Diet and Sleep Work Hand-in-Hand
How does what baby eats affect your sleep you may be wondering by the title of today’s blog? Well, we all know the saying if baby isn’t happy then nobody is happy. Sometimes with fussy babies who spend their evenings screaming instead of sleeping, diet is an issue. With dietary adjustments, your family might be able to squeeze in more sleep providing a healthier and happier homestead.
To start, you want to have a good blender like the Baby Bullet. Although you do not need a professional baby blender, the accessories that accompany it make homemade baby meal planning more simplified. With a jar of baby food costing at minimum $1 a serving, head to the market or farmer’s market to find fresh, organic product at 11 servings per $1 on average.
As always, make certain to consult your baby’s doctor before trying any solid foods or cereals. In our home, homemade meals were the solution for Jackson. After trying rice cereal, we worked on a plan with our pediatrician to try out one new food every 4 days to make sure he had no allergies.
Rice cereal is the normal starting point by mixing breast milk or formula to make it thinned down. Although this does not work with every baby, trying cereals is normally step one. With our son, we even advanced to cereal with a little prune juice as he worked through the digestive issues.
Adding Foods Into Baby's Diet
The best place to start after cereal is one fruit or vegetable at a time: sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, bananas, pears and squash. Remember: do not mix fruits/veggies together as you are adjusting your baby’s diet.
- Peel, core (if needed) and cut.
- Add to steamer or steam in microwave (baking potatoes works as well).
- Let veggies or fruit cool down.
- Add 1/4 cup water (add more water if you want a thinner consistency) and the veggie or fruit to the blender. Blend.
- Use cube trays or jars to freeze.
- Keep food in trays/jars in freezer or pop out and put the frozen food in containers or freezer bags.
Hopefully fresh fruit or veggies will reduce any fussy baby blues at night to help give Mommy a full night’s rest. It might be worth investing in a little more time by journaling the experience. For some infants, they might have issues with acid reflux or vomiting soon after eating. By keeping track of each experience including what baby ate and how much can help your pediatrician set you on the right course.
According to an article in Parents, 15 percent of babies under 12 months develop a food intolerance with the severity varying. It doesn't mean your baby will have the intolerance or allergy for life, but it is worth keeping track of it in writing. You also want to pay attention to your baby's habits outside sleeping. If he/she is normally active or happy but is experiencing moodiness, it could be due to their diet.
However, it is still important to rest when you can since interrupted sleep doesn’t go away with the addition of solid foods or adjusting diets.
Who Needs a Nap?
Napping is not a terrible thing to add to your routine for an adult. Starting with the question of “why am I napping?” is a good place to start. Napping because you cannot survive a day without normally means an unhealthy amount of sleep at night. It can also mean an underlying health condition.
The Mayo Clinic defines the following as healthy napping for adults:
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased alertness
- Improved mood
- Improved performance, including quicker reaction time and better memory
Keeping the nap short is key. Up to 30 minutes is plenty of time to recharge your energy. The longer you nap, the more irritable and groggy you will feel after. Though it is best to sleep when the baby sleeps, sometimes that is not a luxury you have.
If napping is becoming more common due to what you believe is a health condition, talk to your family doctor.