When to Stop Dream Feeding Your Baby
In the early calendar months of your baby, dream feeding may be a helpful tool to help your little one sleep more soundly. However, it’s important to know when to stop dream feeding.
What is Dream Feeding?
Dream feeding is ideally performed during the lightest stage of sleeping close to bed time and is a way for you to feed your baby without waking them fully. You pick your baby up while they’re still dozing, feed them, and then place them back in their bed.
When to Start Dream Feeding
Most parents begin dream feeding around four weeks of age. It’s important to note that this varies depending on your baby. You may notice your baby isn’t sleeping soundly and can’t seem to make it through the night without waking. This is when introducing dream feeding may be beneficial.
When to Stop Dream Feeding
Your baby will start to come into their own sleep schedule eventually and may be able to attempt to sleep through the night without your help. When this time comes, you’ll want to start slowly letting the dream feedings go. You should:
- Start reducing the amount of breastmilk or formula you give your baby when dream feeding. For instance, instead of the full amount your baby usually eats, try giving a smaller spoonful.
- Try to extend the length of time between the dream feed and the early morning feed.
- Introduce full wake feeds at bedtime and a few nights of this should help get your baby used to not having the dream feed.
Once your baby is at least four months old, if they seem to be sleeping soundly and making it through the night, you can begin skipping the dream feed altogether. For some babies, this may be earlier, or later, depending on their needs, so listen to your own baby and their unique sleep requirement.
Remember, every baby is different and what works for one may not work for yours. As long as you know how to make the transition from dream feeding to no dream feeding smoothly, your baby should still get the restful sleep they need.