Reader Dreamfeed Questions


Reader Questions:

  • Catherine said…
    Hi Valerie,Thank you so much for this blog. It has helped me and my son tremendously!I am needing some help on understanding bedtime and the DF and wondering if I can get your thoughts.I am struggling to see the bedtime feed (last feed before DF, right?)as a true bedtime. This is because after this feed my son will wake up after 3-3.5 hours if I just let him go as long as he wants to. However, he will go anywhere from 5-8 hrs. (we are making SUCH good progress!) after the DF. Is the purpose of establishing a bedtime routine for the future when we eventually drop the DF? Also, I was wondering about the DF. Is it ok to put baby to bed totally awake after the DF? Sometimes my son eats, falls asleep, and stays asleep once I put him in bed. Other times he eats, pulls off, and wakes up when he does. Then he goes into the crib awake. Is either ok?I also wanted to tell you an exciting update. My son, at 7 weeks, was making good progress to sttn. He had slept one night a week since 6 weeks 5+ hours. Then he would go back down to waking 2-3 times in the night. Once he stopped eating his first feeding of the morning well I decided to try what you recommended about decreasing the amount of food. At 7 weeks I did this for the first time. When he wakes he usually sucks well for 2-3, sometimes 5-6 min. then “comfort sucks” and I can definitely tell the difference. I started taking him off once he switched into comfort sucking. He wasn’t too happy at first but didn’t cry longer than a couple minutes the first night.Then, that week, we had 3 times where he slept 7.5 hours and one time 8!!! The very next night I heard him wake up, cry for about one minute softly, then suck his thumb back to sleep. He never did that before. I feel like decreasing the comfort sucking at night really helped him get the memo to self soothe! Thank you! This was great because it involves no night crying. 🙂
    March 26, 2008 6:20 PM
    Plowmanators said…
    Catharine,I just found your question as I was cleaning up the comments…I was never notified via email about it like I usually am, so I am sorry about the delay.I am glad to hear about your great success! That is exciting!Yes, you want to establish a routine before bedtime for future dropping of dreamfeed. For the dreamfeed, you want it to look like a middle of the night feed. You get him, feed him, possibly change his diaper, and then put him right back down to go back to sleep. But you want to have a routine where you do hugs, kisses, stories, prayers if you are so inclined, etc. And it is perfectly okay for your baby to be either awake or asleep after the dreamfeed when he goes back in the bed. Some babies do one or the other, and some do both. Once again, I am glad to hear of your success!
    March 31, 2008 3:50 PM
  • Amy said…
    Valerie, Congratulations on the news of a baby girl! How wonderful!

    This question does not have to do with baby toys, but I thought I should post here to make sure you get it. I would like to know if I should drop my dreamfeed now. Max will be 15 weeks tomorrow and still eats 6 times a day (3 hour schedule) on formula. I’d like to know if you consider him STTN if his last feeding is at 10:30 and he wakes up at 7:30 (when we wake him up). The only catch is he usually stirs and makes some noise around 5:30ish and I sometimes have to give him his paci, sometimes not. Do you think that’s still STTN or no?If you think he’s ready to drop the dreamfeed, do I put another ounce in his bottle at the other feedings to help him drop that last one or no? Thank you for your help!
    December 3, 2008 10:58 AM
    Plowmanators said…
    Amy, I do consider that STTN–he is going 8 hours. As a side note, I would watch the paci and make sure that doesn’t become a necessary habit for him; it does get that way for some.I breastfeed, so I am not sure about adding more to other feedings. A breastfed baby will either drop the dreamfeed cold turkey, or will move it back slowly. One thing for a breastfed baby is that mom will have more milk in the morning since the DF was skipped. So I would definitely add some more in the morning. It couldn’t hurt to add and see how he takes it. Sorry I am not much help with that. Be sure to see the many dreamfeed posts (you can click on the blog label “dreamfeed”).
    December 5, 2008 12:00 PM

  • boysrus said…

    I just had my third son on Dec 1st and have him on a three hour schedule which he does great with. My question is the night time feeding. I feed him at 11:3 pm and then again at 2:3am. After that feeding we let him go and he usually wakes three hours later at around 5:30am. Should I feed him at 11:30 pm and let him go or do I continue as I am? Or should I feed him at 2:30am and then if he wakes at 5:30 am try to sooth him, holding him off as long as possible?? I can remember what I did with my first two, but I know they both slept through at eight weeks….any hel is appreciated since I’m very tired :).
    Thanks so much, Tina

    Plowmanators said…


    I would feed at 11:30 then let him go. After that feeding, let him go again. Be sure to start him at the same time each morning for his morning waketime. I wouldn’t hold him off at 4 weeks (or 5) of age. Good luck!

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8 thoughts on “Reader Dreamfeed Questions”

  1. I agree, I would put my daughter down around 9:30 for bedtime at 5 weeks and then do a dream feed around 11:00. She would sleep until 4:00 am. She never stayed asleep during this feed, but she always went right back to sleep by the time I put her in her bed. By the time she was 8 weeks she was sleeping 9-6 with a dream feed at 11:00. I think you just have to play with the times a little to see what your baby likes. We dropped the dream feed at 12 weeks.

  2. Hi! I love your blog, so thank you so much for creating it. It has been of great help in the past weeks. Quick question for you. My daughter is now 13 weeks old and usually goes down for the night between 10pm-11pm, and wakes up between 7:30-8:30am; which is fantastic. I am not doing any dreamfeed.. Her last nap ends around 7:30pm, I feed her then play time then feed her again around 9:30pm and then bed time. It is the only time where I dont put her down for a nap in between feedings (she is on a 3 hour eat/wake/sleep schedule during the day). My question is: how do I make her bedtime earlier without her waking up earlier in the morning? I like the 7:30-8:30am wake up time but I'd like to put her down earlier at night.. how do I do this? Should I put her down say at 8pm and dreamfeed her at 11? I am confused so any suggestions would be great!Thanks!Myriam

  3. I don't completely understand the Dream Feed. Currently, our almost 4-week old has this routine:7-8 pm feed, sleep12-1 am awakes on her own to feed, sleep4-5 am awakes on her own to feed, sleep8-9 am awakes on her own and we start the regular feed, wake, sleepI misunderstood the dream feed I guess and thought this schedule was working well and someday we would drop the 1-2 am feed. Would you recommend we change the schedule? It just seemed like it was working well and was natural for her I will be going back to work to an 8-5 job in 1-2 months. Thanks!Dawn

    • A dreamfeed is a feed you wake baby for but don't do playtime. So in your case, you would wake your baby up sometime between 10-10:30, feed her, and then put her right back in bed.

    • The idea is that she would then go 5 hours from 10–so 3 am. If you don't like that idea and like it how it is, then you can keep it like it is.

  4. Hey Babywise Mom! Thanks for all of the blog posts- what a massive body of helpful work.We are on our second set of twins (baby 4 and 5) and have done Babywise with all our kids. We've come across a problem I haven't had before…The twins are 7 weeks old adjusted (11 actual) and both have started refusing a dreamfeed. They feed like champs (4 oz. Or both sides – we alternate lol) at 2000 and then will not wake to dreamfeed despite all our tricks. (facecloth, diaper change, unswaddle, lights up, etc.) when we leave them with no dreamfeed, they still go to 0300 and feed, go back down until 630. I don't like waking up my sleepy self to wake up their sleepy selves if it makes no difference. What can you suggest??

  5. Hello! So I know this post is well over 10 years old, but I thought I would comment and see if I could still get some help with my Dreamfeed questions.
    I am a first time mom, so I’m still figuring out how all the feedings work. At this point, my baby (Malakai) is 12 weeks old and I always feed him at 8pm and 8am and let him decide the night feedings between. He usually gets up between 2 and 4:30 and then sometimes will wake again between 5 and 6 (6-7 feedings). I originally tried the Dreamfeed at 11, but he refused to wake up for it, so that’s why I dropped it. Well now I’m curious if I added the Dreamfeed if he would sleep until the morning and skip the night feedings. Unfortunately, the last two nights, I tried and he continued to wake up the normal times in addition, so he’s back to 8 feedings. Do you think that’s because my body has adjusted and he’s getting very little milk at 11 (it’s been about a month). Should I keep trying with the Dream feed, or should I go back to letting him wake up whenever he wants? Do you think my milk will return soon at 11?
    Anyway thank you for your encouraging blog and I hope even though your kids are probably teens by now that you can still help this young mother!

    • Hello!

      You have a lot of good thoughts. I think it is definitely possible you wouldn’t have a ton of milk at that time, though I would guess you have at least 4 ounces.

      The timing of the dreamfeed is important. 11 is later than is ideal–if you want to keep trying it, I would go for 10:30ish.

      However, he is old enough that you might not want to push it. Babies drop it between 4-8 months, so it might be worth it for you.

      If it were me, I would probably try a few different times and see if you can find a dreamfeed time that helps him drop one of those night feedings, but then I would just let it be if it didn’t work.

      But on the other hand, if he is one who would keep the dreamfeed for the next few months, it would be worth it to push for it now and get 3 months of solid night sleep. So always go with what you feel is best for your little one!


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