Baby Sleep Problems: Can Feeding Have an Effect?
First-time parents and even parents with several kids, regularly find that their young child isn’t sleeping as ell as he or she should.
Many parents try to find the underlying cause of the problem, hoping to find a simple answer. This also leaves countless parents questioning if feeding might have something to do with the issue.
The aim of this article is to burrow deeper into the different aspects of feeding your small child and examine the effects that feeding could possibly have on a babys sleeping schedule and habits.
Initially, we should list the different feeding areas that we will be considering.
- Mixing Breast-feeding and Bottle Feedings
- Feeding your child to sleep
- What are YOU eating and will it affect your babys sleeping pattern?
- Will solids help your baby sleep?
Mixing Breast-feeding and Bottle Feedings
It is believed that the mixture of bottle and breast in feedings could potentially sleeping problems. There are a number of different reasons for this when you are breast-feeding your young child. With each feeding, the breast is signaling to the brain that more milk needs to be produced for the coming feeding. When a bottle is incorporated into feedings, this process could be affected.
The breast will start to produce less milk due to the less frequent breast feedings.
Furthermore, during the times when you do breast-feed your baby, he or she will not get as full with the breast-feeding because of the lessening of milk supply. This effectively means that your baby will need feeding more often, which will mean his or her sleep patterns will be interrupted by the need for feeding.
Feeding your baby to sleep
Feeding your child to sleep may be creating a problem with their sleep patterns. Your baby will soon begin to recognize that you feed him or her at bedtime. This will become something they depend on and expect. Generally, this will be the situation with each waking throughout the night as well.
There are of course, techniques you can use to avoid your baby from depending on feedings to fall asleep.
Initially, change the time or the length of time you feed your baby when nearing his or her bedtime. Doing so will gradually disconnect the association of bedtime with feeding.
Another option is feed your child earlier in the night instead of as a bedtime routine.
When you do these things your child will not associate eating with bedtime. This will help your baby learn to fall asleep on his own accord.
What are YOU eating and will it affect your babys sleeping pattern?
The one word answer is yes. As a breast-feeding mom*, everything that you put into your body affects your breast milk. If you are not eating the appropriate amount of foods and calories each day, your breast milk is greatly affected. It is important that you eat the recommended three meals each day and perhaps a few snacks in between. Your milk needs to have enough calories in it in order for your baby to feel pleasantly full and satisfied. If it does not, he or she will continue to feed longer until he or she is full.
You need to eat healthier foods and try to eat them more often, as well as drinking fluids throughout the day. This will benefit your
milk supply, therefore helping your baby and his or her sleep patterns. The fuller your baby feels, the better he or she will sleep.
Will solids help your baby?
Many parents believe this will help, but numerous studies haven’t associated any change in those who were fed by the breast and / or bottle and those who are fed solids. This has not been proven to help the sleep patterns in babies at all. Doctors recommend not adding solid foods prior to six months of age.