I often get asked whether a dreamfeed is a good idea. The main thing to say is they work amazingly well for some families and not so much for others.
Like with most things, if you’re interested in doing it, all you can do is give it a go - in the knowledge that not everything is a winner on the first attempt.
So, a dreamfeed is simply breast or bottle feeding your sleeping or semi-sleeping little one.
You may choose to do this to top up your baby at a time that is more convenient for you - often this is before you settle down for the night yourself.
Or, to disassociate waking up hungry and being fed back to sleep, if you think this has become an issue.
The idea is you preempt a feed that might usually wake you, you don’t fully wake your baby, feed them, and it will hopefully give you a bit of a longer stretch before the next wake.
The bonus of a dreamfeed if your baby takes a bottle, is someone else such as your partner could do it. If you are bottle feeding make sure baby is upright for the feed.
So, sounds good in practice, but there can be a few problems...
Sleep before midnight is predominately deep sleep, so it can be tricky to say the least to achieve enough of a wake for baby to feed.
You run the risk of over feeding while ignoring your baby’s natural ability to regulate their appetite.
If you do accidentally fully wake them you may be in a worse off position trying to get them back to sleep.
You could do the feed and not get a longer stretch of sleep at all, so just creating more feeds unnecessarily.
If you’ve successfully been dreamfeeding you then face the problem of how to get rid of it again. So...
You could simply go cold turkey.
Reduce the volume of the dreamfeed over a few nights.
Bring the feed earlier and earlier until it’s gone altogether.
If you’d like some support with your little ones sleep, please do check out my sleep support packages, or hop on your free 15 minute introductory call. Or in the meantime, head over to my Instagram page for all my latest free help and tips.