Index: Dreamfeed

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Dreamfeed Definition and Information

Dropping the Dreamfeed

Dreamfeed Helps

Dreamfeed Polls

Reader Questions

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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Linda
    November 23, 2009 / 11:06 PM

    This is one of the most useful websites – thanks for all your advice! My 3 months old daughter had a few nights of sleeping 8-hr stretches from 7PM to 3AM when she was 2 months old, but now at 3 mos old, she's waking up twice a night! I wonder if this has anything to do with the 3-hour daytime structure of eat / play / sleep that we established since she turned 2 months old. Now her night wake time mimics her day schedule as she's dreamfed at 10PM, then she wakes up at 1AM and 4AM! My questions are:1) Should we continue the dreamfeed? For the past week, she's hardly taken any milk at her dreamfeed and we tried waking her, keeping her asleep, 10PM vs 10:30PM. Is it possible that we should drop the dreamfeed?2) Even with a good dreamfeed where she takes 3 oz of milk, she still wakes up at 1AM, but doesn't drink much. And certainly doesn't drink much at the 4AM wake-up. What's the best way to drop one of these night feedings besides CIO? And which one should I work on dropping first?Thank you!

  2. Plowmanators
    December 9, 2009 / 4:22 AM

    Linda,1-You can always try it and see what happens. If it doesn't go well, you can always put it back.2-since she isn't eating well, she's probably not waking for hunger. You want to figure out the reason for waking. Cold. Hot. Noise. Look through the night waking and waking from naps posts for ideas on figuring out why. If you do, then you shouldn't have to do CIO to get there. Good luck!

  3. Lis
    February 16, 2010 / 8:06 AM

    My almost seven month old has proven to be quite challenging in the sleep department the last week or so. We've done babywise since birth but obviously need to reread it. This past week we put allie down around 6:30-6:45. Typically she would sleep until 3-4 am. Now she's been waking up from 11-1 then again at 4:00 and then again at 7:00. Typically she takes a nap around one hour after she wakes for about one hour. I don't know where I am screwing things up… Her naps during the day??? I am so frustrated as letting her CIO hasn't worked at all. She's congested so I have the humidifier going. I can't find any signs of teeth but have her some Tylenol just in case. Any tips would be much appreciated.

  4. Plowmanators
    March 1, 2010 / 6:05 PM

    Lis, I suggest you see the post "naps: troubleshooting revised and updated" and "nighttime sleep issues: Revised and updated"Those will both give you a long list of things to check into.

  5. Roxanne
    September 7, 2011 / 2:11 AM

    My Baby is 6 weeks old. I have been trying to get her on the BW program for a few weeks now. For a few days we have been doing great on an 8,11,2,5,8,11 schedule. she stretches from 11-4 or 4:30am. The only problem is she does not take more than one oz at 11 and screams during the feeding. I don't know if I should let her sleep from 8 and risk being up a lot more during the night?2) Also tonight she surprised me and woke up at 7 screaming so I am going to feed her at 1030 in hopes that she will do the same stretch till 4am. What are your thoughts?

  6. Plowmanators
    September 23, 2011 / 3:46 AM

    Roxanne,I would try the dreamfeed (the 11 PM feeding) at 10 or 10:30. If it still doesn't work at an earlier time, then I would stop trying it.

  7. Sylvia Sobina
    June 25, 2012 / 11:43 AM

    Hello. I have 15 week old twins (9 weeks adjusted). I am stuggling with the idea of a dreamfeed. Currently my twins last feed at around 6:30PM, they are in bed by 7:30 and usually do not wake up until 5AM. I would like them to wake up at 7 to start the day so I tried the dreamfeed once but they still woke up at 5AM. Is this a habitual waking at this point? Today for example they woke up at 6. Should I dreamfeed or leave things as they are? I am not sure if I am comfortable with them not eating for almost 12 hours. Also, they keep taking 45 minute naps and I don't know that to do about that. Please help. Thank you.

  8. Plowmanators
    July 10, 2012 / 2:57 AM

    You can do a dreamfeed–but there is no gauranetee they will then sleep longer. They are old enough I would probably just go to bed earlier myself so I could get the sleep I needed before the early wake up call.Though since you don't feel good about 12 hours without food, I might do a dreamfeed. You either decide to feed for a dreamfeed or in the early morning hours. It is up to you.I would say it is not habitual since they wake up at 5 but then did at 6 one day. They sound like they are moving toward sleeping longer at night.

  9. Sylvia Sobina
    July 11, 2012 / 10:58 AM

    Thank you very much for the response. I will probably go to sleep earlier since there is another issue why we are not doing the dreamfeed – the baby girl has reflux so when I feed can, I cannot put her straight to bed. She must sit for an hour or so per doctor's orders. So if I would do a dreamfeed, that leaves me being up until midnight and then probably getting up around 5 anyway of they do not sleep through. I would rather go to bed earlier. One more question please of you don't mind. What of they wake up at 5:45 hungry but our wake up time is 7? Do I feed them and then get them up at 7? But they are very hungry from the entire night and scream when I give them just a little. Do I just get them up to start the day instead? Then they take their morning nap really early. I don't really know what's better. Thank you for your time to answer this.

  10. lnc6106
    August 13, 2012 / 3:21 PM

    On other posts you mention not dropping the dream feed until baby sleeps from dream feed until morning wake up time. My daughter is 14 wks old today & we've been having serious sleep issues. First of all, she moved to a 3-4 hr schedule before she was STTN so I'm working on that starting today…back to a somewhat rigid 3 hr routine. Also she seems to wake around 3am. I'm going to see how she does at night with this new 3 hr routine. I'm STILL trying to figure out her optimal wake time! My question about the dream feed is this….as i understand it I should not wake her for the feed…however she typically will only eat 10-13mins which isn't a full feed & she wakes at 2:30 am. Should i.wake her so she gets a full feed or skip.the dreamfeed or make it later (currently at 10:15-10:30)? She will cry upwards of an hour so CIO not effective for my little girl. It worked great w/my son (now 3 yrs old I starteed BW with him late & with her started it from birth but went wrong somewhere) 🙁

  11. Ann Williams
    November 22, 2013 / 8:02 PM

    I have been doing BW since day 1 with my now 5 week old. I am on a 3 hour schedule during the day. My husband does the dream feed at 11 or 11:15. I have a few questions:1) Is he doing the dream feed too late?2) She is waking between 2:30-3 in the morning, then 6:30. How do we drop the middle of the night feeding? She only wakes fussy, not crying. 3) Is it okay for her to eat during one of her feeding times, then go straight back to sleep during the day?4) She has started to spit up while she is going to sleep. This wakes her back up. I have burped her before I put her down. I come into her room and wipe her off, then I rock her back to sleep. Do you know why this is happening?Thank you so much for your time!!

  12. hannah Wevodau
    April 8, 2014 / 10:58 PM

    I have a 17 week old pretty text book, on a 7,10,1,4,7 schedule. We just dropped the dream feed and it went great.. kind of haha I am trying to figure out what is happening he was sttn since 10 weeks and even with growth spurts never woke up for motn feeds. A week or so after dropping the dream feed he started waking up at 4am.. I am feeding him and he goes back to sleep but also seems likebthe is ready to party! Is it common for them to do a back and forth dance like they do before they sttn? I am also wondering is it a sleep regression that is only affecting night waking because his naps went from 1.5hrs requiring shush/pat at the 45min intruder to a solid 2hrs with no more 45min intruder problems. If it is the 4 month sleep regression can I feed and put him back to sleep without it creating a new habit?

    • Valerie Plowman
      April 11, 2014 / 4:31 AM

      I personally would take that to mean he wasn't ready to drop the dreamfeed. I would add that back in and see if it makes it so he doesn't wake in the night.

  13. Meghan Warkentin
    July 12, 2014 / 2:17 PM

    Thank you for all of your help! I love this blog. I am about to have my second baby and am wondering how early you start the dream feed? Thanks!

  14. Meghan Warkentin
    July 12, 2014 / 2:17 PM

    Thank you for all of your help! I love this blog. I am about to have my second baby and am wondering how early you start the dream feed? Thanks!

    • Valerie Plowman
      July 14, 2014 / 4:12 PM

      I start from the beginning. So we have our final feeding atround 7 pm then get the baby back up around 10-10:30 for dreamfeed.

  15. Alex D
    June 6, 2015 / 6:32 PM

    we are starting a little late due to NICU the first 7 weeks and now we are at 10 weeks she is able to do a 3-31/2 hr feeding schedule and still taking her dream feed at 10-1030 but our wake time is 630 and she has been waking up by 4 and taking a full feeding and then taking a smaller feeding at 630.Its hard to wake up at 630 again after she has just ate at 4 and get her back on schedule when she will sleep thru till 730-8 for the next feeding . should I let her cry it out at 4 and see if she can make it till 630 or by feeding her at 4 am I making that our waketime ? Thanks you in advance for you feed back

  16. Valerie Plowman
    June 11, 2015 / 7:15 PM

    If she is really hungry at 4, I wouldn't do CIO at that time. If you are okay with starting the day later, I would just start at 7-7:30 instead (or even 8 if that works for you).

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