You know when you really want to write a post saying just how well something is going but you’re worried that if you do, it will all go wrong? Well this is one of those posts. After reading some of my ‘woe-is-me’ posts about how Beanie Boy still isn’t sleeping through at 8 months, Pampers took pity on me and offered me the help in the form of Wendy Dean, their resident sleep expert. It took me all of a nano-second to bite their arm off and accept the offer.
So a couple of weeks ago I received a call from Wendy and we discussed Beanie Boy’s usual sleep and feeding routine which went something like this:
6.15am – 7.30am – Wake up anywhere between these times and have a milk feed
8.30am – Bowl of porridge
9.30am – 11.30am – Morning nap and then milk feed
12.30pm – Lunch & playtime
2.00pm – 4.00pm – Afternoon nap and then milk feed
5.30pm – Dinner
7.00pm – Bath, massage, story, milk feed and then bed
11.30pm – Dream feed
2.00am – 4.00am – Could wake anywhere between these times for one or two milk feeds
The first thing which Wendy asked me was whether or not Beanie Boy was actually waking for his dream feed at 11.30pm to which I said he didn’t, we just thought that by giving him a feed at this time he shouldn’t be waking in the night because he’s hungry. Wendy recommended that we stop the dream feed immediately and where possible try not to feed him before 1.00am if he wakes for it. If he does wake we are to try to settle him without removing him from the cot, just keep laying him down and leave the room as many times as it takes to settle himself to sleep.
Then between 1.00am and 6.00am he should only need one milk feed, if at all. If he does wake for a milk feed then we should offer him 5oz water with 4 scoops of milk for 3 nights and then reduce this every 3 nights, 4oz water with 3 scoops, 3oz water with 2 scoops, 2oz water with 1 scoop, 1 oz water with 1/2 scoop and then finally just 2oz water with no formula. The idea being that baby will stop waking for a feed altogether.
That night we did as instructed and didn’t offer a dream feed. He didn’t wake until 5.00am when we gave him a 5oz bottle with 4 scoops of formula. It was the same the next night and on the 3rd night he slept through until 7.15am!!!! Since then he has slept through most nights until anywhere between 7.00am and 7.30am with the odd wake up here and there, but each time he has woken in the night we have reduced his feed as Wendy suggested. I’m really hoping that things will carry on getting better in this manner, because I love sleep!!
Since speaking to a few friends about Beanie Boy’s progress they have said that their babies had also started to sleep through since they had stopped the dream feed, so perhaps that is the key – maybe we were disturbing our babies’ natural sleep patterns? But whatever the reason, we’re all very happy that they sleeping more.