If you’d asked me a year ago what a dream feed was, I’d probably reminisce about the secret midnight feasts we’d have growing up. There’d be quavers, custard creams, breadsticks and anything else we could sneak out of the kitchen. Actually, thinking back, perhaps we should have opted for some quieter snacks. No wonder we got caught all the time! Although that’s probably also due to the fact that our midnight feasts were in fact at about 10pm when our parents were still awake, because let’s be honest, midnight was far too late!
Anyway, that went on a bit long. I’ve forgotten why I’m even here. Oh yes. The dream feed. Here’s what it’s really about.
The idea behind it, is that if a baby is not going as long in the night without a feed as it’s tired parents would like, then one of the parents, at the time that they go to bed, carefully and ever so gently wakes the baby and gives them a feed in a tired, dreamlike state.
Believe it or not, whether it’s bottle or boob, the baby chows down like it’s supper time. Eyes closed. Still in la la land.
We only did this a few times in the early months. I say we. It was all about the boob back then, so I wasn’t really involved. Can you imagine being woken up and finding a boob in your mouth? Hang on. Let’s just give us dads a minute to imagine that…And we’re back in the room.
It worked as often as it didn’t. So we didn’t keep it going for long.
Recently though, we’re back in the game. But this time daddy can get in on the action with the dream feed bottle while the boob is playing catch up with some sleep.
It’s quite bizarre picking up a sleeping baby, pretty much a dead weight, arms and head flopping about, but suddenly awake when they sense the choo choo train approaching the tunnel. Ok, I’m a bit early with that game, but just getting some practice in.
Burping can also be a bit of a challenge as you answer the question you never thought you’d ever ask – can a baby burp while they’re asleep? The answer is yes. They can burp, fart, poop and even manage to throw in a headbutt while asleep on your shoulder.
But does it work, I hear you ask. Is it all worth it?
Well so far, yes, I think we’d have to say it does. We’re only about a week into this routine, but we’ve definitely seen some positive results. Including last night when Pippa, following an 11pm dream feed, did not wake up until after 7am.
Some of you may be laughing at this feeble attempt at a reason for celebration. But for us, this is most definitely a win. And our prize? Uninterrupted sleep from 11.30pm to 7.00am! Well, apart from my 2am bathroom break. I knew I shouldn’t have had that damn peppermint!
Here’s the thing though. While I appreciate it helps us sleep better, and even helps Pippa sleep better. I don’t really enjoy doing the dream feed. I just kinda feel guilty about the whole thing. It makes be realise just how vulnerable Pippa is as I reach down and pick her up from her slumber. I used to think it was cute when Jen did it in the early days, but now it is taking some getting used to. But I think you should try it. Maybe you already do it, or maybe you tried but it didn’t work for you? Let me know!