|photo courtesy of xlibber at Flickr Commons|
If you doubt me, ask an exhausted new mother, or the weary parents of a 2 year-old who still doesn’t sleep through the night.
It is common for newborns to wake frequently, being fussy, and appearing hungry. The usual assumption is that the infant is not getting enough nourishment. In many cases, the waking and fussiness are not from insufficient food, but rather from food that does not agree with the child’s digestive and immune systems.
Given that most of us would think that breast milk would be the perfect food, and some would think that a medically approved formula must surely be good for the child, few of us realize that each may cause distress, pain and aberrant sleep in a newborn or infant. Clearly, breast milk is the finest food for a newborn; but the content of breast milk is altered by the foods that the mother consumes, and can have disastrous effects on the comfort and health of the nursing infant. Formulas, even medically approved, commonly cause gastric and other distress in infants.
When foods have not been considered, nor ruled out as causes of disturbed sleep, a family often simply accommodates to the dysfunction and the harmful effect on the household, and lives with the idea that this is just a quirk of this child. As months and years roll by, the problems which often expand beyond the initial sleep disturbance, are explained by – “he has always been this way...”
Good sleep is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
If your baby is not sleeping like a baby; find out why not, and think foods.