Baby too sleepy to dream feed

The What, How & Everything Else You Need to Know– Nested Bean

A dream feed might just be the solution to helping your baby sleep through the night! This article covers everything from what it is to know if it's right for you and your baby!

Continue reading to learn:

What is a dream feed
Why a dream feed could be good for your baby (and you!)
Should I dream feed my baby?
How do I dream feed?
Dream feed Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Dream Feed?

A dream feed is basically exactly what it sounds like: you’re feeding your baby while they are still dreaming. More specifically, a dream feed is when you feed your baby while they are still asleep by gently rousing your baby enough to feed or nurse them in an effort to reduce middle-of-the-night wakings and feedings.

Usually, you would do a dream feed some time between 10pm and midnight. Parents choose the time of dream feeding based on when they go to bed themselves and what seems to work the best for their baby. The idea is that if you dream feed your baby (without fully waking them) before you go to bed, they will be full enough to sleep a longer stretch at night and/or until the early morning, which means you could potentially avoid a 2:30 or 3:30am wake up!

Why can a Dream Feed be good for your baby (and you)?

Many moms find that a dream feed helps their baby sleep for longer stretches through the night, which results in more rest for both baby and mom! According to Dr. Harvey Karp, author of Happiest Baby on the Block, research has shown that introducing a dream feed around 11pm reduces night wakings among 3-month-olds, which is the ideal time to start a dream feed.

Once babies reach 3 to 4 months of age, they’ll eat 8-12 times throughout a 24-hour period, and most are capable of going 7 to 8 hours without a feed.

Many babies will still wake up multiple times for a feed out of habit, since as a newborn, they were fed more frequently to keep their tiny stomachs full.

Until you’ve weaned night time feedings, your baby won’t be sleeping through the night. But even after they reach the point when they can go a long stretch without a feed, if their last feed is between 7 and 8pm before bed, and they get 7-8 hours of sleep, that puts them at waking between 2:30 and 3:30am for a night feed.

Many babies, depending on their age, will wake up a second time around 5:30, which means your schedule might look a little something like this:

Without a dream feed

6:30 P.M.

Feed your baby before putting them down for bed

7:30 P.M.

Baby goes to sleep

11:00 P.M.

You go to sleep

1:30 A. M.

Baby wakes up for a feed

2:30 A.M.

Finish feed, settle baby back to sleep

3:00 A.M.

You fall back asleep

5:30 A.M.

Baby wakes up for another feed

6:30-7 A.M.

Finish feed & maybe get baby back to sleep...but it's already time for you to start your day!

Alternatively, if their last feed is at 11pm, before you go to bed, and they have 7-8 hours of sleep, they’ll be waking up around 6am. Meanwhile, you’ve had a night of uninterrupted sleep as well!

With a dream feed

6:30 P.M.

Feed your baby before putting them down for bed

7:30 P. M.

Baby goes to sleep

10:30 P.M.

Dream feed

11:00 P.M.

You go to sleep

2:30 A.M.

Baby wakes up for a feed

4:00 A.M.

You fall back asleep

7:30 A.M. or later

Baby wakes up, you feed & start your day!

Some babies might still wake at 3am out of habit, if they’re used to usually being fed at that time. If you do a dream feed at 11pm, as that's when you go to bed, and they wake around 2:30-3am, try to help your baby get back to sleep without a feed. Even if you can push it another hour and you feed them at 4am instead, you can keep pushing the second feed later over time until you get to your desired wake up time!

The Zen Sack can be helpful in weaning and eventually dropping the second night time feed, and in reducing night wakings in general. Because of its weighted center, the Zen Sack provides the same comfort and security of your hand resting on your baby’s chest, which can help them soothe back to sleep after that 3am wake up and break the association of feeding and/or being held.

Many moms have seen success in combining a dream feed with the use of their Zen Sack or Zen Swaddle to get their baby sleeping through the night.

Sweeter Sleep Story

“Before we started using the Zen Sack she’d wake up every 2-3 hrs. Started the Zen Sack around 4 months. My little one (breast fed) started her bedtime routine around 7:30 and be asleep by 8pm...I’d dream feed her before I went to bed (11pm). She stays asleep until 5am! At that point she eats and goes right back to sleep until about 6:30am."

- Courtney D., March 2018

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The Zen Sack™: can help your baby sleep
through the night & tech them to self soothe

Shop Zen Sacks


Getting more sleep is no doubt the most attractive benefit of a dream feed, but it’s not the only one! Feeding or nursing your baby while they are still asleep also lessens the risk of an association forming.

As we mentioned, weaning nighttime feedings is an important step to getting your baby to sleep through the night (remember, you should only decrease feedings when your baby is developmentally ready as determined by your doctor), but it can be very difficult to break the association of feeding to get back to sleep.

However, since a dream feed is done while your baby is still sleeping, no association will form.

Think of a dream feed as acting proactively instead of reactively. You feed your baby before they wake, instead of feeding them once they’ve already woken up and need to be soothed to go back to sleep.

Additionally, doing a dream feed means your baby won’t get distracted like they might during feeding while they’re awake. Dream feeding allows them to focus only on feeding and ensures that they get the proper amount of food they need per day.

Should I Dream Feed My Baby?

How do I know if dream feeding is right for me and my baby? It’s like that old saying - you’ll never know unless you try! The Baby Sleep Site mentions that a dream feed could be problematic for some babies, but notes that there is usually no harm in trying. Other sleep consultants, like - Tizzie Hall, A.K.A the “International Baby Whisperer”, highly recommend a dream feed:

From the experts

“The reason I recommend the dreamfeed, is to try to avoid you having to get up more than once in the night. When your baby is about eight weeks old, I recommend the dreamfeed at 10:30 at night.

If you followed the routine but didn’t have the dreamfeed, your baby would go to sleep at 7pm and maybe wake between 11pm and 1am for the next feed.

Let’s say your baby woke at 1:30am, you would get up and feed your baby. Maybe your baby would be back in bed asleep at 2:30am, but he might wake again at 5:30am for another feed.

Then, by the time you have him asleep again, it would be time to get up and start the day.

With the dreamfeed, your baby may sleep until let’s say 2am and then when back in bed; he is more likely to sleep until 7am. This means you have only had to get up once in the night."

- Tizzie Hall, Director of Save Our Sleep


If you or your baby falls into one of the following categories, you should consider trying a dream feed:

  • Your baby is past the newborn stage (2 to 3 months or older), and can now go longer stretches without a feed.
  • Your baby doesn’t feed enough during the day or gets easily distracted while feeding, and you’re concerned she might not be getting enough food.
  • Your baby is overcoming a cold/illness and needs to maintain their hydration.
  • You are breastfeeding and your breasts feel full, making you uncomfortable.
  • You're having trouble helping baby sleep through the night.

Dream feeds do not work for every baby, but they do work for many! Moms who have seen success with it, encourage any new mom to give it a go.

How Do I Dream Feed?

Step 1: Rouse your baby without fully waking them up. Your baby will need to be alert enough to take your breast or a bottle, but you want to be extra careful not to fully wake them, which could lead to a cranky baby and throw the whole night off. For some babies, all you need to do to stir them is gently take them out of the crib and position them to feed. If your baby needs a little extra help, see our FAQs for tips!

Unlike sleep training methods that encourage babies to sleep longer stretches without eating, dream feeding doesn’t interfere with a baby’s normal need to be fed at night. It just tweaks your baby’s schedule a bit so that babies and parents are on a more similar sleep schedule.  -Healthline

Step 2: Feed them! Continue on like you would during a normal feed. Make sure their head is slightly elevated, as feeding while lying flat poses a risk of choking. If you’re bottle feeding, you can usually wiggle the bottle into the baby’s mouth to initiate suckling. If you’re breastfeeding, get your baby to latch on to start suckling. If you’re having trouble getting them to take the breast or bottle, they probably aren’t awake enough - see our FAQs for tips!]

Common questions about the dream feed

Q: How many mls are appropriate for a dream feed? 

A: Generally, you should aim to have your baby drink as much as they would during a normal feed while dream feeding. The amount that a baby should be eating every feed is based on their age.

Newborns generally drink about 45-90 milliliters every 2-3 hours. At 2 to 3-months-old your little one will be drinking about 120-150 milliliters every 3-4 hours. From 4 to 5-months-old they could reach as much as 180 milliliters per feed. And by 6-months-old most babies are up to about 180-230 milliliters every 4 to 5 hours. 

Q: What's the best time for a dream feed?

A: The ideal time for a dream feeding is between 10p.m. and midnight. Typically, parents choose to dream feed their infants right before they are about to go to sleep themselves, to reduce wake-ups during the night. The goal of dream feeding your baby is to avoid you having to get up for more than one feed in the middle of the night, meaning that both you and baby sleep longer.

Q: Should I leave my baby swaddled for the dream feed?

A:In most cases, yes. Leave your baby swaddled. You want to stimulate them as little as possible - only enough to get them to feed. Un-swaddling might wake them up.

The Zen Swaddle will also help baby sleep longer because of its gently weighted chest and sides that mimic your touch. However, if your baby is too drowsy to feed, un-swaddling might help them wake up enough.

Q: What if my baby is too drowsy and won’t eat during the dream feed?

A: Some babies will take a little more stimulation than others to get them awake enough to feed, just make sure you don’t rouse them too much, or they’ll completely wake up! Here’s some tricks you can try rouse them enough to get them to feed:

  • Run a wet wipe or cloth across his cheek
  • Rub or tickle the bottom of his feet or chin
  • Put some milk on his lips

If those don’t work, put your baby back down. You can try again briefly a little while later, if you’re still up. If it doesn’t work, don’t force it. Like they say, “never wake a sleeping baby.” - you don’t want to run the risk of having a cranky baby all night because you accidentally woke them up mid-slumber.

If you try without success for a few nights, give it a rest for a couple weeks and come back to it.

Q: When should you start dream feeds? Is it ever too late to try a dream feed?

A: Dream feeds work best for babies 3-9 months old. When your baby is a newborn, they need to be fed frequently because their little tummies can only hold so much. Once they get between 3 and 4 months old, they’re ready to start going longer stretches.

However, after 9 months old, if your baby still isn’t sleeping through the night, a dream feed probably won’t help as much. At this age, there are likely other sleep associations that are keeping them from having a longer stretch of sleep at night.

Q: Should I change my baby’s diaper after the dream feed?

A: Only if you feel it’s necessary. You’ll know best once you try a dream feed for a few nights. Again, the idea is to stimulate your baby as little as possible. A diaper change might wake them up, so avoid it if possible.

However, if your baby wakes up a hour or two later because of a wet diaper, it might be necessary to do a quick change after the dream feed before putting them back down.

If you find your baby needs the diaper change after a dream feed, we’d recommend using the The Zen Sack. Its gently weighted center will help keep your baby calm and drowsy while you sneakily use the 2-way zipper to make a quick diaper change and a longer stretch of sleep!

Sweeter Sleep Story

“I love this[Zen] Sack and so does my 4 month old son! I ordered up a size so he would be able to wear it longer and it works perfectly! It is so soft and the zipper is perfect for late night diaper changes. Will definitely be using this for a while!"

- Amazon Customer, 6/15/2017

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Q: Should I burp my baby after the dream feed?

A: During dream feeds, babies tend to take in less wind because they are so relaxed. When you’re finished the dream feed, just sit him up for a couple minutes to allow any trapped air to escape.

Q: Should I dream feed at the same time every night

A: The timing of your dream feed will be based on what is best for you and your baby. You can experiment with different times, especially when you first start, to try and find the best time range for your baby. Once you find it, keep it consistent.

Q: What if my baby won’t eat for the dream feed?

A: Parents are encouraged to try for at least a week before giving up on dream feeding all together. If your baby won’t eat for the dream feed, they simply might not be awake enough and require some extra gentle stimulation.

Alternatively, dream feeding might not be for your baby and can often disrupt babies sleep. Try to establish it for a week, but know that a dream feed is not for everyone!

Q: What if my baby still wakes up multiple times in the night and/or wakes up more than normal after trying dream feeding?

A: Dream feeds are not for every baby. It’s also not a fool-proof solution to sleeping through the night. For some babies, there may be other things at play that are causing them to not sleep through the night, in which case, check out our article When Do Babies Sleep Through the Night and What Might Be Preventing It?

If you tried a dream feed and your baby started waking up more than before introducing the dream feed, it may be messing with their natural sleep cycles, or prompting them to want to eat more than normal - which is exactly the opposite of what you want! In this case, dream feeding might not be the right solution for your baby, but you can check out our other 8 Solutions to Sleeping Through the Night!

Q: When Should I Stop Dream Feeds?

A: Once your baby is consistently sleeping through the night (without a 3 am/second night feed), you should try gradually moving the dream feed earlier each night until you can drop it altogether.

Typically, by 9 months old, babies can sleep through the night on their own, and you should be able to stop dream feeding. If your baby starts waking earlier as you start the dream feed earlier, go back to doing the dream feed at the time you were previously and try again in a couple weeks.


Other Resources

Zerotothree.Org: Safe Sleep, Sweet Dreams

American Academy of Pediatrics: Feeding Challenges

Dream Feed Troubleshooting Tips ~ My Baby Sleep Guide

I put together some troubleshooting tips for the dream feed. I hope they are helpful! You may also want to check out the post What is a dreamfeed and how do I give it and How to drop the dreamfeed.

When baby is too sleepy to take the dream feed:

If baby is too sleepy to take the dream feed and you are nursing, look at the suggestions under breastfeeding and the df above. If these don't help, then try
pumping and giving baby a bottle. If you are giving a bottle and baby is still to sleepy, try waking baby up a bit for the feed. You can try changing baby's diaper at the beginning of the df or half way through (Just like any other night feed, I never suggest changing baby's diaper at the end of the feed since you want them to be relaxed from the feed and ready for sleep, not revved up from a diaper change). Maybe you will need to unswaddle baby, turn on the light, or even talk to baby for a moment. Just make sure you don't go overboard with these things and certainly make sure to stop doing them as you near the end of baby's feed. Another method to try is moving the dreamfeed a few minutes later when baby may no longer be in as deep of a sleep.

When baby won't eat:

He may be too sleepy (see above) or he may not be hungry. If he isn't hungry, he may be getting too much food right before bed. You can try dropping the cluster feeding if you are doing it, moving bedtime a bit earlier (while keeping the df time the same) or decreasing how much you feed baby right before bed. Many baby's don't do well with going to bed without a full feed so what might work better is decreasing the feed amount right before the bedtime feed and while moving the bedtime feed a bit earlier and keeping the dream feed at the same time. So, if baby normally eats at 4 and 7 with a dream feed at 10, try feeding him less than usual at 4, while moving the bedtime feed to 6 and keeping the dream feed at 10.

When the dreamfeed results in a cranky baby or more night wakings
Sometimes when you get baby up for the dreamfeed, you'll end up with a cranky baby or extra night wakings for the rest of the night. If this happens, you can try adjusting the dreamfeed time or trying to keep baby much more sleepy during the feed (avoid diaper changes, keep the light off etc). Makes sure to not rush into changing things around too quickly and keep in mind that babies have off days here and there. If you are still having issues after some troubleshooting, then maybe the dream feed isn't for your little one.

Baby still wakes at night to eat with the dreamfeed
So you just started the dreamfeed and you lay down for what you assume will be a few hours worth of sleep when...wait, what is that, baby is up again and asking to eat? Wasn't the dreamfeed suppose to help you drop a night feed or at least make it move to a much later time?

Well, yes, that was the idea, but sometimes it take a while for this to happen--a few days to several days. Babies often get into the habit of waking up at a certain time to eat, even if they aren't hungry anymore and it can take time for this to change. Sometimes it'll change on it's own, and sometimes you will need to help things along by comforting baby with wakings but not feeding baby, not rushing into baby with wakings or trying wake to sleep. 

Can the dreamfeed turn into a habitual feed?

Yes, it can, just like any other night feeds. This doesn't usually happen, but keep a look out just in case. I'd suspect this if your baby is far past the age of needing the df but still wants it or if he wakes for the df but only eats a tiny bit. If you suspect a habitual feed, then work on trying to wean from it.

The dreamfeed used to work, but now doesn't

Sometimes keeping the df too long ends up causing sleep problems with babies. It starts to mess up with their nightly sleep rhythms. Other times, all you need to do is change the timing of the df to fix the issues. You will have to do some trial and error to figure out what is wrong. Oh, and don't forget that babies, like us, have their off days. And they get sick too and go through a bunch of developmental stages that can cause havoc with sleep for a time (remember those Wonder Weeks?). So if one bad day pops up, wait it out a bit before making changes. It may be a fluke.

Do you have any helpful advice about dream feeds? Please share!

How to wake up a baby for feeding and whether it is necessary to wake up a baby in the afternoon



For any parent, the question of whether to wake up the baby is not easy. On the one hand, there are fears that a child who has been sleeping for a long time will not be able to fall asleep later, and on the other hand, how to raise such an angel who has been put to bed for so long...

so that his sleep is not affected.

Let's start with the smallest children. You've probably heard the phrase "never wake a sleeping baby." But it is not always fair. Some newborn babies wake up on their own for feedings, while others need to be awakened. Whether or not you need to wake your baby depends on their age, weight, and overall health.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waking your baby for feedings if he sleeps more than 4 hours in the first two weeks of life. On average, a baby needs feeding every 2-3 hours.

Frequent feeding is very important for several reasons:

  1. The baby's stomach is very small, the baby quickly digests breast milk. Faster than a mix. Therefore, physiologically, the child necessarily needs frequent feedings every 2-3 hours.
  2. Babies can sometimes sleep even when hungry, thus malnourished, which affects their development.
  3. After birth, the baby loses 5-10% of its body weight. And in the first weeks he needs to gain weight. Lack of milk or formula slows down this process.
  4. A short interval between feedings helps to maintain lactation. That allows you to avoid problems with a lack of milk in the future.

Tears already signal strong hunger. Therefore, it is better to breastfeed the baby before the baby starts crying. Learn to recognize the early signs of hunger: the baby puts his hand in his mouth, smacks his lips, tossing and turning when he sleeps.

Should the baby be woken up to feed during the day? In general, if an infant sleeps for more than 3 hours in one dream during daylight hours, he must be awakened. Then the mother can feed the already awakened baby. This makes it possible to adjust the work of the biological rhythms of the baby.

How to Wake Up

  • Help your child gradually fall asleep by stroking their arms, legs or lightly tickling them.
  • Change diaper. Often this is enough for the baby to wake up and be ready to eat.
  • Undress and place skin to skin on your chest. You can squeeze a few drops of milk onto your baby's mouth. He will smell and taste it and begin to suck on the breast.
  • Speak - he will hear your voice and wake up.
  • Do not turn on bright lights. A dim light is sufficient. The bright light will blind your eyes.
  • If the baby has attached to the breast but has not begun to suckle, stroke his cheek.

How long to feed

As soon as the baby wakes up and starts to eat, make sure that the feeding is long enough to empty at least one breast. So we will know that he ate hind milk, which is necessary for the growth of the child's body. Some babies take 45 minutes or more to feed one breast, and some do it in 10 minutes.

The sucking reflex promotes falling asleep. Therefore, make sure that the baby does not fall asleep while feeding. If he falls asleep, change position, lift him up to burp, and then start feeding again.

By 6 months you will have a more or less predictable eating schedule. But each baby will have his own. Some of the children eat every 2 hours, and someone is able to stay without food for 3-4 hours by the second month of life. This is especially true for children who are formula fed.

The length of time between feedings increases as the child grows older. By the age of six months, many babies can already go without supplements at night or are able to sleep for longer periods.

If a baby wakes up too often after 6 months and asks for food at night, perhaps this is no longer hunger, but a way to relax and fall asleep.

Avoid using a pacifier in the first weeks after delivery. The pacifier helps the child to calm down and prolong sleep. So you may not notice that your baby is hungry. Therefore, start using a pacifier no earlier than 4-6 weeks and when you are lactating.

Should the baby be woken up to feed formula? As with breastfeeding, the newborn needs frequent formula feeding. But the interval will be more than 3-4 hours.

When it is necessary to wake up the child

It is important to wake up the baby in the morning if he has fallen asleep later than 7.00. This is especially true for children who still sleep 1-2-3 times during the day and have already developed a relatively stable routine. So you create the perfect routine in the morning.

After waking up, children need time to work up their fatigue for their next nap, the ideal window for which is around 9 and 1 pm (depending on age).

Therefore, if the baby slept until 8 am, he simply will not be able to fall asleep in his first daytime sleep.

In order for the baby to wake up calmly without tears, you can enter a wake-up ritual. It allows the child to smoothly transition from a sleepy state to wakefulness.

Example of a wake-up ritual:

  • Opening curtains/lights on
  • Welcome words and a kiss
  • Snacks, nursery rhymes after sleep
  • Happy song

Then you can get up and start breakfast. For older children, such a ritual is also necessary.

The awakening ritual has different purposes:

  • Marks the end of sleep,
  • Teaches a child that everyday sounds are not a reason to wake up,
  • Helps prevent baby from crying when waking up.

It will also be useful to have a light alarm. If the baby wakes up early, he will stay in bed until he sees the light on the clock.

When to wake your baby up after a nap

Many babies from 4 to 8 months sleep three times a day.

In this mode, it is important to wake up the baby after the third nap no later than 17.00. The duration of this segment is about 45 minutes, but not more than an hour. Then you can easily put the baby to bed by 19 o'clock.

Transition to one nap

At the age of 15-18 months there is a transition to one nap. It can be long and take place in different ways.

For example:

In the morning, the baby falls asleep easily and sleeps up to 2 hours. But then it is difficult to put it in lunch. And by the evening without rest at lunchtime, he is already overworked and falls asleep with difficulty.

So if this is your case, you can pick up the baby after 60-75 minutes. At the same time, move the start of the second sleep 15 minutes later. But if the baby sleeps for 1 hour in the morning and then it is already difficult to fall asleep a second time, start putting him down only at lunchtime.

One nap after 2 years

Between 2.5-5 years, naps may disappear. Here again, the story described above is often repeated. It seems that the child falls asleep perfectly during the day, sleeps for a long time, but in the evening, laying down is delayed until 10-11 pm. The problem is that getting up early in the morning to the garden usually does not allow you to sleep the necessary 10-11 hours per night. And again, you will have to gradually limit the duration of daytime rest. Wake your baby up after 60 minutes first, and then skip the daytime so your baby sleeps better at night.

Keep an eye on your baby while doing this. If he is calm in the evening and falls asleep easily, and wakes up later than 6 o'clock in the morning in a good mood, then you are doing everything correctly.

If you notice excessive moodiness in the late afternoon or regular awakenings too early, then it is worth giving the baby more time to rest at lunchtime.

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Breastfeeding and baby sleep at night



Every mother has the right to choose how and what to feed her baby. Moreover, for some mothers, unfortunately, there is no choice. Breastfeeding for a mother can also become tender moments alone with the baby and tormenting flour.

Many mothers feel uncomfortable with the feeling of complete attachment to the house and the baby; restrictions in the usual way of life and nutrition, and sometimes the inability to exclude medications, can become a serious factor when choosing artificial feeding.

This is a choice every mother is entitled to.

But sometimes a nursing mother whose child does not sleep well hears the opinion of her friends, pediatricians (which is especially sad), grandmothers that this is all because the baby is breastfed. The words that endless nocturnal rises are the essence of motherhood, and since I myself feed - all the more, for a long time kept me in the state of an eternally sleepy and tired heroine. Are really breastfeeding mothers doomed to the feat of endless nightly feedings until the moment of weaning? For me, the end came when one night my son woke up 8 times, after which in the morning I no longer remembered how many more times I got up to “feed” him.

In fact, formula-fed babies often sleep no better or worse than breastfed babies.

The point is that the amount or type of food is not always the reason for nighttime (all the more frequent) awakenings of a child older than 3-4 months. Yes, breast milk is absorbed faster by the digestive system; Yes, formula-fed babies may sleep for longer periods due to slower digestion of formula, and therefore a longer satiety period. However, the main cause of sleepless nights is still the lack of infancy (and sometimes early preschool) skills to fall asleep on their own. So the kids are looking for support and help from their mother (who else?) in the form of a call “feed me”, “hold me on the handles”, “shake”, “stay my nipple”, etc. And mom happily goes to the rescue, until one day she stops, realizing with horror that all she thinks about now is an uninterrupted sleep of 2 (put your number) hours.

I never get tired of repeating that all children are different, but there are indicative frameworks that will help a mother decide whether her baby's hunger is real or whether he still needs her support.

  • Newborn babies need to eat every 2-3 hours, whether it's day or night. During this period, frequent attachments are also important for a young mother, because. her lactation is still in its infancy;
  • Babies aged 3-4 months will need about 2-3 feedings (sometimes 4) per 12 hours of sleep per night. Remember, the structure of infant sleep will only change around 4 months;
  • Babies 5-7 months need 1-2 feedings per night;
  • Closer to a year, at the age of 10-12 months, most children, regardless of the type of feeding, sleep through the night. Don't forget that there are adults who can't go 12 hours without going to the kitchen, so be patient if your little one still wakes up to eat once. However, you must be absolutely sure that he knows how to fall asleep on his own, really eats during such awakenings (swallowing should be clearly audible).

At about one year of age, if you are still breastfeeding, you may want to consider weaning from night feeds.

There are other factors that increase the baby's need to attach to the mother's breast, which are important to remember. At the age of 4-5 months, the child already knows a lot: turn his head and follow objects, focus his eyes on objects at different distances, sometimes roll over, distinguish voices and sounds - the world around him becomes more and more interesting for him. This means that he can not miss anything, and sometimes even the time for feeding seems to be wasted.

The baby is distracted by every little thing during the day, the mother can hardly “force” him to eat. As a result, at night, when this amazing world calms down and muffles its colors, the child is forced to compensate for everything that was not eaten during the day. A good solution in this case would be to organize daytime feeding in a quiet environment, a darkened room. Some mothers are helped by slingobuses, which distract the baby, but do not require turning their heads, others hide in the pantry for feeding - all methods are good here.

Teething, colds, colic and other ailments will also increase the number of night feedings. When we do not feel well, we want warmth and care, and a mother’s breast for a child is the embodiment of these concepts. There is nothing left here but to alleviate the suffering of the baby, including through frequent attachments. If you are sure that the cause of colic is unwell, try to feed the baby for as long as possible with one breast - this way he will receive nutritious “hind milk” and will not overeat the “front milk”, which can also provoke bloating. Luckily, these times pass quickly.

Working or studying mothers may not be able to spend enough time with their baby during the day, and he will ask for compensation at night. Therefore, it is very important to give the child maximum warmth and care during those daytime hours when you are around. Carry it in your arms, talk to it, touch it. Skin-to-skin contact will give the baby a sense of security, confidence that mom is there, even if she sometimes goes to work during the day. However, such mothers sometimes find night feedings a wonderful time to be just the two of them, because mothers need this time no less.

Stressful situations will also provoke most babies to look for their mother and demand a breast. The arrival of relatives to visit, quarrels of parents, going to a party with a child, moving to your own bed or even a room, participating in a costume party (have you been looking at the face of a clown or Santa Claus for a long time?) are not such fun events for a fragile psyche, but a mother’s warmth is the best guarantor of safety. Try to avoid such events while the child is very young, and if this is not possible, do not refuse the child additional attachment. Another way to help him feel secure is to offer a hug toy. Such a toy should be with the baby in the warmest moments of his life (feeding, fun games with parents) at first, then, having it nearby, it will be easier for him to survive short periods of new situations.

How to teach a baby to fall asleep without a breast

If you have eliminated all the above reasons, and your baby still wakes up more often than necessary for adequate nutrition for age - what is the reason? Often in such situations, the formed negative association between breasts and sleep is to blame. In other words, the baby simply does not know any other way to relax and fall asleep, except for the rhythmic sucking on the mother's chest. But, as I often write in my plans, he does not know - does not mean that he cannot learn! Who would have known that falling asleep is a skill that needs to be taught? But, think about it, you taught your baby to properly grasp the chest, roll over, sit, chew, drink from a spoon - why not fall asleep? So, how to put a baby to bed without a breast - a guide to survival:

The first step in dealing with frequent nighttime awakenings for breastfed babies should be to separate feedings and sleep.

In order to show your baby that there are other ways to relax, it is important to let him explore these ways and try to find his own. And for this he must be awake after feeding!

So, if your baby is older than 5 months, feed after sleep, not before it. Move all feedings out of the sleeping area - ideally to another room, and definitely don't feed lying on the bed where you both have a good chance of falling asleep. This is difficult, especially at night, but your perseverance in just a few days will bear fruit.

A sleepy and relaxed baby should be given the opportunity to try his hand at falling asleep - give him the opportunity to roll in the crib, sing songs, even whimper - do not rush to "rescue" him in the first second of anxiety. Understand that any change in routine will be met with protest, but if you have a goal, it's worth pursuing. Your throwing will only further confuse the child. At the same time, feel free to help him in other ways - shake him a little, sing, hiss or pat him. It is important that gradually, over the course of days (and sometimes weeks), you reduce your "help", giving him more and more space to fall asleep on his own. Ideally, your help should stop before the child is completely asleep - he should make this wonderful transition from wakefulness to sleep.

Be sure to put your baby to sleep where he wakes up at night. A sudden change of scenery, when he fell asleep on your bed, and woke up on the other side of the room in his crib, can scare and upset the kids, and you don’t need it at all.

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