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The Dream Feed

in Sleeping

Imagine that I snuck up on you in the middle of the night, shoved a big bowl of pasta under your nose, and fed it to you… and you slept through the entire thing.  Yup.  That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing with Henry.  But with milk, of course.  Let me explain…

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We are beginning to see the payoff of sleep training!  Sleep training is, by the way, just a term that describes getting babies/kids into a napping and sleeping routine.  It can be as flexible or as strict as you want.  Some parents believe in/resort to crying it out (CIO) as part of sleep training, but we’re not willing to go there yet (maybe never) and are using a more middle-of-the-line approach.  I want Henry to be able to sleep in his own crib (still by our bed) for naps and evening without a huge fight – as opposed to sleeping on me all the time or in a moving prop like a swing or car seat or sleeping only after a 20-minute screaming session that exhausts us both.  A lot of this is about self-soothing.  I really, really want Henry to be a good sleeper who can soothe himself back to sleep under most circumstances.  I’m convinced it’s not going to happen by accident, which is why we are sleep training. 

 

I picked up Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and have been attempting to implement some of her advice.  The author advises structuring the baby’s day around E.A.S.Y., which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, You.  Basically, the baby eats, then plays, and then naps, during which you get you time.  I’m trying to get H used to eating before playing and not before napping, but it’s hard.

baby whisperer

There are some things that I loved about the Baby Whisperer book and some things that I hated.  I really, really hated the breastfeeding chapter.  Although I liked how it struck a good balance between breastfeeding and formula and didn’t make women feel guilty for their choices, I didn’t agree with some of the points made about breastfeeding.  Such as: it’s impossible to pump full time (I do!), very young newborns shouldn’t feed on demand (of course they should, they are ridiculously hungry), and a good reason not to breastfeeding is that it makes your breasts saggy (I don’t even care if that’s true).  There’s also a semi-ridiculous side note about how scientists are working on genetically modifying cows to produce human breast milk, which may be true but seriously… Gross.  So take that section with a grain of salt.

 

However, the sleep section of the book was very helpful.  I’m not doing everything she recommends (for example, CIO in older babies), but some ideas are genius.  One of the techniques described is the Dream Feed, which a few of you told me about previously.  After reading how to do it in the book, I decided to implement it about a week ago.

 

Henry usually falls asleep around 8 PM and sleeps for 4 – 5  hours before waking up to eat (the first stretch of nighttime sleep is usually the longest).  Sounds great, right?  Not really.  I don’t want to go to bed at 8; I need to clean, watch TV, talk to my husband, or get work done!  That means we were being consistently woken up only two hours after crashing, which was so, so rough.  Then, Henry would wake back up two or three more times before morning.  The Dream Feed technique eliminates this problem.  Basically, you feed the baby while he is asleep to ‘top him off.’  Yes, babies can apparently eat while they sleep.  Here’s how it works.

 

  • I’m not sure how old a baby needs to be to start Dream Feeding, but it seemed to make sense for us now because Henry is consistently going down at the same time and sleeping a long stretch. 
  • We do the Dream Feed about two to three hours after he falls asleep at night.  I usually Dream Feed Henry around 10:30 PM.
  • If you use a bottle, simply stick the nipple in the sleeping baby’s mouth.  Sometimes I have to use my fingers to open his little mouth first.  Twist the bottle around to trigger the sucking reflex.  I don’t even usually lift Henry out of his crib – he just eats flat on his back (updated: some people are commenting this increases the risk of ear infections so proceed with caution!).  I’ve read that because the baby is relaxed and asleep, he won’t gulp air during the Dream Feed and burping is unnecessary.  Last night, he was totally out of it and wouldn’t Dream Feed, so I lifted him out of the crib to rouse him a bit and then fed him.  He was still asleep but probably in a lighter stage of REM.  If you breastfeed, you can gently lift the baby out of the crib and feed him while he sleeps.
  • Henry will usually drink 2.5 to 3.5 ounces while asleep.  He doesn’t even open his little eyes!  It amazes me every time.

 

Instead of waking up at 1 or 2 AM, the Dream Feed means that Henry wakes up at 4 AM… and we get a solid 4 or 5 hours of sleep before being woken up.  For some reason, the Dream Feed technique also starves off the later wake-ups so he’s only waking up ONCE a night (pun intended).  While the Dream Feed isn’t about self-soothing, it does result in more restful sleep for Henry, which makes it easier for him to nap during the day.  It’s all-around miraculous!  The first time we did it, I felt like I scaled Mt. Everest or figured out how to fly.

 

I realized yesterday that after a week of Dream Feeding, I am more rested than I have been in three months.  Hence my crazy DIY and decorating spree!  I actually have the energy to do stuff beyond the bare necessities.  It is so, so, so nice.  I still look tired, though.  It might take a few weeks of Dream Feeding to make these mama bags go away…

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Fun and interesting fact:  Babies eat a lot and grow ridiculously fast.  Henry sometimes wakes up from napping screaming his face off because he’s so hungry (and he just ate an hour before!).  I calculated how many calories Henry eats a day – probably 440 – and determined that it’s the equivalent of a woman my size eating 3,800 calories a day, every day.  Crazy.

 

Do you Dream Feed your baby?

{ 91 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Megan September 19, 2012, 11:44 am

    I guess I kind of did? My kiddos slept with us pretty much full time for the first year and around 3-4 months us (the nursing mom/babe diad [sp?]) figured out how to latch on and off without either of us really waking. It was the only way I stayed sane/rested at all. I work nights (3x a week) and I know my husband would often feed my daughter a pumped bottle before he’d go to bed while she was still pretty much asleep, too.

    Reply
  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) September 19, 2012, 11:49 am

    SO glad you found the Dream Feed helpful! Yeah for more sleep!

    And pumping full time is totally feasible (probably easier for me as a stay at home mom)!!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats September 19, 2012, 11:52 am

    okay dream feeding sounds genius! haha glad you figured that one out. And that’s a lot of calories but he is growing so much they are SO necessary!

    Reply
  • Sarah September 19, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Dream feeding is great, but be careful with letting him lie flat on his back taking a bottle in the crib. Can make them prone to ear infections!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 12:05 pm

      realllly? so interesting.

      Reply
      • Sofie September 19, 2012, 3:35 pm

        Yes, the milk can pool in their ears causing ear infections. Bottle-feeding on the back can also cause milk to pool in the nose obstructing their ability to breathe and can also cause reflux.

        Reply
        • Ashley September 19, 2012, 6:32 pm

          All of this! Both of my kiddos had reflux and it is bad news. And eating on his back is also a choking hazard. If he were to startle asleep while you’re feeding him, he could start to choke on the milk. I know sleep is precious, but this just isn’t worth the risk. Pick him up to feed him.

          Reply
      • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life September 19, 2012, 3:55 pm

        You can prop the head of the crib mattress up slightly with blankets. Just be sure to do it under the mattress and not under their head inside the crib. Even a slight bit of elevation makes a huge difference. We’ve also set our son’s boppy in the crib for slight elevation when he wasn’t moving around too much. Both techniques may come in handy for when he gets his first respritory infection (which I hope is a long way away) because it helps them with proper drainage.

        Reply
    • kristin September 19, 2012, 12:26 pm

      Yeah I was thinking the same thing, can cause ear infections.

      Reply
      • erica September 19, 2012, 1:46 pm

        Yes, I would take him out of the crib and do it…

        Reply
      • Ashley September 19, 2012, 3:07 pm

        I was always told that too, so I never fed my son laying down. I don’t know if he was just healthy as a horse or not feeding him that way was the trick but he only had 2 ear infections when he was a baby.

        Reply
    • Marie September 19, 2012, 1:50 pm

      I read that too! According to the Academy of Pediatrics: milk can flow through the eustachian tube into the middle ear.

      Reply
      • Erin September 19, 2012, 4:24 pm

        But then that doesnt make sense for women who breastfeed in bed, ie. with the baby laying beside you in bed. I was shown how to do that in the hospital, and the baby certainly isnt propped up in any way….

        Reply
        • Erin September 19, 2012, 4:27 pm

          Ok, interestingly this only applies to bottle feeding/formula feeding, not feeding from the breast. But not totally clear if this will apply when using BM in a bottle??

          http://kellymom.com/parenting/parenting-faq/ear-infection-nursing/

          Reply
          • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:33 pm

            yeah – i was thinking about this more and when i was bfing from the nipple, h ate flat on his back all the time (in bed, in my arms)

          • amandarunsny September 19, 2012, 9:11 pm

            I’m not a mom, but I think that the correlation between laying down and feeding may be related to formula and not breast milk. Unsure about this, but if you google formula and ear infections a lot comes up…so perhaps this is the case? Also, I would just guess (and i have no idea, because again, I’m not a mom), but babies who are fed formula would more likely be fed lying down in bed. Just an idea.

          • amandarunsny September 19, 2012, 9:12 pm

            I’ll leave you this link too, which might be helpful. http://www.breastfeeding.com/all_about/all_about_ear.html

          • Eliza September 19, 2012, 9:14 pm

            My understanding was that it had to do with the way milk pools in the throat/mouth when bottle-feeding. The flow of a bottle nipple is different than flow from a breast. The website you linked to indicates this as well. Apparently formula is an added risk because it can carry bacteria in a different way (although I imagine that stored breast milk also can carry bacteria / un-sanitized bottles?)

            I know very little about this- but I work at an agency where moms live with their babies, and I know that bottle propping and bottle feeding while the baby is flat on his back is something the family educators are always trying to correct.

  • Lindsey September 19, 2012, 12:03 pm

    Great post! I have…I’m wondering though, what happens once Henry is old enough to NOT have to eat through the night? Will he get dependent on the comfort of eating, or does the fact that he’s eating while he’s asleep prevent that from happening? I have lifted my dead-asleep 3 month old out of the crib to feed him to prevent him from waking up later, but I worry that he’ll expect it even when he doesn’t need it. Does the book cover this possible problem?

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 12:05 pm

      I’ve read a few posts on how to wean them off the DF… I think it usually happens at 10 months?

      Reply
      • Elizabeth September 19, 2012, 6:15 pm

        We weaned Riley off the dream feed at 4 months (13 pounds) by simply decreasing it by 1 ounce at a time. (You could also go 1/2 ounce at a time.) Every 3-4 nights we fed a little less and then ‘made it up’ during one of her day time feeds.

        Worked like a charm.

        Reply
      • Gina (fitnessista) September 19, 2012, 11:03 pm

        we weaned liv from the dream feed when she got her first tooth because i didn’t want her to get tooth decay from the sugars in the milk. we also picked her up to dream feed her and even if she woke up a little, she always drank the entire bottle and went back down easily

        Reply
      • Lisa @ The Splattered Apron September 20, 2012, 2:24 pm

        We dropped the dream feed at 4.5 months, once Caroline had been eating solid food for 2 weeks. I asked and our ped said it wasn’t necessary anymore and Caroline continued to sleep through the night. I went back to work when she was 5 months so I started pumping at the time I would have done a dream feed just to increase my stash. I did a happy dance when I was able to drop that pumping session!

        Reply
    • Laine September 19, 2012, 2:38 pm

      People of all ages “comfort eat,” so we probably don’t ever outgrow it. ; ) My guess is you wean a baby off that the same way you make sure they aren’t still nursing when they start college.

      Reply
  • Abby September 19, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Ooooohhhh! I LOVED that book for sleep advice. It was the best book in my opinion. But I agree with you about the chapter on eating – HATED it. I’ve given it to several new mom friends, but always tell them to ignore that section. Love the rest of it though. Especially the chart where she explains how to read your baby’s cries.

    Reply
  • Rachel September 19, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Having your baby lay flat on his back an eat can increase his chance of ear infection.

    Reply
  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 19, 2012, 12:30 pm

    That picture of you and baby H is adorable!! I love how big his eyes are – so cute!

    Reply
  • Annette@FitnessPerks September 19, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Glad you’ve found something that works!

    ANd love that pic of you two. SO sweet!

    Reply
  • K September 19, 2012, 12:44 pm

    Glad you found a way to get more rest for everyone! I’m personally not totally comfortable feeding our baby without a cue from him (and I do find Hogg to be quite hypocritical in terms of her ideas about asking baby’s permission and respecting baby’s needs but still dictating her/his eating habits). We did try dream feeding, but our little human just didn’t like being fed in his sleep. But that’s just US and I have lots of friends who swear by DFing! Again, I totally respect Moms for following whatever works for them :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:31 pm

      interesting note about that paradox! you are totally right about that.

      Reply
  • Debbie September 19, 2012, 12:45 pm

    We used to dream feed our boy, it was a bit hit and miss whether it worked, more miss thinking back on it. Though he had reflux so it was a no-no feeding him flat on his back. I’m glad it’s helping Henry go longer stretches :) sleep is good, now if someone could convince my 3 year old f that fact!

    Reply
  • Jackie September 19, 2012, 12:55 pm

    The dream feed didn’t work for us, but whatev. I was going to comment, though (and some people may disagree) but 3 months is maybe too young to try any sleep training…? You should ask your doctor. My doctor suggested trying at 4 months, which we did…and soon realized baby wasn’t ready. When we tried again at 5 months, he was ready. Now he’s 6.5 months and sleeps 12 hours every night in his crib in his room.

    According to many, many friends of mine, 6-7 months was when their kids started sleeping the night…so you could maybe wean the DF sooner than 10 months? Get him used to eating everything he needs during the day instead of at night.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:31 pm

      Some people start sleep training right away! I think it just epends on what you mean by sleep training. I dont expect him to STTN yet.

      Reply
  • Kristin September 19, 2012, 12:57 pm

    Also this annoys me this woman says its impossible to pump full time! How can she say that? I pump full time (and work full time), and honestly it has fit into our life fairly easily. I mean, it takes work but having a baby takes work so I don’t mind it! Anyway….

    Reply
  • Verna September 19, 2012, 1:10 pm

    My breastmilk doesn’t have a lot of fat in it. When my babies are really young I feed them when they wake up from naps and before they take a nap. That way they don’t wake up early because they are hungry. It’s helped us a lot in the early days.

    Reply
  • Mischa September 19, 2012, 1:13 pm

    I tried to dream feed my baby girl (22 weeks), but it never seemed to work. She would still get up at her regular time (usually 2 am). For some reason, her long stretch of sleep would be between 7 pm and 2 am. I was still thrilled since she was getting almost a 7 hour stretch of sleep!

    By 14 weeks, she started sleeping through the night without feeding (7 pm – 7am). I have admit though, it did involve some extremely mild CIO – she would fuss a bit at 3:30 every night for about a week, on and off for sometimes close to an hour. But it paid off in the end – she now sleeps from 7 pm until 8 am. She loves her night time sleep … day time, not so much :) Up until; just a few weeks ago, she would only nap if someone was holding her (not in the car, stroller, swing, etc.) But she still slept through the night!

    I only read Babywise, but what I took to be the most important concept is the feeding schedule, or parent directed feeding (PDF). For the first few months of her life, I feed her every 2.5 – 3 hours. The reason for PDF is that then you know the baby is getting enough calories during the day, so that once they are old enough, you don’t have to feed them at night. I really think this concept is what helped my daughter sleep through the night.

    Reply
    • Mischa September 19, 2012, 1:14 pm

      Sorry forgot to add that I was just relating my experience/thoughts on my experience. My post was not meant to change the way you approach feeding, etc. Every baby is different!

      Reply
      • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:29 pm

        babywise is the next book on my reading list!!!

        Reply
        • Claire September 19, 2012, 4:46 pm

          Just to let you know, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages following the advice of that book because it has repeatedly been linked to severe dehydration, hospitalization, and failure to thrive in infants (http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/14/4/21.abstract, https://www.babysleepsite.com/sleep-training/warning-babywise-may-not-be-right-for-your-baby/).

          Reply
          • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:54 pm

            I know! I would never strictly follow it. Thanks for putting the link up for others though!

        • megan September 19, 2012, 9:47 pm

          Babywise is awful awful awful. seriously. don’t read it, Caitlin.

          Reply
          • Mischa September 20, 2012, 8:25 am

            its not that bad, just take it with a grain of salt. it is an easy read so even if you choose to not to follow it in its entirety, you may find some things you like or agree with.

            My loose interpretation worked for me and my sister in law!

        • Katie September 20, 2012, 9:30 am

          We did babywise too. The general rules are feed a baby when they are hungry, make sure they always get a full feeding, and follow the eat/wake/sleep routine like the EASY routine Hogg talks about. They talk about the dream feed too. Never works for us. When we tried with Liv she always woke in the night as opposed to just sleeping through, so we just skipped it. She slept from 10pm-6am starting at 9 weeks and just extended from there. Giving her the ability to sleep well at night has totally evened out her daytime naps and she still sleeps around 14-15 hours a day (total) at 11 months. She is 20 lbs and will about be triple her birth weight by the time she turns one. Right on track! This method totally paid off for us!

          Reply
          • Katie September 20, 2012, 9:32 am

            Also, that link says they say you should feed on a schedule from birth every 3-4 hours and thats now what the book says at all. You will see if you read it!

  • eliz@thesweetlife September 19, 2012, 1:40 pm

    HTP family – I’m loving your sleep posts. My baby girl was born 9/6 so you’re a few mnths ahead of us on all fronts but it is interesting and helpful to read your journey. Congrats on the successes – and sleeps – of the past few days!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:29 pm

      congrats :)

      Reply
  • Liza September 19, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I’m glad you found something that is working for you guys! More power to ya!

    Reply
  • Kathleen Ojo @ Onward; Inward September 19, 2012, 1:51 pm

    That’s such a great strategy! I’m pretty much an old lady/morning person, so my 7-week-old goes to bed around 8ish but I’m in bed by 9 myself! If she sleeps 6-6.5 hours in a row, I end up fairly well rested. However, if I ever have to pull a late night (you know, staying up till 10 or some ridiculous hour ;-) ) I’ll give the dreamfeed a shot.

    Reply
  • Claire September 19, 2012, 1:52 pm

    I’m glad the dream feed is going well for Henry! He sounds like SUCH an easy-going baby! My baby naturally fell into the “EASY” schedule (we didn’t do any type of sleep training), but not until she was much older – around 6-7 months. Henry may be too young for it? And of course every baby is different, and they change so much all the time anyhow. :)
    We tried the dream feed as well and it didn’t work for us – my girl would still wake up at 12:30 to nurse after “dream feeding” her at 10 (I would pick her up and nurse her, she doesn’t take bottles at night). I think for her nursing at night is also about emotional attachment, it’s our way to bond since I work out of the home during the week, and I’d hate to deprive her of that! With giving him a bottle while laying on his back, do you have to worry about choking? I haven’t read anything about it either way but a baby laying flat on their back and drinking while asleep seems like it might be dangerous to me.
    And I find the best way to catch up on sleep is DEFINITELY going to sleep when the baby goes to sleep! You don’t have to do it every night, but a few times a week helps recharge me. On a regular night I’m asleep in bed at 9 (I have to be up at 6 for work, and that’s what I have to do to feel relatively well rested since my daughter still nurses 2-5 times a night) and once or twice a week I go to bed at 7 at the same time as my daughter. It works out really well, since I work and don’t get the opportunity to nap except sometimes on the weekend.
    Good luck! One wake-up a night sounds amazing, I could do that indefinitely!

    Reply
  • Michelle @ Lifewithacrazypup September 19, 2012, 1:57 pm

    No babies for me yet, but I love all your baby posts! They’ll be the perfect resource whenever we do have little beans running around. Thanks for always being honest! And the comments are so informative too! I always make sure to ready through them :)

    Reply
  • Kristen September 19, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Never heard of the dream feed before, but it reminds me of how we potty trained out kiddos. I did not subscribe to the potty train at day, diaper at night philosophy, and went cold turkey with our kids around 22 months. I would have them go potty right before bed and then I would “Dream Potty?” (LOL) them a few hours later before I went to sleep. I would literally pick them up sound asleep, set them on the toilet, whisper “go pee-pee”, they would, and I would plop them back in their bed. They never woke up and they never wet the bed. I honestly did this until they were like 5 years old. It took 5 seconds and saved me many, many loads of laundry. Eventually kids’ bladders get large enough that they can hold it through the night, as my son now does, or they become in tune enough that they can wake themselves up to go to the bathroom and then tuck themselves back to bed in the middle of the night, as my daughter does. Maybe I should write a book on potty training ; )

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:28 pm

      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  • mama September 19, 2012, 2:06 pm

    Big proponent of the Baby Whisperer methods right here! EASY, dream feed, PU/PD, Wake to Sleep, Shh pat, all worked for me and my two girls! So glad you’re finally getting some rest! Sleep begets sleep, FOR sure!

    Reply
  • Laura September 19, 2012, 2:08 pm

    Really interesting, I’ve never heard of that before. Will remember when I have children someday!

    Reply
  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 19, 2012, 2:18 pm

    Look at those eyes! I probably won’t have a baby for another 4 or 5 years, but I will most definitely remember this post when the time comes. I love my sleep! So glad it’s working for you.

    Reply
  • Amber September 19, 2012, 2:26 pm

    I really liked this book….much more than the Babywise book I first read, although the EASY routine is similar. I actually think advice on eating is somewhat helpful (keeping in mind that every baby is different & obviously doesn’t fit into a mold). I found with my kiddos, starting off on the EASY cycle at least as the goal (rather than absolute rule) from the beginning was easier than trying to implement it later (although not impossible). It’s been a few months since I’ve read it again, but I think the part about solely pumping not working, was that it often doesn’t work longterm for many women. I do know one mom who was able to do it for a year, but I think often the milk production can go down more quickly when pumping only. Hopefully, you will be able to do it successfully as long as you want to :-)!

    Reply
  • Amanda @ life in bloom September 19, 2012, 2:31 pm

    I did dream feeding for both of my babies and I loooooooved it!!!

    Reply
  • Louise September 19, 2012, 2:33 pm

    The saggy thing is ridiculous. I breastfed 4 children 1 1/2 years each. 6 years of total breastfeeding. I just turned 50 and my breasts have not begun to sag a bit. Loved breastfeeding. I did pumping too. Glad Henry is sleeping better.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:27 pm

      yay boobies :)

      Reply
  • Lindsay @ Fuel My Family September 19, 2012, 2:34 pm

    dream feeds are amazing…they should be better advertized in baby classes and books. It was one of the last feedings my babies dropped at night because it was just so easy, it didnt cause me any trouble or loss of sleep. However, it is nice once they can sleep the full 11-12 hours! My first I had to resort to CIO but my second I didnt, she is just a natural sleeper.

    Reply
  • Marci September 19, 2012, 2:41 pm

    we did not do the dream feed. for us, we would have had to lifted him out and he would need to burp. he had very mild reflux but we needed to burp him everytime. He also woke once between 1-4 a.m. until we sleep trained. I wanted CIO to be a last resort, but it was the only thing that worked. We do have friends that dream feed worked for, but for us, it would have been just another crutch. You will learn that everything until they can put themselves to sleep and stay asleep is a crutch–rocking, shushing, a bottle, swaddle. We just went cold turkey with CIO and it worked after we exhausted everything and ourselves. He was 4.5 months when we did this.

    Reply
  • April September 19, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Nope, i didn’t dream feed, it just seemed ‘odd’ to me to do, but like you, lots of Mom’s swear by it – hey, whatever works eh?!?
    So, when you say you don’t want to do the CIO method, do you not let him cry AT ALL? I am not sure what it means when parents say they don’t let their babies cry…i can’t imagine a baby that doesn’t.

    Adorable pics Caitlin, sooo cute!!!!!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:27 pm

      no no CIO involves literally letting the baby cry until they exhaust themselves and stop. It can take 5 minutes… or an hour. I let him fuss but not get hysterical.

      Reply
  • Brendali Caban September 19, 2012, 3:03 pm

    I have no advice to give. I would drag my tired butt up whenever he wanted to eat, and at 2 months I said screw it and me and lil man have been cosleeping ever since. He is 7 months now and we sleep straight through the night.

    HOWEVER, I wanted to comment because I literally SQUEALED when I saw that picture. HOW FREAKING CUTE IS YOUR BABY?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THOSE EYES! Omg he is just gorgeous. You are one lucky mama =) !

    Reply
  • Erin September 19, 2012, 3:04 pm

    Congrats on the sleep! I am currently working on getting my 11 week old to nap somewhere besides her carseat or swing. I should look into that book. The ‘put her in her crib when she is drowsy but awake’ is not working! Always results in screaming. Maybe she is too young to self soothe?

    Reply
  • Amy September 19, 2012, 3:04 pm

    I have been dream feeding (I think) my now 4 week old baby girl for the last 3 weeks. She sleeps beside me in my bed and when she starts to move around I know she is hungry and I nurse her before she totally wakes and she just nurses and goes right back to sleep and never opens her eyes.

    Also, to help Henry go to sleep better have you seen The Happiest Baby on the Block? Google it if not because it worked wonders for us!

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:24 pm

      yes! i read the book. amaaaazing.

      Reply
  • Trish September 19, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I loved the idea of the EASY method and even went so far as to print out a simple spreadsheet to track it all. It was all fine and dandy except no amount of the “shush-pat” technique was going to get our son to nap more than 45 minutes or sleep though the night. The dream feed bought us a few hours of extra sleep, but he still woke up 2-4 times/night. Ultimately, we bought a house, moved him into a crib in his own room and we all started sleeping better. Babies #2 and #3 did not get a dream feed just because it was such a waste of pumped breast milk with Baby#1. So glad it’s working for you! Good luck!

    Reply
  • lauren (athleat) September 19, 2012, 4:03 pm

    My son was born a week after yours and although we haven’t tried the dream feed yet – lately he falls asleep by 7 or 8pm and then wakes around 11pm for another feeding on his own. Then he is back down until 4 or 5 am. So about the same schedule (also BF). Although there are still nights where he is up every three hours, so I feel like I cant call it a schedule yet – ha. Naps are the same as Henry – about 4 small ones throughout the day. I really love following along with all things Henry, etc. since our sons are close in age – makes it so fun to read!

    Reply
  • Ashley Jones September 19, 2012, 4:07 pm

    That’s great!!! It’s funny that you blogged about this because I didn’t even realize this was a REAL technique! My mother and grandmother BRAG about this technique to anyone who will listen .. “ALL of my children slept perfectly through the night from day 1; just top them them off!” Lol! I don’t have children yet, but I’m glad that I’m learning so much now.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 19, 2012, 4:23 pm

      i love that :) older people know all the good tricks!!

      Reply
  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good September 19, 2012, 6:33 pm

    I’ve never heard of the dream feed. How interesting. I did try to do feed, active, then sleep so the babies didn’t need to fall asleep feeding. Honestly, I wasn’t very good at helping my babies learn to sleep. It was a long 12 months with both babies before I felt like I was getting any decent amounts of sleep. Kudos to you for helping Henry (and therefore you and your husband) get more sleep!

    Reply
  • Charity dawn September 19, 2012, 6:48 pm

    What do you do for diaper changes if you dream feed?

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) September 19, 2012, 7:45 pm

    Dream feeding sounds cool! He is so cute!!!

    Reply
  • Tahlia September 19, 2012, 7:53 pm

    Love that pic of you and H you both look great!

    Reply
  • Maria September 19, 2012, 11:18 pm

    I’m reading this book right now and haven’t gotten to the dream feeding part yet, but that totally makes sense. I’m also trying to get our little one on the EASY path as well :-) For activity, I do something a little more low key like a mini bath (wash her down with a warm washcloth and soap) and reading and rocking. The last few times I’ve done that she’s gone right to sleep.

    Reply
  • Anna September 20, 2012, 10:56 am

    I`ve never heard of this but it sounds amazing. I mean, I had no idea anyone could sleep while eating or vice versa. Incredible. And awesome for you!

    Reply
  • Allison September 20, 2012, 11:16 am

    While I agree that having sagging breasts is not a reason to not breastfeed your baby, I can assure you that after breastfeeding 2 kids for more than a year each, it doesn’t do your breasts any favors. Of course, I would still do it, I don’t really care, but if they could magically bounce back to being all perky, I wouldn’t mind.

    Reply
    • Caitlin September 20, 2012, 12:05 pm

      Haha agree.

      Reply
  • Ann September 20, 2012, 3:25 pm

    Have never commented, but had to with this post. Dream Feeding is the BEST!! I am a mom of 3 and dream fed each of my kiddos. Also used her EASY schedule routine and the Pick Up Put Down method and the shush-pat to sleep thing. Worked for all three kids. Can’t say enough good stuff about those techniques. All of my kids have been great sleepers and I really think its in a large part due to that book. YEAH for sleep!!

    Reply
  • ash September 20, 2012, 7:25 pm

    Sooo glad this is working for you! Sleep is precious!

    Reply
  • Heidi September 23, 2012, 8:06 pm

    I read the baby whisperer after our 2nd was born and it saved my sanity! My husband was working nights at the time and we also had a 2yo, so I had to figure out something that worked if I was ever going to get any sleep. The dream feed was incredible for us and later on I did the “pick up, put down” and then “shush pat” from that same book. I stopped doing the dream feed once she was on solids and we never had a problem. Now, 2 years later, my 2nd born is a super sleeper while my oldest, who I sleep trained using the good ol’ Ferber method, still has trouble falling asleep on her own. Go fig.

    Reply
  • Nadia Roy February 9, 2013, 8:57 pm

    My little boy is 14 weeks old. I’m going to try the dream feed for a week and see what happens. He usually goes to bed around 8 pm, but he’s very fussy between 7 and 8 so my husband and I decided to put him down earlier starting tonight (7pm). I feel exactly like you: I don’t want to go to bed at 8, I want to clean, spend time with my husband, relax, watch tv, etc. My only question is: when Henry wakes up at 4 am, do you feed him again or do you just comfort him so that he goes back to sleep for a few hours. Thank you so much. Sorry this post is so long, I feel like I’ve tried everything with Sam and he still wakes up at least 3 times every night.

    Reply
    • Caitlin February 10, 2013, 12:03 pm

      At that point, he was still eating once or twice a night. 14 week olds can’t go 12 hours wo eating. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Rachel February 14, 2013, 3:52 am

    I’ve never commented here before, but I had to seeing as how I’ve talked a lot about this book on my blog over the years–and you deserve to know that you have a great site too! I found your site several months ago and love reading along. I agree, the breastfeeding chapter isn’t great. I read it once and decided not to look at that chapter ever, ever again. My family (ok, mainly me and my husband–the kids need to work on not being picky!) have had a great time trying out your recipes. It’s hard to find healthy ones that taste good too (at least with my taste buds that despite my pretty healthy diet, still crazy unhealthy food!).

    Reply
  • Gemreed July 8, 2013, 8:49 pm

    I liked your post and I’m having the same issue of no evening time to myself at the mo as need to sleep wen my baby sleeps in the early eve. Started the dream feed night before last. She didn’t take much but did it ok. It didn’t have any affect on timings. Last night she took more but again still woke up at 1am for next feed. Did it take a few days for it to affect your times for you or work straight away? Thanks

    Reply
    • Caitlin July 9, 2013, 6:14 am

      It worked immediately for us. I hope it kicks in for you!

      Reply
  • TAnya Bostick March 5, 2014, 7:40 pm

    I really appreciate your thoughts on the Dream Feed. I did this with my first child, and it worked so well for us!!! It wasn’t at all difficult to wean from the Dream Feed after she started eating solids. We are now trying the Dream Feed with our new baby boy, and hoping that things will be the same. His nighttime schedule has been the same as your Henry’s (before you began the Dream Feed). I hope it works!!!!

    Where did you hear about the ear infections? Is these because of not lifting him out of the crib?

    Reply

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