Early to Bed, Early to Rise

Updated on January 15, 2008
E.C. asks from Plano, TX
10 answers

My 20 week old son goes to bed between 7-8pm each night, but sometimes as early at 6:30pm. I have tried everything to keep him up a little later, but sometimes he literally is closing his little eyes while eating his cereal. Because he goes to sleep pretty early, he usually stays asleep until 4 am, but then he is wide awake and wanting to be fed. After a bottle I can usually get him back to sleep pretty easily, but my question is this: has anyone had success with giving your infants a "dream feed" as discussed in the book "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer"? The idea is that you feed your baby before YOU go to bed at night, even if they are sleeping soundly, in order to train them to sleep all the way though. My mother always told me that you should never wake a sleeping baby, so I am just wondering if anyone has had any success. Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone that responded! I think I will give this a try AFTER this weekend when my mom is in town...she's the one that said to never wake a sleeping baby. :) LOL

Featured Answers



answers from Beaumont on

My 6 month old was going to bed around 9-9:30 and had his bottle before he went to sleep. But lately he has been falling asleep between 7-7:30 and I don't want him to be going to bed that early so I let him sleep for about 15-20 minutes and then I wake him up and keep him active and playing til I give him his bath at about 8 and then he has his bottle and goes to bed. He sleeps the entire night. I wake him cause every night he falls asleep at different times and I don't want to put him to bed for the night til about 8:15-8:30. So this works for me.

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answers from Dallas on

I did it, it works occaisionally.



answers from Dallas on

Uh, yes. If you want to get a baby on a schedule, then you must wake them to get them used to when they should be eating and sleeping, etc. I did it with my son consistently from when he was about 3 weeks old. I would wake him every 3 hours during the day to feed him. He slept through the night by 3 months old. Refer to the Babywise book for more information on this. That's what I used in combination with Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. It worked for us! He's 2 now, and still sleeps 12 hours a night with a 2 hour daily nap.



answers from Dallas on

Hi E.:

I always "dream fed" my middle son. He was the best nurser! I would feed him dinner, bathe him, and nurse him to sleep. Then before I went to bed, say 2 hours later, I would get him up (in the dark, no lights on), and nurse him again. He never woke up. Whatever he would drink was okay. This helped him to make it until 5:30 the next morning.

Hope this helps!



answers from Dallas on

Hi E.,

We follow the sleep schedule too! Another good book to read on sleep is "Good night, Sleep tight" The gentle approach to getting your kids to go to sleep, stay asleep and wake up happy. It is a great book. She talks about sleep habits and the baby's age and what you can expect at every stage. I found is very helpful.
We have done a dream feed for about 4 months now, my boy is 10 months now and just recently dropped the dream feed. We bath at 6:30, in the chair read a book by about 6:45pm. Bottle in the chair and then in the bed between 7 and 7:15pm. And then dream feed, between 10 and 11pm, depending on how busy our evening is. We never wake him up for it. We pick him up and give him the bottle and he sleeps through it. It has been soooo easy and it definitly gets him to sleep until about 7 or 7:15am. Also, on the mornings he wakes before 7am. I leave him in his crib until 7. Unless of course he is sick, or sounds more distressed than normal. All part of sleep training!
Good luck!!!



answers from Dallas on

I have twin gilrs (now 4) and I did this "phanton feed/ dream feed" with them. It really works!! My husband and I almost woke them up laughing so hard while trying this the first time. Just place bottle in mouth, wiggle it a bit to let them start feeding and away they go. Also, do not move them - even if the feeding position is uncomfortable for you. Also, my doctor says they don't need to be burped - and they were fine. Mommy got some sleep, too!!



answers from Dallas on

My baby girl, now 9 mo, sleeps through the night 10-12 hours because she sleeps on her stomach, (GASP! Call the SIDS police!), and has since she was 6 weeks old.

A friend's son had not been sleeping well and finally at 4 mo they tried him on his stomach. He slept 7 hours the first night. He sleeps longer than that now.

Another friend of mine was complaining that his son wasn't sleeping much. He recently tried his son on his stomach and the 8 mo old baby boy slept 8 hours the very first night!



answers from Knoxville on

First, good news about the early bedtime. Both of my kids went to sleep at this time as babies...and then as toddlers, they conked out at 7. My daughter (in first grade) is still asleep around 7:30, and my son (fourth grade) falls asleep around 8:30. It's built healthy sleep habits for both of them. Of course, they're early risers -- but once they get to be in school, you'll appreciate not having to rouse them from their beds.

Anyway, I think you should give it a try one night and see what happens. I could wake my son up and change his sheets, if his diaper leaked, and he'd go right back to sleep. If I stepped on the wrong creaky floorboard with my daughter, she and I would be up for a few hours. So -- it depends. It sounds like it's worth a try, though. Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

I fed both of my boys on a schedule and woke them up all the time to feed them. It was with the intention of getting them to sleep through the night sooner. It worked. I would suggest that you go ahead and feed the last feeding when you go to bed (the same time every night) and then if he wakes give him some time on his own to see if he might settle down on his own. Both of mine woke up about 4 or 5 in the morning at this time and just talk and coo and then go back to sleep.



answers from Dallas on

From all I've read, the "never wake a sleeping baby" is an old wives tale. Sometimes you have to, and the downer to waking them is they might not fall back asleep! (LOL)

Dream feeding works for some, and not for others. You don't actually wake them up at all, you just pick them up out of bed and put breast or bottle to their lips. They barely wake enough to eat - they're eating in their sleep. My guy is really big, and it didn't keep him asleep that much longer. If you're lucky, it'll help your little guy.

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