inner clarity and guidance.

If you dreamed you were holding a sleeping baby that wasn't yours...

The baby in this dream could symbolize a few things. First, did you recognize whose baby it was? If yes, then there may be a part of you that is nurturing the connection or relationship symbolized by that baby’s parents.

Secondly, the popular saying "I slept like a baby" pops into mind here. Seeing a baby sleeping in your dream may simply be your psyche alerting you to the fact that you need to take care of yourself better. Since the baby is not yours in this dream, it could suggest that need to focus on more self-care, compassion and nurturing your own needs. There is a part of you that needs to sleep and be well like a carefree baby.

If you dreamed of a baby that wouldn't stop crying...

Dreaming about a crying baby could symbolize a sense of helplessness or vulnerability. It may suggest that you are feeling overwhelmed or unable to meet certain demands or responsibilities in your waking life. This dream could also reflect a need for nurturing or attention, either from others or from yourself.

Consider examining any areas of your life where you may be facing difficulties or feeling emotionally overwhelmed. It may be beneficial to seek support and to take time for self-care in order to address these feelings.

If you dreamed you gave birth...

A dream like this may suggest that you are in the process (or about to) give birth to something that will bring "new life" into your world. It could be a business idea, work inspiration, or simply a new way of thinking.

As with any birth, the dream also alerts you to the fact that you will likely have to physically push in order to see the baby (the new project) come through into the world. In other words, you may have to put a substantial amount of effort into your new project to actualize it.

As you are also birthing a baby, the dream alerts you to the fact that this new project in your life is at its early stages, or infancy. You need to tend and lovingly care for it so that it survives and thrives. Tend to your new way of life, and you will see it flourish.

Alternatively, this kind of dream may also simply alert the dreamer to a deep inner desire to actually have a child, and to take the step into parenthood. Self-awareness and reflection on the dreamer’s part here will help to illuminate the dream meaning even further.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com