Dream feeds are a bit like the Marmite of the sleep world. They either work brilliantly and you’ll never look back or they have very little impact at all.
So what exactly is a dream feed? A dream feed is when you feed your baby while they are still asleep before you go to bed yourself. This works by topping up your baby with more sleep inducing milk (especially if it is breast milk) meaning they should be able to go another few hours, if not more, before needing feeding again. Longer sleep for baby equals longer sleep for you! Yippee!!
What is the best time to dream feed? If your little one typically goes to sleep at around 6:30-7pm then a dream feed between 9:30-10:30pm would be ideal. Babies are generally coming towards the end of a sleep cycle at this time and are rousable enough to feed but as they are not fully awake they should go back to sleep without any problems. However the time of the dream feed may need to be earlier if your little one has a shorter sleep cycle and has already woken up by that time.
How do I know if the dream feed isn’t working? Dream feeding doesn’t always work instantly, I’d always give something at least 7 days to see if it is the right fit for you. However, signs that it might not be working for you are if your little one gets so agitated by being disturbed that they don’t take a proper feed and/or still wakes up for exactly the same number of feeds (they’ve just now got a bonus one!)
Sometimes the dream feed can trigger the digestive system in to 2-3 hour cycles meaning your little one wakes even more than they were before.
If any of these things happen then allow your baby to wake naturally for a feed during the night.
As I said before it’s like marmite with babies. Only one out of three of my boys took to dream feeding but when it works my gosh it really is amazing!!
If you want to know more about dream feeding or if your little one is having difficulties with sleep then contact me now for your FREE 15 minute telephone consultation to see how sleep coaching could help you, I have the answers you are looking for!