Dream feed … sleep saviour or cruel joke?

I’ve always been two minded about the dream feed, you know it’s when you attempt to feed your baby before you retire to bed in the hope that they will do a longer stretch without needing to feed. You do it ever so carefully without waking them up. They feed in their sleep – and hence the ‘dream feed’. In theory I think it’s a wonderful idea, but I have never known whether it really works in practice. Actually I’ve never given it a decent trial to figure out if it is indeed all it is cracked up to be. Here are my reasons for not giving the dream feed a proper trial:

1. For a long time I went to bed at the same time as the Imp due to overwhelming tiredness, so couldn’t exactly do a dream feed with this arrangement anyway.

2. I am sooooo paranoid that he will wake up and think it’s a great party, and then refuse to go back to sleep.

3. I am constantly fooling myself that ‘maybe this will be the night that he sleeps through’ and I want to allow him the full glory of sleeping 7 to 7 or whatever, without me sneaking in a feed at 10pm. (stupid reason really)

4. I can’t be bothered. I just want to get to bed.

5. I’ve tried it on occassions and the Imp has still woken up at exactly the same times as he normally does. What IS the point?

6. I worry that the more milk he has at night, the more likely the midnight nappy explosion!

So tonight, I’m feeling lucky. I’m going to do the dream feed. Am I crazy? Wish me luck!

 And one other thing, the Baby Whisperer may try to convince you to do the dream feed with a bottle, but I have perfected getting the Imp to latch on in his sleep. The trick I use is to stick my finger into his mouth until he starts to suck on it, then I can easily get him to latch onto the breast after that. Actually he feeds so much better in his sleep than he ever does when he’s awake!


12 Responses to Dream feed … sleep saviour or cruel joke?

  1. good luck! let us know how it goes…

  2. tamdin says:

    hope it worked for you amber. X

  3. serahrose says:

    hehe. I tried it several times. But A__ has an incredible internal clock. So, if I happened to want to go to sleep at a different time, I was screwed because once she was “dream fed” she would continue to wake up at that time every single night thereafter.

    I gave it up.

    At almost 11 months, we’re very good at sleeping for very short stretches at a time. getting more than two hours in a row feels like a whole night’s sleep to me 🙂

  4. amberjee says:

    oh yes, that’s another thing i worried about – building another feed into the night on top of those he already had. they seem to have a bottomless stomach at nighttime, don’t they!

  5. megbasket says:

    Ah yes, the dream feed. Should my Chops ever actually make it through to my bedtime without waking and demanding to be fed, I shall give it a go!

  6. amberjee says:

    Meg LOL, i hope that day is not too far away.

  7. FJ's mum says:


    DREAMFEEDS ROCK. My little boy could eat for ever and when we introduced the dream feed he slept from 7 till 8. He never slept through before and woke up because he was starving. However, when he went onto solids we reduced his dream feed amount therefore he hasnt become dependant on dream feeding and sleeps all the way through. Good luck and if they are hungry, their hungry and need some extra fodda! x

  8. esim says:

    Baby whisperer did nothing but cause failure to thrive for my baby girl. after trying the advice of just about every “baby guru” out there, we finally accepted her for who she is…A Sears baby. (yup, cosleeping, Breastfed, rocked, swayed, massaged) Needless to say, it didn’t matter if we tanked her up, dream fed her, or just went with the flow. she just had her own schedule and it was her way or…her way. 🙂 She grew up fine, slept through the night in her own time (17 months). Now she’s nearly 2, weaned herself, and decided she’d rather cuddle to sleep than get rocked. to all desperate moms for whom nothing works: the day of relief will come.

  9. poops says:

    i think ive confused my LO cos im so confused and tired myself..he still wakes up at the sames times whether i dream feed or not….i think i have met my nemesis and should just accpt the fact that sleep aint gonna happen in our house for the next 18 years….hence my bedtime now being with his at 7pm!!!!

  10. rachel says:

    I was fed up with my son waking up at 12:30-1 every night, so I decided to give dreamfeeding a try. For the first couple of nights it worked great- he slept until 2:30-3. On the 3rd night he woke up at 12:30-1, and now, 3 months later, he wakes up every night when I go to sleep and then again 2-3 hrs later. So we just added another feed into the mix!

  11. Rachel says:

    I love the dream feed. But I admit I couldn’t get myself to do it with my second. It was too hard to get myself to get up and do it!

  12. Akkuschrauber…

    […]Dream feed … sleep saviour or cruel joke? « Sleep Is For The Weak[…]…

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