Baby won’t Sleep! Could Feeding be the Problem? by Chris Towland

Sleepless nights take their toll on parents as much as on their babies.
Adjusting your baby’s feeding routine may help to solve the problem

New Mums and Dads and even parents with several kids, often find that their little baby may not be sleeping as well as he or she should.

Many parents look for the underlying cause of the problem, hoping to find a simple answer. This also leaves some parents questioning if feeding could have something to do with the problem.

The intent of this article is to investigate further into the different aspects of feeding your small baby and examine the effects that feeding could perhaps have on a babys sleeping routine and habits.

First, we should list the particular feeding areas that we will be discussing. These are:

  • Mixing Breast-feeding and Bottle Feedings
  • Feeding your baby to sleep
  • What are YOU eating and can it affect your babys sleeping pattern?
  • Can solids help your baby sleep?

Mixing Breast-feeding and Bottle Feedings

It is believed that a mixture of bottle and breast in feedings could potentially lead to sleeping problems. There are a couple of different reasons for this when you are breast-feeding your little baby. With each feeding, the breast is signaling to the brain that more milk needs to be produced for the following feeding. When a bottle is incorporated into feedings, this process could be interfered with. The breast will start to produce less milk due to the less frequent breast feedings.

Also, 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. Therefore your baby will require feeding more frequently which will mean his or her sleep patterns will be interrupted by the need for feeding.

Feeding your baby to sleep

Feeding your child until he or she goes 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. Normally, this will be the situation with each waking throughout the night as well.

There are of course, techniques you can use to stop your baby from depending on feedings to fall asleep.

Firstly, change the time or the amount of time you feed your baby when nearing his or her bedtime. Doing so will gradually remove the association of bedtime with feeding.

Another option is to feed your child earlier in the evening instead of as a bedtime routine. When you do these things your baby will not associate feeding with bedtime. This will help your baby to learn to fall asleep on his or her own accord.

What are YOU eating and can it affect your babys sleeping pattern?

The answer quite simply is yes. As a breast-feeding mom, everything that you drink or eat will affect your breast milk. If you do not eat the correct amount of foods and calories daily, your breast milk is greatly affected. It is important that you eat the recommended three meals daily and maybe a few snacks in between. Your milk needs to have adequate calories in it in order for your baby to feel nicely full and satisfied. If it does not, he or she will continue to feed longer until full.

You need to eat healthier foods and eat them more regularly, as well as having plenty to drink throughout the day. This will help your milk supply, thus 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 to sleep?

Many people believe this will help, but studies have not associated any change in babies who were fed by the breast and / or bottle and those who are fed solids. This has not been proven to help the baby to sleep at all. Generally, Doctors do not recommend adding solid foods prior to six months of age.

Chris Towland

Chris Towland is author of the
Baby Sleep Solution audio program

To find out more about getting your baby to sleep at night, click here.

The Baby Sleep Solution audio program


About Father Dave

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four
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