You likely want to get your infant to sleep through the night. Help facilitate this by bringing your baby to the breast more often (e.g. every 2 or more hours) in the early evening helps your baby store up on much needed calories so if they are ready to sleep a longer stretch they will be able to achieve this. The hind milk, which makes up more of the proportion of breast milk in the afternoon/evening, is made from rich fatty milk that has lots of calories to help sustain longer sleep for infants. Introducing formula and/or solids has not been shown in research to help with sleep.
Feed your infant at night in a dimly lit room, change his or her diaper and put them back to sleep. Help your infant sleep better by getting outside for a walk during the day and conduct daily activities in a brightly lit room. Most babies learn to decipher day from night in the first month. After this time, they can be put for their naps in a dark room during the daytime for better sleep.
Infants need to continue to feed at night. Children are not all the same when considering feeding patterns therefore some may feed more frequently and others may sleep longer. The overall goal recognized in research is that children should be sleeping a long sleep trajectory (6 hours of sleep) by 5 months of age. This is not to say they should not feed at all during the night, but that they are sleeping for a longer stretch and then feeding and sleeping, feeding etc… Babies may continue to need to feed at night past the age of six months. Contact us to ensure you are meeting your baby’s nutritional needs before changing feeds as part of sleep training.
Research indicates no difference in a baby’s sleep patterns when comparing those that ate solid food to babies not eating solid foods before bedtime. Early introduction to solid foods is not recommended by Health Canada before the age of 6 months. You can introduce solid foods between the ages of 4 to 6 months depending on your baby’s readiness to eat. Most guidelines suggest introduction of solids (complimentary foods) by 6 months of age. Contact a SleepdreamsTM sleep consultant to find out more about feeding as it relates to sleep help for your child.
It is critical in the early months for a child’s normal growth and development to get the nutritional intake that they need. Before 6 months of age you should be responding to your child's needs - they need you and its possible they are hungry! The fatty (hind milk) in breastmilk is key to brain development. Feeding plays such an important role in the healthy development of your child and is important when addressing sleep goals. Trust in a professional paediatric health expert at SleepdreamsTM to get the appropriate advice around feeding and sleep.