Biggest Misconception About Starting Solids
Updated: Mar 31
Unfortunately, the vast majority of parents who use this trick find that, even if it’s successful at first, the results of feeding baby extra solids may only temporary help with baby's sleep.
Will Solids Help My Baby Sleep Through the Night?
As adults, we know that sleeping on an empty stomach is challenging. But what we also know is that staying awake when you’ve just eaten a big, hearty meal is next to impossible.
So the notion that a little food should take longer to digest than breastmilk or formula, which will keep them feeling full for longer, and therefore help them sleep through the night, seems reasonable at face value.
Now, any parent who has a baby who isn’t sleeping well is probably anxious to find the reason why, and is likely to try anything they deem as safe and potentially effective in order to remedy the situation.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of parents who use this trick find that, even if it’s successful at first, the results are only temporary, and here’s the reason why...
Once your baby reaches a certain age and weight, (I’ll just use the 6 month mark here as a happy medium) waking in the night isn’t about food.
I’ve heard from parents who were getting up with their little ones 8-9 times a night, claiming that their baby was waking that often to eat.
Sure, baby might have nursed a little every time they were offered the breast, but that doesn’t mean that they were hungry. What is much more likely is that baby’s become dependant on nursing as a method to get to sleep. After all, if they’ve nursed to sleep every time they’ve woken up for the first six months of their lives, it only makes sense that they won’t be able to get to sleep without that familiar routine.
Should I Put Cereal In My Baby's Bottle?
In desperation, it can be tempting to listen to the advice of others who have added cereal to their 3-month old's bedtime bottle. But the truth is, it will not truly resolve your child's night wakings, and the dangers of feeding babies solids too early far outweigh any benefit in terms of sleeping. Premature introduction of solids have been linked to food allergies or chronic diseases (diabetes, obesity, eczema, celiac disease, etc.).
In North America, experts agree the ideal time to start a baby on solids is between 5-6 months of age. Watch for your baby's readiness signs:
Baby can sit upright (with support) and can hold her head and neck up well.
Baby's birth weight has doubled.
Baby is showing interest in what you’re eating.
Baby is able to keep food in the mouth.
Baby is showing signs of hunger even after a full feed
What Can I do to Help My Baby Sleep Better?
The list of things that can negatively and positively impact your baby's sleep is complicated to say the least. Hunger is only one of the many things that affect your baby's ability to sleep better. If you've tried all the tricks you can Google online but not seeing lasting results, I offer a free 15-Minute Sleep Assessment. During this call, I can get to know the specifics about your little one’s situation and you can learn how I can help with my private consultations, so book a call now and we can move forward as soon as you’re ready to get your little one sleeping through the night!