Around 30 migrants in a small boat used the flashing light of a baby toy and torch of a mobile phone to guide rescuers to them in the dark.
Witnesses said they were suffering from the cold and had become disorientated by fog in the English Channel in the early hours of this morning (Saturday).
A number of young families were brought ashore at Dover. One baby in a white baby-grow was seen wrapped in a survival blanket which had apparently been handed out by the crew of an RNLI lifeboat.
Another baby boy was seen cradled by his father as they were guided into a migrant processing centre shortly after 3am.
A baby was handed to a Border Force officer while its parents were checked.
It was the 19th small boatload to have arrive in the UK since the start of the year.
A lifeboat crew found them yards from the Sandettie light ship at 1am, near the same place 27 migrants died last year and 24 hours after a man lost his life trying to cross the Channel.
They were transferred to the Border Force boat Hurricane and taken to safety. Witnesses said some had been wearing low-quality buoyancy aids.
It was the six consecutive day the RNLI had been called to help small boats in trouble.
It is understood the migrants made a distress call to police and Coastguards.
The Dover lifeboat crew was guided by radar and the lights from the migrants.
More than 450 people have already made it across the Channel from France since the start of the year. More than 100 have been intercepted by French authorities before they set sail.