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Dream feed-why isn't it working???!!!

(8 Posts)
Inapickle123 Fri 14-Mar-14 16:39:04

Hi all

DS is 8 weeks today and sleep isn't high on his agenda. Ever.

During the day, we may get 2-3 30m-1h nap (fighting it all the way!) and this has been since birth. Feeding has been a nightmare due to reflux and, try as we might, we still don't have any consistency with a night time routine as days are so unpredictable.

Anyhow, he's been taking roughly 3-5ounces every 3 hours or so during the day (8/11/2) but starts to get ravenous around 4 so we feed 2 hourly at 4/6 then another bottle at 8pm (bedtime). He tends to take more on these feeds (5-6 ounces) and then conks out for his "long" sleep (4 hours) then it's anyone's guess; occasionally he'd go 3-3 1/2 hours before he wanted another feed (usually 4-5 0z) but he'd usually wake every 2-3 hours and guzzle bottles. This gave him horrible tummy aches, gas and made the reflux worse.

We tried placating him for one of the feeds with a dummy-it worked once and then he cottoned on.

Anyhow, on the advice of the HV (because I am beyond shattered as on my own during the week), I've introduced a dream feed when I go to bed (1030-11) in the hope this would stretch him out til between 2-4, meaning only two night feeds instead of 3-4)

On Wednesday, this worked like a charm. He went to bed at 8, dream feed at 1040, slept til 315 (I, however, was wide awake from 130 waiting on him waking!), slept til 515, fed, then up for the day at 8. He was a completely different baby during the day-he slept! He giggled! He didn't cry the moment I left the room!

I cracked it! I finally cracked it!!!

Or how naive I was...

Same routine yesterday but he woke at 1, drained a bottle, then woke at 5 and 630 looking for MORE food and point blank refused to go back to his Moses basket. Ended up dozing on me til 8 and I've got one cranky baby on my hands.

By providing more food at shorter increments, he's now wAnting fed ALL the time during the day. He used to quote happy go 3 1/2-4 hours without wanting fed. Since I started feeding 4/6/8, he tries to be fed every 1 1/2-2 hours. He can't be hungry (he eats way over the Rex amount) and I use a dummy to give him the comfort sucking obviously gives him.

Am I doing this incorrectly? Should the dream feed be later or earlier? When he wakes, he often drains the first bottle but only takes 2-3oz from the other two.

He's now demanding fed every 2 hours; what on earth am I doing wrong??

ThermoLobster Fri 14-Mar-14 16:48:17

You are not doing anything wrong. Your baby is still very small and it would be unusual for him to sleep for longer periods at this age. He is probably having a growth spurt. Unfortunately, babies don't read the books about routines and dream feeds and do their own thing.

I never attempted a dream feed but hopefully someone who did will come along and advise other things to try.

But you might just have a difficult one... like mine who still does not reliably sleep through and is nearly 2!

CuteLittleToes Fri 14-Mar-14 17:39:39

This is probably not what you want to hear but for 8wo to sleep 4h at a time is actually quite good. My DS is 16 weeks and hasn't done 4h stretch ever.

I'd say count yourself lucky and go with your baby's needs - he is still very little and it's a bit early for any kind of routine yet.

NickyEds Fri 14-Mar-14 18:11:10

Really sorry OP but I think that this is completely normal behaviour for an 8 week old. I would imagine that going 4 hours is less common than feeding every too. Could be a growth spurt??

Peppermintlover Fri 14-Mar-14 18:18:19

Sounds like your baby is doing really well op. Mine is 19 weeks and longest she manages is 2 and a half hours! I would say keep doing what you are doing and baby will go longer between feeds as he grows. The two hours could be a growth spurt or related to injections if he's recently had them? Hope you do get more sleep soon, it is a killer!!

neversleepagain Fri 14-Mar-14 21:24:52

We fed our twins every 3 hours without fail from birth. The first feed would be at 7am and I would wake them for that feed no matter how awful the night before was. That meant we were able to get in 6 feeds during the day. They would wake at 2am and 5am for milk and then managed to go from the dream feed at 10pm to 5am and then eventually from 10pm-7am. They both did this by 14 weeks (8 weeks corrected). I think the key is to keep them topped up in the day so they are not ravenous at night. We would make sure they drank all their milk at these feeds, even if that mean changing their nappies when they fell asleep to wake them up again. They were premature so this is what the NICU did and told us to do.

Good luck.

starlight1234 Fri 14-Mar-14 21:28:48

My Ds would never take a dream feed ..he fed when he wanted to.. My best advise is learn to sit down and rest nap when your child does..

TerrifiedMothertobe Fri 14-Mar-14 21:52:35

You are doing a great Job and for an 8 wk old v well. Ny 14 wk old feeds at roughly 7 am, 830am, 10am, midday, 2, 3, 5' 6-7 and then if I'm luck through until 130 am, then 3 and 5 am. He's bf so I expect more feeds... But, don't loose faith, it will improve and I expect sooner than you think! Just get those hrs in early! My toddler wakes at 5/6 am too.... ;) nice! I am a zoooooombie.

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