In this guide I am going to focus on your baby not being able to fall asleep due to caffeine in the system. If you do not feed your baby breast milk then you can skip this solution for getting your baby to sleep.
Caffeine from sodas and coffee is absorbed by your body and can turn up in breast milk. A large coffee can provide enough caffein to affect a newborn for up to 130 hours. Due to your baby’s developing body and size only a small amount of caffein in your diet can affect your baby to stay wide eyed and restless through the night.
How much Caffeine do you consume each day?
The first thing step to take is to determine how much caffeine you actually consume each day. Each time you find yourself with a coffee or chocolate bar in the hand, write down the amount of caffeine it contains.
Now for some science stuff. The following are approximations and can vary from brand to brand as well as the amount consumed. Refer to the label for a more accurate dosage.
Various sources suggest a daily limit for caffeine ranging from 300 – 600mg. As you can see from the above figures, it does not take much to reach that limit.
How Long does caffeine stay in the body?
If I have a cup of coffee in the afternoon then I can forget about sleeping that night. My husband on the other hand can have a brewed coffee an our before bed and sleep like a baby (well, a baby that sleeps through the night).
Like adults, caffein intolerance in children can vary wildly. Babies, especially those that are under six months, can be sensitive to mom’s caffein intake. Fortunately if your baby is sensitive to caffeine, it will typically become less of an issue as your baby gets older.
As you can see from the graph below the half-life (the amount of time it takes to remove half of the total amount of caffeine from the body) decreases as your baby ages.
|New born||65 – 130 hours|
|3 – 5 months||approx. 14 hours|
|4 – 9 months||3 – 7 hours|
|Adult||3 – 7 hours|
So even if your baby is sensitive to caffeine now, the intolerance may disappear completely in a few months.
How to determine if your baby is caffeine sensitive?
Heres where I tell you the bad news. You have to reduce or cut caffeine from your diet completely.
To some, this may be the excuse you were looking for to give up that caffeine addiction. I can already here the sounds of other mothers frantically hitting the back button on their browser to search for an alternative baby sleep technique that doesn’t involve giving up coffee.
You can’t just skip the coffee for a day and expect your baby to sleep through that night. Try to go coffee free for at least three days. If you can’t give it up completely, at least try to lower your daily consumption by half.
If you notice positive results, you can either further reduce your consumption of caffeinated products or cut it out of your diet completely.
The Caffeine Cycle
If you determine that your baby’s sleep patterns are being disrupted by caffeine then you should cut all caffeinated products from your diet immediately. Continuing to eat and drink products containing caffeine you can kick off a vicious caffeine cycle.
Due to not getting any sleep from your baby you require coffee to stay motivated across the day. The caffein is then passed back to your baby through breast feeding. Your baby is restless all night due to having caffein in its system. And repeat.
You for the sake of your wellbeing cannot get yourself into a caffein cycle. If you truly treasure your sleep you will have to sacrifice your caffeinated goodies for the duration of breast feeding.
So is caffeine stopping your baby from falling asleep?
I hate to do this but the answer is a firm “maybe”. Many mothers report significant improvement in getting their baby to sleepy through the night once by completely cutting caffeine from their diet. Others noticed no improvement whatsoever.
The only way to find out is to give it a go. The benefits out way the negatives, worst case scenario, you will have to try a different method of getting your baby to sleep though the night.