Why does my Toddler fall asleep while eating?
If your toddler tends to fall asleep while eating, this may be a cause for concern to many people, but you should not always get worried. Picture this, you and your toddler are snuggled up in your comfy sofa, and you are ready to give him the special meal that you have prepared for him. He slowly shifts his head away from the food, he relaxes his body, yawns wildly and then falls asleep, the food still in his mouth.
There are three main reasons that can make your toddler may fall asleep while feeding. First and foremost, you may have overfed them during the day and at a particular time when it is feeding time, they are still full, and all they want to do is to sleep, Babies typically sleep when they are full. Secondly, they may not be hungry.
If your toddler tends to fall asleep while feeding, you need not be worried since this may be a result of various factors which have been explained in this article. So, just take the time and scroll through the notes, and you will definitely find out why your toddler is behaving in this manner. We hope this informative article will get to the root of your problem after reading through.
- 1 Why does my Toddler fall asleep while eating?
- 2 Toddler sleep: Commons mistakes that most people get wrong
Why does my Toddler fall asleep while eating?
When your toddler falls asleep when feeding, it may feel peaceful at first, but then you start to wonder whether this is okay. Dr. Farooq Haider Qaisrani, a Pediatrician at Qaisrani Medical Center, admits that people often query him on whether this is normal behavior, and the answer is both yes and no.
There are specific situations when it is okay for the toddler to fall asleep while eating and other cases when it is not.
Situations when you are supposed to be worried when your toddler falls asleep when eating
Toddlers who struggled during their infant years to nurse effectively have often been observed to fall asleep when eating even when they have not gotten enough to eat. According to Dr. Qaisrani, such toddlers tend to doze off while eating after a short duration since they often get tired easily, or they are frustrated since they do not like the food and just want to doze off instead.
Parents who have toddlers that fall asleep while eating may sometime think that the baby fell asleep because he/she was full, but they are devastated when they realize that the toddler is not gaining enough weight. They may increase the amount of food given to the baby as a result so that they can remedy the situation.
The problem with this is that the baby might still doze off when it comes to feeding time. However, it is essential to check the clock and note how long the toddler takes from the time they start feeding up to when they fall asleep.
For instance, a toddler can eat for 10 minutes and get enough before they fall asleep while others can nurse for thirty minutes and then fall asleep before getting enough to eat. This is a point that you should consider before determining whether the toddler slept before they had enough to eat.
Signs that your toddler is getting or not getting enough food
There are also other things that you need to focus on when it’s feeding time for your toddler. This section will enlighten you on a few signs you can check on when it comes to feeding time. If your baby is getting enough food, here is how you can tell.
- When it comes to feeding time, the toddler will be focused, have their eyes open, and are alert to other things happening around them.
- After a short duration in which they eat at a fast rate, the baby swallows every mouthful or after a short while they begin to take longer to swallow. This shows that they are getting their bellies full.
- If the toddler falls asleep in your arms, their hands are open and relaxed or are hanging down limply. In case the toddler is still hungry, they may have a clenched fist or a tense look on their faces.
According to research conducted by DR. Qaisrani showed that toddlers who have not had enough to eat often have trouble sleeping through the night. This may be a big cause for concern since it shows that the toddler is either tired or stressed, but most of the time, it is because they have not had enough to eat.
It is sometimes stressful for parents when it comes to figuring out when to stop feeding and when to continue feeding the toddler. This is more frustrating when the toddler fails to sleep at night. The thing that you need to understand is that you need not worry about this much since it can be remedied.
You need to understand that babies are biologically designed to fall asleep at the bosom (which is the part next to the breast). You, therefore, need to ensure that they are relaxed when feeding so that they can eat enough and then slowly fall asleep.
It is clear that the babies eating position have a thing to do with whether they sleep during feeding time, or they will still be active. However, it is also noteworthy that a baby’s hormonal response to nursing is that they will eventually fall asleep. The hormones may change over the cause of the day depending on how the toddler spend their days, and sometimes the hormones may induce sleep in the evening or when it is time to eat.
Another thing that you need to consider is the cultural changes that are happening in the world we live which bring different ideas on how we raise children. Nowadays, it is often the case that most people prefer their toddlers to fall asleep alone, and so mothers tend not to hold their toddlers when feeding them. This may be one of the reasons why your toddler may have feeding problems. The toddler may not be relaxed during feeding time, and the whole sleep cycle may be interrupted so that instead of falling asleep after eating, they decide to sleep before mealtime.
To remedy this, physicians who deal with children advise that you keep feeding relaxed-for instance by holding them-even if this means that there is a likelihood of them falling asleep. You will need to observe how the toddler behaves and determine whether it is okay to feed them while holding them even if this means that there is a high likelihood that they will fall asleep while eating.
Toddler sleep: Commons mistakes that most people get wrong
Safe sleep rules for toddlers can sometimes be confusing, especially since taking care of a toddler can be exhausting. You, therefore, need to know what to do and what not to do when it comes to feeding your toddler and then making them sleep. There are two key things that you need to keep in mind regarding your toddler’s feeding habits.
These are hygiene and sleep. Although, as a parent, you may be under sleep deprivation because of your toddler’s ever-changing patterns and rhythms, it is essential to keep them well-rested, clean, and fed. There are numerous blogs and even books with different philosophies and endless reminders of what you should and shouldn’t do, but they may be contradicting.
Meanwhile, you are left wondering why your toddler keeps falling asleep while eating. So here are a few things you might not be doing correctly.
You are assuming that the sleepy toddler phase lasts forever
We hate to break this to you, but you might be worried for the wrong reason. This may be a peaceful phase that your toddler is undergoing, and it will not last forever. For the lucky parents, the toddler may fall asleep during feeding time and sleep the entire night. Enjoy this peaceful phase while it lasts.
For the not so lucky, they may fall asleep while eating and wake up all cranked up at night. All you need to consider is that the toddler sleeping while eating might be a phase in the endless cycle of patterns and rhythms that babies experience.
The position you use when feeding the toddler
The position determines how rested up your toddler is during feeding time. When you feed them while sitting comfortably on the couch, they may be inclined to fall asleep while feeding. If you have experienced this, we suggest that you try and rock the baby gently from side to side while standing up.
When using this position, the toddler will still be relaxed but will always be active, thereby reducing the chances of them falling asleep while feeding. You can also try and sit them down and not hold them while feeding. Let them crouch and crawl around while feeding so that they can remain active and not fall asleep.