Babies who are fed morning milk in the evening might have a more difficult time falling asleep.
We all know the benefits of breastmilk. Breastmilk is specifically tailored for your baby. Your baby's saliva tells your body what nutrients they need and what your body should create. Breastmilk is filled with antibodies given from mother to baby so children who are breastfed are less likely to get sick. It really is an amazing thing! A new study on breastmilk has shown that the milk changes throughout the day. The milk that is produced in the morning is different than the milk that the mother will give their baby in the evening.
Researchers have shown that breastmilk can help children get on a schedule because the baby will be able to tell time based on the type of milk that they are given by the mother. Milk that is produced during the day is filled with activity-promoting amino acids. Levels of cortisol (a hormone that promotes alertness) are three times higher in morning milk than in evening milk. Milk that is produced in the evening has Melatonin in it which helps with sleep and digestion. Night-time milk contains higher levels of certain DNA building blocks which help promote sleep. At about noon, iron in the milk is at its peak. In the evening, Vitamin E is at its highest. Minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium and, sodium are all highest in the morning.
When babies are born they do not naturally have a clock. They don't understand the difference between night and day. Soon they start picking up cues based on the sun and dark. However, researchers believe that babies who are breastfed can be put on a schedule quicker if they are eating the milk directly from mom, or recently pumped. However, the experts in the study believe that children might struggle sleeping if they are being given morning milk in the evening. Many mothers pump due to convenience, or work, and therefore they are giving their child milk that has been previously pumped. Mothers will just grab the next available bottle of milk, heat it up, and then give it to their child. Researchers believe that this might actually be confusing their baby.
If pumping mothers want to help their child stay on a schedule then they should make sure they are not giving their morning or day time milk during the evening. Morning or daytime milk might confuse your baby and have them thinking they are supposed to be alert and attentive when in all actuality they are supposed to be going to sleep.