Is it ok to dream feed babies

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.

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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.

Dream feeding: An evidence-based guide

© 2018 – 2022 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved

Dream feeding has been defined as the practice of feeding a sleeping infant, with the aim of encouraging the baby to sleep longer. The term has also been used to describe any big meal (delivered during sleep or waking) that is timed to occur immediately before the parent falls asleep at night.

Either way, the ultimate purpose of dream feeding is to provide parents with longer stretches of time to sleep — uninterrupted by night wakings.

Are these measures helpful? There is reason to think they can lead to longer sleep bouts for both babies and caregivers. However, dream feeds — by themselves — probably play only a modest role in infant sleep development. To promote mature sleep patterns, the most promising approach is to combine dream feeds with other, sleep-friendly practices.

Here is an overview of the subject — the definitions, the evidence, the pros and cons, and frequently asked questions.

What exactly is dream feeding?

Tracey Hogg, who first coined the term, defines dream feeding as feeding a young infant while he or she sleeps. To accomplish this, you gently hold your sleeping baby in a feeding position, and try to stimulate the rooting reflex by stroking your baby’s mouth and offering your baby a breast or bottle. Many babies can feed in this way without waking up (Hogg and Blau 2005).

But some people use the term “dream feed” differently. For instance, in a blog post, Harvey Karp makes reference to deliberately awakening an infant: “Dream feeding is when you wake your baby to feed one more time before you turn in for the night” (Karp, n.d.).

And others use the label “dream feed” to describe any attempt to get your baby to “tank up” before you yourself go to bed. You might awaken your baby for this purpose, or you might administer the feed when your baby is already awake.

In short, there’s a lot of variation in the way “dream feeding” is defined. But the definitions share a common denominator: the idea of getting a baby to take in a big meal (a “focal feed”) before you doze.

The scientific argument for dream feeds

Newborns awaken easily and frequently, in part because they are hungry. This is what makes newborn care so grueling. You have to feed them every few hours, 24 hours a day! But if you begin sleeping shortly after your baby has consumed a large meal, you may get a bit more time before your baby awakens again.  And every bit helps, especially if it enables you to sleep uninterrupted for at least 4 hours.

Why? Our brains are designed to prioritize the most restorative stage of sleep — NREM3, or deep, slow wave sleep — during the first few sleep cycles of the night. So if you could protect only one portion of your nightly sleep bout from interruptions, it should be the first 4-5 hours of sleep.

In the days immediately after childbirth, achieving this ideal state is impossible for many parents. If that’s your situation, you should take heart: When people are seriously sleep-deprived — suffering a big deficit of NREM3 — their brains often respond by increasing the intensity of short naps. If you can grab a couple of 30-minute naps during the day, you may come away with enough NREM3 to counteract many of the adverse effects of sleep deprivation (Farout et al 2015).

But getting your baby to sleep longer at night — to experience at least one, 4-5 hour sleep bout that begins around your own bedtime — can make your life easier. It will give you the opportunity to secure the most essential, minimum amount of sleep you need to maintain well-being. And it may be a helpful step towards mature, nighttime sleep patterns for your baby.

But does dream feeding work? Does it actually lead to longer infant sleep bouts?

Many parents who have tried it have the impression that it works. As the weeks go by, their babies sleep in longer, more consolidated bouts. But of course we’d expect that to happen anyway. When all goes well, young infants develop more consolidated sleep patterns at night.

A more persuasive line of evidence comes from a longitudinal study that tracked the sleep-related behaviors of 313 infants over time. Mirja Quante and colleagues interviewed parents when their babies were just one month old, and learned which of the parents happened to be in the practice of administering a large, focal feed (by bottle) at bedtime. Five months later, when the babies were approximately 6 months old, researchers fitted them with sleep monitors — ankle actigraphs — and the infants wore them continuously for a week.

The researchers measured the duration of infant sleep bouts, and found a clear pattern: Babies who had been given focal, bedtime feeds at one month postpartum tended to sleep for longer stretches when they were 6 months old. In fact, the difference was pretty substantial. Compared with babies who hadn’t received these bedtime meals, the longest nightime sleep bout averaged 62 additional minutes (Quante et al 2022).

What about the “gold standard” of scientific evidence: controlled, randomized experiments? In principle, they could provide us with even more proof. But the studies I’ve found haven’t been sufficiently focused on dream feeding.

For example, one randomized study tracked the effects of a comprehensive sleep education program on approximately 125 families with young infants (Paul et al 2016). The program included instructions for giving dream feeds to newborns, but it also featured more than 20 additional recommendations, including tips for swaddling, using pacifiers, playing white noise, implementing bedtime routines, avoiding over-stimulation, and allowing infants opportunities to self-settle or self-soothe.

Did babies in the treatment group have better sleep outcomes than babies in the control group? Yes. But it’s impossible to know how much of the result was attributable to dream feeding by itself. This leaves us with a much smaller study that tested dream feeds as part of a three-component intervention. In this study, researchers randomly assigned 13 parents to employ all three of these practices:

  1. Administer a big feed to newborns sometime between 10pm and midnight. 
  2. Gradually lengthen intervals between night feedings by first “carrying out alternative caretaking behaviors” like re-swaddling, diapering, and walking babies around.
  3. “Maximize environmental differences between day and nighttime” by minimizing infant exposure to social stimulation and artificial light at night. 

At eight weeks postpartum, all 13 of the parents who had carried out this three-part strategy reported that their babies were sleeping quietly each night between midnight and 5am.  By contrast, only 3 of the 13 parents in the control group reported this milestone (Pinilla and Birch 1993).

So there’s reason to think that the intervention was helpful, but we don’t know how much of the outcome was caused by dream feeding. Independent studies suggest that the other two tactics (#2 and #3) can help babies develop more mature sleep patterns. It’s therefore likely that dream feeding was just one of several contributing factors.

What about the downside? Is there any evidence that dream feeding could be harmful?

For some young infants — those struggling to gain weight, for example — dream feeding might be inappropriate. So be sure to check with your pediatrician. In addition, it’s worth considering that certain approaches to dream feeding could conceivably affect a baby’s sleep habits in ways you might not like.

For example, suppose that that you take the Harvey Karp approach, and actively awaken your baby each night to dream feed. Could these parent-initiated night wakings interfere with, or slow down, the development of consolidated, nighttime sleep? Maybe, but the question hasn’t been tested by rigorous experiments. It might be of little consequence, especially when you weigh that potential downside against benefits. But — strictly speaking — we don’t yet know.

Similarly, I haven’t seen any rigorous, experimental data on the effects of letting babies feed while they are sleeping. It’s an ancient practice, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. For instance, if your baby is prone to reflux, it’s probably better for your baby to spend time in an upright position after feeding. While it’s not impossible for babies to sleep through such positioning, it’s more compatible with being awake.

In addition, some critics argue that it’s unwise to allow infants to fall asleep while feeding. Again, this is an ancient parenting tactic — the norm for our species. But it may lead to outcomes that some parents want to avoid. When babies get into the habit drowsing off during a meal, they may become dependent on feeding as a necessary precursor to falling asleep; and this, in turn, could become a roadblock to the development of self-settle (the ability to fall asleep independently, without signalling caregivers).

As a result, advocates of self-settling recommend that dream feeding sessions take place while their babies are still awake — no dozing permitted. Immediately afterwards, caregivers should guide their babies through another, quiet, pre-bedtime activity (such as singing a lullaby) before placing their infants in bed — drowsy, but still awake. Taking this approach may help ensure that babies learn to self-settle at an earlier age (e.g., Paul at al 2016).

But where do these various concerns lead us? We can summarize them as follows.

The Pros and Cons of dream feeding

  • Crucial relief for parents. The post-feed sleep bout may last longer than usual, giving you more opportunity to grab some of that NREM3 sleep. Even an extra half hour could have an important impact on your health and well-being.
  • Potential support for the development of infant sleep patterns. In combination with other tactics — like gradually lengthening the intervals between nighttime feedings — the practice might help speed up the shift to a more mature sleep schedule.  


  • May not be appropriate for infants with special needs. For babies who are underweight or suffering from certain medical conditions, dream feeding might not be a good choice. Consult your pediatrician before attempting.
  • Possibly disruptive for some babies — if you are regularly awakening them for that last, focal feed. If this is a personal concern for you, you may choose to schedule focal feeds so that they coincide with a time when your baby is already awake.
  • The “feed-them-while-they-sleep” version of dream feeding might be a bad fit for babies prone to reflux. It’s better for them to assume an upright position after feeding.
  • If babies are allowed to fall asleep during a dream feed, this might contribute to delays in the development of self-settling. Not every family will see this as a problem, but for some families, it’s an important consideration.

What if you try dream feeding, and it doesn’t work?

Hunger isn’t the only reason that babies awaken. As I explain elsewhere, research confirms that everyone experiences many, partial wakings during the night, and babies are no exception. In fact, for young babies, these arousals may help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.

So if your baby isn’t sleeping for 5 hours straight at 8 weeks of age, that might make your life a lot harder, but it isn’t unusual; nor is it a sign that something is wrong with your infant. There is a lot of individual variation in baby sleep patterns. Some babies sleep longer and more soundly than others.

And when you hear other parents bragging about the baby who “sleeps through the night,” keep in mind: This isn’t a “super-baby” who never wakes up. What’s really happening is that the infant is keeping relatively quiet during night wakings, and falling back to sleep on his or her own.

That’s your ultimate goal — to help your baby learn this skill for self-settling. “Tanking up” might make it easier, but it’s probably just one factor among many. To cover your bases, combine dream feeds with a variety of other, well-supported tactics (like the ones mentioned above). If dream feeding is hard to implement, and doesn’t seem to be working for you, give it a pass. For a guide to evidence-based tactics for improving infant sleep, see these Parenting Science tips.

When should you stop dream feeding?

That’s another question that hasn’t been addressed by controlled scientific studies. Tracey Hogg suggests that “tanking up” can remain useful until your baby is 6 months old (Hogg and Blau 2005). Yet others recommend that you stop dream feeding by 16 weeks (Paul et al 2016).

Is it necessary to burp your baby after dream feeding?

It’s hard to make generalizations that apply to everyone. Different babies may have different quirks and needs.  But overall, there is little evidence that burping a baby after a meal is beneficial.

For instance, in controlled study of more than 70 mother-infant pairs, researchers found that burping had no impact on symptoms of infantile colic.  And babies randomly assigned to the burping treatment actually showed an increased tendency to regurgitate afterwards (Kaur et al 2015). So it doesn’t appear that it’s necessary, or even advisable, to burp you baby after a dream feed.

What about changing your baby’s diaper?

If you baby is already awake, and has a soiled diaper, changing it is a good idea. But what if your baby is asleep? Should you change your diaper now — in order to prevent him or her from awakening later? Probably not, because experiments suggest that babies will happily sleep through a wet diaper (Zotter et al 2007). 

For more tips about helping infants sleep, see these Parenting Science articles about newborn sleep, baby sleep patterns, and solving infant sleep problems.

In addition, consult my infant sleep chart for information about the normal range of infant sleep behavior — including the timing of milestones. And read more about infant feeding here.


Faraut B, Nakib S, Drogou C, Elbaz M, Sauvet F, De Bandt JP, Léger D. 2015. Napping reverses the salivary interleukin-6 and urinary norepinephrine changes induced by sleep restriction. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 100(3):E416-26.

Karp H. no date. “What is dream feeding? And how do I do it?” [blog post] Retrieved June 5, 2018 from

Kaur R, Bharti B, Saini SK. 2015. A randomized controlled trial of burping for the prevention of colic and regurgitation in healthy infants. Child Care Health Dev. 41(1):52-6.

Hogg T and Blau M. 2005. Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Ballantine.

Paul IM, Savage JS, Anzman-Frasca S, Marini ME, Mindell JA, Birch LL. 2016. INSIGHT Responsive Parenting Intervention and Infant Sleep. Pediatrics. 138(1). pii: e20160762.

Pinilla T and Birch LL. 1993. Help me make it through the night: behavioral entrainment of breast-fed infants’ sleep patterns. Pediatrics. 91(2):436-44.

Quante M, McGee GW, Yu X, von Ash T, Luo M, Kaplan ER, Rueschman M, Haneuse S, Davison KK, Redline S, Taveras EM. 2022. Associations of sleep-related behaviors and the sleep environment at infant age one month with sleep patterns in infants five months later. Sleep Med. 94:31-37.

Zotter H, Urlesberger B, Pichler G, Mueller W, Kerbl R. 2007. Do wet diapers induce arousals in sleeping infants? Acta Paediatr. 96(3):452-3.

Note to readers. The following study tried to test “tanking up” as part of a package of tactics, but for some reason the parents in this study failed to implement the tactic, so the results were not included in the text of this article:

St James-Roberts I, Sleep J, Morris S, Owen C, Gillham P. 2001. Use of a behavioural programme in the first 3 months to prevent infant crying and sleeping problems. J Paediatr Child Health.  37(3):289-97.

Image credits

Image of breasfeeding newborn by kieferpix / istock

Content last modified 7/2022. Portions of the text derive from an earlier version of the article written by the same author.

Is it necessary to wake the baby for feeding

Some mothers are worried that their baby does not ask for food at night. We figure out whether it is necessary to wake the baby for feeding at night or for his growth and development, daytime nutrition is enough, as well as how to properly disturb sleep and feed the baby, if necessary. What to give the child, how often and up to what age and how to solve the problem of night awakenings? We will talk about all this with our permanent expert - pediatrician, consultant of the SMART MAMA project Polina Alexandrovna Kizino.

— Polina Alexandrovna, why do babies eat at night?

- Active growth and weight gain in the first months of life, the growing needs of the body for building material and energy costs require a large amount of nutrients. But the baby cannot eat a lot of food at once in order to accumulate it and use the reserves all night. Therefore, the younger the child, the more often he will eat at night. A newborn baby suckles a breast or a bottle day and night at almost the same intervals, but the older he gets, the less often he feeds at night.

— How to organize the nutrition of a breastfed and formula-fed baby?

— In this matter, it is extremely important for parents to separate the concepts of food and sleep. A small child does not need to eat during the falling asleep period, he is able to eat between feedings during wakefulness and at night during sleep. These two processes go hand in hand, but they should not be strictly tied to each other. Therefore, it is important to understand how much the baby needs to sleep and what should be the intervals between feedings.

Sleep and feeding standards for a child up to a year

Feed the child on request or under the regime Wake up a baby at night
  • Medical time between attachments, because the child may be worried not because of hunger, but for another reason.
  • In the days of a lactation crisis, when there is less milk than the baby needs, it is applied to the breast as often as possible, based on the needs of the child.
  • Milk formula

    • Feeding according to the regime with an interval of at least 3 hours.
    Night feedings during the newborn period and up to three months
    • Babies need to eat at night, so if they sleep all night without feeding, they wake them up and feed them.

    Night feedings for older children

    • If the child is gaining weight well and rarely asks for food at night - this is the norm, it is not necessary to wake him up.
    • If the weight gain is below the norm and the child does not eat well at night, this is a reason for more active daytime and nighttime feeding.

    How much sleep should a child sleep at night? Age norms change every month, but sleep and nutrition are extremely important. For example, a three-month-old baby sleeps normally 10-12 hours a night. But this does not mean that during this time he does not need to eat. As soon as a hungry baby begins to fiddle and worry, mom should offer him breasts or formula. The child eats and continues to sleep, and the sleep process is not interrupted.

    — How many months should I feed my baby at night and how often?

    — There are different situations. From birth, the intervals between feedings at night are the same as during the day, then the child gradually begins to skip night feedings, the intervals increase, and on average, by the age of one, the baby stops eating at night.

    It is necessary to wake the baby for feedings in the first month, but initially it is worth looking at how long the baby will wake up on its own. For example, if the interval is 2.5-3 hours, and the child wakes up on his own after 3.5 hours, this is acceptable. But the situation when the newborn is sleeping is completely incorrect 9-10 hours and does not receive food all this time.

    - Advise parents who want to adjust their feeding schedule.

    - You can increase the intervals between feedings over time and gradually, and in the first months you need to see how much the baby is gaining weight. If the increase is adequate, then the child needs so much food, perhaps an indulgence. If the increase does not correspond to the desired, then, on the contrary, it will be necessary to supplement the baby more actively. With older children, they are guided by the behavior of the child during the day, his weight and height gains.

    Read also: How to create a feeding regimen and daily ration for a newborn who is breastfed, formula-fed or formula-fed

    — When can a child sleep through the night without feeding?

    — Children are all different. Rare babies begin to sleep at night from the third month. If a child eats his daily allowance during the day and at the same time gains weight normally, there is no need to force-feed him. But there are children who wake up for feeding and a year. The norm at this age is one nightly feeding. By about fourteen or fifteen months, babies stop eating at night, in terms of nutritional needs. After pediatricians do not recommend feeding at night.

    It's not just that you need to refuse a child food at night - you should pay attention to his food during the day and assess its sufficiency. At the same time, it is recommended to deal with the sleep regime: when the regime is violated, overwork occurs. Perhaps the child does not know how to prolong sleep on his own, and he needs a breast or a bottle to fall asleep. Then night feedings appear, without which he cannot sleep.

    — Is it better to feed at night: breast milk, infant formula or complementary foods?

    Breastfeeding: give breast or bottle expressed breast milk. Mixed feeding: breast milk if the mother is trying to keep lactating, or bottle formula if the mother is weaning. Artificial feeding: dilute a portion of the mixture according to age and doctor's recommendations.

    Complementary foods are not suitable for night feeding, because they require feeding from a spoon. Do not bottle feed your baby anything other than breast milk, adapted formula, or water.

    — How many times should a baby be fed at night?

    — When a child wakes up and asks for food, then they feed him, or on the advice of a doctor. If the child needs additional food, but he does not ask, the mother should still feed him in the amount in which the doctor prescribed it.

    Night feeding rules

    • Night feedings usually accompany sleep and do not require waking up.
    • The more calm conditions (dimmed light, silence) created during feeding, the better.
    • Frequent awakenings at intervals of 40-60 minutes or 1 hour 30 minutes, especially in a child older than four months, usually do not indicate hunger, but an association with falling asleep or prolonging sleep only with breast / bottle sucking.
    • With the exception of periods of lactation crisis, when the baby often asks for a breast, nightly intervals between feedings should be the same as during the day, or more. Gradually, the intervals between feedings should be increased.

    — Does the quality of food at dinner affect your night's sleep?

    — Nocturnal awakenings are influenced not so much by the last feeding as by the food of the day as a whole. It is a mistake to believe that if you give your child a huge portion at night, he will sleep better. On the contrary, it is more difficult to fall asleep on a full stomach. And, with the exception of very young children, it would be rational, as the child grows, to increase the interval between the last feeding and going to sleep.

    • A 1-month-old baby will fall asleep on the breast or at the bottle: at this age, the wake time is short and feeding usually causes the baby to fall asleep. The process of eating for him is a big burden, but at the same time, sucking relaxes and calms.
    • After three to four months, you can gradually separate feeding from falling asleep and make longer intervals - starting from 10 minutes, reaching 1. 5-2 hours by the year.

    Being full before bed does not reduce awakenings, so the baby should be fed as usual. At an older age, one of the complementary foods can be given at night: porridge with milk or meat puree with vegetables, but one should not think that they will somehow affect nighttime awakenings if the child ate little during the day.

    — How to wake up a newborn to feed at night?

    - To feed a baby, it is enough to offer a breast or a bottle and not wake him up - with a maximum probability he will start sucking. There are situations when the child is very lethargic and you need to fill his nutritional needs. In this case, you can “wake up” and use tactile or sound stimuli - take the baby in your arms and change the position of his body, undress him, stroke him, start talking to him quietly so as not to injure or scare him. Any impact should be smooth and progressive until the baby wakes up. But he can suck in a dream.

    If the child gains weight adequately, eats enough during the day, feels well, then the absence of awakenings should not be frightening. The priority is how the child develops: with adequate development, night feedings are not insisted.

    — Let's discuss the problems that parents face during night feedings.

    • The child often wakes up at night and cries

    - Often the child wakes up at night not from hunger, but to calm himself and prolong his sleep, but he does not know how to do this except with a breast or a bottle.

    Parents often underestimate the regime, but it is extremely important, because the violation of the regime significantly affects the functioning of the nervous system. If sleep is not organized, then any irritants are quickly unsettled, the baby can react violently to everything. It is worth paying attention to the rituals that precede going to sleep, associations that accompany falling asleep, living conditions - separate and / or joint sleep. Some babies sleep very restlessly after feeding. There may also be reasons for sleep disturbances.

    • Refusal of night feedings

    — Parents face a problem when they decide to stop night feedings prematurely. Within reason, you need to follow the child, give him the opportunity to regulate his desires. Ideally, you do not need to feed specially or, on the contrary, stop force-feeding the baby, although there are exceptions in case of violations of his health.

    • The baby does not want to eat or eats little and falls asleep

    - The baby sucks sluggishly if he does not like the shape of the nipple, bottle or is uncomfortable at the breast and it is difficult to get milk. If the baby falls asleep after a short suck, but he needs to be given a certain portion of milk or formula, then he needs to be woken up and fed. During sleep, it is sometimes easier to feed than during the day.

    If the child wakes up and does not want to eat, but at the same time he adds normally, then you need to deal with other reasons for awakening. In a healthy child, they look at the organization of sleep, wakefulness and nutrition during the day. Neurological symptoms against the background of sleep disturbance require examination of the baby by a doctor.

    — How to normalize sleep and nutrition in infants?

    — The norms of sleep and feeding are conditional, therefore, first of all, it is necessary to observe the behavior and physiological needs of the child. If he gains weight well, develops adequately without striking deviations from the norm and negative conditions, then there is no point in adhering to strict rules.

    Norms are a guide that allows you to quickly react in a situation where something is wrong with your child. If the baby is very worried, often wakes up at night, gains weight poorly, is naughty during the day, then the norms will help correct his condition. If the child develops well, he is active, stable, there is no reason to adapt to the pattern.

    Every age has its own dietary and sleep norms. A child under one year old quite justifiably asks for food at night, and it makes no sense for him to refuse it. In the event of a lag in weight and height for some time, the baby will have to be fed more actively, even if he does not ask, until his condition and parameters return to normal. Some children stop eating at night earlier, and if they develop well, do not lag behind in weight and height, then this can be considered the norm.

    *The ideal food for an infant is mother's milk. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. MAMAKO® supports this recommendation. Before introducing new foods into your baby's diet, consult with a specialist.

    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 in Miller's dream book

    The dream of breastfeeding a child 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 precious. 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,

    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.

    Seeing also 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.

    Expert comment

    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 child can be associated with the concepts of protection, guardianship, fatherhood, creating and strengthening bonds between family members.

    Learn more