For new parents, fretting about their child's safety doesn't stop at the end of the day. In response to an MSNBC.com story about moms' anxiety dreams, readers shared their memories of their own baby nightmares.
"I had intense recurring dreams that my newborns were floating up toward the ceiling," writes Katie of Marietta, Ga. "Several times I actually leapt up and was standing on the bed and reaching into the ceiling fan! It was frequent enough for me to turn the fan off before bed!"
It's not just birth moms who have baby dreams — dads and adoptive parents say they have the same kind of nightmares. In the five months since her son was born, Erin of Concord, Calif., has yet to have a baby-related nightmare, but her husband frequently has them.
"One night ... I asked him to close the window, and he gathered up our comforter like he was carrying a baby, picked it up and walked to the window with it," writes Erin of Concord, Calif. "After closing the window, he laid the comforter back down and fell asleep."
Keep reading for more responses.
After a baby shower in which I received so many darling pink baby clothes (we knew we were having a girl), I had a dream that I had actually delivered twin boys! Instead of being cute little babies, they were gray and white kittens that looked exactly like our oldest cat, Tigger. In my dream, I was so disappointed about all the cute pink baby clothes and having to return them. My husband said to me, in my dream, "I don't know why you're worried about clothes. They have fur!" It was a very strange dream.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter in 1989, I kept having the same dream over an over again. In my dream, after I gave birth, the doctor took my baby and put her in a line of babies at the end. I then had to go to the front of the line and take the next baby available. Which, in my dream, turned out to be a toddler, not a baby. I was so nervous about having her, for fear someone was going to take her from me.
— Kimber, York, Pa.
This isn't limited to birth mothers. I had similar dreams when I adopted my oldest daughter. I would dream that she had rolled off the bed or had fallen in between the mattress and the wall. I had to see her in her own crib before I could go back to sleep. The dreams subsided after a few weeks and never returned, even after I adopted my younger daughter 5 years later.
— Catherine, Safety Harbor, Fla.
My husband just thought I was psycho! I would dig through the sheets looking for my daughter, and he would calmly ask me what I was doing. Then he would calmly tell me that the baby was over in her crib. The next morning he would tease me about the previous evening's occurrence. The dreams were more frequent with my first daughter and probably lasted a good four months after she was born. The dreams were less frequent after the birth of my second daughter and only happened a handful of times.
— Amy, Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Not after my first baby, but after my second, I had terrible dreams, very realistic, that somehow he had fallen out of the window. My husband had to put window guards on all the windows so I could sleep.
— Annette, La Porte, Ind.
When I was pregnant with my second son I dreamed that he drowned in a pot that held a garden hose. ... I remember getting out of bed and going outside to check on the hose, even though it was not on a pot. I had that dream frequently the rest of my pregnancy and even after he was born. ... He is now 16 years old and I can remember that dream like it was last night. It turns out that he loves water and is a good swimmer and loves diving. It still can give me a start when I think about it.
— Laura, Riverside, Calif.
I had intense recurring dreams that my newborns were floating up toward the ceiling — several times I actually leapt up and was standing on the bed and reaching into the ceiling fan! It was frequent enough for me to turn the fan off before bed!
— Katie, Marietta, Ga.
I had strange dreams when I was pregnant with my daughter. The one that sticks with me the most is when I dreamed I gave birth to her alone in my bedroom at seven months into the pregnancy because I was impatient to see what she looked like. My daughter was able to talk to me — although I don't remember what we talked about other than my begging her to go back into the womb because everyone would be angry if they knew she was born before her time. We agreed it would be our secret. The whole dream seemed so real that it took me a while after I woke up in the middle of the night to realize it didn't really happen.
— W., Piscataway, N.J.
While I was pregnant I dreamt that I gave birth to a lab puppy. It was horrible at the time, but now that I think about it, the dream was quite funny.
I am a father of three and have had numerous horrific dreams after the birth of all three of my daughters. These nightmares range from my children falling off of balconies (I live in a one story house), to car accidents, to being with me as we are robbed in grocery store parking lot. ... There have been times when I would just lay in bed afraid to fall asleep out of fear the next dream would be the worst one yet. I do hope these dreams subside soon. They are very difficult to take.
— Tim, Maryland