When we did sleep training with Maya about 5 months ago (using The Sleep Easy Solution, in case you’re interested), I added in a dreamfeed to our nightly routine. That’s where you scoop an already asleep baby out of the crib and nurse her, in order to keep her from waking up hungry later in the night. And Maya’s been sleeping 12-13 hour nights without a peep (unless she’s sick or teething, of course), so I’d call it a success!
But now she’s 13.5 months, and she hasn’t seemed very hungry when I go in to nurse her before I go to bed around 11pm. For about a week now, I’ve been reducing the length of the dreamfeed by a minute each night. Last night, she barely nursed for a full minute before popping off and reaching toward her crib. So I think it was the last time!
It will be weird to not have to nurse her during the night. To find her awake and reaching for me. To miss out on those sleepy baby snuggles, her little head floppy on my shoulder as I place her back into her crib. It’s one more step toward her independence, and once again she’s ready for it before I am.
And yes, there will still be many many times that she will need me during the night: teething, nightmares, illness, growing pains… but it’s not the same. At some point you realize you’re holding a child, not a baby.
So Goodbye, Dreamfeed. And thanks for all the snuggles.