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Dreamfeeding-how successful is it?

(15 Posts)
pinkgirlythoughts Wed 17-Aug-11 20:06:34

I'm trying to get DS, 12 weeks, to sleep for more of the day, as he's currently only sleeping for around 9-11 hours out of 24, and he's often tired and grisly, but won't nap for any length of time during the day. Recently his night time sleeping, which had been okay, has been getting worse, and he's gone from two night feeds back to three again. After reading around a bit, it seems that putting him to bed earlier, then giving him a dream feed, might help to start to solve the problem.

For those of you who've done dream feeds, do they actually work? Or does baby just wake up completely and is then really difficult to settle for the rest of the night (as I fear might be the case)?

He went down just after 7.30, so I'm thinking I should feed him between 10 and 10.30- would that be right? I just worry because without feeding him, he could potentially sleep till 1.30 (but probably won't if the last few nights are anything to go by), and I'm concerned that if I wake him up earlier, he'll be up and down all night!

Mampig Wed 17-Aug-11 20:18:56

Hi there! Is your baby ff or bf?? While I am currently bf, I only have experience off ff dreamfeeding. If ff then here's what I did... Took bottle to bed when I was going. Slipped it into baby's mouth- I always lifted dc from cot to do it as she wouldn't wake easily. It took 2-3 attempts over couple of nights to get her to take it easily. She would take her fill . I never bothered winding as she wud be so relaxed when taking the bottle that she didn't gulp in much wind. I then put her down and she'd stay asleep. As she was in my room if she started wriggling about I wud hear her and lift her. Wind came up with no fuss and she would be asleep the whole time. I did this years ago btw- before the term dreamfeeding was ever coined so I don't know what the actual guidelines are!! This worked for me though- next feed was usually 6 or 7 amgringrin

pinkgirlythoughts Wed 17-Aug-11 20:38:45

He's bf, but I do have an expressed bottle ready to give him, as DP occasionally does a night feed for me, so might try giving him that if it's easier than a boob! grin

RitaMorgan Wed 17-Aug-11 20:56:45

Didn't work for me unfortunately - ds woke for a feed at 3am whether I dreamfed him at 11pm or not. Actually all it really did was add an extra feed as he started waking for the 11pm feed if I didn't dreamfeed him first!

Steeplearningcurve Wed 17-Aug-11 21:03:15

Dd always wakes up when I try to dream feed her! However if I dont give her a bottle when I go to bed at 10ish she only lasts till 12 at the latest, and this way I get a good stretch of sleep till 2 or 3. She does usually settle down again quickly though, thank goodness! I think it's a case of trying and seeing whether it helps or not.

Secondtimelucky Wed 17-Aug-11 21:04:08

Same as Rita- it made no difference for us at all. It just added an extra feed, but the next waking was exactly the same time.

LBsBongers Wed 17-Aug-11 21:10:03

Never worked here either, infact I think it kind of trained my son to wake at 11. Could never sleep well before the dream feed as knew my alarm was going to do off- madness! I persevered for months until one day I was moaning about it to a friend who suggested I stopped, and then I was free! Dream feed my arse

HandMini Wed 17-Aug-11 21:47:39

Didn't work for us.

DD would still wake around 4/5am for a feed, regardless of a 11pm/midnight one.

Actually giving the feed was no problem though - Mampig describes it well and I found DP was always better at doing it than me. We gave DD a finger to suck to sort of start her off/wake her a tiny bit and then slipped in the bottle and then straight back down, no winding or anything.

If you're going to do it, I would recommend bottle rather than breast - not sure how you would keep them asleep enough on breast, but I havent' tried it, so can't really say.

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Wed 17-Aug-11 21:49:30

Made no difference to when the baby would wake up again here. I tried it and he does feed without waking but then wakes when he would normally again anyway. I tried waking him up more to get him to drink more but that just made him cross! It's worth a try though!

lilham Wed 17-Aug-11 22:05:47

I do a dreamfeed with bf. But I started only when my DD slept through and I don't want her to go from 7pm to 6am without a feed.
What I do is lift her out from the cot, jiggle her a bit to wake her up and feed. BF mostly sends her to sleep, unless she is overtired, which won't be the case here. There isn't any problem with settling after a feed.

Mampig Wed 17-Aug-11 22:09:55

I can see y it wouldn't work on bf even if you gave a bottle as bm is digested a lot more quickly than fm. I'll know not to try it as bf can be heavy enough going without introducing an extra feed!

AngelDog Wed 17-Aug-11 23:41:58

I used to bf DS when I went to bed (we co-sleep) when he was older, but he'd wake up. It introduced a new wake-up which lasted for about 9 or 10 months.

I'd never have considered it at 12 weeks, but it would take up to 2 hours to get DS back to sleep so I'd have rather chewed off my own arm than risk waking him unnecessarily. wink

Pishwife Wed 17-Aug-11 23:52:11

Well it never got me a night's sleep with either of mine, but from the age of about 4 months I used to dreamfeed about 1030pm and then get a reliable 5ish hours until the next wake for food. Without it, babes would wake about 2am, which was a killer.

I have terrible insomnia, so the dreamfeeds had the advantage of sending ME to sleep once the oxytocin started flowing!

Pishwife Wed 17-Aug-11 23:58:31

Put a comfy armchair in the baby's room/your bedroom for you/DP to sit in while giving the dreamfeed, too. Your arms will be more relaxed if you're sitting comfortably with your elbows supported, making it more comfy for the baby. Also makes getting up & down to the cot a smoother journey.

We bought the ugliest, but comfiest, wing-backed chair for £10 from a car boot sale. I can't bear to chuck it out!

MadderHat Thu 18-Aug-11 20:52:41

I started dreamfeeding at around 3 months and it really helped me to get a block of sleep between the 11pm dream feed and 3 or 4 am... gradually moving to 4 or 5am.
But I wished I'd realised sooner that it also hindered as she got older. We accidentally didn't do a dream one night recently and instead of waking at 5, she slept through till 7, and again the next few nights. If I'd known that earlier, I would have been a much happier mummy. I now have 2 weeks of leave left and I'm finally getting enough sleep to enjoy my children.

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