One of the most asked questions we get at Let Mommy Sleep is how to help babies of all ages sleep through the night. While we don't take a position on whether "sleep training" is right or wrong, we do know that there are 2 easy ways to help facilitate long stretches of sleep.
1. Gradually wean overnight feeds while increasing daytime feeds:
Gradually decrease overnight feeds by 1/4 or 1/2 an ounce for each feed overnight.
While you are doing this, gradually increase daytime feeding to replace those ounces from the overnight hours.
This gradual repositioning of taking in calories encourages baby to take in all s/he needs during the daytime and evening rather than overnight.
A dreamfeed simply means giving baby one last feed of the night before s/he wakes up from hunger. You'll give breast or bottle to baby and baby will instinctively take in whatever she needs to be satiated until the next feeding time.
You can also do a quick diaper change and burp at this time, being sure to be very gentle so baby doesn't fully wake up.
The purpose of the dreamfeed is to give baby those ounces of milk or formula at a predictable time to help baby sleep while *you're* also sleeping, rather than doing a final feed at 7:00pm and then wondering if the next wake up will be at 10, 11, 12 or 1am!
There is much more to talk about regarding sleep training and appropriate care varies widely by age.
If you're a caregiver or a parent and would like to talk through how to help you baby sleep independently, let us know!
Let Mommy Sleep's staff of RN's & Newborn Care Providers