Some mums swear by Dream Feeding, a bedtime routine intended to allow tired parents to enjoy a few extra hours of shut eye, but not everyone believes it works.
If you haven’t before heard of a ‘Dream Feed’, it involves feeding your sleeping baby a few hours after their bedtime, around the time you go to bed. The theory on the practice suggests that having a Dream Feed fills up your child’s little tummy, and they stay happy (and asleep) for longer during the night.
How Does It Actually Work?
Like we said, some parents swear by Dream Feeding, but it will only work if your baby is asleep, which means it might take a few times to get it right.
Say you go to bed at 10pm at night, and your baby usually wakes up around midnight for a feed. You carefully pick up your sleeping baby at 10pm, and either breastfeed or bottle feed them until they are satisfied – whilst they are still asleep. The urge to suck is a natural one, so they can sleep through the whole feed usually without waking. Then once all ‘topped up’, you carefully put bubs back to bed. And hopefully (fingers crossed), your baby will sleep longer than the usual few hours.
Will Dream Feeding Work At Any Age?
Dream Feeding usually works better with smaller babies, from birth to 6 months, although some babies will continue it for longer. Once they’re older than that, they may start to wean off night feeding anyway, and they are more alert. That means they’ll cotton on to what you’re doing, and will open their eyes to engage with whoever is feeding them. Once they’re awake, it can be even harder to get them back to sleep.