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Thread: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    Hi Everyone,

    My 15 week old just started sleeping through the night on his own accord, a week ago. By this, I mean, 7pm to 5 or 6 (for a quick feed) and then really awake again at 7am.

    Before that, he was waking on average 3 times a night at 11, 1ish, and 5ish. He just literally dropped 2 feeds in the span of one week, I know!

    So I had some caffeine yesterday at around 4pm. It was 3 cups of tea brewed with the same tea bag which I have read that 80% of the caffeine is gone after the first 60 second brew. At any rate, I haven't had caffeine since the day I found out I was pregnant and only twice after he was born. So he awoke at 2,5, and 7am last night.

    I am wondering is it because of the caffeine in my breastmilk? Or is it because his one week of 10-11 hour stretches were too good to last?

    I guess we will find out tonight what he does but what should I do? What should I expect of him at this point? If he's gone a whole night without feeding on his own, why is he going back to wanting to feed? Should I try alternative methods of soothing him back to sleep?

    Also, since he has these long stretches of sleep now, does this mean that I need to think about contraception?

    I am grateful for your input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    178

    Default Re: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    I'm not an expert, but I'll tell you my experience.

    My son is 9.5 months, and he goes nights where he sleeps 630 to 530 and then other nights when he wakes up a time or two in the night. Sometimes, at 530 or 6 am, he'll nurse and sleep again until 7. Other times, like today, he'll wake at 530 and won't go back to bed.

    All of that to say, last night could have been the caffeine or it could have been a fluke. It was a full moon -- some people say that affects baby sleep.

    My thought is to eliminate the possible culprit and see if tonight/tomorrow/the next night go back to what you were used to.

    As for contraception - I would say yes, you should since baby's intake has gone down. Have your periods returned?

    Good luck. I have obsessed over my DS's sleep for the past 9.5 months. I just know that eventually, he'll be like my DD (7 years) who sleeps all the way through and sometimes longer than I do!
    Miss Sassy Pants 1/9/05 BF 13 months
    The Animal 5/25/11 . . . BF 15 months
    Just welcomed Flash 4/24/13 . . . getting to know each other
    Married to the man of my dreams.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,236

    Default Re: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*richmama View Post
    My thought is to eliminate the possible culprit and see if tonight/tomorrow/the next night go back to what you were used to.
    And don't be surprised if nothing changes. It's very normal for a baby to revert to night-waking, and in general when something with a baby seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    As to why your baby is night-waking again, well... First of all, remember that night-waking is normal. He could be hungry. He could be teething. He could just be lonely for you at night. He could be going through a new developmental stage that makes him more wakeful. How you handle it is up to you. You can try comforting him without nursing, and see what happens. But don't be surprised if it doesn't work, especially not for you. When a wakeful baby wants comfort and sees mom, he is almost always going to seek the breast. Now if daddy goes in, he might have a shot at getting baby back to sleep without nursing. But there are no guarantees!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*richmama View Post
    As for contraception - I would say yes, you should since baby's intake has gone down.

    Breastfeeding provides reliable birth control only when you meet ALL the following criteria:
    - baby is less than 6 months old
    - you have not had a period
    - you are nursing exclusively, no bottles, no pacis, no solids
    - your baby never goes more than 6 hours without nursing

    As soon as you violate any one of those rules, the chances that your fertility will return become much greater. And since many women ovulate before they menstruate, it's not uncommon for women to get pregnant without ever seeing a postpartum period.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,731

    Default Re: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    Just a thought-the AAP defines sleeping through the night as one 5 hour stretch of sleep. So I would suggest that for many babies of
    4 months old, sleeping 10-11 hours every night would be what is a bit out of the ordinary, not the more frequent waking.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    Personally, I doubt it's the caffeine, because that much sleep is definitely the exception, rather than the norm. So chances are he's just waking a bit more, and that's normal. But when I was breastfeeding I tried to restrict my caffeine to mornings only, and just one cup of coffee. I needed that one cup, especially when I went back to work (needless to say, my baby did not STTN), but I tried to limit to that. They say that a little caffeine is okay while breastfeeding but some babies are really sensitive to it.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    16

    Default Re: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post


    Breastfeeding provides reliable birth control only when you meet ALL the following criteria:
    - baby is less than 6 months old
    - you have not had a period
    - you are nursing exclusively, no bottles, no pacis, no solids
    - your baby never goes more than 6 hours without nursing

    As soon as you violate any one of those rules, the chances that your fertility will return become much greater. And since many women ovulate before they menstruate, it's not uncommon for women to get pregnant without ever seeing a postpartum period.

    Well, I meet all of the criteria except for the 6 hours without nursing, which just started happening last week. Before that, he was rarely going more than 2.5-3 hours, day or night. So it was such a great leap for him to go from waking at least 3 times a night to feed to not for 11 hours!

    I knew it was too good to be true because last night (we're not in the US, so it's afternoon here), he went back to 3 wakings. Oh well. The extra sleep was good while it lasted!

    So now am I back on being protected from getting pregnant? Or is it over since the rules were broken? My husband and I haven't decided what to do about contraception. We didn't think we were at that stage yet. I don't want to have to take the pill again or shots. Or maybe an IUD? Don't know if that is compatible with BFing. Have to start thinking about all that now I guess.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mamatok View Post
    Well, I meet all of the criteria except for the 6 hours without nursing, which just started happening last week. Before that, he was rarely going more than 2.5-3 hours, day or night. So it was such a great leap for him to go from waking at least 3 times a night to feed to not for 11 hours!

    I knew it was too good to be true because last night (we're not in the US, so it's afternoon here), he went back to 3 wakings. Oh well. The extra sleep was good while it lasted!

    So now am I back on being protected from getting pregnant? Or is it over since the rules were broken? My husband and I haven't decided what to do about contraception. We didn't think we were at that stage yet. I don't want to have to take the pill again or shots. Or maybe an IUD? Don't know if that is compatible with BFing. Have to start thinking about all that now I guess.
    Well, I used condoms while breastfeeding for a little extra protection, and because I wasn't ready to get pregnant again within the time frame that lactational ammenorea would have provided.

    To answer your question, I don't know. For some women, even a few nights of lots of sleep will be enough to get your cycles back. For others, they won't get their cycles back even if their baby STTN every night (this is somewhat rare, though). You probably won't know for a few weeks. So use back up protection, and if you don't get your period in the next three weeks, and you're back to checking off every item on this list, you can then reconsider. But seriously, the STTN thing is probably the most important thing on the list. For whatever reason, nighttime nursing keeps your breastfeeding hormones high in a way that daytime nursing doesn't. No one really knows why. So you can nurse around the clock all day, but if you aren't nursing at night, chances are very high that fertility will return.

    You can try to think of this as one really positive aspect to nightwaking. I know I did. My baby was an all night nurser, and my cycles didn't return until 15.5 months. The lack of sleep was hard, but I was happy to not have to worry about a period for all that time. (I always used back up b/c, but it was nice to not have to worry about a broken condom too much, knowing I probably wasn't ovulating.)


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: Caffeine affecting my baby's sleep?

    i stopped my daily cup of strong black tea even before i knew i was pregnant - just didn't want it, suddenly. and once baby was born, there was 100% perfect correlation between me having caffeine on any given day and baby being up at night (not just night-nursing, which he always does: UP, happy, crawling around the room for 2-3 hours up). still true at 9 months - half a cup of pepsi is enough to do it. green tea seems to be low enough caffeine, though.

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