BLACK FRIDAY OFFER !!!

50% OFF SLEEP GUIDES

USE CODE BLK50

OFFER VALID ON DOWNLOABLE SLEEP GUIDES ONLY, UNTIL 30TH OF NOVEMBER

BLACK FRIDAY OFFER!!!

50% OFF ALL DOWNLOADABLE SLEEP GUIDES, USE CODE BLK50

Foods To Help Baby Sleep Through The Night

Foods To Help Baby Sleep Through The Night

Any parent of a baby or toddler longs for their baby to be a sleepy angel and sleep through the night.  Frantic google searches in the small hours ask, “how can I help my baby settle to sleep” or “sleep tips for toddlers”.  In this article, we take a close look at foods that can help your baby sleep through the night.  We’ll look at tips that can support quality sleep for your baby and for you, and we’ll be discussing tasty mealtime options that are a win-win when it comes to helping your baby to sleep through the night.

So What Foods Will Help My Toddler Sleep?

Generally speaking, look for foods that are high in melatonin which helps to control the body’s circadian rhythm, vitamin B6 which helps brain produce melatonin, tryptophan and vitamin C which helps to produce serotonin and melatonin. Also foods rich in potassium and magnesium.

 

List Of Sleep Inducing Foods To Help Your Child Sleep:

  • Tart cherries and tart cherry juice

  • Banana, Pineapple, Kiwi, Figs, Oranges

  • Avocado, tomatoes

  • Broccoli, carrots, sweetcorn

  • Kale, spinach, lettuce

  • Soybeans (edamame)

  • Milk, Natural unsweetened yoghurt

  • Eggs

  • Poultry

  • fatty fish

  • Walnuts, pistachios and. cashews

  • Oats and wheat

  • Rice, beans, lentils

  • sweet potatoes, butternut squash

blog photos with alt text 11

What Should Breastfeeding Mum Eat To Help Baby Sleep?

Many Mums choose to breastfeed their baby, and in doing so, you can ensure your breast milk is rich in sleep supporting foods.  Nutrients in foods that Mum’s eat pass through into breastmilk.  Breastfeeding Mums should avoid excess stimulants in their diet, such as caffeine, artificial additives and sugar if they are serious about foods to help baby sleep through the night.  Likewise, eating foods that are rich in the amino acid, tryptophan, can be a smart choice for breastfeeding Mums who want to support their baby’s sleep.  So what should breastfeeding mum eat? Tryptophan is found in a range of foods such as turkey, eggs, wheat and oats, soy products, bananas and green leafy vegetables.  All these foods contain tryptophan which supports the production of the hormone melatonin to regulate sleep.

blog photos with alt text 12

Weaning And Foods To Help Baby Sleep Well

As your baby begins to wean at about 6-months of age, you can introduce foods that help baby to sleep through the night.  Aim for foods that are nutritious and easy to digest, and steer clear of stimulants such as caffeine and artificial additives.  Many parents don’t realise that chocolate can contain caffeine, so it’s wise to limit your baby or toddler’s consumption of this sweet treat.

Foods that support sleep for babies and toddlers include those rich in tryptophan as listed above.  You can get creative and introduce shredded turkey into soups and broths for your baby.  Scrambled eggs with small amounts of Spanish wilted down makes a great sleep supporting dinner and its easy to bake simple oat-based cookies sweetened with mashed banana.

In addition, consider slower burning carbohydrates as a smart choice so that nutrients are absorbed at a slower rate.  Oats, sweet potatoes, rice and butternut squash all contain complex carbsFoods rich in B-vitamins also support sleep. Beans, lentils, broccoli, avocados and bananas help your child to produce the calming and relaxing hormones of serotonin and magnesium.

Leading children’s food expert, Annabel Karmel, has some fantastic sleep supporting recipes that you and your baby can enjoy as part of a healthy diet.  The BBC Good Food website lists a range of healthy recipes that include many of the foods listed above, including meal ideas that are suited for baby-led weaning and toddlers.  Aim to cook up a storm for you and your baby in order to make the most of foods that help baby sleep through the night.

A bedtime milk feed for babies and toddlers continues to be an important source of nutrition for your child.  A small warm bottle of milk, or a breastfeed prior to sleep night can have a soothing effect that helps baby sleep through the night.

    girl eating broccoli

    Mealtimes That Help Baby Sleep Through The Night, What Is The Suggested Time To Eat Dinner?

    You’ll know yourself that trying to settle to sleep on a full stomach after a large meal is uncomfortable and unlikely to result in settled sleep.  You baby will benefit from well-timed meals to support them sleep through the night.  A large meal immediately before bed raises your baby’s metabolic rate and body temperature. This can make it harder to settle to sleep.  Aim that the evening meal for babies that are weaning is given around 1 ½ hours before bedtime.  That leaves enough time for awake activity and bath time, and then a final milk feed which will all help with your baby’s sleep.

    In Summary:

    So, to help your baby sleep through the night, aim to build the following tips into your baby’s routine today

    • Avoid foods that will ruin your child’s sleep. If you are breastfeeding, avoid caffeine and artificial additives.

    • Eat foods rich in tryptophan

    • Avoid giving babies that are weaning caffeine and artificial additives.

    • Sleep supporting foods for babies that are weaning include foods rich in tryptophan, B-vitamins and complex carbohydrates.

    • Allow time for your baby to digest their evening meal before bed.

    • A warm milk drink or breastfeed immediately before bed can help your baby to sleep well.

    references:

     Friedman M. (2018). Analysis, Nutrition, and Health Benefits of Tryptophan. International journal of tryptophan research: IJTR, 11, 1178646918802282. https://doi.org/10.1177/1178646918802282

     Tardy, A. L., Pouteau, E., Marquez, D., Yilmaz, C., & Scholey, A. (2020). Vitamins and Minerals for Energy, Fatigue and Cognition: A Narrative Review of the Biochemical and Clinical Evidence. Nutrients, 12(1), 228. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010228

      Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.


      For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
       1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.

      Screen Time. Does Blue Light Affect My Baby’s Sleep?

      Screen Time. Does Blue Light Affect My Baby’s Sleep?

      Discussions around Blue Light and its effects are becoming more popular than ever, with a lot of devices now offering blue light filters to decrease our exposure. Whilst as adults, the majority of us decide to ignore this guidance, are our babies and children over-exposed and can blue light take some of the blame for their difficulties sleeping?

      boy thinking about blue light affect on sleep

      What Is Blue Light? Does Blue Light Affect Melatonin Production?

      Without getting too technical, all light (and colour) is made up of wavelengths and of those wavelengths, Violet and Blue are the shortest. Due to being the shortest, they interact with our Circadian Rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock and one of the largest factors that can influence either restful and restorative sleep or cause disrupted and unsatisfactory baby sleep.
      The reason it causes this effect is that Blue Light suppresses the production of Melatonin, the hormone which makes us sleepy. That’s not to say that all exposure to Blue Light is bad, we require this exposure during the day to keep our bodies awake and working correctly! However, with babies and young children who require naps, it’s a fine balance.

      Where Is Blue Light?

      Blue light can be found in the sunshine (along with Vitamin D, which if you haven’t read our blog about it can be found here) which helps to promote sleep quality if exposed at the right time of the day. However, we can also get an artificial blue light on our devices with screens and even from some LED light bulbs. Some items such as night lights and the popular gro clock produce blue light! We recommend parents always check for whether an item uses blue light when you are buying baby nursery decorations or nursery accessories- or anywhere baby sleeps!

      boy using his screen time watching ipad

      How Can I Limit  Blue Light Exposure To Help My Baby Sleep Better?

      It’s no secret that experts advise screen-time be limited for children, whilst this is something we all strive for in our daily lives it can easily be disrupted. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we just need the kids to be distracted whilst we get something done!  It’s tempting to use this any allocated screen time in the evening as we get tired and have more to do, but trying to keep the little ones away from screens for 2 hours before bed is the ideal practise so as not to mess with the Melatonin production.

      Introducing… Red Light!

      On the opposite end of the spectrum to its cousin Blue Light, Red light is the longest wavelength and has been proven to improve the production of Melatonin in the body and have no effect on the circadian rhythm.
      You can buy red nights lights, a salt lamp, a red lampshade to swap over in the evenings or even multi-coloured light bulbs that can be controlled from an app on your phone! If buying any of these is an option for you then we would recommend giving it a try.

      blog photos with alt text 2

      Are There Ways To Counter Blue Light During Baby’s Bedtime Routine?

      In addition to avoiding screen-time for 2 hours before bed, our recommendation is to incorporate a peaceful bedtime routine. An example might be:

      • Having your evening meal in a room without TV (or turn the TV off)

      • Follow this up with some round the table games or conversation. Depending on how old your child is, this is also a great way to incorporate some family bonding! If you have a baby who can sit in the highchair you could use this time to exaggerate eating practices and try to get your baby to copy as a fun, developmental practise.

      “Choosing The Right Foods In The Evening Can Also Help Baby To Sleep Through The Night. You Can Read About The Foods That Promote Sleep Here.”

      • Once the meal has settled and there has been some interaction, a great next step is bath-time. If you have the time, it’s always great to involve some play in the water. Don’t worry too much about getting baby excited at this point.

      • Once the baby/child is out and wrapped in a fluffy towel, it’s time to start using a quieter tone and making the drying and moisturising process calming. If you have learnt any baby massage techniques now would be a great time to use those and if you have red light available this would be a good point to use this.

      • Time for a bedtime story and cuddles before you put to bed routine, this might involve some bedtime milk.

      blog photos with alt text 3

      References:

      The Sleep Foundation: What is Circadian Rhythm? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm

      The HealthLine: Does Red Light at Night Help or Hinder Your Sleep https://www.healthline.com/health/why-not-to-have-red-lights-on-at-night

      So The Answer Is Yes, According To Scientific Research, Blue Light Can Affect Your Baby’s Sleep But By Applying Some Of Our Baby Sleep Expert Advice You Can Manage Your Sleepy Angel’s Exposure To Help Them Get A Restful Sleep.

      Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.


      For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
       1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.

      Enjoying Your First Christmas With Baby

      Enjoying Your First Christmas With Baby

      In the run-up to Christmas, a lot of parents can put pressure on themselves to make everything perfect and enjoy these key milestone moments. Whilst Christmas can be enjoyable with a baby, the hustle and bustle of lots of visiting, different locations and baby-friendly Christmas socialising can be difficult to balance for parents. With this in mind, I have written some of my best advice for helping your little one to sleep during the Holidays.

      Whilst we are very much a fan of following your baby’s lead when it comes to their nap times, amidst the festive season it’s best to have a plan and a contingency plan in place for naps. If your little one isn’t used to a lot of company and you bring them into a busy home at Christmas it can be overwhelming for babies and lead to them feeling tired earlier than usual or being overtired and cranky.

      Here’s Some Of Our Advice To Allow That Much-Needed Rest To Go As Smoothly As Possible:

      girl in santa outfit opening present

      Bring Your Own Travel Cot

      Use your own travel cot where possible and practise beforehand. These days travel cots are a lot easier to transport around and it’s a good idea to have one thrown into the boot of the car even if you aren’t planning on staying long enough for a nap. Bring their cot bed sheets and pyjamas that they have already slept in. A familiar smell will be soothing for your child. Read more travel tips here

      Try To Avoid Cat Napping

      Try not to let baby cat-nap in the car for multiple short periods if you’re going between numerous houses in one day. This can disrupt their sleep pattern and leave them in a worse mood than if they’d not napped at all. When you have a baby you have every right to text and say ‘sorry, going to be an hour late as baby has fallen to sleep at Granny’s. Read more here on how to get baby sleep while travelling.

      Make Sure To Bring The Bedtime Favourites With You.

      Don’t forget the favourite features of their bedtime routine! If your baby is stopping overnight (either with or without you) in a different place, don’t forget what makes the bedtime routine special to them. Whether your baby has a favourite soft toy, baby comforter, bedtime story, their top baby bath toy, a white noise machine or even a favourite pair of pyjama’s make sure to pack it! If you wear their pyjama under your top for a few days, your baby will find your scent very calming, relaxing and soothing.

      newborn baby sleeping in a christmas outfit

      Don’t Forget To Bring Travel Blackout Blinds And A White Noise Machine

      Travel black-out blinds & White Noise machines – these can be a lifesaver when staying somewhere other than home. If your baby is accustomed to a dark room then you will want to purchase a travel blind before staying away, the white noise will help drown out any adult merriment going on past bedtime but remember to test it beforehand if they don’t usually have white noise as it could have the opposite effect.

      Put Them To Bed Yourself Before Heading Out

      Put them to bed yourself, unless they are very used to another person doing it regularly. This will make them feel more settled into the new environment because they know the comfort of their parents is there.

      Remember vitamin D can help your baby sleep better so go out whenever you can. More on that here.

      mum and baby with christmas presents

      Choose The Right Foods For You And Your Baby To Support Better Sleep.

      • If you are breastfeeding, avoid caffeine and artificial additives.

      • Avoid giving babies that are weaning caffeine and artificial additives. This includes chocolate.

      • Sleep supporting foods for babies that are weaning include foods rich in tryptophan, B-vitamins and complex carbohydrates. Full list of sleep supporting foods here.

      • Allow time for your baby to digest their evening meal before bed.

      • A warm milk drink or breastfeed immediately before bed can help your baby to sleep well.

      baby wearing a Santas hat sitting in a basket

      Relax!!!

      Relax! If the sleep routine is disrupted for a couple of days it won’t set back all your hard work. Just make sure it’s clear that once you are back home, so are the bedtime rules

      We hope these tips help, let us know in the comments! Remember, whilst everyone will be excited to spend a few moments with your little one just be reassured that you can say no to visits, holding your baby, looking after your baby etc if you would prefer they didn’t!

      Parents, often mothers, feel guilty at Christmas wanting to please everyone – you only have to please your little one!
      I hope you have a wonderful and restful holiday period, however, or whatever you choose to celebrate.

      PS – Still Looking For A Christmas Gift For A New Parent? We Offer Gift Cards For Our Services And Store!

      mum relaxing at christmas wearing santa socks

      Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.


      For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
       1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.