There’s a Reason Milk Makes Babies (and Adults) Sleepy

image credit: Instagram @chelsea_botha

image credit: Instagram @chelsea_botha

Consider this if your baby is having some sleep issues.

Breast milk contains various ingredients, such as nucleotides, which perform a very important role in regulating babies’ sleep. The new study confirms that the composition of breast milk changes quite markedly throughout the day.

The scientists looked for three nucleotides in breast milk (adenosine, guanosine and uridine), which excite or relax the central nervous system, promoting restfulness and sleep, and observed how these varied throughout a 24-hour period.

The milk, collected from 30 women living in Extremadura, was expressed over a 24-hour period, with six to eight daily samples. The highest nucleotide concentrations were found in the night-time samples (8pm to 8am).

“This made us realize that milk induces sleep in babies. In order to ensure correct nutrition, the baby should be given milk at the same time of day that it was expressed from the mother’s breast”. (Science Dailey, October 2, 2009)

If you are struggling with breastfeeding, contact Beaumont’s Parenting Program for resources.

Also, check out this valuable information about the first few weeks with your baby.

–Mary Anne Kenerson RN, Coordinator, Prenatal & Family Education at Beaumont 

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