Author Topic: "How do I implement/drop the dreamfeed?"  (Read 118515 times)

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Offline RachelC

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"How do I implement/drop the dreamfeed?"
« on: July 01, 2006, 20:34:14 pm »
Introducing a Dream Feed
When to start?

It is never too early at all to start the dream feed.  What time does your LO get his last feed before bed?  The dream feed should be given between 10.30-11pm.  It sometimes takes a week or so before the dream feed 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 (if you are cluster feeding) , 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 feed, because they have enough calories to keep them going.

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 dream feed. 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.  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).  If she is swaddled, there is no reason to unswaddle.  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 your breast or 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 dream feed do not stress about it - most likely she will drift back to sleep during DREAM FEED 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.

If DH/DP is willing to help out, have him lift the baby onto your lap and have him come back to place the baby back in the cot/crib when you are done.  Or, if you are using EBM, have him do the whole process (while you pump for the next night’s feed).
 
When to do it?

Between 10 and 11pm

How much?

As far as the cluster feed & dream feeds 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 dream feed 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 dependent 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 cluster feeding instead.  The dream feed sometimes takes a few days to a week to get established, I'd recommend that if it’s not working, you drop it for a week or 2, and then try it again.


Problems?

Won’t take the dream feed;

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 cluster feeding instead.  The dream feed sometimes takes a few days to get established, I'd recommend that if it’s 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 DREAM FEED no matter what you try.


Currently doing a dream feed and LO has started to wake

Try dropping the dream feed


Phasing out the Dream Feed While Breastfeeding

We started dropping the dream feed around 6/7 months.  Say your lo takes a dream feed at 11:00.  Slowly move it back by 15 minutes every 3-4 days, so

Days 1-3 dream feed 11:00
days 4-6 dream feed 10:45
days 7-9 dream feed 10:30
days 10-12 dream feed 10:15
days 13-15 dream feed 10:00
days 16-18 dream feed 9:45
days 19-21 dream feed 9:30
days 22-24 dream feed 9:15
days 25-27 dream feed 9:00, we stopped here, but you can certainly continue until closer to bedtime. 

I could tell dd was taking less and less and when it was 9, it was as if she took one suck and was done.  I hope this helps and wish you good luck and pleasant sleeps.  The trick is, get yourself to bed earlier... easier said than done


If you are using a bottle of EBM, you can use the same guidelines printed here


“How to stop the dream feed” from Tracy’s Book “The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems” page 123.

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.

Every baby is different though so there may be variations of the above "how to" that work - including dropping it cold turkey.



Alternate Suggestion for Phasing out the Dream Feed

(from Miranda, BabyBsMommy)
*where it says formula, you may substitute EBM
ds was on 4 hour EASY with 4 bfs through the day and an 8oz half ebm and half formula bottle at the df.  I was concerned at making up the oz through the day so this is what I did:

Initial routine:

7am bf
8am solids
11am bf
12pm solids
3pm bf
5pm solids
7pm bf
1030pm df (8 oz - 4 oz ebm and 4 oz formula)

Dropping the df....

Tried dropping cold turkey - it bombed!

Days 1-3 - offered 7 oz at 10:15pm (3 oz ebm, 4 oz formula), added 1 oz formula to his 8am cereal

Days 4-6 - offered 6 oz at  10:00pm (3 oz ebm, 3 oz formula), added 1 oz formula to his 8am cereal and 1 oz formula to his 5pm cereal.

Days 7-9 - offered 5 oz at 9:45pm (2 oz ebm, 3 oz formula), added 1 oz formula to his 8am cereal, 1 oz formula to his 5pm cereal and 1 oz formula split between his fruits and veggies at lunch.

****Tried to drop the df at this point, Day 10 - it also bombed!

Days 10-12
- offered 4 oz at 9:30pm (2 oz ebm, 2 oz formula), added 2 oz formula to his 8am cereal, 1 oz formula split between his fruits and veggies at lunch and 1 oz formula to his 5pm cereal.

Days 13-15 - offered 3 oz at 9:15pm (1 oz ebm, 2 oz formula), added 2 oz formula to his 8am cereal, 1 oz formula split between his fruits and veggies at lunch and 2 oz formula to his 5pm cereal.

Days 16-18 - offered 2 oz at 9:00pm (1 oz ebm and 1 oz formula), same added to solids as days 13-15 (therefore, at the most, I got to adding 5oz of the liquid given at the df to his daytime).

Day 19 - stopped giving df and all was well in our home from bedtime to morning other than a few extra rustles around in bed the first few nights!   

Over the next month, we slowly took back the extra oz that had been added to his solids in reverse order and now we are finished with that and he is fine.
 

(You will find more information on Stopping a Habitual Waking From D/F, D/F too late, Tanking Up and Resisting the D/F here:  http://www.index.php?topic=54662.0 )



« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 18:32:16 pm by RachelC »


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