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Dream feed or let sleeping babies lie?

(18 Posts)
Clueless79 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:18:03

My 9wo ds is now going to sleep regularly for the night at 8.30 (big improvement on 11.30 hallelujah!) and I give him a dream feed when I go up to bed 10.30-11 ish. This goes well as he is barely disturbed, seems to feed well but he then only sleeps till 4am at which time he wakes up fully alert and ready for action! There's no way I'm ready to start my day at that hour but he'll not really settle after that, perhaps only going down for another half hour or hour if I'm lucky.

First question - should I be bothering with the dream feed or just leave him asleep (as has been suggested to me - people are so helpful putting questions in your mind with their helpful 'advice')

Secondly - how do I convince ds to have some more sleep after 4am feed - usual tactics don't seem to work at this hour!

Jojay Mon 04-Jul-11 14:21:12

I would try waking him properly at 11 pm ish and keep him up for half an hour or so after his feed.

You may find that he then takes a sleepy feed at 4 am and will then sleep till morning.

Not many babies of his age will sleep 10 hrs plus without some awake time.

dietcokeandwine Mon 04-Jul-11 14:36:45

I would agree - in fact I'd wake him nearer to 10, keep him awake a full hour, and resettle him nearer to 11.

Did this with both of mine and then found they gradually pushed the night feed later and later until they went right through. Keeping them awake longer at this time definitely helped them resettle again after the night feed as they were tired enough to zonk out again. As they got older we gradually cut the awake time of the late feed until they were just taking a quick feed about ten thirty and then straight back down.

Clueless79 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:41:29

Thanks Jojay -I guess when you look at it like that, he's doing pretty much 8 hours so why wouldn't he be ready to wake up? Am I getting it right by trying to creep his bedtime earlier or is he too young for this? I'm unsure what a good night's sleep should 'look like' for a baby of this age?

Clueless79 Mon 04-Jul-11 18:07:19

Apologies for the cross-post earlier dietcokeandwine! I'll give this a go tonight - I have been feeling that it seemed unfair to keep trying to put him back down in the mornings since he is so ready to be up and at it. Maybe this will buy me an hour at the other end. The giver of essential 'advice' is, however, horrified at the idea of waking a sleeping baby at any time as they'll wake when they're hungry but I feel that if I left him sleeping through our bed time he'd only be awake an hour or two later. So hard to know what to do for the best! Will see how we get on tonight!

Clueless79 Tue 05-Jul-11 06:55:00

Well that was rubbish! Baby woke up every 2 hours or less all night! Back to the drawing board...

cheekyginger Tue 05-Jul-11 08:41:40

I have the same issue with my 10 wo. He has bath and bed by 7.30 and goes to sleep no problem. Gets a dream feed at 12.30 and actually takes quite alot. He then sleeps quite well might have to get up about 3 to pop his dummy in. But at 5 he's really quite awake. We tend to rock his crib/pop his dummy in to passify him (avoid picking him up) until 6.30 when he gets fed. (He doesnt seem hungry at 5 just wants to be up!!)
Our plan is to make bath bedtime later by an hour with a longer nap/extra nap during the day, and this can gradually be moved forward once my DS is sleeping till at least 6.
We shall see if that makes any diff at all!!!

Sowlers Tue 05-Jul-11 09:13:57

Hope u don't mind me butting in but I've just gone through this, my second DS is 12 weeks today and last night he slept 8pm til 6 am with one settling at 4 am. I'm not bragging, it's been a tough week to get here from the first 11 weeks where I barely got 4 hours sleep all night but my Mam bought me The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan by Alison Scott Wright. Not for everyone I'm sure but it has worked miracles for us! Good luck. wink

cheekyginger Fri 15-Jul-11 18:24:30

From my earlier post....

We moved his bath and bedtime back by 30-45 min. Do a dream feed at 1am, then he sleeps through till 6-6.30 ish. Woooo hoooo.

My hope is to move his dream feed earlier so that im not having to set my alarm to get up and feed him, instead i will be doing it before i go to bed.

LittleMilla Fri 15-Jul-11 19:19:32

Hope you don't mind me jumping on this one. I'm thinking of dropping dream feed for my 10 w/o DS. Been doing it for a few weeks and I'm not convinced it's making much difference. Last week he's gone from sleeping until 4:30am after a 10:30/11 df, to waking at 1:30/2 and then every 2-3 hours afterwards.

Last weekend he teased us by sleeping until 6am after his 11pm df...but nothing close to the same since. We moved him to big cot, which has affected him. So he;s back squished in basket until divider etc arrives.

I am feeling utterly crap about this regression as I naiively thought we'd cracked it.

Sowlers i'll look at buying the book, but can you give any hints/tips? I've read baby whisperer and also no cry sleep solution. DS is able to self settle for about 80% of naps and sleeps, which is brilliant. Just need him to stop waking up so much at night (and not going back to sleep without food in his belly!).

K999 Fri 15-Jul-11 19:22:36

I dream fed dd2 till she was 6 months. Brought her downstairs, changed her nappy, then fed. She always went down no bother after that. Dropped the feed when she wasn't really fussed for the feed and seemed to prefer not to be disturbed.

PipCarrier Sat 16-Jul-11 19:17:56

When my son was 8 weeks old, he was going to bed at 7.30pm and being dream fed at 10.30pm, then a night feed at 3am. We dropped the 10.30pm feed and it made no difference, he still woke at 3am, then one week later he slept through completely 7.30-7.30 and always did from then on.

Sowlers Sun 17-Jul-11 21:51:42

Sorry for late reply, in terms of tips it's tough as all babies are so different but I just decided that the night feed was possibly just habit and started watering them down, harder if you are breast feeding but book suggests shortening the feeds each night. After four nights I decided to try and not feed but just cuddle and reassure him then put him back down. He took about two nights to break the habit and now he sleeps roughly 7 til 5 then after a brief reassurance goes back down til around 6.30. I think you need to make a decision on the night feeds and just try it. The book suggests if they are getting enough milk during the day then they can go through the night without it but all babies are different. My baby boy has reacted brilliantly to the routine of set feed times and regular naps, it seems to suit him. Sorry if this is rambley but I'm on my phone and i lose my train of thought as I type!!!smile

Sowlers Sun 17-Jul-11 21:56:39

"littlemilla" the main focus of Alison Scott- Wright's plan is routine feeds, regular day naps and reassurance during the night in a confident tone. That's very basic the book helps more, she has a website with info on it. As for sleeping in a big cot, I moved my baby into his at 3 weeks old in my room then moved him and the cot to his own room at 10 weeks. I pit him in a sleeping bag and he wriggles himself to sleep with no worries about blankets going over his head.

cheekyginger Thu 01-Sep-11 20:41:51

Hi clueless,

How are you getting on is your wee one sleeping later?

My DS is now 18 weeks and still gets a dream feed at 10.30. Sleeps through till 7am. (When i do a dream feed lights are kept off lifted out of cot and bottle "plugged" in, NO nappy change unless there is poo.)

Aloha31 Fri 02-Sep-11 08:28:47

My DD is going through a rough patch sleeping wise (12 WO) but in general I have found the dream feed either makes no difference or, most of the time, disturbs her and the rest of the night is tricky.

Each baby is different, how is your baby getting on now?

LittleMilla Fri 02-Sep-11 10:02:33

Sorry to gatecrash again! DS is now 17 weeks and we're experiencing the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. Last night we had bed at 6:45, up at 7:30, 11, 1, grumble at 3, up at 5:30. But then he slept until 9:15 - bliss for me!

The notion of a dream feed is going out of the window with him waking so soon after going to bed. He's not hungry and it just disrupts him.

cheekyginger envy at your LO. Grrrr. I am hopeful that my DS will start to improve now...we've had a solid week now, with another tentchy week before that.

Irritating because before this regression he'd be going from 10:30-5 after getting him to drop the 2am (DH helped with that!).

cheekyginger Fri 02-Sep-11 10:27:20

Hey Milla.

Think alot of it is luck and trial and error!!!!

I started to set my alarm for 1 am and do a dream feed then from about 9 weeks old. Ignoring the HV suggestion of feeding him when he woke up himself!!! I know that what demand feeding is all about but ive read so much from the baby whisperer and Gina ford that i decided on a mixture. I like the idea of routine and setting the alarm meant i knew when i would be getting up so i knew i could go to bed early and get some sleep. Certainly worked for us.

Think you really have to go with your gut and if you try a new routine give it at least 5 days before deciding it doesnt work.

Fingers crossed im not eating my words soon!!!!

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