Author Topic: How do I implement a dream feed?  (Read 1551 times)

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Offline Beata

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How do I implement a dream feed?
« on: October 21, 2005, 17:17:17 pm »
Hopefully I posted in the right place, if not let me know. I'd like to institute the dream feed, but when is the best time? She has been waking herself at about 10 the last 2 nights (and everyone before we started easy this past Monday) DD is 5 mo old.

Here is dd schedule:
W 7:30
E 8
A quiet activities
S 9:30
E 11
A Out and about
S 1
E 2 - 2:30
A
S 4
E 5
A Play with dad
S (sometimes a short cat nap)
E 6:30
A Bath, reading
E/S 7:30-8

Any advice is appreciated. I had tried the df a few months ago, but dd would hardly wake up and really eat.



Offline Beata

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How do I implement a dream feed?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2005, 17:24:41 pm »
Just found this info in the Tracy Sleep interview!

Quote (selected)
Q:  Now what about the other end – starting the dream feed?  What about parents who say they’ve tried it, but it didn’t work?

T:  Let’s say you’re feeding them at 7 or 8.  And they’re waking up at 2 or 3.  If you give them a dream feed – here are the two scenarios:  One is if they take a big dream feed, and they still wake up at 2.  Well, in that case, at least you know it’s not calories causing them to wake.  The other scenario is if they won’t wake enough to feed.  In that case, take it an hour later, so if you’re doing it at 10pm, then try it at 11pm.

Now if they’re always waking at 2am, then you’ll have to break it, and give it to them at 1am.  Set your alarm for 1am, so you pre-empt it.  Then bring it back to 12, then 11.

Q:  Is it important, if you want to try the dream feed, to keep it up if you don’t see results right away?

T:  Yes, this is a good point to clarify, and it’s another one that needs consistency.  Nothing here is a “quick fix,” if you try it one night and the baby still wakes to eat, keep doing it at the same time every night – after several days or a week, they may drop that middle of the night feed on their own.  And again, if they don’t and they’ve taken a good feed at the dream feed, then you know it’s a habit and can start working to phase it out.

We have to teach them to sleep through, but we also have to make sure they’re getting the calories – because parents will ask me, “How do I know she isn’t hungry?”  And if she’s taken 6 ounces, say, at the dream feed, or a regular number of minutes at the breast, then you know.

And remember, for an infant, “sleeping through” means one missed feed.  So if you’re doing a dream feed at 11, then sleeping until 5am is sleeping through.  And I’m being perfectly honest when I say that there hasn’t been one family that I’ve worked with, either here or in the U.K., where the baby wasn’t sleeping through like this by about 12 weeks or so.  And if you’ve got a healthy baby, there’s no reason why you don’t start working toward that from day one.  But to do that you’ve got to work on it during the day, making sure they’re taking good, regular feeds during the day, paying attention to the appetite spurt periods during the day.

And in that 3-6 month range, they should start to be physically asleep from 7 to 7, with a dream feed at around 10 or 11.  And in the E.A.S.Y. routine, there’s no “A”, no activity after any evening feeds that come after bedtime – this is a good time to decide what you want your child’s bedtime to be, and then any feeds after that time are just eating and then straight back down.

Q:  Now, is it true that there are some babies for whom being woken just causes them to wake more frequently?

T:  Honestly, I haven’t known it.  If a baby isn’t waking from habit, then I’d lay odds it’s calories, getting more calories into the daytime.



Offline Lavinia

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How do I implement a dream feed?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2005, 19:47:56 pm »
Hi,

Are you still having difficulties?  Are you exclusively b/f or have you started to introduce solids?

Offline Beata

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How do I implement a dream feed?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2005, 23:55:57 pm »
Well...no change yet, just started the dream feed 2 nights ago. I am thinking about not feeding her at the 1 am wake up as well, but I am not sure whether to give the df at least a week or so to see if things sort themselves out on their own.

We started solids at 4 mo, but then I stopped...just bf now. Would like to start solids again on her at 6 mo.