When to Introduce Dream Feeds

It’s the feed you offer your baby, while they sleep! Yes, we are saying you can pick your sleeping baby up, and offer milk. Most babies just suck away happily and snuggle back to sleep.


  • To ensure they have a ‘full tank’ to help them sleep longer through the night
  • To synchronise your sleep cycles because after you offer the feed, then you hop into bed and you are a better chance of feeling slightly less ‘hit by a truck’ if you are on similar cycles. Baby cycles are shorter and about ½ the time of adults, so it helps.


  • At least 3 hours after the last feed.
  • If the last feed was 7pm, then offer it around 10pm
  • Offer a good feed, ie. both breasts, a little burp time, then back into bed.


  • Keep the lights low
  • Avoid chatting or anything stimulating, don’t even do a nappy change
  • Offer as much as your baby will take, in the hope it keeps them sleeping longer

What age

  • If you offer it too early it may cause an upset tummy.
  • Around 6 months is when most babies can both take the extra feed and return to sleep, and not become sqirmy from an overfilled tummy (as a baby can)

Does it work for all babies

  • Most

How do I know if it is working

  • Easy, your baby will sleep longer into the night, so that 1am waking might become 3am … yahhh!!

How do I know if it’s not working?

  • If your baby wakes up fully and is not able to early return to sleep, then it is not for your individual baby right now, but there’s nothing to stop you trying again in about a month.

How do I know when to stop it?

  • Trial and error is the best way to find out what works for each baby.
  • If your baby is now sleeping through with just that one dream feed, just don’t offer it one night and see what happens.
  • It can be scary to decide to test to see if it is still needed, but don’t stress, the very worst that will happen is that they wake … so offer a feed and tomorrow night reintroduce the dream feed.
  • Try again in a few weeks to a month to see if the time is right this time.

How can it be a problem

  • Some babies don’t settle back to sleep after the dream feed, so just don’t do it for a few weeks and try again.
  • Some very sensitive babies wake fully and then stay awake and theya re best to be left to feed just when they wake, rather than disturb them.
  • Some babies start waking for the feed, if that is the case, you might need to think if you can either offer the feed a tad earlier, or maybe there is a reason your baby is super hungry at the moment – ie a growth phase.

It really can’t do any major harm, so give it a go and you will soon know if it is for you and your little babe or not. Don’t be afraid of trying something new, and if it doesn’t work, then that is something else you have learned … and just try again another time .

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