Apparently Babies and Coffee Don't Mix

Delicious coffee that I love, but my baby...not so much.

I’ve always been a social drinker when it comes to coffee. I love meeting up with a friend at a coffee shop for conversation and a vanilla latte, but aside from these social coffee meet-ups I don’t regularly drink this caffeinated beverage and even gave it up during pregnancy (aside from decaf in my third trimester).

But, for the past three days that wasn’t the case. I had one double shot latte three days in a row (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and a soda on one occasion too (something else that I usually don’t drink). Fern has never shown any response to anything in my diet before, so I didn’t think anything of it … until nap time Sunday afternoon.

Read more after the jump!

Fern woke up at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning, which isn’t unusual as she often wakes up for a quick 10 minute feeding between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. most nights and then goes back to sleep until 7:00 or 8:00, but this time it was apparent that she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and none of my efforts to get her back to sleep seemed to be doing the trick. So, we got up.

I figured she would zonk out a couple of hours later, but it never happened. She isn’t a super great napper anyway, but we’ve gotten into a pretty regular afternoon nap routine, so I figured she would definitely sleep then. So nap time rolled around and I laid down with her to nurse her to sleep … for TWO HOURS. She never slept once, and I finally gave up trying because most of the time she was in a strange, fussy state. It wasn’t her usual type of fussing.  She’d break in and out of laughing and crying and seemed really jittery, if that makes sense. At first I thought she was probably just overtired, but then I thought back to the soda I’d had at lunch that afternoon and then the three lattes over the days before that, and I suddenly knew that this had to be the connection.

I looked up information on the topic, and most everything I read said that a little caffeine really isn’t a big deal when you’re breastfeeding, but according to La Leche League, babies have a harder time than adults do at excreting caffeine, and because of this it can accumulate in their systems and lead to fussiness and sleeplessness. Bingo. I’m pretty sure all those lattes must’ve been building up for days. Poor Fern.

Luckily she went to bed without much of a fight tonight, but that was after being up for about 15 hours straight! Needless to say I’ll be cutting caffeine out of my diet for awhile.

Have any of you had experiences like this with caffeine and breastfeeding?


Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

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