Learn How to Successfully Dream Feed your Baby

Updated Aug 16th 2022 | timer 2  min read

Written By Mandy Treeby Chief Baby Sleep Consultant

What is a Dream Feeding?

A dream feeding is when you feed your sleeping baby with the sole purpose of helping them sleep longer, essentially making sure they don’t wake up because they are hungry. It involves rousing your baby (but not fully waking them) to feed one more time, typically before you go to bed for the night.


How to Rouse Your Baby for Dream Feeding:

If your baby’s super asleep, you can rouse them by changing their diaper, gently tickling their feet, or cooling their face or legs with a wet washcloth.

Do not talk too much to them. the sound of your voice may fully awaken them, which defeats the purpose.The goal here is to be as inconspicuous and silent as possible.

How to Dream Feed:

After gently rousing your baby, place your breast or bottle to their bottom lip. They will likely naturally latch on.

Once your baby starts to feed, feed them for 5-10 minutes on one side if breast-feeding, and 5-10 minutes on the other side. (If you bottle feed, do so for 10mins or until your baby stops feeding.)

When feeding’s complete, be sure to burp your baby before swaddling or very gently rocking them in your arms. A noise machine can also help lull your baby back to sleep.

Dream Feeding Tips:

1.Don’t wait to dream feed until your baby’s awake and crying out. If they cry and you feed them, this teaches your baby that they should wake for food at night, which can complicate sleep training.

2.If you notice your baby is waking up again even after dream feeding, take note of the time they wake up and set an alarm to get up before that to dream feed.

3.If offering a second dream feed, give your baby only half the amount of milk you do during the first dream feed. This keeps them asleep without filling them up ahead of a proper breakfast.

For How Long Should I Offer A Dream Feed:

Dream feeding should only be done for about 2-4 weeks - until your baby’s sleeping better through the night .

The Benefits of Dream Feeding:

Dream feeding provides your baby with enough calories to prevent them from becoming hungry and waking for food on their own.

By helping your baby sleep for longer periods, dream feeding means you can sleep more, too.

Dream feeding means your baby won’t eat too much at night - that is, she or he won’t wake at 4am for food. This in turn means they’re more hungry in the morning, which increases daytime eating.