There is nothing worse than seeing your little one ill! The days are tough, the nights are long and worst of all, seeing your child in pain makes you feel so helpless. So how do you help your sick baby sleep?

Is it illness affecting my baby’s sleep?

If your child is exhibiting some or all of the following signs you should call an ambulance or seek immediate medical assistance:

  • High temperature of above 38 degrees celsius
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent hacking Cough with a sharp, high pitched inhale of breath
  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Drowsiness or listlessness
  • Rash that doesn’t turn pale when you press it with your finger
  • Bulging fontanelle (in babies)

If you’re unsure why your baby is waking hourly through the night and think illness may be the cause, you should always seek medical advice from your GP or community nurse. If your child is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, they may be sick:

  • They are extra sooky or irritable
  • They cry more frequently and don’t respond well to your usual comforting techniques
  • Disinterested in food
  • flushed cheeks
  • Have a mild to moderate temperature
  • Pale skin
  • Rash that turns pale when you press it with your finger
  • Disinterest in activities they usually enjoy
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Drowsiness
  • In older children they may complain that they feel unwell
  • Complaints of being cold
  • Vomiting and or diarrhoea

Okay so we have confirmed my baby is ill, what do I do to help my sick baby sleep?

With so many bugs floating around at the moment we are dead in the thick of cold and flu season! You may be wondering what on earth you can possibly do to get through this bout of sickness in one piece.

We know that sleep is so integral to healing when we are sick, and it is no different for our babies. They rely on those restorative hours to help their immune system to tackle the bug and get them fighting fit again.

To nurture them through this yucky time, but also help your sick baby sleep I recommend the following strategies.

  1. Get comfy! You are going to need a nice relaxing spot to snuggle up and rest together
  2. Offer assisted naps where needed- Many parents panic that if they let their baby sleep on them, they will undo all of their hard work sleep training. A couple of days of assisted naps won’t hurt, and It will help you both get the rest you need
  3. Continue regular naps but help where needed- try to keep their routine as normal as possible during the day, but keep awake periods nice and relaxed.
  4. Offer fluids more regularly- even babies who are on solids may need extra milk feeds when sick, especially if they are off their food. They may feed more frequently but take in smaller amounts at a time
  5. Offer foods that are full of vitamins but also easy to eat- Such as vegetable soups
  6. Allow them an extra night feed (or two) if they want it- don’t panic, they will sleep better again soon
  7. Invest in a “Snotty Boss Aspirator”!these are so handy when your baby is struggling to feed and sleep due to a build-up of yucky mucus!
  8. On that note the “Aroma Snooze” with the “Winter rescue Remedy”is an absolute game changer for congested babies!

Just like everything else, this too shall pass. Your little one just needs you so don’t feel anxious about just dropping the sleep training for now and just do what you need to do to all get through this together. Have faith that they will bounce back in due course!

If you are needing help with your baby’s sleep (when they are healthy of course) head over to the services page for more information on how Dream to Grow can help you. You can also shoot me an enquiry through on the contact page or at courtney@dreamtogrowsleepconsultant.com.au

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