22 answers

6 Month Old Not Sleeping Well After Introducing Green Beans

My 6 month old recently started on solids. He's been eating rice cereal now for a few weeks. He's had a week of sweet potatoes, and two days ago we started green beans. Well, ever since the green beans, he's been waking at night EVERY TWO HOURS like clockwork and needs help getting back to sleep. He's never been a sleep-completely-through-the-night baby, but we usually get at least 3 1/2 to 4 hours at a stretch.
Here's our typical menu:
breast milk/formula on demand all day every day.
lunch: rice cereal
dinner: rice cereal and vegetable (sweet potato or green beans)
We did cook our own sweet potato and blended it up with breast milk. He loved it. He also loves the green beans (french cut, organic, boiled and blended in the water they cooked in). I'm sure it's the green beans as nothing else has changed.
Question is, should I stop feeding him the green beans? If so, how and when do I re-introduce them? Would it help his sleep if I feed him the "new" veggie at lunch rather than dinner?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! So many responses and I appreciate every one of them! Well, I cut out the green beans and that helped. I gave him squash last night and he slept from 10:30 to 7! Hmmm. One responder said that there's no science to parenting -- and I have to agree! So we'll just re-introduce the green beans in a few weeks at lunchtime instead. Who knows what may happen? Thanks so much for all the help. It really feels good to know that we're all in this together!

Featured Answers

I'd say cut the green beans back out and see if it helps (maybe they give him uncomfortable gas?), if not, then it's not the green beans and maybe it's teething?

I have two children of my own and work in a day care that haschildren ages 6 weeks to 6 yr. I would try to switch from rice cereal to oatmeal and see what happends. Some time the rice can make them have truble going to the bathroom.

More Answers

I think that's pretty obvious. STOP the green beans and see if the sleep patterns change. If they do......there is your answer. If so, give it 6-8 weeks and try again. IF this does not solve it.....you obviously need to look elsewhere. Maybe try a different brand.

DO NOT overlook chemicals, preservatives, dyes, in any food that may be causing the problem.

Hello, B.. I have a two year old son and a baby on the way. My thoughts and questions, based on my own experience as a mom are as follows: Have you made any other changes around this time, independent of the green beans, that could be affecting his sleep patterns - change in routine, your own diet as a breast-feeding mom, sleep location, etc? If so, this could be what is causing the change in sleep. Second, maybe you could talk with your healthcare provider about/research signs of food allergies. I'm not a doctor, but this might be worth your while, since he has had such a seemingly drastic change in his sleep pattern since the start of a new food item. Also, I have found as a parent that experimentation is often a necessity when determining what works for your own child. Try offering the green beans at the lunch feeding, as you mentioned, instead of at dinner. Maybe try cutting off the green beans completely for a week and see if his sleep improves. Parenting is not a science, I have found, but we sure can share what we know and learn from trial and error. Good luck!

I have two children of my own and work in a day care that haschildren ages 6 weeks to 6 yr. I would try to switch from rice cereal to oatmeal and see what happends. Some time the rice can make them have truble going to the bathroom.

I'd say cut the green beans back out and see if it helps (maybe they give him uncomfortable gas?), if not, then it's not the green beans and maybe it's teething?

Hi, B. your being such a good momma. I have to say being the mother of 4 children ages 12, 8, 5, and 3 I have been there. My last one as I started introducing solids it was trial and error. I like the last post by Rebecca trust your instincts she's absolutely right. Beans in any form cause gas and thats what it sounds like, I don't think its teething because it sounds too coincidental with you starting a new food. Stop the green beans now. Reintroduce in about a month try some other foods that are gentler like the oranges, carrots all of that fun stuff. Oh and what fun your mashing up your own I did that with first and second after the third I tried to buy organic, but just bought beechnut cause it was the cheapest with coupons too. Good luck, sounds like your a successful momma too. Also feed him like you feed you. Breakfast at breakfast new food at lunch or dinn-dinn and see if that helps. You eat when he eats so he gets used to the family schedule as much as possible. Another tip don't do too much at a time, do one thing at a time the digestive tract can be screwy so try one thing at a time than add on other veggies and meats eventually. Oh and don't introduce a new food on the day your going somewhere special like meeting family at a function. This happened to me and the whole day my son screamed because I gave him the new food, was sooo gassy, so it ruined our good time. Hope that I've helped, your on the right track and always trust that inner voice. Good Luck. P.S. I know this is off subject, but if you are introducing juices, introduce them in the cup, he'll get used to it after awhile and down the road you don't have to break him so much from the boob/bottle he'll do it himself because he'll have the cuppy. I did this with all 4 of my kids breast milk came from breast, formula came from bottle, juice came from cup, if he doesn't get it right away or is not ready like he just can't suck or figure it out keep doing it and he'll get it. Starting at 4-6 months with all of my kids they were on the cup right after they were introduced to milk. Just food for thought.

I don't think it has to do with the green beans. From what my ped told me babies go thru growth spirts 3, and 6 weeks, 3 mo, 6 mo, nine month...I'd say it has more to do with teething, growing... The cereal and formula have a lot of carbs and sugar in them... Baby needs carbs but the same thing that happens to us as adults. If we eat alot of carbs, think about the last time you ate fast food or junk food a few hours later you are hungry again... same thing happens to babies. In other words I wouldn't cut out the nutrients unless the baby is breaking out into a rash...

Our pediatrician recommended starting any new food in the morning or after nap. I guess kids are most likely to try something new when they're fully rested. I would move the food around a little bit. Try the green beans in the afternoon or morning, or just back off on them all together. You can always try another green veggie in their place.

Hi - I recommend you stop the green beans - could be an allergy/reflux type situation. If you stop it for a while, give him another food, verify if his reaction stays the same, That way you isolate it to know if it is the beans for sure. My 14-mth old reacted to the Gerber peas in similar manner. I switched it to something else, symptoms went away then after 1 week I tried the peas again and same thing. So I was able to determine that was the culprit. Good luck.

I also have a 6 mo who I started on solids not too long ago. I am making my own baby food and green beans have been a big success. However, I wonder if they are giving your son gas. Maybe you should try a veggie with lunch to see if it helps the problem. If not, then maybe you should curb the green beans for awhile and try something else. Just don't give up on them completely. I would occasionally come back to it to see if you get the same reaction with the sleep.
I give my son three meals/day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with breast milk as snacks in between and whenever wanted. If I am introducing a new solid I will give that particular one to him 2-3 times that day. Otherwise, I mix up each meal.
Another thought....how is he doing with teeth? Could this be part of the problem.
Good luck, let us know how things go.

Could it be something else that is a coincidence? Maybe teething? Does he seem in pain when he wakes up?

BTW, PLEASE don't give your little one cereal in a bottle. Here is an article about it:


I don't know about the beans but I wouldn't think it would have an affect. When my kids were that age my Doc. gave me a hint on how to get them to sleep through the night. In the last bottle before bed, mix it with a little rice cereal. You will have to get the nipples with the bigger holes but this helps their tummy be fuller longer and more satisfied to sleep longer. It worked for me. Good luck.
SAHM of three 14,9,4 very happily married.

I would stop for a week to see if he goes back to his regular sleep habits if not reintroduce them at the lunch meal. In adults green beans can be a gas producer so he may have a belly ache. Another thing to consider at his age is that he could be teething. If you think this may be the case talk to your pediatrician about this and what you can do for him. Sometimes those teeth sneak up on you.

Same thing happened with my daughter. Changing the veggie to lunch time worked. Green veggies are harder to digest than the yellow/orange ones, even now that she's 12 months I feed her her green veggie at lunch and starchy yellow veggie at dinner.

I would stop feeding him the green beans. Try a different veggie and try the beans in a few months. They might be making him gassy. When he can move around a bit more, gas won't be such a problem.

I actually breastfed my son exclusively until he showed interest in what I was eating at 10/11 months. Then I just mushed up what I was eating and gave it to him. I never spent money on baby food.

I don't think it has anything to do w/ the green beans. At this stage kids go through different developmental milestones, including crawling, sitting, & teething. They tend to practice in their sleep & get stuck in the position & doesn't know how to put themselves back to sleep, happens w/ my daughter @ that stage & still happening since now she is standing & trying to walk. Also coupled w/ the discomfort from teething. Seems like when they finally started sleeping then they are back to square one. Her sleeping pattern has been changed since then & still not back on track.
Every now & again we will get a stretch of 5-6 hrs, but on a regular it is 2-3 & she is 35 wks. I think you should continu to feed your baby green bean or whatever else you choose. Just know that the sleeping pattern will continue to fluctuate until the developmental stages balances out.

You are answering all of your own questions. If you believe it is the green beans then back off of them for a little bit and see if it helps, you can then try another veggie (just not sweets right now) You are doing a great job, just back off on green beans and see if it helps, trust your instinct, they are usually right!!

My pediatrician always said that the green veggies were harder to digest and to wait longer to introduce them. How long, I can't remember exactly, my youngest just turned 2.

If you have just started on baby foods, I would stick with the sweet potatoes, carrots, fruits, anything not green for at least another month or until he has been exposed to many different foods. I would save the green ones for last. Good luck.

Hi B.!

I didn't have time to read all the responses you've already gotten. So I apologize if I offer nothing new!

Green vegetables are harder to digest. My brother just went through this with his little one. I didn't go through it with my son because I didn't give him green vegetables until he was closer to 7-8 months old. I actually started with fruit first (mixed with cereal) at 4 months and moved into vegetables around 6 months. I started with all the yellows one week at a time: sweet potatoes, carrots, squash. And slowly moved into the green. He had no problems.

Good luck!

It sounds like his little body is just getting used to digesting the new food. When I was introducing new foods, I tried to only give it to him every other day or so, that way I could see if he was reacting to it. Another thing I noticed with our little boy is when he was teeting he would wake up. (Most of the time though it was gas bubbles.) You could always give him Mylicon, it makes the gas bubbles smaller so he's better able to pass them)

A friend of mine had a similiar issue with her child. Certain vegetables bothered his stomach and would wake him at night. He is an excellent sleeper otherwise. He didn't act like he had a stomach ache, but as soon as she would take him off whatever veggie she was trying it would stop. You might try stopping whatever new veggie you're trying give it a few days to see if he stops and then move on to a different one and see what happens. He's now a year and she just had to slowly reintroduce the veggies that bothered him at a later date and now he's fine with all of them. Hope this helps.

Just a suggestion, but we did this with my brother who woke during the night on the advise of our family physician (my brother is now 47) and I did this with both of my children and the 10 year old I am raising now.

Cereal was at breakfast, vegetables at lunch and dinner and cereal was mixed with the formula in the last bottle or at bedtime.

The doctor told my mom to mix it with the formula, just a tablespoon or so and we had to make the hole in the nipple larger. It causes the stomache to stay fuller longer and my brother slept better. I just mixed some in a little bowl at bedtime. Just a tablespoon or two of the cereal mixture. It helped us.

Try pulling the green beans and see it that helps. If he gets better over a couple days then he probably doesnt tolerate them. My son has Eosinophilic Esophagitis and this is what we do with every food. We have to do food trials, waking at night is actually a big one with us, to let us know he is failing a food. You can check out APFED.org and could possibly get some answers or help with trialing your little ones foods and what to look for it child isn't tolerating. Good luck.

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