Author Topic: Dream Feed Backfire  (Read 1370 times)

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Offline Lara P

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Dream Feed Backfire
« on: September 11, 2005, 02:55:05 am »
I started my son, Liam, 5 months old, on 10:30-11:00 DF's about three weeks ago.  Prior to that, he would go to bed at 7:30-8:00 p.m. and sleep until about 3:30-4:00 a.m (usually 6-8 hours straight).  I started the DF to try to get him to last all night and head off any growth spurts.

The problem is that now he expects the DF so is waking up on his own at 10:30-11:00pm, and still waking up at 3:30-4:00.  All we've done is add another wake-up time, so now the longest sleep stretch is only about 4 hours! 

Has anyone else had this problem?  I'm thinking of trying to eliminate the DF's before they get any more of a habit for him and try to settle him with a pacifier to go back to our old habits. 

Any advice?

Offline Travis' Mom

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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2005, 03:35:34 am »
I would agree the DF has thrown a kink into your routine and progression to eliminate all early morning feeds.
I would get him off this DF.  Try the tanking up just before you put your LO to bed.  I'm assuming you are on a 4 hour feed routine.  If you feed him at 3:00, feed again at 6:00pm, then again at 7:00 - down for the night at 7:30 or 8:00pm.  Yes, it will "confuse" him again so it may take a few days to get him back on routine.  When he wakes at 4am, do you go right in or do you give him about 10 minutes to put himself back to sleep?  If he's not crying, let him be and see what happens.  Try the soother if you think it will help.  You could also try the Wake to sleep for the 4am wake up, after you deal with eliminating the dream feeds.
Let me know what happens.
Sheri
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Offline Katet

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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 03:50:56 am »
From my experience, from about 3-4mo, night wakings can become a bit of a "habit".
I did a 'dream feed' of sorts with my first ds, but never have with my second (also a Liam), because I am an early to bed, early to rise type person & so is my toddler.
I think because you introduced it after the 3/4am feed had become established it has become a habit for your lo, so effectively you need to break him of it.
If you ff, try reducing the amount by 30mls (1oz) every few days & then use the paci when you get down to about 30mls.
If you bf, it is a bit harder as you need to cut back on time, so let him suck until it is about 2-3mins, less than the "normal" feed time, then cut back by 2-3 mins every few days & once again use the paci.
On the other side, you could just cut out the DF, but if he is now waking for it, I think you'd have the same sort of problems.
Just make sure that as you cut back on the feed at night that you offer more in the day to make up for it.

HTH
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Offline Lara P

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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2005, 20:33:05 pm »
Thanks so much, Sheri and Kate, for your suggestions.  To answer your question, Sheri, when he wakes up at 4, I let him go until he really cries, usu. about 10 minutes, then go in and settle him w/o feeding.  He then wakes up about every 30 minutes until I feed him around 6am, then goes down for a couple of hours more until up for the day.

Last night I had forgotten to cluster feed before I put him to bed, so I went ahead and did the DF at 11.  Amazingly, after a brief awakening at 12:30am, he slept until 6:30am.  Now I am wondering if the DF is starting to work or if I should still try to cut it out.  I may do it one more time tonight to see if it was just a fluke.  Or do you think I should go ahead and stop the DF's? 

I am bf and today have also been letting him go longer each feeding to make up for lost calories at night, as Kate mentioned.  Hopefully, that will help tonight as well...

Thanks again!

Offline Travis' Mom

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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2005, 03:14:07 am »
I think whatever you decide, you need to stick with it.  It must be confusing to your LO as there isn't a set routine on the feeds at night.  He is physically capable of going 10 hours at night now.  Why don't you set the times that you want to feed him at and take it from there.  I don't see how continuing with DF's is a good idea when you will be dropping them in a couple months.
Feeds could be at 6, 10, 2, 6 and a tank up at 7:30/8:00pm and then down he goes.  It's a little easier when formula feeding as I knew exactly how much food my LO was getting and that it wouldn't be hunger that woke him up during the night.  Once you get these stablized, the 4am wake up will just be an internal clock habit that can be changed with WTS.  Let me know.  You're doing great work!  :D
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Offline Deb_in_oz

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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2005, 03:58:41 am »
just wanted to chime in about how long it takes a DF to work.  it varies from lo to lo. Tracy says between 3 days and a week or so is usual.  for us with dd2 it took 3 weeks to eliminate the 2am feed, but we still had the odd night waking in the 3-4 am slot then she slept through from 10 1/2 weeks - 12 weeks which is when she had GS. during 3 mo GS she woke for 2 feeds after DF. from 4 mo we finally had no night wakings at all and have been good ever since.

the amount at the DF has also varied for olivia - anythign from 70ml - 220ml  :roll:  as she really does use it as a top up to get through the night.  on nights when she takes less than 120ml she wil wake closer to 6:15 and on other mornings it is 6:40-7am (used to be later but not anymore  :cry: )
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