Do solids really help her sleep through the night???

PatyFebruary 13, 2002

DD is 3.5 months old and I'm tempted to start solids early. She can hold her head erect and doesn't do the tongue thrust thing anymore but other than that I'm worried that she might not be physically ready.

Everyone I talk to says solids help DD sleep through the night and I'm wondering if it's been true in your case. She's a terrible sleeper (waking up several times a night to eat) and I'm wondering if this might help. What has been your experience? Is 3.5 months too early? I know Shelby started Elsa at 3 months - anybody else start early???

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Hi Paty.
It is a myth that solids will help a baby sleep through the night. Just plug in some key words on any search engine and the articles you find will tell you the same thing. No need to rush her.
Good Luck

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 10:51AM
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I agree!! It has been proven that it does NOT make a difference.

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 11:21AM
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I heard it doesn't work before 4 months of age because the baby isn't digesting it. It passes right through to the diaper.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 11:48AM
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Hi Paty!

Ava is four months old and we just started cereal for the first time last night, BECAUSE I WAS HOPING IT WOULD HELP HER SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT.

Like your baby, Ava is up several times during the night. Well, I have to say that even though she only had barely TWO BITES of cereal (made thick per her ped) she only was up twice last night, which is an improvement! She isn't a big fan of the cereal but we'll try again tonight. So, maybe it was a coincidence but HECK I'LL TRY ANYTHING if it helps.

Good luck and let me know if you try it!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 12:41PM
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No, it doesn't work.

In fact, it can have the opposite effect, if your baby's system hasn't developed enough to handle it.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 2:28PM
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hey much does dd weigh?? i think when the little ones don't weigh that much they don't sleep through the nite.
nyomi has been sleeping through the nite for the past week...and i think it's because she found her thumb, it's there when she stirs mid-nite to soothe her back to bed. she also i think weighs 13+ pounds. no solids yet...
it just happened...we'll see if it sticks!

i'll let you know how the day care goes...we're going this week.

love, jami

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 6:26PM
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Elsa has been eating solids twice a day for almost a month now...she is 4m now (soon to be 5m!) and the solids have not helped her sleep at all. As a matter of fact, she just never sleeps...not during the day or at night as a matter of fact. For example, she woke up this morning at 7:30 and was up until 5:30 when I finally put her in her swing as a last resort and she slept until like 6:40. Now she is wide awake again and I just fed her cereal and bananas...I guarantee she doesn't go to bed until 11:00. And I would just put her in her crib and let her cry for a few minutes...but I have a 2 year old in the next room and I really don't want him waking I don't have much of a choice here.

Good luck to you... I too am completely exhausted...I guess that is motherhood huh?


    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 8:35PM
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Couple of things about this...

Nothing will help a baby "sleep through the night" except maturity. Giving them cereal to try to do this is a well-worn wive's tale. Solids are discouraged by the AAP before six months because avoiding them decreases the incidence of allergies. Babies have very sensitive GI tracts. They're not meant to eat solids this early. As someone already mentioned, give solids before they're ready and sometimes this can backfire, cause GI upset/gas/hard stools and they (and you) will be up more. (But with number one child, I tried it early anyway. Didn't do a darn thing.)

Babies wake a lot during the first months/year because of many things...First, their sleep cycles are not like adults (takes years to get to that point). Their's last only 45 minutes long. And "sleeping through the night", MEDICALLY-speaking is considered a single five hour stretch. So if you put Junior down at ten, and he sleeps until 3am, THAT is considered sleeping through the night. And it can be YEARS before you see them do the 8-10 hour thing (and even then, they don't necessarily do it consistantly..might do it one night and then won't again for weeks...). Every child is different in this area. (Some do it very early, but I always tell new moms, don't count on it.)

Growth spurts will wake them (they'll want to eat more)..teething...gas or GI discomfort..something you ate (if you're breastfeeding)..reflux...illness...and all of the developmental leaps they go through. If they are about to 'do' something new, THAT will also inevitably increase night-waking. This would be things like rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing/walking..language development, you name it. (*If you watch them closely, you might see them acting some of this out in their sleep.)

Too much stimulation during the day (like lots of family activity)..changes in their routine because of other family needs (like having them out during naptime). Basically you name it, it can cause them to wake up.

And if it's not one thing, it's another..My 7 month old ds started to crawl, a few days later pulled himself, caught his sister's mild cold, and just cut two teeth..All in a two week period! Lemme tell you, we've had a lot of late-night partying these past couple of weeks! LOL! And it will end when he's done with it. So, sometimes it can be more than one thing going on at the same time.

With two kids, this is my only advice about sleep. You can make it conducive for baby to sleep, but you can't MAKE EM sleep. A calming routine, a calm household, a warm bath, cuddling, eating, rocking (whatever) can lull him down IF he's ready to go. If they don't want to go, ain't going to happen. Not like they have a sleep switch (and trust me, if they have one, I would've found it! I looked! LOL!).

That's the bad news (if there's any bad news with babies). The GOOD news is that this time period doesn't last forever. Blink, and they're crawling. Blink twice and they're walking. Blink several more times and they're riding a tricycle and sleeping like a log.

That first year goes by in a flash...but yes, you will have some year-long nights. And then all of a sudden it hits you that your 'baby' is not a baby anymore..they're a KID. Running, climbing, laughing, talking up a storm, playing...And then something weird happens. The woman that wished that her baby would go to sleep, now wonders where her baby went? And would he/she please slow down enough for a lap cuddle? :))

I'm 40 years old and this is my last baby. Although the sleep deprivation is really kicking my behind, I'm ever mindful that I'm not going to do this again. And considering that my first baby is going to start kindergarten in the Fall (how did THAT happen so fast??), I already know how quickly this part of motherhood is over...The baby that woke up every two hours for almost a YEAR (I'm not kidding), and currently sleeps like a rock, came up to me the other night and said "Mom, when will it OFFICIALLY be my bedtime?" I told her and she said "fine, thanks for letting me know"..and trotted upstairs, got into bed, snuggled down and went to sleep (She turns five in March).

My how things change! LOL!

So hang in there ladies, you'll do fine whether or not they sleep when you want them to. And cherish the baby time. It's amazingly fleeting...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 1:54AM
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I am so glad I am not alone in the "no sleeping issue". Kayla had been sleeping through the night and then she got sick and got thrown off. Then she started again and got her shots and got thrown off. Last week she got that stomach bug and even though it is gone she is back to being a newborn sleeper - up every 2 hours. She is 15 weeks, I work full time and am totally sleep deprived - plus I look like hell.

My doctor told me when she hits 4 months to start cereal and I have to say I am sooo disappointed to hear that cereal doesn't help them sleep.

I have tried everything to get her to sleep and it doesn't work. Nothing... any ideas would be helpful

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 8:14AM
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I must be pretty lucky - DS is almost 4 and a half months old and he's been pretty consistent with his sleep schedule since about 6 weeks old. I just started him with rice cereal once a day during the afternoon. The only thing I found that made a difference was to make his last feeding (BF)late in the evening; around 9:45 - 10:15 pm... then I try to get to bed as soon as I can after I put him down after that feeding. He might stir between 5 and 6 am but then goes back to sleep until around 7 am. Now I'm consistently getting around 7 hours sleep, which I'm so thankful for.

If you're feeding your little one his last feeding early in the evening, you might want to try arranging it to be a little later...maybe that would help?


    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 10:39AM
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I loved reading your post! It reminded me that we should enjoy the baby time no matter how tired it makes us!

I, too, am working full time and look like poop. It's amazing how lack of sleep can really get you down! I'm torn between wanting DD to sleep through the night and wanting her to stay teeny tiny!

I'm so sorry to hear that the cereal doesn't work for Elsa. I know you were so excited when she slept through the night that first time. I was hoping you were my proof that solids do work!

Oh well, I guess I'll keep her on nothing but the bottle and see if time doesn't eventually take its course. I certainly don't want to cause her problems by starting solids too early. My guess is that the "solids" wives tale exists because by the time they're big enough to eat solids they're also big enough to go longer stretches without naps/sleeping. Solids and sleeping through the night is probably a coincidence.

Thanks girls!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 3:55PM
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One thing that I wanted to add...I went back to work with dd halftime at 10 weeks. The sleep deprivation was ugly. Had someone suggest cosleeping (I was bf'g) and I tried it. It WORKED! I just whipped it out, plugged it in and we both went back to sleep. I had no issue one way or 'nother about sleeping iwth my baby prepregnancy. Never gave it a moment's thought...

I ended up sleeping with dd for two and a half years. The difference in the amount of sleep that I got sleeping alone versus sleeping with her was dramatic. Since she was such a voracious night-eater, I truly believe that it was the only way that I survived that first year.

Have never tried it with a bottlefed baby, but I do know that when baby is cuddled next to Momma, sometimes they wake, see that you're there and go back to sleep. Worth a try...They've got those nursery bottle refrigeration/warmer units that can be set up in the evening so that you don't even have to go into the kitchen. Anyway, think about it.

PS: I looked like crap back then and I look like crap now! LOL! I worked then and looked like death. I'm doing the SAHM thing with number two and look likely mostly death. So my 'professional opinion' is that no matter what you do, whether or not you work, you look like crap! ;)

PSS: Yes, everytime there is something new, it screws up their sleep. Forgot to add that vax can be big ones..lasts for days. And some kids are so sensitive to any changes that one thing screws it up can take weeks to get over. Then the next thing starts...

PSSS: So it's all about not holding your breath. This time lasts as long as it lasts and it's done when it's done. And then one morning you wake up and realize that you feel like a human being (and wonder why?) and then also realize that they didn't wake up. You won't believe it! And then the next night they wake again. But enjoy the thought of that first night of sleeping because it means that at some point, soon in the future, the all night baby party is coming to an end...for the most part! LOL!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 4:14PM
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I think the key thing to remember is ALL BABIES ARE DIFFERENT. What works for one might not work for another. With most things there is no harm in trying, and there is a lot to be said for mothers instincts. My son slept through the night from 6 weeks so I can't comment directly on your question. He did however, seem to have a change in personality at around 12 weeks, where he became very grumpy and unsettled. I decided to start him on solids against the advice of my health work. The result - I had my happy content little baby back again.

Do and try what YOU feel YOU are happy with. It is your sanity which is at stake after all.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 4:26PM
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