Gut health can play an important role in our ability to get a goodnight’s sleep. It’s not too surprising really. Think about how many parents struggle with colicky infants. Perhaps you’ve experienced those sleepless nights (...and days) firsthand.
Every year, doctors and researchers uncover stronger connections between a healthy tummy and a restful night. So if your toddler is struggling with sleep, take a closer look at what’s going into his tummy throughout the day. Here are 5 simple ways doctors say you can improve gut health, and in turn, potentially help your toddler sleep better at night.
Probiotics are an excellent way to keep your toddler’s tummy health on track. Cliff notes version, probiotics are microorganisms (often referred to as “good bacteria”) that keep your gut feeling good. That’s why we add the recommended daily dose of probiotics to our NurturMe cereals and snacks. Studies have shown probiotics can help alleviate symptoms of colic and general intestinal problems in both babies and toddlers. And as every parent knows, nothing interrupts a child’s sleep like gas pain, constipation or diarrhea.
Fiber and fiber-rich foods feed the healthy bacteria in your toddler’s stomach. So If your toddler is experiencing sleep disruptions, check to see if he is getting enough fiber throughout the day.
Toddlers ages 1-3 should get about 19 grams of fiber per day, and ages 4-8 should eat around 25 grams of fiber daily. Leafy green foods, like spinach and kale, are often high in fiber and can be easily added to purees and smoothies. NurturMe’sPea, Pear, and Spinach Power Blend has a sweet, yummy taste toddler’s love and contains 3 grams of fiber.
If you’re noticing your toddler waking frequently or having unusual bowel movements at night, consider these four potential culprits: gluten, dairy, egg, and soy. These common allergens can all wreak havoc on toddler tummies which is why our products are gluten, dairy, egg and soy-free. Doctors recommend eliminating one potential allergen at a time for at least two weeks to see if stomach symptoms improve.
Ok, ok. This one is a little obvious, but the importance cannot be overstated! Sugar is not good for gut health. Period. It’s especially troublesome for toddlers. Sugar can disrupt sleep by giving your toddler a quick energy boost followed by a crash. It can also be constipating. So be sure to eliminate the sugary snacks especially later in the day near nap time and bedtime.
Not sure if your toddler’s gut is causing sleep disruptions? Doctors suggest keeping a food/sleep journal. Document what your child is eating throughout the day, and how well he slept at night. If a food or allergen is causing the problem, there’s a good chance you’ll start to see that pattern emerge. Once you know the culprit, you can make changes to your toddler’s diet that should help improve his sleep.
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