Author Topic: Cluster & Dreamfeeding FAQ's - Starting, how to do it, stopping & problems  (Read 65930 times)

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Offline Noelle

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 :)

How to stop the dream feed…from Tracy’s Book “The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems”.

The process of cutting out the dream feed – usually around 7 months – is to be done in 3-day increments, to insure that your baby makes up during the day what you’re taking away at night.

Day 1: Add one ounce to the first feed of the day, and take away 1 ounce from the dream feed that night.  If you’re breastfeeding, go back to clustering so that you get more calories in.  Give the dream feed (now 1 ounce less) half an hour earlier, at 10:30 instead of 11.

Day 4:  Add one ounce to the first feed, one to the second, and take away two ounces from the dream feed.  Give the dream feed (two ounces less) at 10.

Day 7:  Add once ounce to the first feed, once to the second, one to the third, take away three ounces from the dream feed, and give it at 9:30.

Days 10 (dream feed at 9pm), 14 ( 8 :30) 17 (8:00 ) and 20 (7:30):  By continuing every 3 days to add ounces during the day and take away the same amount from the dream feed, you will end up doing a feed at 7:30 with only a few ounces.


Note:  If your little one doesn’t take that extra ounce(s) that is offered during the day, that is ok….they might not take to drinking more right away during the day, but it is there if they want it.

I suggest cutting out the dream feed at around seven months, as your baby starts to get solid food in him. If you continue to give it, you’re working against the introduction of solid food, because for every 25 5Th/Ounce of extra liquid your baby takes, he won’t be hungry for 25 gram/an ounce of solid food. However, as the box indicates, when you cut out the dream feed, you have to add the same number of ml or grams or ounces to the day feed. If you don’t, your baby will wake up at night.

Also...the above is taken from Tracy's book "SAYP - p123".  Every baby is different though so there may be variations of the above "how to" that work - including dropping it cold turkey.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2006, 17:55:26 pm by Calums_Mum »
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Offline tinkerbelle78us

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you mentioned something at the bottom about dropping the df cold turkey.  It would seem that my son is no longer interested in his df and is already getting 8 oz during each feed.  Is he still getting enough and should I start adding solids at lunch too.  Any advice would be appreciated.  thanks
penny
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Offline Noelle

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Hello!  :)

If you drop it cold turkey and he goes through the night, I think naturally they will start to take more during the day, probably throughout the whole day vs more in one feeding.  Not sure how old your little one is, but if he is already taking 8oz at feedings like mentioned, I would go ahead and add the solids. HTH  :)
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Offline tinkerbelle78us

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My son will be 6 months on March 7th.  He has always been in the top percentile for his age, weight and heigth.  97 percentile.  The last two nights have tried to give him the df and he turns his head in disgust and will begin crying.  Like I said he did last through night as well.  Thanks for your time and advice.

penny
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Offline Noelle

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If he sleeps through the night without the df and without adding the extra solids, then I would probably wait a little bit to add that third meal as you want the majority of the calories to be from the milk/formula.   :)
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Offline Lªuren

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When to start?

It is never too early at all to start the dreamfeed.  What time does your LO get his last feed before bed?  The dreamfeed should be given between 10.30-11pm.  It sometimes takes a week or so before the dreamfeed kicks in

How to do it?

Giving what Tracey calls a dream feed right before you go to bed. For example, you give her the breast (or a bottle) at six and eight in the evening*, and the dream feed between 10 and 11. With dream feeding, literally nurse or bottle-feed her in her sleep. In other words, you pick your baby up, gently place the bottle or breast on her lower lip, and allow her to eat, taking care not to wake her. When she’s finished, you don’t even burp her; just put her down. Infants are usually so relaxed at these feeds, they don’t gulp air. You don’t talk; you don’t change her unless she’s soaked through or soiled. With both these tanking-up techniques, most babies can sleep through that middle-of-the-night it, teach feed, because they have enough calories to keep them going for are some five or six hours.

It can be hard to get the hang of not waking them, the main thing to remember is to keep everything really low key for the dreamfeed. Low lights, low noise and take everything really slowly. The idea behind it is that the sucking action in babies is a reflex so they will do this even in their sleep if stimulated to suck. Make sure you have everything ready and at hand near your chair before you start (we did dreamfeeds in a chair in the bedroom to avoid too much disruption). When you lift her out of her cot/crib support her neck and then lift her up slowly into your arms in the feeding position without waking her (as much as possible). When you're ready to start the feed stroke the cheek nearest to you - that should stimulate the rooting reflex and make her open her mouth. Pop the bottle in and she should start sucking. If she stops then there are a few things you can try to get her to strike up again - either stroke the palm of her hand, twist the bottle around, or gently shift her position a bit. She shouldn't need winding unless she's a particularly windy baby (they tend to take in much less air because they're so relaxed). If you do think you need to wind her do it in the on the shoulder position and rub rather than pat. Then when you're done lay her down as gently as you can. If she does stir then try shhhhing to ease her off to sleep again.
If he's waking before this feed is due then try giving him the feed before the time he usually wakes without waking him.

if baby wakes when you go to do dreamfeed do not stress about it - most likely she will drift back to sleep during DF and that is fine. If baby won't take the feed, try again in 15-20 min to catch at a different point in her sleep cycle - she may just be in too deep a sleep.
*cluster feeding


When to do it?

Between 10 and 11pm


How much?


As far as the clusterfeed & dreamfeeds go, offer as much as he'll take.  There is no "set" amount of how much it should be, it's simply to "tank" him up, simply because you want the majority of his calories during the day and you'll eventually want to cut the dreamfeed out. The amount for a dream feed can vary from the amount they take in the day and can often be hit and miss.

All babies are different, and dependant on your LO’s age, night wakings aren’t uncommon.   

How long to implement?


Sometimes it can take up to a week to implement...if you can't get him to take it within 5-10 minutes I would put him back down right away.  If you find after about a week of trying, that it's just not working I would then concentrate on the clusterfeeding instead.  The dreamfeed sometimes takes a few days to a week to get established, I'd recommend that if its not working, you drop it for a week or 2, and then try it again.


Problems?


Won’t take the dreamfeed;-

1.   Sometimes it can take up to a week to implement...if you can't get him to take it within 5-10 minutes I would put him back
         down right away.  If you find after about a week of trying, that it's just not working I would then concentrate on the   
         clusterfeeding instead.  The dreamfeed sometimes takes a few days to get established, I'd recommend that if its not working, you
         drop it for a week or 2, and then try it again.

2.   If baby won't take the feed, try again in 15-20 min to catch at a different point in her sleep cycle - she may just be in too deep a 
        sleep.

3.   You have to do what works for you - and some babies just won't take to a DF no matter what you try.


Currently doing a dreamfeed and LO has started to wake

Try dropping the dreamfeed


See Noelle's guide to stopping the dreamfeed at the start of the thread  :)

HTH's

Lauren x


Offline Lªuren

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How to stop Habitual Waking from D/F


Habitual waking. just as adults tend to get into waking habits, so do babies. The difference is, we look at the clock and groan, “Oh, God, it’s four-thirty AM.—just like last night”, and then we roll over and go hack to Sleep. Some babies do that, but others cry out, and their parents come running. When they do, they inadvertently reinforce the habit. To find out if a baby is in a habitual pattern, I ask, Does she wake up at the same time every night? If so, and if she wakes up more than two days in a row at that time, recognise that there’s a pattern developing. Chances are, You’re going into your baby’s room and employing some kind of prop. Let’s say you rock her or give her your breast. That might put her to sleep, but- it’s a short-term fix, a Band-Aid. What you need is
a solution.


A PLAN: Nine times out of ten a child who wakes habitually doesn’t need  more food (unless she’s going through a growth spurt; see pages 115—119 and 197 TBW SAYP). Instead, Re-swaddle, if necessary, give her a dummy to calm her, and comfort her with the shush-pat. Keep stimulation to a minimum. No rocking or Jostling. Don’t change her unless her nappy is soiled or soaking wet. Do the ‘Four S’ routine and stay with her until she’s settled into a deep sleep. You’ll also need to take steps to break the waking habit.

So, let’s say you’ve ruled out other causes such as pain or discomfort. You’ve also eliminated hunger by both upping her food during the day and tanking her up at night. This is what I call my “wake-to-sleep” technique: Instead of lying there waiting for her to wake up, set your clock an hour earlier than her habitual waking time and you wake her (see bottom of this page). She probably  won’t wake up completely, but her little eyes may dart back and firth under her lids, she’ll murmur and move a bit just as an adult would if you interrupted his deep sleep. Do this for three nights in a row.

I can just hear your response: “You must he out of your mind!” I realise that wake-to-sleep is a shockingly counterintuitive suggestion, but it does work! Sometimes, in fact, it only takes one night to break the habit, but I recommended that you keep it up for three nights nonetheless. If it doesn’t work, you have to reevaluate whether her habitual waking is due to another cause. If you’ve ruled everything else out, do this wake-to- sleep technique for at least another three days.


Wake to Sleep? Tracy, You’ve Got to Be Kidding
Parents are often shocked when I suggest the wake-to-sleep strategy for habitual night waking. Set your clock an hour earlier than your baby usually wakes and go into his room. Jostle him gently rub his belly a bit and stick a dummy in his mouth—all of which will help stir him to semi-consciousness. Then, leave. He’ll fall back to sleep. This gives you the control, rather than your sitting around hoping that your baby’s habit will magically go away. (It won’t.) By waking him an hour early you’ll disrupt his sleep pattern.


Lauren x


Offline Lªuren

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Dream Feeding Too Late


"Janet called me because her son was waking up at 4:30 or 5 every morning. “But l’m doing a dream feed,’ she insisted. The problem was, she was feeding four rnonth old Kevin between midnight and 1AM.  At his age and for his size (he was 8 lb. at birth), he should have been sleeping at least 5, if not 6, hours during the night. But because Janet was unwittingly disrupting his sleep with a too late dream feed, he slept fitfully. After all, babies’ sleep patterns are affected just like ours would be if we are disturbed or overtired. If we’re kept up, we don’t sleep soundly and are more likely to toss and turn. Then to make matters worse, Janet fed him when he woke in the wee hours of the morning, which only reinforced his waking habit. (Remember: Waking up like Clockwork is a pattern; waking sporadically is hunger.) I suggested that she gradually move the dream feed to 10 or 10:30, but stop feeding him when he wakes (see more about how to do this in chapter 5, pages l98 ~ 199) Also, she was to give him a little more food during the day by adding an oz. to each of his daytime bottles."


taken from the secrets of the baby whisperer p119
« Last Edit: August 02, 2006, 17:29:56 pm by Calums_Mum »
Lauren x


Offline Lªuren

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Tanking Up


One way of insuring that your baby eats enough is to increase his intake during the day, before 11 P.M. By “tanking up”, as I call this strategy, you get more food into his tummy, which, in turn, enables him to sleep through longer stretches at night. Tanking up is also great for growth spurts, those two— or three—day periods when your baby eats more than usual (see pages 115—119).

Tanking up consists of two parts: clusterfeeding, which is done at two-hour intervals in the early evening, at 5 and 7 or 6 and 8; and the dreamfeed, which is given somewhere between 10 and 11 (depending on how late you or your partner can stay up). With the dream feed, you liter-ally feed your baby in his sleep. You don’t talk to him, or put the lights on. It’s easier to do with a bottle, because you just wiggle the nipple into his mouth and that will activate the sucking reflex. It’s a little more challenging if you breast-feed. Before you give him your breast, stroke his bottom lip with your pinky or a dummy to get his sucking reflex started. Either way, at the end of the dream feed, your baby will be so relaxed you can put him down without burping.

I recommend tanking up as soon as your baby comes home from the hospital, but you can start using both strategies any time during the first eight weeks and the dream feed until seven or eight months (by which time your baby is drinking between 175 and 250 ml (six and eight ounces) per feed and getting a fair amount of solid food). Some infants are harder to tank up than others. They might take early evening feeds but not take a dream feed. If that describes your baby, and you have to choose one, concentrate on the dream feed only. Don’t bother clustering. For example, you feed your baby at 6, give her a bath and do the bedtime rou¬tine, and top her off at 7—she’ll probably only take a few ml/ounces. Then at 10 or 11 (if you’re normally up that late, or if your partner is) try to give her a dream feed—never later than 11. But don’t give up after one or two nights. It’s unrealistic to think you can change a baby’s habit in less than three days, and for some infants it takes as long as a week. There are no miracles here, but persistence usually pays off.


taken from Secrets of the Baby Whisperer p94
Lauren x


Offline Lªuren

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If your baby is resistant to the dream feed, you also might want to reevaluate how you’re feeding him during the day. One little lad I cared for, Christian, was nine weeks old at the time, and no matter how hard his mum and I tried, he wouldn’t take that 11PM. feed. For weeks, Mum had been feeding him at 5 and 8 and then trying to feed him again at 11, which was only three hours later. Chris was almost 4 kg (nine pounds) at that point, so it wasn’t surprising that he wasn’t hungry at 11. But then he feed woke up at 1 AM. starving. We decided to adjust his earlier feeds. We hell only gave him 50 ml (two ounces) at 5PM1 instead of the 200 ml (seven ounces) he usually took, and moved the 8pm feed back an hour, to 7pm, and only gave him 175ml (6 ounces) instead of his usual 250 ml (eight ounces).

In other words, we took away 200 ml (seven ounces) altogether from his evening feeds. He had an activity afterward—his bath— and by the time he was massaged, swaddled, and put to bed, he was pretty tired. Then we took the dream feed to 11, which meant that now there were four hours between his early evening feeds and lo and behold—Chris took a full 250 ml (eight ounces) at 11. At that point, we also figured he needed more food during the day ~ so we upped his feeds 25 ml (an ounce) per bottle. Thereafter, he lasted through the night from the dream feed to a 6:30  wake-up.

Remember that a dream feed should never be later than 11.  Otherwise, you’re cutting into the night, which we’re trying to avoid, because a feed at night means the baby will eat that much less during the day, and  he’ll get into the habit of waking at night from hunger. That’s backward, we don’t want to start a baby on a routine that we’d do with a six-week-old.


BW solves all your problems p118
Lauren x