Why caffeine is bad for your baby
August 9, 2020
When you are breastfeeding your baby, it is advisable to limit your intake of caffeine, especially during the initial period. Babies can have an intolerance of caffeine and as the caffeine you drink will pass on to your baby through your milk, it will affect your baby if he/she suffers from caffeine sensitivity.
Newborns are more sensitive to caffeine
The age of your baby also determines caffeine sensitivity. A newborn with a delicate digestive system will find it harder to metabolise caffeine than an older infant whose digestion is stronger. If you have completely abstained from caffeine during your pregnancy, then the chances of your baby suffering caffeine sensitivity are increased.
Symptoms of caffeine sensitivity
You will know your baby is caffeine sensitive if you are a habitual caffeine drinker and your baby is fussy, irritable, wakeful and cannot sleep properly. This will be distressing for you and your baby.
If your baby is especially irritable and wakeful, try quitting caffeine. You will not see immediate results as your baby takes up to a week to completely eliminate caffeine from the body.
If this helps your baby then you will have to give up or limit caffeine. Do this gradually as you may suffer from headaches if you suddenly stop caffeine completely.
Safe limit of caffeine
There is no one limit that will fit all babies. Each baby is unique and your baby’s tolerance of caffeine will decide the safe level of caffeine you can have. If you cannot give up caffeine altogether try reducing gradually and see your baby’s response. When your baby is calm and well settled with a good sleeping pattern, you have reached the safe limit for your baby. The most common upper limit is around 300 mg/ day.
Common sources of Caffeine that you may have to limit
- All types of coffee
- All types of tea
- Hot chocolate
- All types of soda (aerated beverages)
- Some ice creams, chocolates etc.
There are many other foods that contain caffeine. Check the label for caffeine and if a product contains it do not take it.
Diet is very important when you are breastfeeding. A newborn requires delicate handling and may be extremely sensitive. If you require any guidance in handling a fussy newborn or lactation advice. Contact Dr. Rela Hospital. We are a baby friendly hospital and focus of baby friendly practices to help you get on the right footing with your baby.