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July 16, 2024

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Dreamfeed Baby for Extra Sleep

Is a good night's sleep just a dreamfeed away?!

You take your sleeping baby into your arms and sit down in a comfy spot to feed him — while he’s sleeping. Yup. That’s the idea behind “Dreamfeeding,” the phrase coined by Robert Bucknam, M.D. in the book, On Becoming Babywise: Giving Your Infant the GIFT of Nighttime Sleep (Parent Wise Solutions; 2012).

The point is to dreamfeed your baby right before YOU go to bed so you both get a couple of extra hours sleep during the night. Here’s how:

How to Dreamfeed

Before YOU turn in for the night:

• Have your breast or bottle ready
• Lift baby from where he’s sleeping
• Sit comfortably in a dimly lit area
• Gently poke your baby’s mouth with your nipple or the bottle’s nipple; a drop of milk on top may help
• If Baby doesn’t start sucking, try changing your position a bit to disturb Baby’s sleep a bit but not enough to wake him.

Buckham says that unless your baby is in deep sleep it will work eventually, so try, try again. If you eventually DO gain extra sleep but start believing that your baby might be able to sleep without the extra feeding, just slowly decrease the time you spend dreamfeeding … or you can stop dreamfeeding by moving the time for the dreamfeed forward and seeing what happens.

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