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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)

SpoonfulOfJam Sat 21-Dec-13 16:05:21

... by turning that late evening feed into a dream feed at around 10.30?

Twinsplusonesurprise Sat 21-Dec-13 22:13:19

Have to say that worked for me. DS now 12 weeks old, BF.
If I don't wake him at 10.30pm he wakes naturally at around midnight. If I dream feed him then he sleeps til 7am.
I was totally feeding on demand and fretting that I'd never get him to sleep more. Started waking him, at friends advice, and after about 4 nights he just did it!
Try. It can't hurt.

LindsayS79 Sat 21-Dec-13 22:48:27

I would definitely try it. Although I had to FF, I introduced a dream feed at around 8 weeks. Like your LO, she would feed again at around 3am. Over the space of a couple of weeks she started to last later and eventually went right through till 7am.
She's now 24 weeks and sleeps from 7:30-8am with a dream feed at 11pm. I'm very lucky, although I know it can all go wrong, so I don't count my chickens!!!!

SpoonfulOfJam Sun 22-Dec-13 14:43:16

I will give it a try. I think I would prefer to do this myself for a few days, while I work on the best way to wake him up, and get my husband to take over the feed once we know what we're doing.

Thanks both.

GeorgieJo Sun 22-Dec-13 19:07:58

Let me know how it goes!

Similar routine here. 10 week old ebf. Feed, bath and asleep by 730pm at latest. Then wakes sometime between 11pm and 1230pm, then 3/4am, then 7/8am. The first nighttime feed keeps getting later but not much movement on the 3/4am.

Would love to know if a 1030pm wake up works for you.

Sammie101 Sun 22-Dec-13 19:24:36

I used to dream feed at 10pm with the exact same bedtime schedule of you and my DD started waking up earlier and earlier expecting milk. With a dream feed at 10pm she went till about 1am but when I dropped the dream feed she slept 7pm till 2am and then half an hour later each night. Now she's happy doing 7pm till 4am. I dream fed her one night to see if she would sleep until about 7am but she only lasted an extra half an hour hmm

But all babies are different and what works for one may not work for another! It's worth a try at least

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 10:09:53

Good luck spoonful

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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!)

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