Dream feeds

I'm looking for a bit of experience from others about dream feeds. I'm not convinced they work for us but wanted to see whether I should persevere! Our baby is 12 weeks old and tends to go down to bed around 8pm after a bath and a feed. We go to bed around 10 ish and creep around our room to avoid waking him! He then wakes for a feed around 1am and then will either wake for another feed around 4am and go back down or wake for good at 05.30 (wide awake, big smiles, 'it's morning time mummy!')?? We have tried a dream feed when we go to bed a few times now but he never seems to sleep any longer as a result. I'm pretty loathe to wake him and disturb his sleep as I'm hoping that his sleeps will eventually lengthen and he'll sleep through from 8pm. Any experience positive or negative would be great, thanks!


  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786


    I have never done a dream feed, babies will wake if they are hungry and if he will go from 8pm to 1am then he will get used to this longer stretch and you might get the same length again after the 1am feed.  I did try it once but lo just kept her mouth clamped shut, lol.  I know some people it does work for, all babies are different

    Are you breast or bottle feeding?  As that makes the difference to whether you have to make up a bottle

  • coco1981coco1981 Posts: 246
    Thanks for your reply, I'm exclusively breast feeding so night feeds really aren't a hassle (a real advantage to BF!) I was coming to the same conclusion re: just leaving him to sleep but thought I'd canvas opinion before ditching the idea completely.

    Thanks again x
  • martinej1martinej1 Posts: 688
    I think they are a great idea and know a lot of people that swear by it. Unfortunately we haven't been that successful so far as Toby also keeps his mouth clamped shut. Apparently there is a certain time in their sleep when you need to strike but I imagine it would be much harder when BF.

    On the evenings we have managed to get a late feed in, he had slept till 3, taken 2oz and then slept till 6-7.

    When not giving a late feed he wakes about 1ish then again at 4 image

    I think it's just trial and error to see what works for you and your baby x
  • m0nkeym00m0nkeym00 Posts: 841

    Hi there, 

    Mya is 12 weeks also (but is bottle fed) . I bath her and feed her at 6pm, and she goes to bed at 6;30pm (she is ready by this point and wants to be put down in her cot and left to her own devises to settle, which is usually immediately). 

    Then I go to bed at 10pm and take a bottle with me. I take her out of her cot (she is still alseep), change her nappy whilst keeping her alseep or as sleepy as possible. Then I feed her. She will drink the whole bottle in a semi-sleep state, as I wind her she is alseep. She then sleeps through to 6:30-7am.

    She has been like this since 7 weeks, when we started to manage her colic.  I used to  feed her at around 4am in the night before this, but I found that I was starting to dream feed her at that time (as she did not wake) so I decided that I would leave her and see if she woke for it at all, which she didn't. 

    Im not sure when I will try and drop the 10pm feed, its not really any hassel, and I'd prefer she fed at 10pm rather than later on. Plus I dont want to confuse her routine at the minute. 

    I worked loosely to the Gina Ford routine. I say loosely because it was just to hard to impliment it strictly with Mya having colic. Maybe it's worth having a look at her book. Like me, you could just take from it what you think would be beneficial. She has both a routine for breast fed & for bottle fed.

    Have you thought about expressing for your 1pm feed maybe, then you can see how many ounce he is getting (he may get more this way) and it may carry him through longer. Just an Idea image 



  • coco1981coco1981 Posts: 246
    Thank you so much for your replies ladies. I also have a lot of friends who swear by them Martine and that was why I was keen to give it a go.

    I have read three different 'routine' books and have been taking a bit from each of them to try and establish something that suits us. The problem is that they really contradict each other, Gina Ford advises a late feed but encourages you to fully wake the baby for it as does Rachel Waddilove whereas Alison Scott-Wright advises never to disturb a sleeping baby in case you introduce bad habits!! It's so hard to know what to do so I guess Martine's right it is a case of trial and error.

    You sound as though you're in a brilliant routine with Mya, I wonder whether bottle feeding helps that? It must be so reassuring to know exactly how much she is getting at each feed. I express about 7oz a day so that my hubbie can do a feed which is usually the bedtime or morning one. He normally doesn't take that much, it can vary between 3 and 7 oz depending on how hungry he is.

    Thank you again for your help, I may well try it again and see how we get on, waking twice in the night is exhausting!!
  • martinej1martinej1 Posts: 688
    Well me managed the first dreamfeed last nightimage. Didn't plan it but he was sleep in his Moses in the living room (out for the count) and I just saw his lips sucking slightly at about 10.30. So we quickly put in a dummy to keep the sucking going whilst we made a bottle. Managed to get him to take 4oz and he done 2 huge burps without me even winding him.

    Felt a bit bad as he was a bit unsettled after for 20mins but I think this is because we disturbed him a bit more than necessary. Tonight I will try putting him in his Moses in the bedroom and doing the feed in total quite and darkness.

    So after That he went through until 5.30am - but woke up with his usual colic attack and would not settle at all but didn't seem hungry.

    I got up with him at 6.30 and as soon as we went downstairs he was happy as larry and didn't even cry for a feed which I ended up giving him at 7am.

    So all in all it was fairly successful as we avoided a nightfeed. Shame I was awake since 5.30!! Now I just need to work in the colic attack :-/.

    I'm wondering if I would be better just giving him a few oz at 5.30 to see if it settles him. Although he clearly doesn't need it ...
  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    Coco you could give it a try with a bottle or expressed milk cos then you could see how much lo took at the dream feed to whether worth it.

    Martine if my lo wakes at 5.30 i keep it dark will just feed her and settle her back down she goes back to sleep. i treat it as still night time
  • martinej1martinej1 Posts: 688
    Yeah I think our room is too light for him and wonder if the sun stirs him at that time. Once he is awake the colic pains kick in and then he won't settle again or of he does it's not till It's time to get up :-/

    Think tonight I will just offer him the bottle of he wakes up and see how we go - but that could make things worse.

    We are making progress though so that's the main thing.

    Next step is putting him in his own room
  • LauraD79LauraD79 Posts: 238
    It is so reassuring to read everyone's comments. I was the same about the dream feeds. I felt so cruel and was so relieved he was asleep that I didn't want to risk waking him! He was feeding every 2 hours (11, 1, 3, 5) and then every hour til 8! I was in bits. I have never felt so exhausted in my life. Most of the time at night he fell asleep on the bottle and even if I could wake him, he would clamp his mouth shut. So there was never really a chance to give the dream feed. We have friends who insisted it would get better and he would settle into a routine, but it just wasn't happening...until...when bubs was 8 weeks old we went back to the UK (we live in the middle east). I took it as a chance to change his routine. So, at 8pm we did bath, dimmed lights, a story and a feed. He still stayed in the living room so there was some background noise. The first few nights we went down at about 9.30 and slept til 1, which was AMAZING! He still did the 3, 5 etc feeds but it felt like such a big step. Then, suddenly out of nowhere, after a week he slept through til 4.30. I could have cried with relief! Now, at 13 weeks, he baths and feeds at 8.30, goes down (still awake) at 9.30 and sleeps through til 5.30, he feeds and goes back til 9am. It feels like my reward after 25 weeks of punishing insomnia (very bad end to my pregnancy that meant no sleep as well!)

    My worry now is that he is still in his Moses, but it's getting too small and we are also due to move apartments so it will be a completely new environment, plus I am back at work in 3 weeks (the joys of living in a country which has 45 days maternity leave!!) I worry that changing his bed will mess with the routine image Did anyone find this to be a problem?
  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    Hi what does he sleep in? Is it a sleeping bag that can move from moses basket to new bed and be familiar? If you could have new bed for when you move then it snt getting used to one thing then another. You still have moses basket for back up tgen
  • LauraD79LauraD79 Posts: 238
    No, he has a blanket. He won't settle in a sleeping bag (his Kung fu kicks in the night are restricted and it wakes him up!) We have a cot for him - and we put the Moses in the cot in our room when we go to bed. Our room is pretty dark, and the Moses makes it even darker, which is why I think he goes back down after the morning feed. I also worry that when he is in the cot he will be more aware of the light and what is going on in the room (like he's lost his cocoon which blocks out so much of what's going on!)

    You're probably right about changing things twice. I'll try to hold off changing anything til we move to the new place. I just dread all the hard work going out the window!
  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    Just think you managed to improve things before in different environment. So could work.
  • martinej1martinej1 Posts: 688
    I know a lot of people say to put the Moses basket in the cot for a few nights 1st.

    We put Toby in his cot at 7 weeks as I felt this way he would know no different.

    He has no trouble settling in his cot and I think it's better for him as he thrashes around so much at night there is less chane of him waking himself up
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