Wondering what a dream feed is? How do you introduce it into your babies bedtime routine? How do you even start dream feeding? Well, look no further – I’ve got all the information right here for you.
Baby Sleep expert Jo Tantum states dream feeding is one of her main top tips that she gives to parents to help their babies sleep through the night.
What is a dream feed?
It’s when you wake your baby just before you go to bed and give them their last bottle or breastfeed of the day. Many parents usually do this just before 11pm.
Now to me this seems crazy! Is it really ok to wake your peaceful sleeping baby from a deep sleep? Watch the video above to find out
How old does a baby need to be before you can start?
Babies should be around 3 months when you introduce this into their routine. On average babies will weigh about 12 / 13 pounds and are able to sleep for longer without waking up for milk. At 5 months you’ll be able to drop the dream feed altogether – If your baby is healthy and weighs 16 pounds or more.
Why dream feeding does work
Babies like adults have one long sleep in 24 hours. We obviously want our babies long sleep to be when we are sleeping in the night. By waking your baby up at 11pm you are resetting their body clock and then they will then have their long sleep between 11pm and 7am.
What happens if you don’t do a dream feed
Your baby will have their deep sleep from when you put them to bed (around 7 – 8pm) till around 1am then they will just keep waking up till morning time! Yep this is what used to happen to me!
My son didn’t sleep through the night until I started him on solids which was around 5 and a half months. I think when I have my second child I will definitely try doing a dream feed as I really could not function for those first 6 months. If you are sleep deprived and really need some help watch Jo’s other top tips on how to get your baby to sleep through the night.
What I really do want to point out is that every baby is different. A dream feed may not work for you and your baby. My son was born one month early and I had to breastfeed him every 2 hours day AND NIGHT for the first month! Dream feeding can start from around 3 months but I’m not sure my son would of adapted to it. However. I would definitely recommend giving a dream feed a go – you’ve got nothing to lose and lots of sleep to gain!
How to wake your baby for a dream feed
Gently wake your baby. Don’t put the main room light on – put the landing light on. The reason for no direct light is when light hits your eye’s retina for more than 2 minutes your mind becomes stimulated and we do not want this for your baby!
Slowly bring the time for a dream feed forward; 11pm for a week, 10.30pm for a week etc and then you can stop dream feeding altogether.