QUICK SLEEP TIP: Dream Feed Dos and Don’ts

Dream Feed Tips

In some cases, a dream feed can be a great way to “top off” your baby at night, before you go to bed, and guarantee yourself an extra-long stretch of sleep during the night. But in other cases, a dream feed is simply a sleep crutch that doesn’t actually improve sleep (and certainly doesn’t promote sleeping through the night) and tends to cause more problems than it solves.

But how can you know whether or not a dream feed is a good idea for your baby? We have dream feed dos and don’ts for you in today’s article – read on for details!

Dream Feed DOs

A dream feed can be a true blessing and a great tool when used in the following scenarios:

  • A dream feed can work well for babies who are younger than 6 months.
  • Dream feeds are especially great for newborns (provided you don’t wake your newborn up too much during the feed!)
  • A dream feed can be good for breastfeeding moms who have supply problems and need to nurse more frequently, or for breastfeeding moms who also work outside the home.
  • Dream feeds work well for babies who are able to wake up enough to feed, but not so much that they’re fully awake.

Dream Feed DON’TS

A dream feed isn’t a silver bullet solution to sleep problems, however. Dream feeds usually won’t work well in the following situations:

  • A dream feed doesn’t usually work well for babies who are older than 9 months (because by this age, most babies don’t need any night feedings and are ready for night weaning).
  • Dream feeds won’t work well for babies who are extra-alert and perceptive; you run the risk of waking them too much when you wake them for the dream feed.
  • A dream feed will do nothing to fix a persistent sleep association. If your baby consistently wakes shortly after the dream feed, it’s likely you have a sleep problem on your hands that involves more than simple hunger.

Will A Dream Feed Help Your Baby Sleep?

So, will a dream feed help your baby? That depends on a lot of unique factors, as I mentioned earlier, but here’s the main thing to remember: if your baby is breastfeeding, is not super-alert and responds well to being slightly roused at night, and is under 6 months old, then a dream feed may be worth trying, as a tool to improve sleep. But if your baby is over 6 months old, and if your baby usually wakes shortly after the dream feed, then it may be time to identify your baby’s sleep associations, and to start working on sleep training.

Baby Sleep Help From The Baby Sleep Site®

 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.

 

bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOr, join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant.

 
Baby_On_Computer_RESIZEDIf you are looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation, and want plenty of support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations. Your consultation package will provide you with the chance to interact one-on-one with a trained sleep consultant, who will create a Personalized Sleep Plan™ for your family and then work to help you implement it at home.
 

Can’t decide which product or service is right for you? Visit our Getting Started Page for help.

Does a dream feed help your baby sleep? Why or why not? Share your dream feed stories and questions with us!

The Baby Sleep Site® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other product affiliate programs. If you click on a product link and make a purchase, The Baby Sleep Site® may (but not always) receive a small commission from the company selling the product, but will not affect your purchase price. We only recommend products that we believe are quality products and are good for our readers.

Holistic Sleep Solutions from The Baby Sleep Site®

e-Book bundles

Do-It-Yourself: Just getting started with your research but you want to stop Googling? Choose from any of our e-Book bundles for practical advice you can put to use TODAY!  

Become a VIP Member

Do-It-Mostly-Yourself: Would you like to continue learning with the option of chatting with a sleep consultant? We have a perfect solution! Become a VIP Member for access to all of our premium content, “ask the author,” audio courses, live weekly chat, and more!

Get a Personalized Sleep Plan

Work With a Sleep Expert: Tap into over a decade of experience with thousands of families before you! Get a Personalized Sleep Plan® just for your unique situation, get guidance and answers to all your “what if?” questions while you work through your plan, and benefit from expert support along the way. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard “I wish I had done this sooner!” Not sure? Read these stories from well-rested parents.

Don’t lose another wink of sleep — GET STARTED TODAY with our gentler, kinder approach to healthy sleep!

Since starting in 2008, we’ve gained over 10,000 comments on our blog!

At this time, we’ve turned the comment sections off. We would, of course, love to hear from you! For help with your specific sleep problems, please learn more about our DIY resources or our sleep consultation services. Or, consider emailing us for a fast and helpful response!

FREE Guide: Five Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Through the Night

Join over 450,000 parents around the world & sign up today to receive the guide and our Baby Sleep Newsletter absolutely FREE!