Dream feeding seems like a great idea. If you feed your child asleep right before you yourself go to bed, then hopefully they’ll sleep longer, which gives you a longer time of uninterrupted sleep. Sounds like heaven, right? I tried this with my second son who took ages to sleep through the night, but sadly this never had the desired affect for him!
Now having studied baby and child sleep I have realized that my idea to dream feed my son to help him sleep longer was never the best plan. Picking up a baby when they are deep in sleep and holding them and feeding them could just force them into a state of alertness especially for the pleasure of your company. This is especially likely for babies past the newborn stage. This could make it harder for them to return to sleep post dream feed which can cause them to have fragmented sleep.
What we want for our babies is consolidated sleep, especially in the first half of the night as that sets the scene for their second half of the night. Waking them up to feed them could end up with them waking more for the rest of the night.
The next issue with dream feeding is that this can not only start a habit that your baby grows to expect, but it can also make it more difficult for you to determine when they have become capable of sleeping through the night.
Now that I have cleared up the issue of dream feeding I will leave you with a few suggestions. Feed your baby when they wake up hungry. Past 4 months of age they will likely only need one to two feedings per night and somewhere between 6 and 9 months they will drop night feedings entirely.
If you need help with solving your child’s sleep problems, please feel free to contact Mylee at Little Big Dreamers today. Or you can schedule an appointment here. Have you had a chance to join my free community where parents come together to discuss child sleep issues? Join here!