So you’ve established a bedtime routine, gotten baby onto a schedule, and your little one is sleeping soundly through the night.
All of a sudden, baby’s got a cold, or a fever, or an ear infection, and you’re starting to backslide into the habits that led to fitful nights in the first place.
In today’s video, I’ve got some advice for those unfortunate and confusing periods when your baby’s under the weather, and tips for getting them back on track as soon as they’re feeling better.Rather read than watch? Click here.
I’m gonna give you some tips today on how to handle sickness so it doesn’t derail all of your progress.
Alright, now, the very first mistake most people make when their baby is sick is that they pull their baby into their bed. Now, I get it. It’s no fun to see your little one suffering.
The truth of the matter is, when everyone is sick, we are going to have much more fragmented sleep. We’re not comfortable. Our nose is stuffy. We’re coughing. There’s no possible way anyone could sleep well and solidly through the night. So, plan for some nighttime wake-ups. It’s just gonna happen.
But, there’s no reason why you need to pull your baby into your bed. A night or two in bed with you, now she could decide that that’s the place she wants to be every night. And, six months later, she’s still in your bed.
So, if you’re really concerned about her, and you want to keep an eye through the night, then go to her. Pull in a mattress or air mattress, and plop down on the floor for a couple of nights so you can keep a close eye, and respond to her when she needs you, but not the other way around. It’s much easier to get you out of the room than to get her out of your bed.
The second mistake people make is that they start, they go back to old props. The most common one is to start feeding again in the middle of the night. Remember, you’ve worked really hard to get off night feedings. She’s used to no night feedings.
There’s no real reason to go backwards, unless, of course, your doctor is concerned, if she’s been running a high fever for several days, sometimes a recommendation is to give some sort of fluid source through the night.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be feeds. If you do that for more than three nights, then there is a very high likelihood that this becomes a new habit. And, you’re doing that the fourth night, and the tenth night, and so on, and you’re right back into the middle of the night feeds. So, if you’re going to do it, I would encourage you think it through.
Is it really necessary? Could we offer something else instead? Maybe some water? So that we don’t get back into the middle of the night feeds. Or, things like rocking your baby in the middle of the night.
The good news is, if they’re really good at their own skills, then they won’t really want you to mess around with them too much.
I can remember my middle son having basically a whole year of one ear infection after the other. He would accept a little bit of cuddles, and he would be happy to see us in the night, but then he would push away, and want to go back to his own crib. He was kind of like, okay, thank you for the cuddle, now back to my own bed, please.
So, they really won’t want you to mess around, so don’t force it. Don’t try to rock baby to sleep in the middle of the night.
Now, what happens if you’re in the middle of doing the Sleep Sense program, and baby gets sick right in the middle of it all? That’s unfortunate when that happens, but it does happen, right?
So, my advice is try to keep going with the program because you don’t want to confuse baby by waffling or going back to old ways. Try to stay consistent with it. You can always increase your comfort level, though, and this would apply to any baby. Definitely go in. You don’t need to wait any length of time.
Go in, have a cuddle, wipe their nose, give them water, whatever you need to do to make them more comfortable. Then, back into the crib to use their own strategies for getting back to sleep at that point.
So, if you just keep those few things in mind, you’re gonna breeze through sickness with relatively little upset to your baby’s sleep habits and schedule. Then, once the illness passes, she should go back to becoming that super star sleeper that she’s always been.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!