Nutrition: food for a good sleep
What should you give to baby to eat before bedtime?
Among the important things for good quality sleep, in addition to bedtime rituals, is a satisfying meal that is easy to digest. Obviously, such a meal, usually in the form of a purée or very milky cereal, should not contain added sugar.
After the 4th- 6th month, a purely milk diet is gradually replaced by a more varied diet, with the introduction of cereals, as recommended by the Pediatric Nutrition Research Institute. However, you may not be sure about what type of cereals to give your baby to encourage a good night’s sleep.
Can a satisfying, easy-to-digest meal help baby to sleep well?
In the evening, a milky cereal porridge is recommended. The milk provides baby essential, easy-to-digest proteins, whereas the cereals provide energy. Whole grains help ensure that baby’s body will have all the energy needed for the whole night, so that they won’t be awakened by hunger. It helps to ensure a good night’s sleep and a pleasant morning.
You should also be attentive to baby’s signals. For dinner, make sure they are not too tired and that they do not fall asleep (or almost) during dinner. To have a good night, baby must eat until they are full in a calm environment. During the day, let them spend their energy and plan breaks to cuddle your little one so that they will be able to more easily sleep alone at night.
When the baby’s diet is varied, night feedings are no longer unnecessary. Baby must be able to sleep through the night without being awakened by hunger. For this, they need a balanced diet throughout the day, including a dinner that fulfills their dietary requirements.
Should I feed baby at night?
Each child has their own rhythm for sleeping and eating according to their own needs. During the first weeks of life, newborns do not differentiate between day and night. They can’t remain for a long time without food. In their mother’s body, they could eat at any time of the day or night. So it is pretty much a given that, at least in the first weeks, baby wakes up at night and asks to be fed.
If you give baby formula an early age, you can share the task of the night bottle with your partner. You can also do this even if you are breastfeeding, if you pump your milk for the night and leave it in the fridge (not more than 12 hours).
From 3 months, baby can go for longer periods of time without food and therefore sleep longer at night than during the day. From 2 years, children do not need to eat at night because their eating patterns are usually established.