You have finally made the huge leap to start sleep training but what happens when the hard work you have put into making sleep a priority for your little one gets blown away by illness and teething?
The good news is that babies who were sleeping at the right biological times and taking restorative naps prior to being unwell might have a better time tolerating illness and teething. Another positive is, some colds can stimulate your little ones immune system to become stronger and more resilient. But what happens if some teeth are just that bit more painful than others or a cold and high temperatures are causing issues?
When your baby has a cold, ear infection, minor illness or teething discomfort, you might find yourself able to continue with the sleeping routines and settling techniques you already have in place. But when you know your baby is sick and he wakes during the night, it’s best to attend to him promptly and do whatever he needs to feel soothed and comfortable. This part isn’t the difficult part for most parents; the hard part is giving your baby the space again once he’s feeling better.
It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before you give your baby any medications, even those sold over the counter, and make sure you understand the dosage and directions. Even when your baby is sick, all the safe sleeping rules still apply; including no pillows, blankets or anything else in their cot beside their lovey toy (7 months and over). Read the safe sleep guidelines HERE.
Ways to help your little one:
- Use a humidifier or cool-mist vaporizer to clear the air. We like ‘Snotty Noses Aroma Snooze’.
- Push fluids to keep your baby hydrated.
- Use a Nasal Aspirator to help your little one breathe better. We like ‘Snotty Nose Nasal Aspirator’.
- Changing clothes regularly if your baby has a fever;
- Fever or pain management prescribed by a doctor;
- Longer Nap times. It’s vital to let your little one sleep more during times of illness, so if he needs to sleep to recover, then let him do so. Ideally, if you wanted to keep to the same nap routine, you can allow him to sleep longer during those times;
- A later wake-up time;
- Lots of love and attention from you! When your baby is sick, there’s no greater comfort than holding him close. Whether in a baby carrier or in your arms, he’ll love the attention — and it will probably make you both feel better.
When fighting off illness, sleep is one of the body’s ways of healing itself, so making sleep a priority is important for your baby, Once your little one is on the mend, you should start bringing back the regular sleep routines you have in place. Once you have healthy sleep habits established, it’s like riding a bike; your little one will readjust back to them in no time and be self-settling like a champion.
If you are struggling with your baby’s sleep after a bout of illness, enlisting the help of a baby sleep consultant can help your family get back on track. Receiving specialist and tailored help, including step by step programs, will ensure your little one starts sleeping better and will give you the tools you will need the next time illness or teething comes to visit.