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Baby's sleep and obesity

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  • Baby's sleep and obesity

    Some proponents of CIO say that babies who are wakeful at night and who don't sleep through the night are at risk for obesity and other health problems later on. I don't want to CIO. However, I am concerned that my 13 mo DD who wakes up at least 3-5 times per night to nurse and generally goes right back to sleep is not getting enough sleep (usually "sleeps" from 8:30pm - 7 am) She also has a total of about 2 hours of naps during the day. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • #2
    i've NEVER heard that! i'd like to see the research. even so, i'd rather my baby were fat and happy than thin and emotionally scarred.


    • #3
      We all know the benefits of breastfeeding and one of those is better overall health including less risk for obesity. The LLL would be an excellent group to ask more specifically about that.
      Here is a Kellymom page on Sleeping through the night It does not mention Nursing at night as relation to future obesity, but does imply the gains are MUCH more then nutritional to still permit night nursing well past one year.

      Did this comment come from a freind or family member? I would suspect defensive sabotage if I were you. Emotional scarring or obesity..... or later have your kids develop eating problems as a result of emotional scarring? What kind of choice is that?
      I know you feel like you are doing the right thing, right now for your child, this rumor should not change that for you.

      Oh by the way my 13mo old does exactly the same thing.... and my 4yr old is very fit and loves vegetables...and was never left to CIO!


      • #4
        I just thought of something.. maybe they were referring to adults and teenagers who get good quality sleep having less problems with weight?
        I think everyone should get good sleep and it does add to better health.............but......
        Babies and young children are SUPPOSED to sleep the way they do. It is healthy for them.
        Please look on this site for confirmation of that and don't try to FORCE adult way of sleeping on them. It does them no good.
        In fact, although infants can be conditioned to sleep long and hard alone, and without intervention and, hence, fulfill the cultural expectation that the should sleep through the night, the fact remains that they were not designed to do so, and it may not be either in their best biological or psychological interest.


        • #5
          I know what you're talking about. I've seen the importance between good, solid sleep and future health stressed before - often in sleep training/Babywise type discussions. I worried about this too w/ my 1st kid.

          My take on it is that when co-sleeping/BFing the baby doesn't wake fully. Rather they wake up a little, nurse and fall back to sleep. This, IMO, is way different than actual night waking.

          I ended up looking at my DS and seeing that he looked and acted well-rested. To me, how your kids looks and acts is a better sign of whether or not their getting what they need than anything else.


          • #6
            Thank you for your answers and support. I hear you about the weight issues vs emotional issues (obviously would prefer neither, but I am not willing to let her cry and I am commited to not CIO so I just wanted to know how to respond. It was a comment on a website about sleep training. Sometimes she acts like is ok and well-rested and sometimes not. I guess I take a cue from how I feel after our night together and since I am exhausted I figure she must be as well, but you may be right that she is not completely waking and she certainly goes back to sleep faster than I do. I guess the only remaining question is if they are not designed to sleep this way, why is it that some babies do sleep through the night without CIO?


            • #7
              truth be told, NO ONE sleeps through the night. we all have natural waking and sleeping cycles. as adults, we are mostly able to get ourselves back to sleep (although there seems to be plenty of people who take medication anymore to do that). some children are less able than others to get themselves back to sleep, and on top of that, everyone has varying amounts of sleep that they require. in a perfect world, i would get about 10. dh needs 6. children are no different. they all need more or less than others.


              • #8
                I agree that we ALL wake up! One of the thoughts about sleep training is that the child learns that there is no point in crying because no one will come anyway so they just go back to sleep. I see the value in that, in having the parents sleep through the night, but I personally love that my kids can trust that someone will respond when they cry.

                I read something once, completely unrelated to parenting. It was about cavemen and how it was probably really dangerous for them to sleep through the night. The article went into the fact that cavemen probably went to sleep with the sun, slept a few hours then got up and walked around, cheeked things out, maybe ate and then slept some more. If humans slept long and deep back then they'd be much more likely to get eaten. So I do think we evolved to sleep through the night. (I know my DH sure didn't - as long as I've known him he's gotten up most nights to watch some TV or drink a glass of water. Thus, I don't expect my kids to sleep through the night when Daddy doesn't! )

                I think there's WAY more to obesity than infant sleep patterns