Tips for dream feeding baby
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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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:
- Administer a big feed to newborns sometime between 10pm and midnight.
- Gradually lengthen intervals between night feedings by first “carrying out alternative caretaking behaviors” like re-swaddling, diapering, and walking babies around.
- “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 feedingPros:
- 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 https://www.happiestbaby.com/blogs/blog/what-is-a-dream-feed-and-how-do-i-do-it.
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 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.
How to sleep with a baby
establish a general routine
What do most women do when their baby falls asleep? Someone rushes to cook, someone begins to hastily clean the apartment, iron, wash - there are always plenty of things to do in the family. But in vain. You can do household chores even when the baby is awake, but he definitely won’t let you sleep. Therefore, if a son or daughter falls asleep, drop everything and go to bed with the child. There is no perfect order or dinner is not prepared? You can do all this later, when you rest, and, by the way, you will most likely spend much less time and effort. Therefore, the first rule of mom's regimen: sleep when the baby sleeps. To feel normal, a woman (especially a nursing mother) must sleep both at night and during the day. So adjust the general regimen of the day: you can adapt to the child’s sleep, or, on the contrary, you can adjust the child’s sleep to your routine (although this will be more difficult to do).
Use volunteers as often as possible to babysit, walk, or simply feed. And here the help of the husband, grandparents will be invaluable. Do not trust the baby mother-in-law? Do you think that dad will not be able to entertain the baby for a couple of hours? Worried that grandpa will get lost with the baby while strolling around the house? In vain. Your loved ones are adults, they wish both you and the baby only the best and are unlikely to harm him in any way. At most, a diaper is buttoned crookedly, an extra blouse is put on the baby, or they give him the wrong nipple.
If possible, make arrangements with your family so that they can babysit at least two or three times a week, giving you a couple of hours to sleep and rest. By the way, for this you can invite a nanny. And again - no household chores at this time, only - sleep!
sleeping with the baby
Co-sleeping has many advantages: the mother doesn't have to get up, wake up, go to the crib, get the baby out of it. She can feed the baby and at the same time almost never wake up: after all, the baby will find the breast on its own. Yes, and many children sleep only with their parents - in order to fall asleep, some babies need to feel the familiar smell and warmth of a loved one. This method has both its supporters and opponents, but in any case, if you choose to sleep together, you need to ensure the safety of the child. You can not put the child on the edge of the bed - he can turn around and fall to the floor; you can not put it next to the parent pillow - the baby may turn unsuccessfully and his breathing will be disturbed.
And it's best not to put the baby in the same bed with adults, but simply move the crib to the parent's bed, after removing the side rail from it (today there are even special cribs for sleeping together). So the child will feel the closeness of mom and dad, and parents will sleep peacefully, without worrying about his safety.
“Stock up” with sleep
Scientists have found that lack of sleep or insomnia is fully compensated by a full rash preceding it (or following it). And if so, then you can “stock up” on sleep. A couple of times a week (well, or one for sure) you need to arrange a day for yourself when the dream lasts 8-9hours per day. Here again, relatives or a nanny will come to the rescue. You can select once a week when you sleep all night, and dad gets up at night for the baby. True, this is convenient when the child is bottle-fed or at least agrees to drink expressed mother's milk from a bottle at night. If this is not possible, then you need to agree with your husband that, for example, on the weekend he takes the child and works with him for a couple of morning hours, and you fill up the missing time. Or let your grandmother (nanny) come in the morning, who will also let you make up for a night's sleep.
go to bed together at night
Usually, after putting her baby to bed, a mother either rushes to finish the day's chores, or tries to find time for herself (surf the Internet, read a book, watch TV, get a manicure). But it is the first three to four hours of sleep at night that children sleep best. Take note of this and go to bed at night at the same time as your baby. Otherwise, you have not yet had time to fall asleep (or just fell asleep), as the baby woke up for night feeding or just like that. As a result, you will get not only a shortened night's sleep, but for sure at night the baby will wake up a couple more times and interrupt it.
put the child to bed early
As a rule, an adult who goes to bed early wakes up earlier. But in children there is no such pattern. Therefore, do not be afraid that today, having fallen asleep before 9 pm, tomorrow the baby will wake you up at dawn. On the contrary, the later the child falls asleep, the worse and more restless he sleeps. And just early laying gives a more complete and prolonged night's sleep. And this is exactly what a tired mom needs! But in order to establish such a daily routine, all family members will have to try. But then it becomes much easier for them.
Try to improve your routine and sleep more, and the whole family will feel much better. Even with a small child, it is possible not to feel sleep deprivation. Try it and see for yourself.
If this arrangement suits all members of your family, practice co-sleeping. This is a real salvation for mothers whose children often wake up at night. Sleep deficiency disrupts the formation of serotonin in the body - a biologically active substance, which is also called the hormone of happiness, calmness and good mood. As a result, a person deprived of normal rest constantly experiences irritability and a feeling of depression
Try to instill a regular sleep-wake schedule in your child. This will make your day more organized and make you less tired.
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Sleep schedule for the baby: advice to parents
How to teach a baby not to confuse day and night? Says the chief specialist neonatologist of the country.
After returning from the maternity hospital, the child builds a sleep, wakefulness and feeding schedule by himself. How to help the baby adapt to the lifestyle of adults and teach him not to confuse day and night? Elena Baibarina, chief neonatologist of the Ministry of Health of Russia, tells.
Mode will set itself…
During the first weeks after birth, it is quite difficult to change the baby's day and night regimen. During this period, the child focuses on his feeling of hunger, and not on the time of day. Pediatricians recommend feeding baby on demand . In the first weeks of life, a newborn wakes up and asks for a breast every one and a half to two hours. This is completely normal, since his digestive system is not yet developed and digests mother's milk in small portions.
… and then parents
From maternity home to home
Elena Baibarina, chief specialist neonatologist of the Ministry of Health of Russia, talks about how the first days of a newborn at home should go.
After a few weeks, the baby can already suck out more milk at a time, which means that he stays full longer. The interval between feedings is increased to 2.5-3 hours . These changes in routine give mom more free time. First of all, it should be used for recreation. After all, even taking into account night feedings and caring for a child, a woman should sleep at least six hours per day. Rest will help to avoid overwork and related problems: mood deterioration, depression, and a decrease in the amount of milk produced.
At the age of a few weeks, the baby can already be “explained” what is the difference between day and night. Before putting the baby to sleep at night, observe a certain ritual . The time at which you will put the child to bed, choose based on the habits of the family. If you go to bed late, time your baby to sleep until the first nightly feed by himself, and then fall asleep with the whole family. Bathe your baby before bed. If the child is too excited from bathing, it is better to move it to an earlier time. Then the baby will have time to calm down, eat and fall asleep soundly. Talk to your baby, sing him a lullaby or turn on soothing music. Maybe the child will fall asleep better next to a musical toy that plays a melody and glows dimly for several minutes.
Let dad wait
Usually, by the time of bathing, dad has time to come from work. Despite the fact that the young father misses the baby a lot, do not let him talk noisily, actively disturb the child and play with him. The father can help you with the bath and talk calmly with the baby. The child will be pleased to hear his native voice, but he will not get overexcited. Noisy games are best left until the weekend. At the same time, dad, yearning for parenthood, will provide mom with a couple of free hours.
Night is not the time to play
When it's time to feed or change a diaper in the middle of the night, keep the lights off, move smoothly, and talk quietly. After feeding the baby and changing the diaper, immediately put the baby to bed, preventing him from waking up completely.
In the morning, be sure to open the curtains to let in daylight. Encourage your baby to play, turn on soft but energetic music.
Even the first trip in life - from the maternity hospital home - the baby must make in a car seat. Learn how to choose and use the correct child restraint.
Take your baby with you to the kitchen or another room. He should hear the usual household sounds: the sound of pouring water, a boiling kettle, the conversations of adults. However, remember that the kitchen is a potentially dangerous place ! Never put your child where he can reach the stove, hot kettle, and non-child food. Never eat or drink tea while holding the baby in your arms: one careless move and the baby will burn!
During the day, the baby will sleep after feeding.