When we last left off on The Young and the Sleepless, our heroine was disparately attempting to wrap her sleep deprived brain around a solution to rid her life of the dreaded Sleep Bandit. She tried everything she could think of but to no avail. Finally after a seemly random full night of sleep, she used her slightly fuzzy powers of reasoning to determine the most likely cause of the Sleep Bandits temporary absence……
So was it the Vit D or the absence of decaf coffee and chocolate in my diet. The Vit D was easy to try. Her wonderful day care provider made sure that Evelyn was out in the sun off and on most of next day. That night, she did go down easier and had one three hour stretch of sleep but then was back up every 2 hours. Check that one off the list.
That left the decaf coffee and chocolate. I already knew that Evelyn was sensitive to what I ate. A single glass of anything citrus (orange juice, lemonade, etc) will cause her to empty the entire content of her tummy on whoever is holding her at some point by the end of the day (or on your aunt’s beautiful hardwood floor. Sorry Gayle!). I had seen charts showing the amount of caffeine in “decaf” coffee (25 mg) and tea (12 mg). Dark chocolate is on there too (20 mg). While the numbers are smaller in comparison to regular coffee (75-120 mg), it’s nothing to sneeze at when you think I was drinking three cups per day with the occasional piece (or 3 pieces) of dark chocolate per day (hey, it’s free at work). I might as well have been drinking a cup or two of regular coffee. I did a little searching of the internet and found that apparently this is a known issue for babies under 6 months. If fact it can be worse for people who avoided caffeine during pregnancy. Dang me and trying to be healthy during pregnancy.
To test this theory, I cut out all coffee, tea and chocolate for two days. Then took the pumped milk from the third day directly to daycare. Halfway through the second day of exclusively caffeine free milk, Evelyn had a huuuge diaper and then was a changed baby. She was more smiley, napped better and generally gave off happy baby vibes. That evening she woke only once to eat at 3:30 and then again right before it was time to get up anyway. Humph. As the days went on, the happier baby continued to be stick around and the sleep continued to go well. Yay?
To cap off the study, on Monday she went back to daycare and went back to eating the older caffinated milk. During the day she was cranky. Night time sleep, up twice. Tuesday night sleep, every two hours. Uggg.
So the conclusion is that if you have a cranky colicy no sleeping baby it may be the caffeine in the milk. Poop.
Luckily milk chocolate has very little caffeine or I might have to switch to formula. (kidding!!)