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dreamfeed - does it actually work?

(22 Posts)
spennie Sat 09-Jul-11 18:05:20

hi everyone - just wondering if anyone has a similar situation to mine . my dc is 8 weeks and doing really well sleeping a 6-7 hour stretch at night from 9-3.30 usually. i have started doing a dreamfeed at 11 hoping that it will stretch till maybe 5 in the morning but dc wakes at the same time. it seems strange that dc wakes at the same time regardless of whether an extra dream feed has been involved. am i better off not giving a dream feed as dc sleeps the same length or can u suggest another approach?

JollySergeantJackrum Sat 09-Jul-11 18:15:10

Watching with interest. DS is 11 weeks and sleeps roughly 8-12, 12:30-3, 4-7. Have been toying with the idea of introducing a dreamfeed for the past couple of weeks. I have read that it can take a week or so for it to start to have an effect.

Georgimama Sat 09-Jul-11 18:21:00

Never worked with DS. He would always full wake up if lifted for a dream feed and take forever to settle again. Will let you know in about a month whether I have any more success with it this time around (36 + 3 pregnant)!

WyrdMother Sat 09-Jul-11 18:30:17

If they were waking a bit later I'd be wondering about daylight getting into his room. I did notice that birds started tweeting way before dawn when I was camping recently, about 3.15am (they were not popular), is their window open? Probably both daft thoughts but I thought I'd mention it. grin

spennie Sat 09-Jul-11 18:43:40

hi there - in my case no as have got black out blinds to avoid DC doing a 360 to see the light coming through the window!

greeneone12 Sat 09-Jul-11 19:08:30

I am a first time Mum but in my experience it caused more night wakings, not less for my now 8MO DD.

spennie Sat 09-Jul-11 20:10:04

thats what i have been told by others - anyone had success with it and would advise persevering or should i revert back to just letting DC sleep uninterrupted?

HumptyDumpty1 Sat 09-Jul-11 21:03:51

Dreamfeeding my DD only works if she is stirring. If I just feed her when she is asleep she will wake up at the normal time anyway but if i catch her when she stirs (moving between sleep patterns I think..) it works and she once slept continuously for 9 hours!! She is now 15 weeks old and going through sleep regression though so dream feeds are not working when she's up 2 hourly again!

RitaMorgan Sat 09-Jul-11 21:13:58

Mine did the same as yours - despite the dreamfeed he still woke at 3am, it just disturbed his sleep and meant I couldn't go to bed early. With the next baby I won't bother!

Choufleur Sat 09-Jul-11 21:15:35

Dream feed worked with DS but we did it about 11pm when he naturally woke anyway. Just tried to catch him before he woke up.

LunaticFringe Sat 09-Jul-11 21:17:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rubitue Sat 09-Jul-11 21:41:26

I always gave my DS son a dream feed at 10/10.30ish. He slept from that through to 7am at 10weeks and I then dropped the dream feed at 4.5months.

But I think it is whatever works for you. There were many nights when I would have loved to go to bed at 8.30 but couldn't because ofbthe late feed.

KD0706 Sat 09-Jul-11 21:59:27

Never worked for us. DD was never a great sleeper and tended to have a long stretch of sleep at the start of the night, then on e she'd been awake once she woke every two hours or so.

When I tried a dream feed either she stayed asleep and wouldn't take a feed, or she woke enough for a feed, but that waking set her into her waking every two hours stage. So I think I got less sleep with the dreamfeed

DuelingFanjo Sat 09-Jul-11 22:06:22

has never worked for me. I dreamfeed at 11pm and then my son wakes me every 1 - 2 hours from 1am. He's 6 months old and only seems capable of a long sleep from 7 - 2, after that he constantly wants feeding.

I may just drop the dreamfeed.

mimmymouse Sun 10-Jul-11 00:45:46

Really mixed results here. For a few weeks around 3 months it was brilliant. As soon as she stirred, I'd feed and it would only take a few mins and everyone got some sleep. Then she woke every 45 min day and night for weeks. Fast forward to 7 months and DD who had been taking an 11pm bf dreamfeed since 5 months became obsessed with standing up in her cot, so dreamfeeding was once again a waste of time. It just meant I got less sleep. Now 7.5 months and I feed when she is hungry at night. I think it can be useful but you need to treat it like a tool and use it when it gets the job done. Good luck

Maltedmilks Sun 10-Jul-11 06:19:40

I am trying it at the moment with my 10 wk dd. Sometimes it works and she goes 6 hours, other times she is so asleep I can't even get her to latch on. I'm wondering if I might have more success with a bottle of expressed milk rather than giving her the breast?

twinklegreen Sun 10-Jul-11 08:10:18

mimmy what you've described is a very common pattern of newborn sleep. Babies often have a period of sleeping longer between 6-12 weeks ish, followed by a 'sleep regression' at 12/14 weeks with them going back to waking more frequently again. This is linked to baby's developmental stage and is completely normal, however many people confuse it as a cue for the baby needing to start on solids.

As for dream feeds, they have never worked for me personally, I found it very hard to get them to feed when they were very sleepy, and if I managed it didn't make any difference. I think that very small babies often need the skin to skin contact and cuddle with mum during the night, which a feed provides.

Yesmynameis Sun 10-Jul-11 17:50:56

When dd was still in our room, I'd pick her up to feed her when DH and I went to up to bed in the hope of getting a good couple of hours sleep before she woke again.

A couple of times, I was too eager to colapse into bed didn't have the heart to disturb her so I left her to sleep and I realised it wasn't making her sleep any longer anyway, so I didn't bother after that.

cocoachannel Sun 10-Jul-11 18:03:50

It sort of works for us, in that DD sleeps from 7pm to 3am, then until 7am, with the dreamfeed at about 10.30pm. If I miss the dreamfeed she'll wake at 1am, and then at 4am. So it's the same number of feeds but one less wake up for me.

She is four months and only takes a small amount of milk at 3am (just moved to bottle feeding and it's only about 10mls). Very frustrating, as it seems just to be habit but I don't have the heart not to give her milk when she wakes up. But I digress...sorry OP!

mimmymouse Sun 10-Jul-11 19:02:44

Thanks Twinklegreen--- was well aware of the development implications on sleep and didn't confuse with need for solids. OP was re dreamfeeding and in that situation it was most certainly not worth it as DD would be up again anyway. IMO dreamfeeding is a tool to help babies sleep for longer and give Mums a much needed rest. At that point in time it didn't fulfil the criteria. As I said, when she had settled down out of the regression I used it again successfully for some time. It can be really useful - just not all the time in our case. Like all things to do with babies, you try it and see if it works for you and yours.

twinklegreen Sun 10-Jul-11 19:57:31

Hi mimmy sorry if you thought my post was directed back at you, I'm quite aware that as you have an older baby you are probably well experienced with the highs and lows of a baby's sleep pattern.

As you described a perfect example of the 12 week sleep regression, I thought it was worth re-inforcing to the OP who's baby is only 8 weeks old, how something that is working/or not at this stage, will be quite likely to change again in the next few weeks, and this is completely normal and nothing to worry about.

LittleMilla Sun 10-Jul-11 21:12:23

Hello - we introduced to our 9 week old a week ago. He's been going to bed between 7-8pm, dreamfeed at about 10:30pm and then getting up at 3:30pm/4pm. Last night he slept right through until 7am after his 11pm feed. He has some boob until he starts to slow down, then top him up with about 40mls of formula.

I'm not holding out too much hope for tonight TBH. LO was knackered yesterday after too few daytime sleeps, so I have a feeling that's why he went through. But still reassuring to know that he can do it. We've also put him in the big cot tonight - think i'm sadder about it that him though. Pathetic!

I've noticed that frequency of daytime feeds makes a real difference in his nighttime sleeping. He's literally wanting to eat about every 2.5 hours...but I don't care if it means that I get a decent night's sleep grin. Guessing he's just loading up on calories in the daytime so that he's able to sleep for longer at night.

Last couple of days his bedtime has crept later, so this week's job is to regulate his daytime naps and get him asleep by 8pm (was nearer 8:45pm tonight!). I'm hoping that if we get his daytime sleeps a bit more uniform, it'll mean that nightime regulates too. Still feels quite hit and miss at the moment, but he's doing well so I ought to chill. Bracing myself for 16 week sleep regression...argh!

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