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late evening feed- dream feed or on demand

(32 Posts)
SpoonfulOfJam Sat 21-Dec-13 16:03:47

8 week breastfed baby. Bath at 6, fed, winded and fast asleep by 7 (hurrah!). He wakes between 10 and 11.30 for a feed- this was closer to 10 but has been getting later. Then another feed between 2 and 3, and sometimes one more at 5 or 6 before he wakes up properly for the day. Anyway, I am wandering if that late evening should be a dream feed. My husband has recently started doing this feed (I express before I go to bed). At the moment, he waits till he hears baby stirring then warms the bottle. Should we be feeding the baby when he wakes for it, or pre empt his hunger and work to make the evenings run more smoothly for us ( and hopefully get him to sleep through)

Nearlythere123 Sat 28-Dec-13 15:13:38

Funnily enough I was just thinking about giving I had LO wake at 2 then 6 last night. I prefer the on demand approach in principle definitely. There doesn't seem to be much pattern either and in some ways I feel like in interfering with what would happen naturally and am going to end up making him dependent on the dream feed. Plus I'm actually getting less sleep. I'll have a little think about it and maybe see how I get on without the dream feed for a few nights now he's showing that he can sleep for longer periods. Good luck everyone!

SpoonfulOfJam Sat 28-Dec-13 09:46:44

It's always something I could try again in a few weeks

Do keep me updated though Nearly and Run.

SpoonfulOfJam Sat 28-Dec-13 09:44:22

I think I'm throwing in the towel

Yesterday, had a big nap in the afternoon so went to sleep about an hour later than usual. Isaid I would do the late evening feed, but as our times were off and it would be a breast feed, I would wait for the baby to wake up.
He woke at 2 and then at 6. So I don't think he needs the dreamfeed at the moment. I'm just not sure. I think I want to go back to on demand, and see if his natural pattern is changing. He is 9 weeks now. Still quite little, would like to see what changes on its own in the next couple of weeks.

Nearlythere123 Thu 26-Dec-13 15:22:38

Makes sense Spoonful, I totally agree - plus just trust your instincts. I'm comfortable with it because for my LO that dream feed is a new feed he wasn't taking before and I know how much he's taking. Plus the first night when he woke he wasn't actually hungry so I'm ok with it.

Runandbecome Thu 26-Dec-13 15:15:10

Not so great at our end.

Christmas Eve night, he woke up and BF at 11 then at 3. Took til 4 to settle him and then woke about every 90 mins til 7.15

Christmas Day night, he woke up and BF at 10 (though had gone to bed 45 mins earlier) then woke at 12.30 and then had to change a dirty nappy and he wailed until 2am. Slept til 4 then wailed again. Then slept til about 6.45

So not great and I was really feeling frustrated last night.

Our biggest issue is he can't self settle so has to be cuddled to sleep and then gets into a tizzy if he can't drop off properly. I know I need to change this but not sure how.

Interesting that the dummy worked for you in the night - I'm going to try one tonight as I end up having to feed him to sleep and then he pukes it up as he's full.

SpoonfulOfJam Thu 26-Dec-13 11:17:50

Nearly, glad you managed one feed. Night 3 almost identical to previous night. He drank so much at 1 though, so I am reluctant to try to settle him with a dummy tonight for that wake up.

I swear I can see and feel my LO getting bigger by the day. He's 8 weeks and 2 days, he might be going through as growth spurt. My instinct is telling me not to hold back on milk at the moment. But this could change any time now. So I'll keep going and hope that soon I am ready to try what you did Nearly.

Nearlythere123 Thu 26-Dec-13 08:26:24

Third night:

Bottle dream feed 11ish (didn't take any more milk than last night in the end). Awake 1 ish but I settled him back to sleep. Next feed 4am. He woke again around 6 when I settled him back to sleep again. Then next feed 7.30.

So we achieved a 1 feed night. I'm really pleased! LO waking in between times which is a new thing - but I guess before I would have assumed he'd woken for a feed.

So now we need to see if we can do it again tonight.

And I need to help him learn to self settle...

Spoonful and Run, how you getting on?

Nearlythere123 Wed 25-Dec-13 22:05:01

So same as you Spoonful. Same number of wake ups. And I've had less sleep as I've been doing all the feeds as OH has been drinking for Christmas! (Which I said was ok - I usually get loads of support and thought OH deserved a few drinks!)

Nearlythere123 Wed 25-Dec-13 22:00:02

My night 2:

Bottle dream feed 11pm.

LO awake 1.30 but I didn't feed him - just settled him back to sleep with his dummy (it did take me a few attempts). Previously I would have assumed he was hungry and fed him.

He woke 3 ish and I fed him.

Next feed 6.15.

So i do feel like there was some progress again - except I actually had less sleep I reckon!

Same plan again tonight except, he took the amount of milk I'd expressed for the dream feed easily so I'm going to slightly increase the amount tonight. Merry Christmas by the way smile

SpoonfulOfJam Wed 25-Dec-13 18:39:48

Night 2, dreamfeed at 1030. Woke at 1 for an hour. Again at 4 for half an hour. Woke up for the day at 8. So same number of wakeups, as before, just slightly shifted forward.

Will persevere.

Merry Christmas all.

Runandbecome Tue 24-Dec-13 09:43:26

We tried a dream feed (by DH) at 10.30 (bedtime was 7.30) but DS wouldn't wake up and only took about 20mls - prob not helped by the fact he's started refusing bottles. He then woke properly at 12.30, 4 and 6.30. Gave quite big BF feeds in the night but only a short one at 6.30 to get him back to sleep til 7.45.
Hasn't seemed that hungry this morning so don't know if I'm feeding him too much in the night.

Will keep trying though!

SpoonfulOfJam Tue 24-Dec-13 08:37:25

Good morning. I had something similar. husband fed expressed bottle at 10. Took about 45 mins as baby needed to be woken slightly to start sucking.

I heard him cooing at 1230. Was going to ignore him but he did a poo- his first in 3 days so was actually really pleased. He needed a change of clothes so wasn't very happy. Quick short comfort feed and all back asleep by 1.

Then he woke at 4. Big feed, very unsettled. I prefer him to sleep in his basket but for some reason he wasn't having it, so at 5 he came in with me and slept soundly till 8.

So I don't know what effect the 1230 wake up really had, and I don't know why he wouldn't settle in his basket- he may have been cold, but I think it was a move in the right direction. Looking forward to seeing what happens tonight.

Nearlythere123 Tue 24-Dec-13 08:03:57


So, I BF him about 10.30 asleep.

He woke up crying at 1.30. Except when OH (feeling better) tried to feed him expressed milk from a bottle he screamed merry hell. We've learned that when he does this he's not wanting food so put him back down. He'd had about 40 ml of milk.

Next woke up at 5.30 - I fed him.

I then woke him about 7.45 ish. Although I did hear him awake & chirping away happily at some point around 6.30 but he went back to sleep.

So it feels like we had some success. But he still woke at 1.30.

Tonight when/ if he wakes in the night, see if I can comfort him back to sleep first rather than assume he's hungry.

Spoonful how did it go.

Nearlythere123 Mon 23-Dec-13 21:09:02

OK going to try again tonight. Although my OH is not very well, so I'm going to do it myself rather than a bottle. Not sure what time yet - maybe about 10.30 ish.

Will report back tomorrow! Good luck Spoonful.

muddylettuce Mon 23-Dec-13 18:44:06

Dream feeding worked for us. Otherwise we'd go to be at 10 and she'd wake at 11. Seemed silly to stay up or get woken up so we woke her for a feed, I say wake, she never opened her eyes. She's 7 months now, almost 8 and I've only just stopped, literally a few days ago and she still slept through.

Runandbecome Mon 23-Dec-13 18:33:03

Interested in this too as my 13 week old has a similar sleep pattern and I'd love him to go for longer. Doesn't seem to have worked the couple of times I've tried.

freakingoutabit Mon 23-Dec-13 15:17:54

Watching with interest as am in similar position. Dream feed worked for #1 but limited success with #2 as he appears not to want to take a bottle and argues with it such that we are lucky to get 2oz in. Also express this feed just before. Am just dream feeding him from boob at the mo with limited success - if lucky he will go til 3 then 6ish but have had a run of really bad nights (where I have gone on demand actually - hmmm).

Twinsplusonesurprise Mon 23-Dec-13 10:09:53

Good luck spoonful

SpoonfulOfJam Mon 23-Dec-13 08:57:03

Nearly, let's try it together. Last night was a write off- worst night we've had in weeks, so it starts properly tonight. His dad is doing the feed with a bottle and will try and do it without waking him. You never know, our little ones might give us the greatest Christmas gift of all- eight hours sleep!

Twinsplusonesurprise Mon 23-Dec-13 06:54:10

Do try it nearlythere
It really did work for me with DS and I thought I was staring into an abyss of 2 hourly night feeds and sooo tired esp with twins 2.5 yo racing round everywhere!
3 nights and he cracked it. Now I've had 2 weeks of sleeping from 11 til almost 7 (tinker woke at 6.30 today!) which made such a difference to my sanity.

Nearlythere123 Mon 23-Dec-13 04:46:39

Please do report back Spoonful. My LO is 9 weeks and I'm in a very similar position.

We have tried the dream feed around 10.30-11 twice, but LO still woke at 2.30 ish for his next feed so it made no difference. Am wondering if it's worth persevering though by trying it over a few nights in a row.

I'm desperate for a bit more sleep and dropping one of the night feeds would make the world of difference.

LindsayS79 Sun 22-Dec-13 22:36:27

Remember you don't need to wake them up to do a dream feed. I just pick my LO one up, stick the bottle in and she gulps it down in her sleep. No hassle trying to get her back to sleep and I still get to cuddle her!!!
Also experienced her sleeping much better when I moved her into her own room.

SpoonfulOfJam Sun 22-Dec-13 20:43:28

I'll work on it this week and update in a few days

Skogkat Sun 22-Dec-13 20:28:55

I would try it. Dream feeding worked for DS1 and DD, but not for DS2. You won't lose anything by attempting it.

Sammie101 Sun 22-Dec-13 19:26:31

Also my baby is nearly 5 months so doesn't need as many night feeds, and now also in her own room which I think is the main reason she is sleeping better, so again I think it's worth a try smile

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