Toddler sleep patterns can be a bit of a roller coaster. Every little thing can throw them off: a late wake up, an evening visitor, the doom of Daylight Savings Time.
Several years ago I read about a certain food that may help you to fall asleep and so I tried it. And it totally worked.
Want to know why your baby isn’t sleeping through the night? Answer these questions and you’ll find out.
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Toddler Sleep Hack
The secret food? Bananas.
Here’s why: this magic fruit has the perfect blend of natural sleep remedies.
- Magnesium 34 mg – Natural muscle relaxer
- Potassium 450 mg – Natural muscle relaxer
- Melatonin (It’s a tiny amount but I’ll take it! Another food with melatonin is tart cherries.)
I had no idea!
I started to try and give bananas to Brady at night when he was about 18 months old but we had a problem. He hated bananas. I made a compromise and tried banana yogurt. It didn’t help.
Paityn, however, loves bananas and I can guarantee that if I offer her one in the evening before bed she is going to eat it. So she does. And guess what? She is the absolute world’s best sleeper. I don’t have any of the problems I did when Brady was a toddler.
(By the way, I just got a new book they are saying is guaranteed to put your kid to sleep. Have you seen it? It’s called The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep and the reviews are incredible. We love it!)
I don’t always have bananas in the house so she doesn’t get one 365 days out of the year, no. But, it is something we do often. I absolutely believe in the power of the banana to help your toddler sleep!
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Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.
Rabia @TheLiebers says
Never tried it! My kids don’t love bananas, but they eat them sometimes. I wonder if this would work with my insomniac husband?!
Oh, how interesting! I would have never imagined. And that picture is absolute adorable 🙂 Stopping by from Mommy Needs a Timeout.
This 100% worked for me too! I had a terrible sleeper and when I started giving him bananas after dinner he would sleep through the entire night! It was a lifesaver! If I didn’t give him one he would wake up or at least be unsettled that night! God send!
My boys are allergic to bananas. 🙁
My 4.5 year old is a terrible sleeper. And I hardly doubt he’d eat tart cherries before bed. I guess it’s back to the drawing board for me.
They make tart cherry juice. I’ve heard of people drinking it straight, freezing it, or adding it to smoothies. I think they also make it into a supplement but I’m not positive. Dr. Oz and some of his guys swear by it, you might be able to find other recipes on his website. Hope that helps.
sarah jane says
my son eats bananas but if he eats one every day he gets constipated any suggestions?
Add something with lots of fiber – blueberry and bananas taste great.
My daughter also used to get constipated if she ate a banana daily. I cut her back to 1/2 banana and that was enough cutback to prevent the constipation. Might be worth a try.
Our doctor also suggested deli sliced turkey and tart cherries. He said on the cherries that could buy cherry juice and mix just a little bit in something my daughter likees. He said it doesn’t take much.
If he doesn’t like bananas or cherry juice maybe you can try the turkey.
Yes – the turkey works the same way as the turkey on Thanksgiving puts everyone to sleep in front of the TV after dinner! 😉
Candace Prosser says
I have used each of these with success. My kids are insomniacs and so is thier Daddy. I coppied the info on each from Dr. Oz…. it was funny to find them all there.
Oats contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates that can help more tryptophan get into the brain to help you sleep. It also contains vitamin B6, a vitamin which is a co-factor that helps more serotonin get produced in the brain as well. I recommend Irish steel cut.
Montmorency cherry are great because they have about 6 times the amount of melatonin than a regular cherry. If you can find a cherry juice concentrate, this will also increase the concentration of melatonin even more.
Pumpkin seeds and the powder from pumpkin seeds have relatively high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan.
My son just turned 3 this month. We’ve found that a full tummy is critical to a good night’s sleep, especially since he sleeps ~11 hours. It doesn’t really matter what he eats as long as he’s well sated before bedtime.
Totally agree! My 8 year old loves bananas and sleeps like a charm. My 6 year old doesn’t but when I occasionally get banana and milk into him he sleeps so much better.
I have a 6 month old, how early did u start. Do u think banana gerber food would work?
Just mash some regular ol banana and feed bubs that, no need to spend a fortune on jar food
I wish! My son hates bananas.
How about you just give your kid melatonin? I give it to my 4 year old most nights to help him sleep. We get the chocolate flavored ones and call it his “night night medicine”. He’s asleep within 20 minutes and sleeps all night. Otherwise he would be up until midnight and waking up multiple times. I can’t tell you how nice bedtime is at my house now 🙂
Where do you buy the chocolate flavor melatonin? I have a 3 soon to be 4 year old son who still sleeps like a new born. Up every couple of hours. I would love to just sleep one full night.
You can get gummy melatonin at most stores (Walmart, target, etc…). Tastes fruit snack 🙂
I would not recommend just giving your child melatonin without talking to their doctor first as tempting as it is. Melatonin is a hormone and can do more harm than good in your child.
It is not recommended to give a child melatonin younger than 10 years old. Natural melatonin such as in bananas is fine, but not in medicine form, unless a doctor tells you otherwise.
I’m interested in trying this with my 12-month old who wakes up every 2-3 hours. How much banana do you give in the evening & how long before bed time? Thank you!
Jessica W. says
I put a small scoop of epsom salts in the evening bath for magnesium and relaxation.
I also use the Epsom salts in my girls bath. I do this once or twice a week. I also add a tablespoon of coconut oil and a few sprinkles of essential oils.
My girls are 3 & 4. They love bananas with breakfast. I’m doing to try switching it to an evening snack.
I use lavender oil to help calm them at bedtime. I either put a few drops in their bath water or I sprinkle it on the back of their teddy bears. Since starting this, they seem to have a more restful sleep. I also sprinkle it on my pillow and noticed I sleep better as well.
I’m blessed with good sleepers (Ok…I had to force the oldest of the two boys but still) but I love this idea. Particularly since in the past few weeks I’ve had some struggles at bedtime. Being hardcore, I don’t cave and give a lot of attention to the antics but I love any concept that can help at night time. And who can argue about bananas? Great idea!
I am going to try this on my 1 year old. Fingers crossed that I can get her to eat enough grapes to combat any constipation issues. Thanks.
Omg! My son used to beg for a banana every night and he slept so good! Lately not so much and I realized we haven’t been buying bananas! What?! Maybe this is why?! Crazy! Must try!
My daughter is 2 and when we established our bedtime routine it involved nursing. Once we were done with that, we just substituted a sippy cup of milk. We have had to cut back to about 2/3-3/4 full sippy as she overfills her overnight diaper if it is full and we are beginning potty training – want to make it easier for her!
when my son was growing up (9 months +) I would mash several bananas and freeze them in ice cube trays. Each evening we would take out a cube and microwave it. We would then add oatmeal. It filled him up and he loved it. He is an excellent sleeper!
Just wanted to comment on the book, because I bought it. I won’t say it was a complete waste of money since I’ve had a laugh with my sisters about how poorly it is written. Maybe not written, maybe translated into English poorly. Fair concept I guess. The premise is to emphasize words in the story for a kind of subliminal message: “rabbit says go to SLEEP NOW”. My kid didn’t like it at all.
I’ll definitely give this a try but was told to never give bananas to kids after 4pm as it gives them too much energy and so they fidget and can’t get to sleep.
good tips! definitely will try for my toddler !!
I just bought the book you mentioned and in my opinion it’s insanely long. The author recommends you read it all the way through but its excruciating long and the only people it’s putting to sleep currently are my husband and I. ? Our daughter is 4 months old though and I’m trying to create a peaceful night routine. The book may work better for an older child who understands the story better.
Thanks for the banana tip.
Holley C says
Nursing moms know this. Best: Nursing them down. VOILA! But it’s also why squished over-ripe bananas (which are sweet like boob juice), are the best first food.
Its opposite for my 5 year old. If she has a banana at night, she is wired for a few hours. Same thing with Benadryl. We have to limit bananas to the morning or mid afternoon, to give time for it to wear off. Coffee, sodas or anything with a stimulant calms her down, so I let her have a little bit of soda at dinner now and then.
Basically just saying bananas are not a sure all trick for every child.
Tikla Millares says
I need help acctually my 5 years old son doesnt eat rice either meal he only eat crackers juice and milk for his age he is old enough to feed by milk so i want him to eat a full meal but i had a hard time making him agree with me to eat rice just rice it self no chicken,egg,meat,veg., just rice it self can any body help me i already try not to give him food one hour before lunch still no change i already try to keep his milk and crackers i empty the Refrigerator he will starve his self by drinking water
I had read about the helpful properties of both bananas and oatmeal while trying to find ways to help my baby sleep through the night. Since he was about 9 months old, the last meal of the day for him is always a cup of oatmeal with a mashed banana mixed into it. It works like a charm for me and I swear by it. If you have any issues getting your child to sleep through the night, I recommend trying this.
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How did you give the “Toddler Sleep Hack” recipe to your child? Did you blend all together and have them swallow it or did you put it in a drink or something?
Would banana chips work?
Hi, I will surely try this hack with my six months old baby girl. But can you please guide me that how many hours before should I feed her bananas before her bedtime. She usually sleeps at 9 p.m. She has been a really bad sleeper 🙁 wakes up after every one/two hours and it’s super exhausting.
Thankyou in advance,