Noah has been trying out solids for the past few days. His uncle Jonny, our in-house pediatrician, recommended to wait for the 6-month mark to avoid allergic reactions, so we did. His first food was rice cereal, which he hated. It was more difficult for that spoon to get into his mouth than getting into the White House. We did not take very seriously the notion of him being able to get better sleep after eating rice cereal but Noah has been sleeping better after starting solids and I couldn’t help but wonder if there was some truth to the solids and sleep relation.
There is no scientific evidence indicating that it helps. Actually, I found a study that indicates the contrary: disrupt sleeping might occur if solids are given before 4 months. But the explanation is a bit simpler than analyzing scientific studies.
It is possible that hunger is to blame for your baby’s disrupted sleeping patterns. If she is younger than 6 months old, she might still be waking up hungry at night. By 4 months, some babies need 1-3 feedings at night. If you think that the only reason she’s waking up is because of hunger, then solids might help.
But that was not the case with Noah, who began pulling all nighters at 4 months. So I realized that babies are bound to add millions of variables to the mix. There might be a milestone coming up, he might be teething, the room is too cold or too hot… there are so many reasons why babies have night awakenings that giving them solids is not the only answer. My personal explanation for Noah is that he began solids at the same time as he mastered the adorable art of sitting and rolling over on both sides and that there’s no correlation whatsoever. He was just ready to sleep better. Let’s see how long this stage lasts.