All parents know — babies love to explore and try the next foods. Sometimes, they try foods in which they probably shouldn’t be putting in their mouth. One very common food they may try is your coffee. We adults simply love drinking coffee. We drink it every day because it gives us the energy we need to make it through. However, sometimes our morning cuppa finds Its way into our little one’s hands. And then it finds its way into their mouths and bellies. Understandably, a baby drinking coffee would likely cause concern. Indeed, we all know coffee is made with caffeine which is a stimulant drug. However, in most circumstances, there is little room for concern. Factors to consider include how much the baby drank, how much the baby weighs, and how strong the coffee was. No matter the circumstances, the following article provides practical tips on handling your baby’s ingestion of coffee.
How Does Caffeine Affect My Baby?
If your baby drinks your coffee, you must evaluate how much they drank and how much your baby weighs. Babies are recommended to stay away from caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine may cause short-term symptoms like heart arrhythmias, blood pressure increases, and anxiety in the child. Your baby will have trouble falling asleep. It may even have long-term issues such as hyperactive disorder and stunted growth.
What to Do After Baby Drinks Coffee
As soon as you find out your baby is drinking your coffee, you must have them stop immediately. Most likely, your baby will not enjoy the flavor of coffee due to its bitter flavor. Therefore, they will likely not have drank as much.
If they did not drink too much, take a look at their eyes and make sure they’re not dilated. Pick some up and burp them. See if you notice any irregular activity, such as rapid blinking or crossed eyes. If any of these symptoms seem irregular or cause you any deep concern, do not hesitate to call your doctor.
In the rare case where your baby drank too much caffeine, you may need to take them to the emergency room. However, make sure to call your doctor first and get an evaluation before doing so. Most importantly, do not panic. Just take a look and evaluate the situation. Talk to your doctor and work with a medical professional on the next steps.
Once Your Coffee Crisis Is Over…
Drinking caffeine is an activity primarily for adults. Even children who have exposure to caffeine through soda and chocolate should consume no more than 100 mg/day. Therefore, you should do whatever it takes to keep caffeine away from your baby. Make sure only to drink hot coffee around the house. Your little one will not be able to tolerate the hot liquid. Also, keep your caffeinated beverages far away from your babies. Place them on tables out of your baby’s reach, so their curiosity does not get peaked. Refrain from cold or sweet caffeinated beverages like soda or iced tea. Your little ones will be more likely to drink more of these items and get sick.
All in all, use your discretion and find a productive take away from your error in allowing the child to drink coffee.
What Is Caffeine?
The first consideration worth taking is — what exactly is the deal with the drug in coffee, caffeine? Caffeine is a stimulant drug, meaning its consumption causes the body to feel more awake and alert. Drinking caffeine and moderation is perfectly safe. Most adults do so. Caffeine is so common you will find it in many other items besides your coffee. Tea, chocolate, and soda all also contain caffeine. Even green tea, which commonly gets considered as a relaxing drink, contains caffeine. The difference, of course, is how much. Coffee has more caffeine per fluid ounce than many other of the mentioned products, at roughly 20 mg/fl oz. Comparatively, black tea only has 5.2 mg/fl oz, green tea has 3.1 mg/fl oz, and Coca-cola has 2.8. The popular children’s drink, chocolate milk, even contains caffeine at 0.6 mg/fl oz.
What Does Caffeine Do to the Body?
The consumption of caffeine has relatively mild effects on the body. As much as before taken in moderation for an adult human caffeine is relatively safe. It does, however, have some major effects on many areas of the body from the brain to your stomach down to your bones. Its effects on the brain are probably its most understood and desired. Caffeine makes the brain alert and active. It’s a great way to stay awake when fatigue starts to settle it. Keep in mind though — too much caffeine can cause confusion and headaches. It could also produce feelings of irritability and grumpiness.
There are some benefits to drinking caffeine. Notably, research has found certain caffeine dosages can cause a decrease in suicide and even a decrease in certain cancers.
Some less desired effects of caffeine, however, include muscle aches, faster heartbeat heartburn, nausea diarrhea, and in certain areas, fertility issues. Therefore, it is often recommended for pregnant women to refrain from drinking caffeine.
Is Caffeine Addictive?
While caffeine does cause several physiological effects, it is not addictive in the strictest sense. Caffeine consumption causes a small rise in dopamine in the brain, but no major imbalances. Withdrawal is entirely manageable for the average person. Withdrawal symptoms generally include headaches and mild irritability, which subside after several weeks.
When your curious baby tries to eat potentially dangerous foods, you understandably will get very concerned. As parents, we all make mistakes. Sometimes letting them eat stuff they shouldn’t, like coffee or any other foot item containing caffeine. The caffeine in it can cause a variety of potential problems for them in the short-term like hyperactivity and irritability. However, you now have some more information and tips on what to do when it happens. Fortunately, since parenting is a learning experience, you now know what to do not to let it happen again.