What is dream feeding and how will it work for my baby?
Dream feeding is when you gently rouse the baby, without fully waking them up to feed in the night. This typically occurs between 10.00 pm and midnight.
I would only offer this if the baby has not had a feed for about 2.5 to 3 hours, otherwise, their little stomachs will not be empty enough to feed correctly.
I recommend gently taking the baby out of the bassinet.
Sitting quietly in the darkened bedroom.
Place your breast or bottle onto your baby’s lower lip and gently rub it. This stimulation will automatically make baby want to suck especially those between 8-12 weeks.
Feed baby for 5-10 minutes on one breast and then offer the other side. Alternatively offer baby the bottle. If you are breast and bottle feeding this is a great time to offer the bottle as your milk supply continues to develop throughout the night.
I would keep winding to a minimum as you are not wanting to fully wake the baby, but try and get the baby to burp before you place them back down.
I would not change the nappy unless it is dirty or particularly wet.
Why dream feed?
Dream feeds offer those extra calories to your baby, so they can sleep for a longer stretch. It is not a time to play and stimulate, but by offering this feed it will encourage the baby to sleep for longer.
Sometimes the dream feed is not a “dream” and the baby will wake fully and want to play and have a big feed. If this happens over the course of 4-6 days then the “dream” feed is not going to work as they then wake up and the baby’s sleep will be interrupted. Or if the baby is in such a deep sleep and you cannot rouse them to feed, then again, I wouldn’t recommend this either.
But if the baby has slept for up to 3 hours and as their parent or caregiver you think they would benefit from the feed then give it a go! It might not work for you or your baby. You might want to go to sleep when the baby does and not have to get up and feed 3 hours later. (That’s Ok!).
This is a very personal decision, every baby is unique! and as their parent or caregiver finding what suits you, depends entirely on your own situation. You might just find it works well for you and baby or it might not at all.
It’s all about learning with your baby and what works for your sleep journey. If you would like some support and guidance then please get in touch.
I have various packages that together we can work side by side, make achievable goals, and help you and your baby on their sleep journey.