Last Updated on 14/04/2021 by Mandy
If you are exhausted by your baby waking during the night, hungry and irritable, it makes sense to try dream feeding. It is like topping up your baby with milk, so there is more time before the next feed is due – this is like filling the petrol tank completely in your car, rather than stopping when you hit a particular $ value.
My newborn son was also a bit rough when he was feeding on an empty stomach, my nipples would get very sore afterwards. Dream feeding was a way for me to reduce any damage he was doing to my nipples and help me sleep better (and longer) at night.
Your child is then more likely to sleep through the night, what could be better than that!
What is dream feeding?
Dream feeding is waking your sleeping baby for a drowsy feed, just before you go to bed. Babies who go to sleep around 6-8 pm often wake in the middle of the night with an empty tummy. Research shows that sneaking in an extra feed between 9.30-11pm can reduces night waking (and feeds), helping you and your baby stay asleep until a more “reasonable” time of the morning.
How do I dream feed?
Try these steps:
- Gently take your baby out of the bassinette between 9.30-11pm (around when you’re going to bed)
- Place your breast (or a bottle of formula) on your baby’s lower lip; she should start feeding automatically, even if he/she is still half-asleep.
- Encourage nursing for 5-10 minutes on one side, then offer the other side for 5-10 more minutes.
How can I wake my newborn baby for a dream feed?
Your newborn may be very sleepy, try to wake her by changing her nappy, rubbing your nipple over her mouth can definately help. Picking her up and nursing her.
Do you burp a baby afterwards?
Yes. You want to burp her after a dream feed and put her back down to sleep again.
Why dream feeds are great for your infant:
*It’s a useful method to encourage your newborn to sleep through.
*It’s a much better time for you to feed, while you are still up.
*You can get a longer stretch of sleep, so you can feel fresher and more awake during the day
*You are not feeding in response to her crying.
*Rough feeders, often boys, can reduce when dream feeding.
At what age should I stop dream feeding?
Once your child starts to sleep through the night on a regular basis, you don’t need to keep dream feeding. This will vary with every child and there is no age where we can say to stop. I hope this article has helped you come up with some more strategies to breastfeed your baby and get more sleep.