Several pediatricians, especially those in Dr. Sears’ camp, suggest that one of the leading causes of baby sleep problems may be food allergies. They especially suggest considering a food allergy as a likely suspect of your baby’s sleep problems if baby is restless for a significant part of the night and has gas.
If you suspect your baby may be having a food allergy and you are feeding her formula, the solution is often quite simple. You can try switching to breastfeeding or you can try a different formula. In either case, you should be prepared to give the switch at least a week, and preferably two weeks, to see if the change in diet is helping your baby.
If you are breastfeeding, your baby may be having an allergic reaction to something you are eating or drinking. The most common culprit is cow’s milk. Eliminate cow’s milk from your diet for a couple of weeks and see if your baby sleeps more peacefully. Of course, if you eliminate cow’s milk, you will need to supplement your calcium intake by either switching to goat’s milk or buttermilk or by taking a calcium supplement.
Other foods you may be eating which could be causing baby to have problems sleeping include nuts, eggs, corn, soy, or wheat products. Unfortunately, figuring out exactly which food is causing the problems for your baby is a bit f a guessing game. In most cases, your best bet is to eliminate one food at a time, for a week or two at a time. If baby’s sleep improves, you have probably found the problem.
Of course, food allergies are only one of several things which can cause your baby to have difficulty sleeping. If your baby is having excessive trouble falling asleep or if the amount of sleep she is getting isn’t within the normal range for her age, consider consulting her pediatrician.
While food allergies are not the only cause of baby sleep problems, they are one of the most commonly overlooked problems. You should consider food allergies to be a possibility if your baby has trouble sleeping and constant gas.