Mothers will commonly ask if there is a difference between the late-evening feed and the dream feed since they both fall around the same time at night. Yes, there is a difference! The late-evening feeding provides the necessary nutrition baby needs and is part of a baby’s routine up through the first three months. The dream feed comes later in a baby’s life. It is not offered because the baby needs the calories, but to help the breastfeeding mom maintain her milk supply. Not all mothers need to offer a “dream feed,” but the probability increases as a mom’s age moves into her mid-30’s.
Excerpt taken from On Becoming Babywise by pediatrician Robert Bucknam, M.D. and Gary Ezzo, M.A. (2017 6th Edition).