You’ve put your baby on the right track for success, or you are desperately trying, and now your little one is sick!
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Now what? ?
First, babies need lots of love when they are sick. They don’t need to be “tough” or learn how to sleep under all circumstances, as some might think. Sick babies need YOU.
Many people are unable to sleep when they get sick. While most sick babies sleep better overall, they tend to wake up more often at night and during naps. This doesn’t mean your baby won’t sleep again. You can get your baby back if she was a good sleeper. You can get help if you don’t have a good sleeper.
How can you support your baby when he/she is sick? ?
1) Keep your regular bedtime and naps time.
These familiar cues to sleep are crucial in helping your child get the best rest possible.
2) Take a few more naps than usual.
Remember, sleep is GREAT medicine. We typically limit babies who take more than one nap to around 2 hours. You can give your baby more sleep if they are sick. However, it is important to remember that you must allow for enough awake time, adequate hydration, and healthy calories. If your baby has slept for more than 2.5-3 hours, trust your instincts and wake him/her up. Get some sleep before you go to bed.
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3) You might consider sleeping on a mattress in your baby’s room instead of bringing her to your home.
I’ve seen parents bring their baby to their bedroom during sickness. That’s exactly what I did. I wanted them to be close so that I could hear every word. This caused havoc in our home, I have to admit. It was easy to get the babies back into their cribs once they were more comfortable.
My fourth baby was my 4th. I had found a way to be near him but not disturb his sleep environment. The secret is to bring a mattress into the room of your baby and place it on his floor. This will ensure that his sleep environment stays unchanged. This will keep your baby’s environment consistent throughout the illness and allow you to observe his every move. This is the mattress that I used.
4) You may need to offer extra support if your baby has trouble sleeping while you are sick.
Babies can have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep on their own due to sickness and discomfort. Your baby may need more assistance, such as rubbing his back, rocking him, or picking him up.
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5) If your child isn’t eating well or has symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or nausea, you might need to give the breast or bottle at night.
This can be applied even if the baby has been weaned off night-feedings. It is vital to ensure that your pet has enough water.
Should I let my baby sleep in an elevated position if he is congested?
This is not something I recommend unless your doctor has given you permission. Although this might be beneficial for adults, it is not safe for babies. Even when babies aren’t feeling well, safe sleep is our top priority.
Unsupervised sleep is not permitted with strollers, car seats, strollers or other elevated products. It is not recommended to raise the crib’s head. These practices can place babies in an uncomfortable position, making it harder to breathe.
How can you get your baby to feel better after a serious illness? ?
First, ensure that your child is 100%. Your doctor is the best person to help you do this. Once you’re cleared, it is time to get back to your normal sleeping routine.
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Once you have implemented the ABCs of Sleep, you can go back to your plan. In 3-5 nights, your great little sleeper will return. If your baby is older than 5 months, the ABCs of Sleep will help you to have a restful night.