There’s no avoiding the fact that your kids are going to get sick from time to time, and when they do, it can derail the progress you’ve made with their sleep pretty quickly.
In today’s video, I’ll list a few of the common mistakes parents make when their little one gets a bug, and how to provide the extra comfort and attention they need without backtracking on their hard-earned sleep skills.Rather read than watch? Click here.
You know, sickness is just a fact of life and babies getting sick is also a fact of life, especially if they go to day cares or they see other children. They are going to catch a cold, or they’re gonna catch the flu. And so, how do you hang on to your good sleep skills through illness. It’s tricky.
I think the main thing people do when a child gets sick is that they have this urge to bring their child to bed with them. And I get it. I mean my kids were sick, my middle son had one ear infection after another for basically a whole year of his life. So, I understand the temptation. That you’ve got this sick little person with a little bit of a fever or a stuffy nose and you want to comfort and the best way to comfort would be to bring them bed with you so you can cuddle all night long.
Now that is the biggest mistake people make when a child gets sick because that’s what they do they bring their baby to bed with them.
Now, there’s a couple of problems with that. If you’re baby used to love being in your bed and you taught them to sleep well in their own bed, now they’re gonna be really excited that you moved them back to your bed and they’re not gonna understand why.
So, if they spend a few nights in bed with you again, now they are reminded of how much they loved that scenario and you’re probably gonna have a lot of protest or fight when you want to return them to their crib or their bed. If they have no experience sleeping with you then you’re gonna have another problem in that they are not gonna sleep well in your bed.
I mean remember back to when you used to sleep alone and then you had to get used a partner, that’s a process. It just doesn’t happen naturally for people. Your child’s gonna be wondering what the heck is going on here. I’m not comfortable, right. I’m used to my own way and neither of you is gonna get any good quality sleep.
So, my advice is if you’re really concerned and you want to keep an eye on your child, that you move to them. Bring in an air mattress or throw a mattress down on the floor. Spend a couple of night beside the crib so you can keep an eye.
Don’t do it for too long. My rule of thumb is anything three nights could become a habit. So, if you sleep in there for three nights, on the fourth night your child may be expecting you that that is your new place to sleep. So, a couple of nights is really all you need to do.
The next tip is to not do anything too out of the norm. Comfort level is fine to increase. You can go in there quickly. You can have a cuddle. You can wipe noses. You can give a drink of water. You can do all these things to offer some comfort and relief to your sick child, but don’t do anything like try to rock him to sleep again or offer feeds if you’ve stopped that. Anything like that, again if it goes on for more than a couple of nights can become a habit again, or brand new habit even.
So, we really wanna hang on tight to what we’ve established. Unless of course, your doctor’s recommended you offer a night time feed, then go ahead obviously, but otherwise just don’t. Try to stick as close as you can to what you’ve already created, which is your child has some great independent sleep skills.
Most kids will accept a little bit of comfort or cuddle but they’ll sort of motion or move or point to their crib when they’re ready to go back there because again they’ve got their own skills. They don’t need you, they don’t really need you’re help and you’ll probably just confuse them if you try. Those are my best two tips around sickness.
So, again just to recap, increase your comfort level that’s completely fine. I mean a sick child needs to know that you’re there, you need to feel that you’re helping in any way that you can and know that once the sickness is over as long as you’ve held on tight and not bended too many rules when it comes to sleep, your child should go back very quickly to sleeping well again.
So, just hang on to all those great habits that you’ve worked so hard to establish and you should sail through illness relatively well.
Thanks so much for watching. 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!
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