Breastfeeding, Parenting

Dream Feed: What is it and Why Should You be Doing it

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Being a mom is exhausting am I right? I had to try to find any way to get more sleep, especially when I had 2 under 2! I was already bed sharing with my girls and I still wasn’t getting enough sleep. Shoot what is sleep???? This mama lives on coffee and prayers.

My oldest always wanted to nurse ALL night like for real all the time. After about 5 months I learned to sleep through the nursing and she was able to put my nipple in her mouth on her own. When I was pregnant with my youngest I was on a mission to find a way to get her to sleep better. I stumbled upon dream feeding and I dove in to some research.

Dream Feed: What is it and Why Should You be Doing it

What is dream feeding and how can you get more sleep as a breastfeeding mom? Lack of sleep have you down as a new mom? I'm here to help!


What is a dream feed?

Dream feed is when you wake your baby just enough to get them to nurse. For Delta I just had to put my nipple on her lips and she would nurse. Doing this before you go to bed, but baby has already been asleep means baby can go longer before needing to feed again!

You can do this before you take baby back to bed, or right before you go to bed. Which ever works best for you without waking baby completely.

Who doesn’t love more sleep? And not just more but a solid few hours! If you have a newborn this can be life changing!

Why should you dream feed?

Dream feeding your baby before you head to bed means your baby gets calories and hydration meaning they will be able to sleep longer before needing to nurse again which means you can hopefully get a longer stretch of sleep. Generally your baby should easily fall back asleep or not even wake up at all.

How amazing does that sound? More sleep is precious like real precious especially if like me you have a toddler who just doesn’t sleep!

All of this means you will be a happier mommy, a more calm mommy, and in return a better mom.

When to start to dream feed baby

For the first few weeks of sleepy newborn life babies often stop nursing once they are a sleep and they need some stimulation to keep nursing. But how long this will last is going to vary from one baby to another.

I suggest not to try to dream feed baby until baby is able to nurse even while sleepy. For my oldest this was day one. She seriously nursed all day and all night long. It was a struggle.

Related Post: Best advice for new parents

Will Dream Feeding work for everyone?

Of course not, all babies are not equal and some babies will wake no matter what you do and some will sleep great. Every baby is different but trying to dream feed is a stress free way to try and get more sleep. No crying is involved and really no extra effort on your part, just some extra planning on your part.

Honestly, it may not work every night but any time it does work I get a solid 4 hours before Delta wakes again. I’ll take that any night! Have you dream feed? Did it help you get more sleep?


Dream feeding a toddler

If you are practicing extended breastfeeding you are more then likely still nursing your toddler to sleep and through out the night. Dream feeding works for toddlers too! We bed share and I put the girls to sleep and then enjoy an hour or so of quite time before going to back to bed.

When I get to bed and both girls are asleep I nurse Delta the 15 month old while she is still sleeping and get myself a few solid hours before she wakes again. Adella who is almost 3 usually wakes up the moment I climb in to bed so she nurses too. I can’t get over how light she sleeps.

Need more breastfeeding support? Check out this amazing round up of over 50 breastfeeding resources

Find out how to get more sleep as a breastfeeding mom. Dream feed can change your life and help you get more sleep.

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  1. Amelia says:

    Yes! I do it in the early morning hours before I go to work. My alarm goes off at 3:30 am, i nurse my LO, put her right back to bed, then get myself ready for work.

    1. becomingschultz says:

      I’m so glad it works for you too! My little one needs to snuggle but a quick snack and shes on her back out like a light.

  2. Tricia schustrin says:

    Are you taking the baby out of the crib or is the baby sleeping with you? I was lucky enough to have a good sleeper, but I’m just curious just in case i have another who isn’t such a good sleeper

    1. becomingschultz says:

      My girls sleep with me. But I would take them out and get a feed in before you go to bed! Hopefully your next one sleeps well too.

  3. This is a great post! I have 2 children under two. I have not tried dream feeding before, but it sounds really helpful! 😊

    1. becomingschultz says:

      My girls were 2 under 2 now 2.5 and 1, but it was such a life saver.

  4. We did this too! We used a cosleeper that attached to our bed, so it was easy to move the baby’s back and forth as necessary.

    1. becomingschultz says:

      Yes, so much easier!

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