Poor Sleep Affects Baby’s Eating Habits and Digestion | Lullaby Earth Blog – LullabyEarth.com

Poor Sleep Affects Baby’s Eating Habits and Digestion

poor sleep affects baby's eatign habits

By Jenni June Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, CLC and mom of 4!

Did you know the best way to help improve your baby’s eating and nursing habits beyond the age of four months old is to improve the quality and quantity of their sleep?  

Many parents, and even well meaning pediatricians, don’t realize that when sleep continues to be fragmented for multiple middle-of-the-night feedings (beyond the point that a healthy, baby’s nighttime circadian rhythm fully develops), sleep deprivation sets in very quickly. Fragmented sleep creates sleep deprivation just as much as prolonged wakefulness does.

When humans, even little humans, are chronically deprived of sleep, it elevates stress levels to chronic states. This often triggers the stress response system to operate in fight-or-flight mode for prolonged periods of time, beyond what is healthy and normal, throwing homeostasis off kilter. We know the result of this for older children and adults is typically obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, gastro-esophageal reflux, liver disorders and even colorectal cancer, according to a study published in World Journal of Gastroenterology (2013). [1]

Poor Sleep Affects Baby’s Eating Habits and Digestion After carefully evaluating the thousands of infant sleep training cases I have worked on over the years, I began to notice a very clear common thread and pattern with babies age four months to twenty-four months old. Children of this age, who are chronically sleep deprived tend to engage in lighter, more snack-like feedings at the breast or bottle, and it seems they experience increased, more dramatic spitting-up. It also appears that they tend to struggle with acid reflux beyond age four months, along with excess gas, upset tummy, constipation, diarrhea, resistance of solid foods beyond age seven months, and are often underweight. However, after about day four or five into the sleep training process, using my 4 Pillars of Sleep HygieneTM (in combination with a properly matched behavioral sleep training method, if needed), parents were reporting that the severity of all of these issues were alleviated dramatically! Their once picky, light and snacky eater that they had to practically chase around with bites of food, or force feed and feed around the clock, because they were so underweight, began taking heartier more focused feeds at the breast, bottle, and during solid food feedings during the day. And, get this! They were able to digest these larger intakes of milk or food a lot better. This, in turn, helped parents to press on with the struggle of jumping out of their part in the vicious cycle they were previously caught up in with compensating for the poor daytime eating and nursing habits (i.e. continuing to fragment their child’s sleep with the “all-night open bar” throughout the night to get them to consume more calories in a 24 hour period). Parents began to trust in the natural process of allowing the power of the sleep hygiene to consolidate sleep at night, since it was clearly helping to consolidate calories during the day and improving their child’s overall nutrition, eating, and digestion habits, without any effort at all.  

baby's eating habits

I want to add a word of caution, however. Behavioral sleep training methods alone will not provide these results.  Your chosen method must be combined with a developmentally appropriate sleep hygiene plan, the science-based foundation of sleep. The purpose of good sleep hygiene is to kick-start a baby or child’s natural melatonin production, and to signal to the brain and body that sleep is about to come. This ensures that you are laying your little one down to sleep within that delicate window when that powerful sleep hormone is plentiful at sleep onset, and in an environment that supports it. When you do this, you are enabling your baby to experience the slow wave components of their sleep cycles, which also ensures that they will not feel hunger or even teething pain throughout their long consolidated period of night sleep. On the other hand, if sleep hygiene is poor, we do feel such things as hunger or pain. If fact, poor sleep quality may exacerbate a problem.

So, if you’re asking me what comes first, “the chicken or the egg?” (the meals or the sleep), when needing to improve nutritional health and eating habits for your baby and child, I believe the answer is sleep: Everything else will then fall into place!

[1] Ali, T., Choe, J., Awab, A., Wagener, T. L., & Orr, W. C. (2013, December 28). Sleep, immunity and inflammation in gastrointestinal disorders. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 19(48). doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i48.9231

 

About Jenni June:


jenni june Jennifer Metter, founder of Jenni June™ LLC, is a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, specializing in pediatric and adult sleep hygiene; A Certified Lactation Counselor, Host, Nationalspeaker, and Mom of 4!

With thousands of successful sleep cases under her belt since 2011, she is a valuable resource for everyday and celebrity parents all over the country, including Guiliana and Bill Rancic for the Style Network! And, she is the sleep training expert on The Doctors TV show! She is a practitioner member of the National Sleep Foundation and collaborative health care provider as a certified sleep coach for infants, children and adults for the Breathe Institute, and the go-to sleep trainer for LA’s top pediatricians!

Jenni is also a popular national speaker and guest on CBS, FOX, NBC news and the host of series, “Baby Care with Jenni June” and the resident sleep expert for the BabyLeague and FamiLeague Networks.

If you were to ask Jenni why she has joyfully dedicated her entire life to building up and equipping families (including her own, who are now all grown!), she will tell you, “Because the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” She is gifted in encouraging new parents to raise the standard of their significance.

Tags: Jenni June, sleep

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Do I need a Waterproof Pad on a Waterproof Mattress?

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You ask, we answer!

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1.) Prevents Bacteria

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Have more questions about our waterproof crib mattress or waterproof pad? Ask us in the comments!

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For more and more working parents, work-life balance is becoming even more desirable. You don’t want meetings to take precedence over soccer games and you don’t want to pause playtime to answer an email. In the same accord, you don’t want your work to suffer either.

It is possible to not only work and parent, but also succeed at both! We spoke to three of our very own working parents to see  how they manage maintaining success in their career and still enjoy quality time with their children.

 

You don’t have to be at every event...just the big ones

You are a parent. Your kids are the most important thing to you. So even as a working parent, you want to be there for every practice and event. Don’t hold yourself to that standard because not even stay-at-home parents do. To lessen the load, don’t be afraid to be picky about what you attend.

If you follow this advice, you won’t have to constantly worry about leaving work on time, and you will still be there for the occasions that count.

 

Multitask your preparations

Since mornings are no doubt chaotic and daytime is out of the question since you are working, after work is your best bet for getting your kids bags all assembled and their lunches packed. As a working parent, this may be your time to focus on the kids, but don’t forget to prepare yourself as well so you aren’t scrambling at work the next day. 

“Pack your own lunch the night before, too! I can get focused on making sure the kids needs are taken care of that I neglect myself. When you’re packing kids lunches, don’t forget yours as well,” Hilary T. says.

 

When you have time for outings, make them as stress-free as possible

No matter where you work, it’s bound to be stressful at points. That’s why when you have time with your kids, you don’t want that to carry on during these moments. When you find time outside of work to enjoy the zoo with your kids or take them shopping, try to set aside just a few minutes beforehand to pack a bag.

“Pre-planning is important. Have food and things ready for kids anywhere you are going to go,” Arin S. says.

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Embrace the little moments

As a working parent, time with your little ones is precious. Even when with them, however, it’s normal to get stressed about work. To truly balance parenthood and career, you need to take active steps to be fully in the moment for both.

“I don’t use my phone while I’m playing with them unless it’s to take a cute picture. We also have dinner together every night,” Jaime R. says. 

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How do you balance family life and being a working parent? Let us know in the comments!

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MADE SAFE is...

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See our Made Safe Certification.

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When is the right time to transition a toddler?

 

Unlike many other toddler transitions, there isn’t an exact “right” time to make the toddler bed change— but there are several safety factors that are important to consider. The general rule is to make the transition before your child is able to climb out of the crib because that can lead to injuries. Typically, toddlers are able to climb out of the crib when they reach 35-37 inches, and most parents choose to make the transition between ages 2-3.

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Lower the mattress to the floor.This prevents your child from climbing and falling.

Turn the crib around. Be sure the side with the higher bars faces outward. This makes it more difficult for children to escape.

Baby-proof the surrounding areas. One of the most common issues parents face during this time is wandering. When children are able to climb out of the crib, they will. Make sure their room and the surrounding rooms are safe, just in case.

 

How can we make the toddler bed transition go smoothly?

 

Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee an easy toddler bed transition, but there are a few strategies you can try!

Make it a big deal. Kids are always in a rush to grow up, aren’t they? Use that to your advantage. Play up the fact that this is a step toward your child becoming a “big kid,” and they will be more motivated to make it work.

Emphasize independence. As kids get older, they crave independence and responsibility. Explain the importance of changing beds by stressing the fact that you trust them to be more independent. It’s also a good idea to include your child as you set up a sleep schedule and create bedtime rules. Work together to figure out a time to go to bed. Ask your child which activity they want to do before falling asleep (reading, talking, etc.). When children feel like they are part of the decision-making, they are more likely to cooperate for a positive result.

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2. Go Out and Have Adventures.

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3. Set Up a Chore Chart.

Not only will this help you keep the house clean, but it also teaches children about responsibility and accountability—two very important aspects of thriving in the classroom!

 

4. Take Time Away.

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5. Get Excited!

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Tags: kids, parenting