Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I finally decided to start restricting my own and Baby's diet. I've often thought, and have expressed it to S and others, that her poor sleep and stressful wake ups (more the latter) are a result of a gastro issue. It just seems like it for a variety of reasons. And, I don't know, I just feel like that is part of it. So, after reading a few anecdotes online about people whose babies started sleeping better as soon as they cut out some common allergens and after thinking that sleep couldn't possibly get worse for me or Baby, I decided to cut out all gluten, dairy and soy.

A bit of background...I have a self diagnosed gluten intolerance. I don't say I have celiac disease because I don't know for sure. I may have it and probably even do have it but I haven't gone for testing. I know what makes me feel good and what doesn't so I just go with my gut (pun intended). I've been mostly gluten free for about 4 years. I was very strict while trying to get pregnant and during the first trimester. However, when I was pregnant, I CRAVED sandwiches so badly. Sandwiches on big, fluffy, wheat filled bread. So I had one or two. And much to my surprise, I didn't have the same effects! I did a bit of research and found out that symptoms of gluten intolerance do sometimes subside during pregnancy (I doubt the harmful effects go away though). So, I ate gluten a lot at the end of my pregnancy and into the post partum period. I could tell the honeymoon with gluten was over around December of last year. The symptoms started coming back and I knew I had to give it up again. (As an aside, the symptoms came back right before my menstrual cycles returned...interesting!) I've been dragging my heels on giving it up because I truly love bread. I enjoy gluten free bread a lot too but I LOVE wheat bread.

Anyway, back to my current story. Here is the run down on what's happened sleep-wise since cutting out gluten, dairy and soy for Baby and I:
  1. Night 1: Baby slept in 2 hour stretches. The waking up screaming and kicking only happened during the morning wake ups.
  2. Night 2: Baby had two - 4 hour stretches. No waking up screaming at all.
  3. Night 3: Baby only woke up twice between 10pm and 5:30am. Then woke up every hour until 8:30ish am. No screaming.
  4. Night 4: Baby slept in 2 hour stretches. No screaming
  5. Night 5: Baby had one 3 hour stretch and the rest 2 hour stretches. No screaming.
Tonight is night 6. Nothing else has changed in our sleeping habits that I can tell.
  • I have still been going to bed with her around the same time. 
  • Her napping is about the same (maybe a bit shorter some days). 
  • Her second canine tooth has still not broken through so I don't think it's teething related (still not convinced of that 100% though). 
  • She doesn't seem to have hit any huge, noticeable developmental milestones. 
  • I haven't nightweaned her and her nursing habits haven't changed at all.
I am still not convinced that it is food allergy related and not just a coincidence. If it is, however, I feel absolutely awful that I didn't go with my gut early on and test out the allergy thing.

My plan is to continue on with the restrictions for 21 days. I will then introduce dairy back slowly and see what happens. Then soy. Then gluten for Baby only (I still won't be able to eat it). I'm hoping she doesn't have allergies but at the same time I will be thrilled if I caught them.

I'll keep you updated.

Oh, and I lost 4lbs in 5 days since being on my new "diet." A bonus for me.


megin said...

Hugs to you on this path. It seems like it is certainly worthwhile to try. Both of our kiddos have MAJOR food sensitivities, and it absolutely affects their sleep. Even if it doesn't seem to affect them as much during the day.

One piece of advice is to keep dairy out of both of your diets for a bit longer. It can take *at least* three weeks to clear out of your system, so you want to have a bit of time with it totally out before reintroducing it.

Best of luck!

coastalwaves said...

Thanks for the suggestion! I didn't realize that it took so long for the dairy to get out of the system. I'll go for 4 weeks and then see about introducing some stuff and playing around a bit.

Thanks for the support :)