The Gut & Sleep Q&A
This post is all about the tummy and your baby’s gut. I get so many questions around how a baby’s tummy can affect their sleep – I hope you will find the main answers to your questions right here!
Wind and how it affects sleep – does your baby having wind affect their sleep?
I am a big fan of the fact that babies need to be comfortable to be able to sleep properly and so the answer from me is 100% yes! Having wind will affect sleep. Babies are generally very windy anyway so we can’t get rid of every last bit but we can make sure that we dedicate the time to wind our babies really well after every feed. Too many people are told that if nothing comes up then you can stop or breastfeeding means you don’t need to wind: neither are true! Do wind your baby for a long time, for 5-10 minutes, up until around 6 months of age. If you fail to wind properly, your baby may be uncomfortable when they’re sleeping and, when they’re stirring between sleep cycles, if they do have any wind they will wake up and won’t be able to settle themselves into their next cycle. I believe that one of the biggest reasons for short day naps is wind!
Foods – which foods make baby gassy and will make their sleep worse?
There are different food groups that can impact your baby’s tummy and sleep when you are weaning them – check out this post if you’d like to read more about them. Food reactions can vary greatly – if anything is serious then please consult your paediatrician or GP – but some can really affect their tummy and have a negative impact on sleep, especially if they have an intolerance. I tend to find that babies who are on Omeprazole (a reflux medication) can sometimes struggle with root vegetables, such as sweet potato, so I would suggest keeping a sleep diary, if you feel that foods are causing gas which, in turn, is disturbing baby’s sleep pattern.
Don’t hold back on foods just because a baby you’ve heard of had a funny reaction!
If you’re worried or are introducing an allergen to your baby, the suggestion to give it to them in the morning – so that you have the whole day to note reactions – is really good advice.
If it’s an intolerance or allergy then sleep can be quite broken. With weaning in general, often disrupted sleep can happen and gassiness can occur. My best advice is to keep a food diary and then you can monitor any ill effects of certain foods and remember they may react differently to certain foods at different times of the day, hence why a diary is such a helpful thing to reflect on.
Milk issues and sleep – what is the difference between a lactose intolerance and a cow’s milk allergy?
A lot of people are told they have a lactose intolerance when they actually don’t – they have a CMPA (cow’s milk protein allergy). There are two main components in milk: the sugar (lactose) and the protein. Lactose intolerance is very rare and below the tummy issue – normally cramping, farting and wind from the bottom can be key symptoms. Reflux is normally triggered by a CMPA, not a lactose intolerance. It can be really confusing to understand the difference between the two – it’s important, if your baby has a diagnosis, to understand which it is and question your doctor so that you fully understand the products you are using.
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