Recently after having a conversation with one of my (awesome!) clients, I realized that many people have very different ideas about what exactly a dream feed is. So I thought, why not make that my next blog!
What is a dream feed?
A true dream feed is when a parent goes to their sleeping baby, picks them up while they are ‘dreaming’, feeds the child and puts them back down asleep. The baby is never actually woken up. If the child wakes up, this is not a dream feed. Dream feeds are used as a way to keep your baby full and avoid feeds before 2am, increasing the likelihood that your baby will sleep till 7am the next morning.
When is it done?
Generally, a dream feed is done between the hours of about 9:30pm – 11:30pm. In terms of age, I would recommend that you start including a dream feed for your baby at 8 weeks.
What you should consider
Babies that are swaddled generally stay asleep for this feed much better. Dream feeding a baby out of their swaddle is possible, it is just a bit harder to keep them asleep.
Doing the dream feed will also help parents feel assured that they are giving the baby more calories during the day. This can be especially useful for reflux-y babies who generally do better with a dream feed as they can tolerate it without needing to be burped or held upright afterwards. This is because the abdominal muscles are so relaxed at this stage of night (given the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes the body feel drowsy).
So, a dream feed if done at the right time and the right way, can offer an extra dose of nutrition and can help the baby (and parents) sleep better too!
Contact us today for a free 15 minute consultation and get sleep routines and techniques to get you back to sleep!