Do you burp baby during dream feed

How to Properly Dream Feed Your Baby

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Learning how to dream feed baby is quite simple. Yay! Yet dream feeding is one of those terms that gets tossed around so much that everyone assumes that everyone else knows the exact meaning of the term. When you dig a little deeper, you see that people have WILDLY different definitions of the same exact term!

Last Updated Jan 27, 2021.

Photo Credit: Zach Lucero

So What Is a Dream Feed?

Just so everyone is on the same page…

A dream feed is when:

  • a parent goes to their sleeping infant,
  • picks them up to breastfeed
  • or props them up either in their crib, or in a caregiver’s arms, to offer a bottle,
  • feeds the child,
  • and then puts them back down *asleep* without the baby ever having woken up.

A dream feed is NOT a dream feed if a child:

  • opens their eyes at any point in the process,
  • or if the feeding is in response to the baby waking up.

Generally speaking, a dream feed is done between the hours of about 9:30pm and 12:00am. Technically, if all other terms are met, but the feed is done outside of these hours, the feeding is still a dream feed.

The Right Age for Dream Feeding

Dream feeds are a great tool from birth (or a few weeks after, when babies are not quite so sleepy), through to when a baby is done being swaddled. It is very challenging to dream feed a baby, even a very young one, without waking them up if they are not swaddled. Generally speaking, it’s wise to stop dream feeding around 14–16 weeks of age. After this age, babies become a lot more awake and aware, and dream feeds tend to disrupt the rest of their overnight sleep.

Check out my Newborn Sleep Program!

Benefits of Dream Feeding

Let me first dispel a myth. A dream feed does not necessarily prevent a baby from waking up to eat at night. Although, sometimes it does work. I like dream feeds for young babies because I appreciate the “insurance policy” of extra calories at night. As long as a baby is young enough that the dream feed itself does not wake them, and fracture their remaining nighttime sleep, a dream feed can insure as many calories as possible during each 24-hour period.

A gift to reflux-y babies!

Some babies respond beautifully to a dream feed. Especially those with reflux! From about 7pm on through to about 2 or 3am, the body is flooded with the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for many things. Chief amongst them is making the body feel drowsy, and relaxing the long muscles  (abs, legs, and arms). Since the abdominal muscles are relaxed, it’s common for babies with a lot of reflux to tolerate a dream feed without spitting up. And even possibly negate the need to be burped, or held upright afterwards. I can speak to this from personal experience with my own extremely reflux-y, wholly unmedicated daughter. Since the concern for calorie intake is so high with reflux babies, dream feeds can be especially useful for them.

Burping After a Dream Feed

If you feel your sleeping baby needs to be burped, go ahead and attempt to burp them as you normally would during the day. Check in with your pediatrician to ask how long to attempt a burp before giving up and putting baby back to sleep.

The bottom line is that a dream feed done correctly can benefit baby AND parents by offering an extra dose of nutrition, while also possibly helping baby sleep! (Which means YOU can get more sleep too! Win!)

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So remember, to properly dream feed your baby…

  1. Enter their room (keeping it dark!), and prop baby up either in their crib, or your arms, and immediately start feeding them the breast or bottle.
  2. Dream feed between 9:30pm-12:30am (or whenever you are heading to bed yourself!)
  3. Baby should NOT wake up AT ALL during the entire feeding. (Baby should be put back down in bed just as asleep as they were when you starting the feeding. )
  4. You should stop attempting dream feeds when baby starts to sleep unswaddled. (Or around 14-16 weeks old when these feeds can start to become disruptive to their nighttime sleep.)

If you want to learn everything I know about babies under 16 weeks, check out The Newborn Sleep Program. This program can help set up your newborn (and you) for the best possible sleep! And if your baby is older than 16 weeks old, and you’re looking for affordable, hands-on sleep training support, check out my online training series: The Baby Sleep Trainer Program + Support. Use the code DFbaby for 10% off either program.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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What Is Dream Feeding? And How Do I Dream Feed? – Happiest Baby

By Dr. Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP

On This Page

  • Dream Feeding: What It Is
  • How to Dream Feed
  • How to Get Your Baby Back to Sleep
  • Dream Feeding Tips
  • Dream Feeding Benefits
  • Adding a Second Dream Feed
  • When to Stop Dream Feeds
  • Final Thoughts on Dream Feeds

Newborn babies eat a lot. Breastfed infants eat about every two to three hours and formula-fed babies hit the bottle every three to four hours…and that doesn’t stop when bedtime calls. In fact, bottle-fed babies often continue night feedings until they’re around 6 months old, whereas breastfed babies may continue up to a year. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to tame night-waking. If your little one wakes up hungry each night, it’s smart to increase daytime milk (research shows that infants who received more milk or solid feeds during the day are less likely to feed at night) and boost their evening calories by way of a dream feed. Think of a dream feed as topping off your car’s gas there's no need to refuel during the journey ahead. Offering your baby a dream feed will eliminate—or at least delay—one of the top reasons babies wake through the night: a rumbling tummy. 

What is dream feeding?

Dream feeding is when you rouse your baby—without fully waking them up—to feed them one more time before you turn in for the night. Babies who go to sleep between 6pm and 8pm often wake out of hunger in the middle of the night. But research has shown that sneaking in an extra feed between 10pm and midnight can reduce night wakings, helping babies stay asleep until a more “reasonable” time of the morning. This can become part of your little one’s regular sleep schedule.

How do I dream feed?

The goal of a dream feed is to offer your little one more meal before you hit the hay, so that you and your baby’s schedule sync better…and you both sleep better. Ready to try it? Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Gently take your baby out of the bassinet or crib between 10pm and 12am, or whenever when you go to bed. Keep the room dim and quiet, except for white noise. Doing this during Baby’s more active REM sleep is ideal. During REM sleep your baby may flutter their eyelids, make little squeaks and squawks, or move around more than usual.

  • Step 2: Keep your baby swaddled. There’s no need to unswaddle—or change your baby’s diaper—if they’ll take the feed that way and their diaper isn’t soiled. (If your baby is super sleepy, you may need to rouse them a bit by gently tickling their toes.)

  • Step 3: Touch Baby’s cheek with your breast or bottle. Placing your breast or bottle on your baby's cheek or lower lip will wake up their rooting reflex and get your baby to start eating.

  • Step 4: Offer a brief feed. Encourage nursing for 5 to 10 minutes on each side. For bottle-fed babies, try for about 3 ounces.

  • Step 5: Burp your baby. Many parents ask: Do you burp a baby after a dream feed? and the answer is always yes. You want to burp a baby after a dream feed—or any feed—before putting them back down on their back. 

How to get a baby back to sleep after a dream feed:

Oftentimes, a baby who has just enjoyed a dream feed can be returned to their bassinet with nary a wakeup. But if your little one has woken up during or after a dream feed, you can get them back down with the help of the 5 Ss: Swaddling, Side/Stomach, Shushing, Swinging, Sucking.

First, if you haven’t already, swaddle your baby and put on some rumbly white noise. I recommend playing white noise all night, but you can turn up the volume as you’re putting your baby back down. The most effective white noise for sleep is continuous, monotonous, and at a low-pitch, like my SNOO sounds download or SNOObear, Happiest Baby’s white noise lovey.

At the same time, gentle rhythmic motion can help lull babies to sleep. In fact, a 2019 study in the journal PLOS ONE found that the magical mix of swaddling, white noise, and rocking “evokes an immediate calming response” when caregivers soothe their infants and when they use SNOO, my responsive bassinet. SNOO uses womb-like white noise and motion (and a built-in swaddle!) to quickly settle babies back to sleep after a feed…usually adding sleep for the whole family.

Other time-tested tricks to help a baby sleep after a dream feed include rocking in a rocking chair, walking with your baby in your arms, bouncing on an exercise ball, and offering a pacifier, which fulfills the Sucking portion of the 5 S’s. As an added bonus, research suggests a bedtime paci helps lower the risk of sudden infant sleep death, or SIDS.

As you put your little one back into their bassinet, do my quick wake-and-sleep trick, which teaches your baby to fall asleep on their own. Here’s the gist: Right after you put your baby down, gently rouse them with a gentle tickle on their feet until they barely open their eyes. After a few seconds, they’ll close their eyes again and slide back to sleep. If your little one fusses, pick them up for a feed or a cuddle, then repeat the gentle-tickle-to-wake routine.

Set your baby up for dream feed success:

As I mentioned earlier, the one-two punch of adding daytime calories and dream feeds can really work wonders to help babies sleep longer. Try offering cluster feeds from about 4pm till bedtime. Cluster feeds are a series of quick milky meals given to Baby every one to two hours. They’re meant to load your little one’s system with calories to keep them well stocked with nutrition through the night. At the same time, put your little one down for night-night safely swaddled with your trusted white noise on. Consider this another “dream team” to help Baby sleep better! 

Why dream feeds are great for your infant:

A wonderful thing about dream feeding is that doesn’t interfere with your little one’s need to feed at night. Instead, dream feeding simply shifts your baby’s feeding schedule just a bit so that it’s more conducive to your sleep schedule, too. Plus, dream feeding means that…

  • Your baby will get the extra calories they need to sleep better.
  • Your baby is eating a meal at a convenient time, so you can sleep longer, too.
  • You’re not responding to your baby’s crying with food, which is important because reacting to cries with a feed can inadvertently encourage your baby to eat more at night.
  • Your baby will eat less during the night and therefore be hungrier in the morning, which will boost daytime eating.

Should I wake my baby for a second dream feed?

If your baby frequently wakes around 3:30am despite having an earlier dream feed and using strong, rumbly white noise, consider setting your alarm and giving one more dream feed at 3am. Again, it’s best to keep the lights dim and to not talk or cuddle too much at this hour. You want to be loving when you feed your baby, but you don’t want your little one to think that it’s time to play! The idea is to pick up and feed your little one before they wake you, so you’re giving your baby the nourishment they need, but not rewarding them for waking and crying.

If you must do this early-morning dream feed, every three days, reduce the 3am feed a bit more by giving a little less milk than usual. If you’re nursing, just feed on one side for the second dream feed. If you’re bottle-feeding, you can try doubling the amount of water the formula directions suggest—for just ONE feeding and ONLY for a couple days. This is very important: It’s dangerous to dilute baby formula for meals. It can cause serious health problems. Diluting for this ONE wee-hour feed for a brief period of time is different. The purpose of the extra water is to fill your baby’s stomach with enough ounces, but fewer calories. This can help babies sleep through to morning…when they will be hungry and ready to eat their full bottle again. Again, this is a temporary fix only to be used for the 3am dream feed—and only for a couple of nights.

When should I stop dream feeding?

All babies are different, so there is no specific age recommendation for stopping a dream feed. My general rule is that you can bid adieu to the dream feed 2 to 4 weeks after your baby is sleeping well from the time of your dream feed on through to the morning. (Learn when your baby might start sleeping through the night.) Of course, if the dream feed isn’t working for you, there’s no need to continue!

Final Thoughts on the Dream Feed and Other Sleep Tips

Offering a dream feed to your snoozing baby before you declare “lights out” may give you a chance to catch more precious ZZZs, which, of course, is fantastic! Giving a dream feed can also help train your sweet pea to stay asleep for longer stretches…and that skill can carry over to better night sleeps down the road, too. Beyond dream feeding, if your newborn baby is having difficulty sleeping, you may need a little extra help lulling them to dreamland. This is where I hope SNOO can help exhausted families by automatically soothing fussing with gentle rocking and white noise. You can learn more about SNOO and find other great sleep resources below:

  • SNOO Success Stories
  • All About Your Baby’s Wake Windows
  • What to Do When Your Baby Won't Sleep in a Bassinet
  • How to Turn On Baby’s “On Switch” for Sleep
  • Sleep Regression 101

About Dr. Harvey Karp

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America’s most trusted pediatricians, is the founder of Happiest Baby and the inventor of the groundbreaking SNOO Smart Sleeper. After years of treating patients in Los Angeles, Dr. Karp vaulted to global prominence with the release of the bestselling Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block. His celebrated books and videos have since become standard pediatric practice, translated into more than 20 languages and have helped millions of parents. Dr. Karp’s landmark methods, including the 5 S’s for soothing babies, guide parents to understand and nurture their children and relieve stressful issues, like new-parent exhaustion, infant crying, and toddler tantrums.

View more posts tagged, feeding

Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Connect with us at [email protected].

Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.

Regurgitation in children of the first year of life

Regurgitation in children of the first year of life. Advice for young parents.

Parents have a lot of questions with the birth of a child. Moreover, it has been noted that almost all parents face the most exciting problems regarding the health of the baby, since all of them are mostly physiological, passing as the child grows and the work of all systems of his body becomes established. After all, a newborn child is not a small adult, absolutely all the organs and systems of the baby will not only grow in size, but also mature. However, even an understanding of this fact does not reduce the anxiety of parents when any deviations appear in the child's condition, even if they pass over time.
One of these exciting problems is regurgitation in children of the first year of life. According to statistics, a fairly large percentage of all infants, namely from 25% to 80%, have manifestations of the so-called regurgitation syndrome. Moreover, in half of the children, it is stubborn. What is the reason for such a high frequency of this syndrome? And what is it all about - regurgitation?
Regurgitation is the reflux of stomach contents into the mouth shortly after ingestion in infants, predominantly during the first six months of life. There are a number of reasons for the occurrence of regurgitation, both physiological and related to the care and feeding of the baby.

From the point of view of the characteristics of the child's body:
  • The stomach is not elongated, as in an adult, but spherical in shape.
  • Insignificant volume of the stomach.
  • The sphincter (circular muscle), which opens the entrance to the stomach when food passes through the esophagus and closes it at the time of digestion, is rather weak, while the "pylorus", the same muscle, but at the junction of the stomach into the duodenum, is stronger. This feature contributes to the occurrence of regurgitation. A cavity closed on one side arises and with an increase in pressure in the cavity of the stomach, a weak sphincter opens and a reverse reflux of food into the esophagus is formed, and from there the oral or nasal cavity.
  • It follows that overfeeding a child or swallowing air during feeding, contribute to an increase in pressure in the stomach, and therefore will inevitably lead to regurgitation.
  • The presence of constipation in a child, increased flatulence, bloating can also cause unpleasant symptoms.
How to distinguish regurgitation from other, serious symptoms, indicating not just the immaturity of the baby's systems, but the occurrence of certain diseases that require examination by a pediatrician.

  • Starts suddenly, without any previous symptoms.
  • Occur without tension of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall.
  • Not accompanied by pallor, sweating, impaired well-being of the child.
  • The child is still active, with a good appetite, and sufficient weight gain.
Symptoms to watch out for parents:
  • Profuse regurgitation. In quantitative terms - from half to the full volume that was introduced in one feeding, especially if this situation is repeated in more than half of the feedings.
  • The child has insufficient weight gain. A very formidable sign is the loss of body weight from the original and / or a decrease in the number of urination of the child less than 8 - 10 times a day.
  • There are certain symptoms associated with the broncho-pulmonary system, recurrent cough, especially the occurrence of pneumonia in children of the first six months of life.
  • The general condition of the child is disturbed.
  • Profuse vomiting of previously eaten food with an admixture of bile (the contents of the vomit becomes yellow), especially if the child does not have a stool.
Which doctors should be contacted to rule out organic diseases that sometimes require immediate medical intervention:

  • Pediatrician - Your first assistant, having assessed the condition of the child, will be able to say whether your worries were in vain or whether it is still necessary to show the baby to others specialists, as well as prescribe treatment, if necessary.
  • A neurologist, as a number of neurological problems that occur in a small child can also be accompanied by regurgitation (hydrocephalic syndrome, perinatal damage to the central nervous system).
  • Pediatric surgeon. Some of the diseases, one of the signs of which may be vomiting, require emergency surgical intervention (pyloric stenosis, intestinal obstruction).

    But, now all the excitement is over, the child has been examined by all the necessary specialists, and it's time to start the question, but how, actually, to reduce the severity of symptoms or minimize them.

    As usual, we start with the normalization of routine moments:
    • Do not overfeed the child, it is better to reduce the single amount of food, but feed more often
    • When breastfeeding, make sure that the baby has a good grip on the nipple (together with the areola). Never stop breastfeeding!
    • When feeding from a bottle, try to avoid swallowing air when sucking (using special bottles, adjusting the diameter of the hole in the nipple)
    • Put the baby on the tummy before feeding
    • When feeding, keep the baby in a raised position (not horizontal!), as well as after feeding - the baby should be upright for about 20-30 minutes
    • Do not wear clothes that tighten the baby's stomach, avoid sudden movements in relation to the baby in the first half an hour - an hour after feeding, do not put it on the stomach immediately after eating
    • If the child spits up in his sleep, then when putting him to bed, make sure that the head end of the bed is raised by 10-15 cm. so that the baby does not roll over in a dream on his back.

    In addition to regime moments, there are other methods of treating regurgitation in children. All of them are prescribed only by a pediatrician!
    • The first of these methods is the appointment of special therapeutic mixtures. These mixtures contain so-called thickeners (starch, locust bean gum), which form a denser food bolus in the stomach, and thereby prevent it from being thrown back into the oral cavity. The choice of mixture depends on many related factors, for example, frequent or rare stools in a child, whether there are signs of lactase deficiency, and so on. The pediatrician, taking into account all the individual characteristics of your baby, will select the necessary mixture. At the same time, you must understand that such treatment, and this is the treatment, will be prescribed for a certain period and in the required amount. That is, only some part of the mixture that your child receives will be replaced with a medicinal one, and when the results are achieved, the baby will return to his usual diet.
    • There are also drugs that promote the normal movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, the so-called prokinetics. Most often appointed - motilium. It normalizes intestinal motility, has a minimum number of side effects and is approved for use in young children. This drug is prescribed only if all the above regimen moments are ineffective.

    Remember that only a pediatrician should determine the cause in case of regurgitation in your baby, and prescribe treatment if necessary. Do not get carried away going to the pharmacy and buying up all the beautiful jars that the modern pharmaceutical industry can offer you. After all, one of the reasons for the appearance of regurgitation syndrome may be the irrational use of drugs, as well as the frequent change of mixtures during artificial feeding of a child.

    Contact Family Clinic Alexandrovskaya and our experienced pediatricians will help you raise your baby healthy!

Author: Mikhailova Nina Vasilievna
Gastroenterologist of the highest category.

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Why do newborns spit up? | Philips Avent

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Whether it's your first baby or your third, you're bound to have questions about feeding. Reflux (spitting up) is a common topic among frequently discussed feeding topics, so you are not alone in finding the answer to the question “Why does my baby spit up so often?”.

So why do babies spit up? And is spitting up normal for babies? You have probably thought about this many times. After reading this article, you will receive important information that will explain the causes of infant spitting up, and you will learn how to act to help the child.

If you have any questions or your child has other symptoms, please contact your doctor.

Why do babies spit up and when is it normal?

Let's look at why babies spit up and answer the frequently asked question "Why does my baby spit up so much?". Many newborns spit up after feedings or when burping because their digestive tract is not yet fully developed. However, in some situations, the likelihood of regurgitation in infants increases.

So what causes reflux in babies? The following are some of the main causes of regurgitation in infants:

  • The child was eating too fast.
  • You help your baby spit up air, and with the air, the baby spit up part of the food.
  • The child has too much air in the stomach.
  • The child has excessive salivation.
  • So is spitting up normal in infants? In simple words: spitting up after some feeds, or even after each, is absolutely normal for a growing baby. However, there are points that need to be noted in order to distinguish ordinary regurgitation from vomiting. The two processes are very different, so you should check with your doctor if your baby is vomiting heavily after every or most feeds.

    Also seek medical attention if your child has the following symptoms, which a doctor can help identify: 2

    • The child spit up frequently, does not gain enough height or weight.
    • Judging by external signs, he is in pain, cries a lot or arches his back.
    • Coughing or difficulty breathing, which may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
    • Regurgitates even if he hasn't eaten anything.
    • There is severe vomiting.
    • Fever or diarrhea, which may be a sign of an intestinal infection and lead to dehydration.

    If your baby spit up a small amount of milk after a feed and continues to grow and stay healthy, rest assured that this is normal and nothing to worry about. If you have any questions about reflux in infants, check out this article to learn about the symptoms of reflux and how to deal with it!

    What to do

    Now that you know that spitting up is a normal physiological process and what causes it, you are probably wondering what you can do to help your baby. After you have consulted with your pediatrician and he has determined that spitting up is not a cause for concern, there are a few things you can do to help you when you are confused: 1


    Regular belching of air.

    In addition to burping after feedings, try helping your baby burp when changing breasts. And when feeding from a bottle, try to have the child spit up air every 30-60 ml of the mixture. Consider using an anti-colic bottle with an AirFree valve. The AirFree valve prevents air from entering the nipple even when the bottle is in a horizontal position and the nipple remains completely filled with milk. The use of such a bottle will allow your baby to drink in an upright position, which will reduce the frequency of reflux, improve the digestion process and make the feeding process more comfortable for both you and the baby. Find out more about Philips Avent anti-colic bottles with AirFree valve here.

    3. Avoid vigorous movement after feeding.

    To avoid spitting up after a feed, it is best to refrain from any bouncing, rocking or active play until the milk has been digested better.

    4. Keep your baby's head up while feeding.

    When you're trying to find the right feeding position that's comfortable for both you and your baby, try to avoid a position where your baby's head is down. In other words, it is necessary to ensure that in the process of feeding the head of the child is above the level of his legs.

    5. Raise the mattress at the head of the bed

    It is a good idea to roll up some towels or blankets and place them under the mattress (but not on top of the mattress) in the crib. Make sure that only the headboard is raised and that there are no creases in the middle of the mattress. There should be a very slight slope from which the baby will not slip.

    It's a natural process

    If you ever ask yourself the question "Why does my baby spit up?" just remember that spitting up is a completely natural, sometimes troublesome process that is part of parenthood. There are various reasons for spitting up in babies, but if your baby looks calm after a feed and is actively developing, you have nothing to worry about. In truth, spitting up is more of a problem for the parents than for the child himself, who may not even notice it.

    Articles & tips from Philips Avent

    New Anti-colic bottle with AirFree valve

    Designed to reduce colic, gas and spitting up 1

    9005 If you see or feel any other symptoms that the baby is not getting enough milk, do not postpone the visit to the doctor. If the doctor confirms that the baby's spitting up is normal, all you have to do is keep a clean bib ready!

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