Stopping the dream feed(5 Posts)
When should I be thinking about dropping the dream feed? DS2 is 7 months old, eating (solids and milk) well during the day and sleeping 6.45pm-7am with a dream feed at 10.30pm (we wake him) and a breast feed at 5am (when he wakes up), after which he goes back until 7am. He is now taking maybe only 4 oz at the dream feed, sometimes more. Should I stop the dream feed? I don't want to go back to feeding during the night if he wakes up before 5am.
I think the only way to do it is to reduce the amount at 10:30 gradually and just see what happens. If he starts waking earlier, then you know the next night to give him just a bit more. My ds is 12 mo and we still feed him at about 22:00 if he doesn't take all his milk at 19:00 when he goes to bed. I don't know if there is a particular age at which to drop this feed - I suspect it depends on the baby!
I tried to stop the dream feed at about the same age but found that my DD would wake at 3am. I then went back to the dream feed but then found that she was anticipating waking up and would wake seeking a feed. It was a really tough time as I could never predict what the night would bring and I found it all quite hard going with the breast feeding solids etc. However by 8 months she wasn't really needing a dream feed (I preferred giving her that to the whail at 3 am). You might just have to bite the bullet and see what happens if you don't feed at 1030 p.m.. He seems to sleep well and might sleep through until 5am. If your DS is getting enough milk and solids during the day he shouldn't need a dream feed. (that's the theory) but unfortunately lo's don't read the books!
First you should bring the dream feed forward to somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00. Then if they're still sleeping through 'til 7 you gradually reduce the amount they're getting and once they've had 2 oz only for several nights in a row and still slept through you leave them to it. Then if they wake you offer some form of comfort other than food to settle them, whther that's a dummy, a shush-pat, a cuddle or a bottle of water.
Baby Whisperer suggests getting rid of the dream feed by 7 months as it should not really be needed if eating 3 good meals and milk a day. We removed the dream feed just before ds was 7 months by removing an oz every 3 days - so a gradual withdrawl. Once we got to 2oz we just stopped altogether. Ds would often wake (even before weaning him off it) at about the time the feed was due, we always left him to niggle it out until he was fast asleep again before we got him up to feed him, usually only took 15/20mins max, but we didn't want him to associate waking with feeding. The first night he had no milk at all he woke up about midnight and complained a bit but we stuck to our guns and offered water and a kind word - he got the message in the end! Hth
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