Breastfeeding Sleep

No Sleep, Caffeine & Breastfeeding

I’m a sleeper. In a perfect world I could sleep ten hours at night and nap everyday. I also pride myself on having children who sleep good. My older two always napped well, were maybe up once in the night to eat, but slept through by their first birthday. My six year old will still take a nap on his own if he’s tired and admits he’s kind of nervous about first grade where there is no rest period. But baby P’Diddy? He doesn’t like to sleep. The reasons that always go through my head are:

1) He’s still little and hasn’t figured things out yet
2) He’s breastfeeding (my other two weren’t by this point) and on no schedule
2) He does not want to miss out on anything
3) He has to much energy and doesn’t need as much sleep
4) He got 6 teeth in his first 5 1/2 months

 But being up for hours in the middle of the night? WHY? Not taking a good nap the whole day? GEEZ!

This does not happen everyday, but often enough that I complain and whine and wonder what I’m doing wrong. Then one evening Hubby said, “maybe you are drinking to much caffeine” Hmmmm….

My research began. I start with Google but it instantly takes me to – one of the top websites for breastfeeding support. I should have known. It’s a great resource and I’ve spent a lot of time there already.

The first line that jumps out at me “Caffeine is approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in breastfeeding mothers. Most breastfeeding mothers can drink caffeine in moderation” Phew! But I keep reading because I am not one who believes everything medical societies have to say.

“Babies whose mothers avoided caffeine completely during pregnancy seem to react more to caffeine in mom’s diet.” Well I AM drinking more. I would drink a few soda pops a week during pregnancy and now I was drinking one or two a day. “A baby who is being overstimulated by caffeine is a wide-eyed, active, alert baby who doesn’t sleep for long. He may also be unusually fussy.”  BINGO!

I’m happy that I may have found my answer! Maybe I can get some sleep again! I decide that maybe I should read the whole page word by word instead of sentences that jump out at me.

I find the article goes against my idea that it is probably caffeine affecting him. Not that caffeine may not effect a baby, but probably not in my case because I don’t drink enough of it. They have a great chart that shows how many ml of caffeine a drink has in it. A can of soda pop or two is not enough to matter. Plus, after consumption it would affect a baby most after about an hour and dwindle down in the next couple hours. We were staying up for hours at night so this couldn’t be it could it? Another fact I learned is that caffeine will affect a newborn more and by the time they are six months old it shouldn’t be much of an issue. We are right at that point.

I stopped drinking my soda pop past the lunch hour. I began bragging to Hubby that P’Diddy got up at the same time each night to nurse and then woke up each morning the same. Three nights in a row! It’s a miracle! He’s finally getting it! I got cocky and had a Dr.Pepper last night. Guess what? We were up for two miserable hours last night from 3-5am. A coincidence? I don’t think so. What do you think?


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  • It is so hard to know what causes them to be up at night or to be fussy sometimes especially when you breastfeed because it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause (especially in your diet). I hope you found the cause so you can get a little more sleep! It sounds like you may have:) I bf both of my little girls so I was the one up with them and those sleepless nights were sometimes rough.
  • Hmm... I don't know - definitely sounds like the soda affects him if you tested it out for 3 days like that... I drink caffeine in coffee ONCE in awhile and I can't tell if it affects my baby... Mine still gets up 2x a night to eat, but will fall right back asleep afterwards so... I guess while he's not sleeping THROUGH the night, at least he doesn't fuss... sigh, I dunno - probably keep trying to avoid caffeine if it worked those other times? :) Good luck!
  • Hmm this is interesting... He may be one of the few that caffeine really affects. I do have to ask are you co-sleepers? I am a firm believer that with co-sleeping (I know most people are against it) babies sleep better. It's just a thought...
  • Good question Amanda! Though I am a full supporter of co-sleeping we do not do it. This is actually a great idea for a post for me - just explaining why we don't because most crunchy moms do!
  • I'm curious, have you stayed away from caffeine and has it continued to work? Following you from Cloth Diapering Bloggers!Jennie
  • I have been staying away from it in the evenings and I have to say lately he has been sleeping longer stretches - up to 7 hours! Do I know if it's the lack of caffeine? No I don't but I think I'll continue to not drink it for awhile. :)

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