Do you want a few extra hours of sleep?
I wanted to share this with you. Have you ever heard of Dream Feeding your baby? To dream feed your baby is to feed them right before you go to sleep, without waking them. I read this about 6 years ago, in the Baby Whisperer book (I love this book for all things baby!) and I have been using this tip ever since.
How, exactly, do you dream feed your baby?
Our baby girl eats around 6:30 and then goes to bed for the night. She normally cries around 10:00 to eat. We will feed her at this time. When we are ready to go to bed at midnight, we feed her again. This is when we Dream Feed her.
If your breastfed baby will take a bottle, this is a good chance to use one. It seemed to go much smoother when I would use a bottle for the dream feeding.
Get a warm bottle (or just breastfeed)
Go into your baby’s room without making any noise (pretty impossible, but try!), do not turn on any lights and DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT (I read once that making eye contact with a baby is the same as having a cup of coffee with the energy that it gives them!)
Pick your baby up slowly (I just try to keep them laying down) (we have a rocker in her room, where we feed her).
Still not talking or looking into their eyes, place the bottle onto baby’s lip. Let the baby drink as much as she/he will.
Lay her back down in her crib to go back to sleep. They normally don’t “gulp” at this feeding, so they don’t take in much air. You won’t have to burp them. I also don’t change them, unless they have a messy diaper.
We have dream fed every one of our babies and none of them have woken up for this, they just eat in their sleep. We continue to do this every night until they are sleeping all night long (or until around 1 year old).
What is the point of this?
This gives you just a few extra hours of sleep. For some kids, it will help them sleep all night, because it is just enough extra calories to help them to last the whole night without waking to eat. For our babies, it just got me a few extra hours of sleep.
When our kids are newborns, my husband would let me go to sleep and he would do this feeding for me. (So I could get 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep). If your baby will take a bottle, this is a great feeding to pass off to Dad! My husband takes this feeding every night (while I usually work on my blog or play on My Pinterest page for a few minutes.) He enjoys this quiet time with her, while she sleeps in his arms.
Two of our kids would not take a bottle, but I still dream fed them and it still worked. Give it a try and see if it can help you get those extra hours. When your babies are little, ANY extra sleep counts!
Remember that this little-sleep phase will pass and soon your baby will be a sleeping teenager that you are trying to wake up, while they say “Mom! I’m too tired!”