Are you trying desperately to remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep? For most new parents, one of the hardest things to adjust to is sleep deprivation. It’s one of the most talked about parenting issues and can have a seriously drastic impact on your sanity.
The good news is there are plenty of things you can try to help your baby drift off. One thing you may not have considered is food. Once your little one reaches the age of at least 4 months, there are some foods you can introduce which can encourage sleep. Below you’ll discover some great desserts that have proven to soothe infants, sending them off into a deep, happy slumber. After all, who isn’t blissful and content after a good dessert?
Top Desserts To Help Baby Sleep
There are actually quite a few dessert recipes you can try to aid with your baby’s sleep. It’s worth noting that the desserts below are designed for infants aged from 4 months. If your little one is aged under 6 months, the desserts should also be blended so that they have a very smooth consistency.
Healthy brown rice pudding – Rice pudding is a proper comfort food and babies love it! To make it healthy for your little one, use brown rice instead of white. You need very little ingredients for this dessert and it works like a treat for promoting sleep.
Once the rice is cooked, add it to a saucepan with ½ cup of milk. Be sure to stir it occasionally and cook until boiling. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down and simmer gently for around 5 minutes. If it seems to be drying out, you can add a little more milk. Take it off the heat and then add ½ small mashed banana and a pinch of cinnamon. It’s now ready to serve.
As well as banana, you can also add other pureed fruits such as apples, peaches, pears and plums. In terms of milk, you can use whole cow’s milk, coconut milk or even your own breastmilk.
You can also try alternatives to rice such as semolina and tapioca.
Banana and avocado – If you’re looking for something really quick and easy, mashed banana and avocado is fantastic. It’s super-filling, packed full of nutrients and it takes less than 5 minutes to make.
Banana, chai seeds and coconut milk – This is one of the healthies and lowest GI desserts on the list. It’s also a dairy-free option, making it ideal for babies who have a dairy intolerance. Babies who suffer with dairy intolerance also tend to suffer with reflux, which can cause issues with sleep.
It’s slightly more expensive to create than other recipes, but great for a treat every now and again. You’ll need a banana, 3 medjool dates with their stones removed, a dessert spoon of chai seeds (preferably organic), ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste and a 125ml can of coconut milk. Alternatively, you can use almond milk.
All you need to do is blend all of the ingredients together and then place in the refrigerator for around 4 hours. It should have a yogurt consistency after it’s been blended and after it’s been chilled it should also thicken up a little more.
So why are the above desserts great for promoting sleep? Well, they contain sleep aiding ingredients.
You’ll notice bananas are used quite frequently and this is because of the potassium and magnesium content. Both are known to be muscle relaxants. Warm milk is also commonly used because it’s high in calcium which is known to promote sleep. It’s also high in the amino acid Tryptophan, which is a natural sedative. In fact, it’s Tryptophan rich foods that you really should be focusing on.
Why Tryptophan Rich Foods Are Important To Help Baby’s Sleep?
Diet is often linked to a number of health concerns, including insomnia. When you’re looking at your baby’s diet, one of the most important things to include is Tryptophan. Now, you may not actually know much about Tryptophan, and it’s certainly not something you hear in everyday conversations. So what is it, why does it help and which foods is Tryptophan most commonly found in?
Tryptophan is actually an essential amino acid that we need in order to survive. It is part of the building block of our DNA and it’s important in the production of melatonin and serotonin. Both of these are known to promote sleep. It is worth noting that while we do need Tryptophan, in excessive levels it can cause several health problems. So, when including Tryptophan rich foods in baby’s diet, make sure you’re not overdoing it.
Some of the best Tryptophan rich foods include:
As you can see, it’s mainly something that’s found in dairy products. If you’ve ever felt tired after your Thanksgiving meal, Tryptophan likely had something to do with it. 😉
It’s also recommended you give your little one carbohydrates alongside Tryptophan as this will enhance the amino acid’s availability to the brain. High-carbohydrate foods trigger the release of insulin, which in turn clears the bloodstream, enabling the Tryptophan to get to the brain quicker.
More importantly, protein rich foods eaten without accompanying carbohydrates can keep the brain awake. So you can see why carbohydrates are needed if you want your baby to sleep soundly!
Overall sleep problems are a common problem in babies. There are so many different things you can try to help and the desserts above could be a great solution. Just remember if you’re making desserts for babies under 6 months of age, the ingredients should all be blended thoroughly to prevent choking. Any stoned fruits should also have their stones removed.