Updated: Feb 6, 2021
Solids to Help With Sleep?
Oh, the excitement!
Watching their little faces the first time you put something other than milk in their mouth makes for fun entertainment!
I talk a lot about solids with my clients who have 6-month-old babies and here's why:
Some parents have heard that feeding their baby solids will help them sleep at night or that the reason they are waking so much is only because of hunger.
So, let's touch on that.
Solids at the beginning are very much about exploring and being exposed to new things. It takes time for your baby to get used to the various tastes and textures of food.
Eventually, the goal is for them to eat solids first, then have milk, but not now.
Now is all about exploration.
What this means is that your primary focus when it comes to feeding your baby is feeding them full feeds of milk.
We still need to aim for full feeds in the daytime and a full bedtime feed to get a long night's rest.
That and the combination of good sleep skills is what is going to help your baby sleep all night long.
Here's what I tell my clients about solids:
Start solids in the morning after their first feed of the day, aiming for 'breakfast' time or at 'lunch' time.
Avoid solids at dinner time initially. If your baby's stomach doesn't agree with what they are being fed, it's easier to manage in the daytime versus at night.
We also don't want to fill them up with solids and miss out on a full bedtime feed!
Go slow! Give them up to 3 days once you've introduced a new food to see how they react to it.
Note: Most doctors are recommending waiting until 6-months to start solids. If your doctor has told you otherwise, please continue the discussion with them!
If your baby isn't sleeping well at night, and you're wondering if they are hungry, don't run to solids to solve the issue.
Here are some things to consider:
Is my baby distracted during the daytime feeds?
Are feeds too close to nap time and bedtime?
Does it seem like my baby is taking in a lot of calories during the night versus the daytime?
Here are my top tips to help manage feeds!
Eat-Play-Sleep, this is a game-changer! By doing this routine, it helps your baby to eat when they are hungry, have full feeds, and then sleep when they are tired.
Keep feeds at least 30 minutes away from naps. If you're needing to do another feed in their wake window, make sure your baby is awake and actively feeding!
If your baby is distracted, make the place you feed in very, very boring. If there's nothing interesting going on, they will focus on eating.
I hope this helps!
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