So, as soon as I removed gluten from my diet, things got really rough. Daniel went from sleeping ok at night (waking 2-3 times), to waking every 1-2 hours all. night. long. I knew it was something I was eating, but it's hard to figure these things out when you're so massively sleep deprived!
I walked through my days feeling like a zombie. Daniel had no other symptoms except these night wakings. Having had two other babies before, I knew this wasn't normal. Babies need sleep, and even healthy newborns typically go one long stretch (4ish hours) at night. He was crying hard every time he woke up, would nurse for just a few minutes, then go back to sleep.
When it got worse as soon as I removed gluten, it made sense that the wakings were caused by something I started eating more of. After keeping a food diary for just a few days, it was clear what I was eating a lot more of.
If you've eaten a gluten-free diet before, you know that corn shows up a lot. It's gluten-free and cheap, so what's not to love? Well, it turns out that corn causes problems for a lot of people. Whether that's because it's just hard to digest or because we eat so much of it, I'm not sure. But it sure did cause some problems for us.
From reading in mom forums and groups, I've found that it's common for the reactions to corn that babies and children experience are largely related to excitability and mood. Common reactions to corn are:
inability to fall asleep easily
frequent and strong mood changes (giggling to screaming mad in the drop of a hat)
Eczema and other skin rashes are also very common.
Of course I immediately stopped eating all obvious corn, and slowly pulled some of the hidden corn from my diet. Y'all. Four days of a corn-free diet and Daniel started sleeping a 4 hour stretch at night. I felt like a new woman! He was 5 months old when we did this. As I started to get more sleep and be able to think clearly, I got really aggressive about how to get rid of these food sensitivities.
Because this isn't normal, y'all. A baby shouldn't react to normal foods through his mother's breastmilk. I just knew there had to be a way to fix this. We had to heal our guts.