Restart dreamfeed or risk 4am waking for months?(13 Posts)
My DD is almost 10 weeks old and for the last 2 days I haven't woken her for her 10.30 pm feed. She has slept on until 4am, then again til about 6.30/7. However a friend was concerned that dropping the dreamfeed would result in her waking at 4 for months and not stretching to the morning. So the question is do I wake her at 10.30 or do I let her carry on til 4? She's happy and feeding well in the daytime. I'd love a whole night's sleep sooner rather than later (wouldn't we all?) so would appreciate your thoughts.
I am very envious of you for having a DD that sleeps that long at 10 weeks!
However in about two weeks here second big growth spurt will kick in and she will probably want both the dreamfeed and the 4am feed. Sorry!
But why not try sticking with what is working right now and stop fiddling - things will change soon enough anyway!!!!
Ah- forgot about that growth spurt. Awww, was just getting used to the idea of getting a decent night's sleep. As for envious- poor mite had awful colic until about two weeks ago, all through the evening and the night so I've had a few nights where I've had 30 minutes of sleep. Grotty. So I'm so grateful now to be feeling human again. Won't wake her again tonight and will see. Fingers crossed...
I had a friend with twins who never did the 10pm feed (too much hassle!) and eventually they just went through but only until 6 (they have been early risers since).
If your 10 week old can go that long without feeding, I wouldn't mess with it. Feeds between 3am and 6am are inconvenient for you (being so close to getting up time), but you're only needing to 'stretch' her a bit longer for her to go the whole night. I wouldn't meddle to be honest.
DD2 had a dream feed because dreamfeed to 2 or 3am was the longest stretch of sleep I got.
DS didn't have a dream feed because he went from bedtime til 4 or 5 without a night feed from quite young.
Being able to sleep for long periods is not just to do with food, but also a neurological development (citation from Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr Marc Weissbluth). I wouldn't interrupt a long sleep like that for fear of actually setting things back.
I did the dream feed and didnt drop it till about 5/6 months. And I dropped it because when I woke her she refused to take any milk.
I wouldn't wake her either. She will wake again soon enough if she isn't getting enough. In my experience with DS1 he took dream feed and still woke in the early hours, so I dropped it. Didn't bother with the next 3 babies. DS1, breastfed, slept all night from 9 weeks.
If it works, stick with it. If it doesn't, well, you can still fix it later.
TWo days doesn't really show a pattern. I found that it wasn't just one day's feeding that affected night sleep, but often several days. Ds1, for example, would sleep through the night at this age if he had had at least 5 feeds during the day. One day of 4 feeds and he still slept through, but two days of 4 feeds and he would wake in the night.
So I would say to make sure she has plenty of feeds during the daytime, and just go with the flow. You can always add the dreamfeed back in.
I have found DS sleeps for longer since we dropped the dreamfeed. I think waking him interferes with his sleep cycle and he usually wakes every 2 hours after. since dropping that feed he now sleeps through from 10 to 4, then 4.30 til 7.30.
What a shame- she fed at 6.30 before bedtime at 7 and I think that was just a little too long for her at this age (previous 2 days probably fed at nearer 8) so she woke at 1.30 and 5. I definitely don't want to encourage this again. I see what you mean about the daytme feeds- I think she's had enough in the day- I'm demand feeding so she's getting milk when she wants it. Also she's probably had the same amount of daytime feeds the last few days, though my baby brain can't really keep track.
Anyway, d'you think I should feed her later in the evening- around 8, or let her settle at 7 as usual and wake her for dream feed? Or not wake her and see what happens? I know this isn't a huge issue compared with the trouble lots of mums are going through (and what life was like for me a few weeks ago- on the brink of PND due to her excessive colic), but chronic tiredness makes me unable to deal with simple decisions .
All opinions welcome!
If she's in a deep sleep at 10/11pm, I'd be a bit reluctant to wake fully to feed. You will probably find that by 12/13 weeks things will be entirely different again - she might be going 3 hours between feeds and in a better 'routine'.
I'd do the dream feed, personally - by which I mean that you don't wake her up or make lots of noise, you just quietly feed her and put her straight back down again. My babies used to literally feed whilst asleep. Don't switch the lights on or talk to her or anything at this feed, don't change her nappy (unless it's pooey!) etc.
6.30, 1.30 and 5 is actually quite a good night for this age, but the question is whether or not you can cope with it. If you can't there's nothing to be ashamed of! And naturally it is a big deal for you at the moment (I think we've all been there, one way or another ).
I would say that if she's settling well at 'bedtime' not to mess with that. Dreamfeeding should definitely be a sMummyDragon describes - not a proper waking. Ds1 was demand-fed to a routine, IYSWIM. I fed him when it felt right to feed, whether he asked or not, because he was so uninterested in food that he would often not ask. OTOH, if he did ask early, then I would feed him. So, even letting him feed on demand, he would not necessarily take enough to see him through the night.
If she sticks to 6.30, 4, 6.30, then brilliant. Assuming you are able to get back to sleep after the 4am feed. If not, and you don't want to reinstate the dreamfeed, can you try to feed her more during the day?
Join the discussion
Please login first.