Are you offering your baby a dream feed? Or are you considering introducing one to help improve their night sleep? Well, I have some information which can help you decide whether a dream feed is right for you and your baby.
First of all, dream feeds are those when parents feed (either breast or bottle) their baby whilst their baby is still asleep and it is typically offered around 10pm, just before the parents go to bed.
A parent may opt to do this based on the theory that it will keep their baby sleeping longer, giving the parents a longer block of sleep.
It’s important to note that dream feeds don’t work for every baby. They are really only successful for around 50% of babies. And, they are best offered after 12 weeks of age and phased out by 7 months of age.
It is up to you and family unit to decide whether you would like to introduce a dream feed but to help you make an informed choice, you should consider the following:
A dream feed shouldn’t be introduced:
After the age of 5 months
If your baby is currently not feeding before midnight but wakes 1 or 2 times after midnight
If your baby is already waking before 12pm
To resolve excessive night time wakes
Personally and professionally, I’m not a fan of dream feeds as this can actually encourage wakings as feeding at a consistent time can trigger the circadian rhythm to internalise feeding signals and discourages consolidation.
My recommendations are to just wait for your baby to wake naturally and offer them a feed at that waking. However, the choice is yours!
I hope this information helps you to make a decision that fits you and your baby.
Forever bringing sleep to families,
My name is Shereen Nielsen and I am a certified infant and child sleep coach and a Doula, training at the Doula Training Academy. I am also a lecturer and mentor for students on their journey towards becoming a Sleep Consultant, through my on-line internationally recognised sleep consultants course.
If you would like more information about my services please contact me: