Foods to Help Your Baby’s Sleep

A healthy diet and solid sleep are two of the most important factors for your baby’s development, and chances are you spend a lot of time trying to ensure your little one gets both. Fortunately, these two important tasks can go hand in hand. Serving up the right foods during the day and before bed can help promote good nutrition and sound sleep in your new baby or toddler. Follow these tips for sleep success.

Consider the timing: Late dinners may be unavoidable once in a while, but for the most part, try to serve this meal a few hours before your new baby goes to bed. A very full stomach at bedtime may be uncomfortable as your little one’s body will need to work harder to digest the food.

Make room for milk: Not only does milk contain calcium for strong bones, it also has tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a natural sedative. Milk is a natural sleep-friendly food, so breast- or formula-feed your new baby in the early evening or give your toddler a glass of milk with dinner.

Bland is best: Skip foods high in acid, like citrus or tomatoes, right before bed, along with dishes that are fried or heavy. These may cause reflux in your child and interrupt a good night’s sleep.

Nix the soda: Soda should be considered a very occasional treat, and not only because it often contains sugar. Some sodas have large amounts of caffeine, a stimulant that can inhibit sleep. Water and milk are the healthiest beverages by far for your little one.

Skip the sweets: Nearly every tot loves chocolate, but this treat also contains a small amount of caffeine. Bypass the candy at night and choose a piece of fruit instead.

Making dinner for your new baby or toddler is challenging enough, but if you take a little time to think carefully about sleep nutrition, you’ll be able to send your tot off to dreamland with confidence.