Experiment with dream feeds to see if it works well for you and your baby. If it doesn’t work well for your baby, then try to go to bed soon after your baby’s bedtime to maximize your own sleep.
What is a dream feed?
Dream feeding is a term used to describe an added feeding for babies initiated by the parent when they are ready to go to sleep. The general idea is that you pick up your sleeping baby and offer a feeding while the baby is still in a light sleep state, then put Baby back down into the crib or bassinet. You then go to bed in the hopes of gaining a longer sleep stretch before your baby wakes for their next feeding. This could also be used during the daytime if the parent is hoping to take a nap. This strategy doesn’t always work for all babies, so it’s best to try it out and see if it impacts how your baby sleeps and wakes for the next feeding. Some babies do really well with dream feedings and are able to then sleep an additional stretch of time. Other babies don’t do as well with dream feedings because they might not actually be hungry enough to take a full, satisfying feeding. As a result, they may still wake soon after the dream feeding because they are now fully awake and very hungry. Experiment with this strategy to see if it works well for you and your baby. If it doesn’t work well for your baby, then try to go to bed soon after your baby’s bedtime to maximize your own sleep.