Dream feed newborn baby
What is a dream feed—and how do I do it?
For some breastfeeding babies, a “dream feed” may be the answer to getting them to sleep through the night. Here’s how it works.
If it’s your dream to have your baby sleep through the night, a “dream feed” may be one way to make that happen. A dream feed involves feeding your baby when they’re still sleeping. Typically, dream feeds are done around 10 or 11 p.m., before you’ve gone to bed for the night. The idea is that a baby will sleep longer through the night and, ideally, until morning on a full stomach.How do dream feeds work?
If you want to give your baby a dream feed, put them down for bed at the time you normally would. Then, around 10 or 11 p.m., gently get your baby out of their crib and put them at your breast or give them a bottle, all without waking them up. “The great thing about babies is that they have a natural instinct to suck if they’re at a nipple,” says Jason Freedman, co-author of the book The Dream Feed Method.
When you pick up your sleeping baby for the feed, the key is to minimize stimulation—don’t turn on the lights, sing or change their diaper unless there’s poop in it. When the feed is done, gently place your baby back in bed and slip out of the room.
“It can work beautifully for some kids,” says Alanna McGinn, a sleep consultant and founder of Good Night Sleep Site, “but for some babies, it won’t work.” While some babies will take that full tummy and sleep until morning, others will wake up fully at a dream feed and have difficulty getting back to sleep. For others, the feed might go well, but they will still wake up throughout the night, so it doesn’t accomplish its purpose. Your baby may also start waking up frequently at 3 or 4 a.m.—another sign that dream feeds aren’t working, says McGinn. “Because we’ve disturbed the sleep pattern, they might have trouble getting back into a regular rhythm,” she explains.
Dream feeds also won’t work for all parents—you may prefer to go to bed at 8 or 9 p. m. and sleep through until your baby’s first natural wake-up. That’s OK, too, says McGinn. But if you want to try a dream feed, you could have dad (or a non-breastfeeding parent) give the dream feed with a bottle of pumped breastmilk or formula and allow mom to continue to sleep through until the next waking. “It’s a great way to split up the feeds between parents,” says McGinn.When can you start dream feeds?
Dream feeds can start at any age and go on for as long as you’re willing and as long they’re working. But when McGinn is working with clients to improve their baby’s sleep, she typically suggests weaning them off dream feeds by about eight months, as most babies should be able to sleep through the night without feeding at that age. Their bellies will typically be large enough that they can drink enough milk before bed and it will carry them through the night. Still, check with your baby’s doctor to make sure that they are otherwise healthy and don’t need a night-time feed for nutritional reasons. If your baby is less than eight months old and you’re embarking on a sleep training plan, a dream feed can be a helpful tool, particularly if you’re worried about your baby getting enough calories in the night.How do dream feeds work on newborns?
Although dream feeding most often refers to one late-night feed to get your baby through until morning, in The Dream Feed Method, co-authors Freedman and Stacy Karol say that incorporating dream feeds all night long can be an effective way to encourage very young babies—less than four months old—to sleep through the night. By pre-emptively getting up and feeding your newborn at, say, 1 and 4 a.m., Freedman says you can reduce the amount your baby cries. If you follow a schedule, as outlined in the book, where you gradually move up the timing of the feeds, you can have your baby sleeping through the night by four months. While Freedman says that this method won’t work for all babies, he and his wife used the dream feed method for their three children with great success. With Freedman taking on the night-time feeds, his wife was able to sleep from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Now that’s dreamy.
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FILED UNDER: baby sleep Bottle-feeding Breastfeeding Newborn care Newborn sleep service seo
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 tank...so 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.
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 S’s: 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.
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.
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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.
interpretation of dreams about breastfeeding according to the dream books of Miller, Vanga, Freud, Loff
According to Carl Jung's theory, dreams are the guiding words of the soul. Although there is still no consensus on why we see them and what they mean, the analysis of night visions can help us understand the hidden area of our mind. A dream about breastfeeding can have a direct personal message to the sleeping person, hinting that one of your loved ones needs love, tenderness and care. Let's figure out together with an expert why breastfeeding is a dream from the point of view of psychology.
Breastfeeding in Longo's dream book
Yuri Longo believes that a dream about breastfeeding a child symbolizes love and affection. The script may hint that someone or something in your life needs care and protection. Also, this dream can reflect your own emotional need for love. Sometimes a dream is inherent in pregnant women. Such a night vision can appear to anyone. For example, if a man dreamed of such an action, it symbolizes the manifestation of your hidden talents to achieve everything you wish.
Breastfeeding a baby in Miller's dream book
A dream about breastfeeding a baby means that your unconscious desires to cultivate its creative ideas and start a new life.
The dream of a girl who has recently entered into a relationship with a partner represents the need to develop an alliance that has become very dear. You want to be loved and cared for. Thus, by maintaining close relationships, you can feel emotionally secure.
Women's breasts are a symbol of deep care. It also symbolizes the close bond between mother and child. A dream may advise you to take care of the people around you, you must support your family members, be close to friends in difficult times.
Breastfeeding in Vanga's dream book
A dream about breastfeeding symbolizes maternal affection. It represents a mutually beneficial relationship, full of tenderness, compassion, love and mutual care. A dream promises emotional support and your deepest desire to take care of people close to you. Sometimes such a dream can be interpreted as the satisfaction of primitive needs for protection. You are encouraged to nourish and cherish, love and comfort others who need it. Also, such a vision of breastfeeding symbolizes that life is beautiful and all good things will come to you.Many believe that dreams about breastfeeding a child symbolize love and affection. Photo: helena-lopes, pexels.com
Breastfeeding in Loff's dream book
According to Loff's book, a dream asks you to give up old habits and go on a new journey full of love and care. The unconscious may hint at motherhood. The dream symbolizes harmony, prosperity, growth and new beginnings.
Also, vision represents a sense of belonging that you cannot live without, a deep attachment that is difficult to get rid of. You are not ready to let this person go out of your life.
Breastfeeding in Freud's dream book
Perhaps deep down you have a feeling of helplessness and insecurity. You need someone who will protect you, guide you the right way in life. There is an unconscious desire to depend on someone who is able to make decisions on your behalf. Sometimes a dream hints at the need to become independent and let go of your addiction.
Breastfeeding in the Hindu dream book
You cling to something or someone for emotional support. It is not easy for you to let go or separate from this source of care. You are holding on to past habits that you no longer need. But you are in love with them and they limit your growth path. Sleep symbolizes the fear of separation, it also means your inability to leave your comfort zone and emotional well-being.
Just remember that as you get older you will have to make room for new things in life.
Breastfeeding in the Family Dream Book
The dream symbolizes a low level of confidence and self-esteem. You are uncomfortable in your own body. Feelings of dependency on others usually come from feeling insecure. You are not happy being yourself.
The dream reminds you to stay positive. You have the power to change and live the life you want. Just focus on the positive things that surround you. Learn to challenge your negative beliefs and erroneous thoughts.
Breastfeeding in Tsvetkov's dream book
A dream about breastfeeding a child symbolizes kindness and positive. It represents parenthood, new beginnings, self-development, and achieving your life goals. As well as favorable changes that will come into your life. Thus, a dream promises hope for a better future.
Breastfeeding a baby in a dream, according to Tsvetkov, may mean that you will receive good news soon. This may be the news of pregnancy or building a new relationship. The dream portends pleasant events in the near future. Do not hesitate, all your problems will soon clear up, and you will achieve the best and greatest.
Breastfeeding in the dream book of Nostradamus
Breastfeeding in a dream symbolizes the creation of a new family. A vision can warn you of a possible pregnancy. And if you are expecting a baby, then it projects your subconscious concern for the fetus. The vision encourages you to embrace new changes and take the next step towards success. This dream is a sign of good luck, spiritual bliss, financial stability, as well as family happiness.
Breastfeeding in Hasse's dream book
When you dream of breastfeeding, be sure that changes will soon take place in your waking life. You can move to a new job or start a relationship. The dream action carries a message of positive change. When in real life you are not married and not pregnant, but still see this dream, it means that you are hatching a creative idea in reality. You are on the path of self-development.
Victoria Borzenko, astrologer, tells the meaning of sleep:
Such dreams can be instinctive, that is, reflect the intuitive desire for pregnancy in reality. This happens to many women even before the tests actually confirm the upcoming happy event.
By the way, such dreams are often seen by men who dream of having a child and starting a family.
Night visions about breastfeeding a baby can be associated with the concepts of protection, guardianship, fatherhood, creating and strengthening bonds between family members. The very act of breastfeeding in a dream usually has a positive meaning. Subconscious illusion will bring good luck.
Why dream of breastfeeding a child
Why dream of breastfeeding a child
A dream in which you had to breastfeed a child predicts enrichment. It will bring a new job, high position, part-time job or entrepreneurial activity. Having solved all the money problems in one fell swoop, you will feel relief.
Focus your efforts on the professional sphere. They will be rewarded with high salaries or paying customers.Content of article
Breastfeeding a baby
A vision where it happened to breastfeed a baby indicates the humane qualities of the sleeping person. Among them there is caring, good nature, attentiveness with which you surround your family and friends. When they feel bad, they know that they can rely on you.
Breastfeeding someone else's child
Breastfeeding someone else's child in a dream - to troubles in reality. They will be created by an outsider, to whose request you will gladly respond. Due to a colleague's report or an elderly neighbor's illness, there will be no time to do things you love.
Breastfeeding a boy
Breastfeeding a boy - to sudden joy in reality. Most likely you will be presented with a pleasant surprise, a declaration of love or a profitable offer. A hurricane of positive emotions will make it easier to look at current problems.
Breastfeeding a girl
I had to breastfeed a girl in a dream - in the near future you will be swallowed up by household chores. They will be associated with moving, repairs, visiting relatives or organizing a magnificent celebration. Composure and diligence will help to successfully resolve the tasks that have come before you.
Breastfeeding a baby according to Miller's dream book
The dream in which you are breastfeeding a baby is a hint that in reality you can finally realize your plan. Any of your undertakings will be crowned with great success. You will have a chance to realize your potential, thanks to which your financial situation will noticeably stabilize.
If in a dream you saw someone breastfeeding a baby, this dream promises a happy marriage and the birth of several children.
An unmarried girl dreams that she is breastfeeding a baby - to joy, luck, which may turn out to be fleeting. Do not relax, so as not to miss the moment of change. For a married woman, such a dream portends happiness, success in business. The dream in which you are breastfeeding promises the fulfillment of your desires.
Breastfeeding a child according to Freud's dream book
If you dreamed that you were breastfeeding a child, you feel embarrassed before entering into a relationship. Such a dream suggests that you are a sensual, vulnerable person who knows how to enjoy intimate relationships.
Breastfeeding a child according to Hasse's dream book
Happiness; for unmarried - fragile fun.
Breastfeeding a child according to Evgeny Tsvetkov's dream book
Why dream of breastfeeding a child in a dream - not wanting to pay attention to your own vices and take measures to eradicate them. The dream in which you are breastfeeding a child indicates that you will suffer from your own laziness and inconstancy. You are prone to frequent tantrums and changes in your sexual partner, which cannot but affect your mental state.
Breastfeeding a child according to the Islamic dream book
Breastfeeding - indicates a need. And if a woman sees in a dream that a certain man is sucking her breast, then, verily, he will seize her property for himself. Why dream that you are feeding a baby - And if the patient sees that she is breastfeeding, then she will recover.
Why dream of breastfeeding a baby in a dream - to the opportunity to realize what was planned and favorable changes in life. The dream in which you are breastfeeding a baby suggests that soon you will meet a person who will radically change your life. Such a dream is interpreted as positive.
Breastfeeding a child according to the Christian dream book
Breastfeeding a child (for women) - a happy marriage and healthy children. Imagine that you are feeding not one, but two babies at the same time - certainly girls.
Breastfeeding a child according to the Women's Dream Book
If you dreamed that you were breastfeeding a child, this is a very good sign. Such a dream predicts the onset of a period of your life that is favorable in all respects. Without a doubt, you can take on the implementation of plans and the embodiment of your plans in reality - everything will certainly work out. Relations with the opposite sex will also be favorable. Married women are waiting for a family idyll and harmony in relationships, and the girls will meet their future husband.
Dreaming of breastfeeding in a dream - you need help and care or seek to help and support someone else. If you dreamed that you were breastfeeding someone else's child, your help will not be appreciated by those to whom you provide it. Such a dream means empty chores, useless deeds, a senseless effort to help others. Those people for whom you are trying will be ungrateful and will not appreciate your efforts.
Breastfeeding a child according to the dream book of Nostradamus
Breastfeeding a child in a dream means taking care of your future and the future of your children. Such a dream symbolizes faith in oneself and hope for a happy future, which will undoubtedly be justified.
Breastfeeding a child according to Loff's Dream Book
Seeing in a dream breastfeeding a baby in public means that your hidden thoughts and hidden desires can become public. Do not rush to share them with others to prevent the fact of disclosure. If a pregnant woman dreams that she is breastfeeding a baby, her birth will be quick and painless, and the baby will be born strong and healthy.