Sickness and Sleep

Four weeks into the school/nursery year already and your child is coming home with sniffles, coughs and more! Joel started nursery and only two weeks in we were at the doctors with ear and throat infections! Autumn is a lovely time of year but those germs really do rear their ugly heads and cause mayhem.

When a child is poorly they need extra comfort, cuddles and reassurance. It is the hardest thing for a parent to see their little ones poorly and especially so when they can’t talk to tell you. I myself am guilty of worrying that Joel would pick up ‘habits’ whilst he was poorly when it came to sleep. He slept longer and shorter naps, he slept at different times, he woke up in the night and needed medicine and water, he woke for reassurance, he even fell asleep on me (never been known!) If your child can fall asleep independently and they have done before sickness then unless you introduce something different to aid them in going to sleep, they are not going to change their sleeping habits when they are well.

I am a firm believer in mothering instincts and you know yourself when your child needs you. Some things that can help during your child’s illness;

Be mindful of reintroducing milk in the night if your little one does not have night feeds anymore. If they didn’t need milk before they don’t need it in the night when they are poorly, instead offer water. Offering milk can create a comfort that they often become dependent upon and want every night following when they are well again.

Offer your reassurance; you can never comfort your child too much! If they wake in the night and they don’t usually don’t worry. Stay with them and comfort them.

Avoid placing them in your bed if you don’t co-sleep already. Introducing them into your bed is likely to make them want to sleep in your bed for the foreseeable.

Don’t move bedtime later if they have taken longer naps in the day, sleep is the biggest healer!

If they have a temperature be mindful of their bedclothes to avoid overheating. Always seek medical advice around high temperatures or if symptoms persist.

A baby monitor works really well even when little ones are well. You will feel more reassured being able to see your baby.

If your child misses a nap, don’t panic! Simply bring their next nap earlier.

Allow your child the cuddles and comfort they need but be mindful of you putting them to sleep every time.

If you’re like me and struggle with ‘letting things go’ then don’t! Housework, washing, ironing will get done eventually. Give yourself time and most importantly your child.

Laura, Babbaboo Sleep.

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