There are a lot of tough decisions to make when it comes to raising a child, but one of the most difficult may be deciding whether or not to let your sick baby sleep with you. On the one hand, sleeping close to your child can provide comfort and promote healing. But on the other hand, there is the risk of passing on your illness to your child or exacerbating their condition. So what’s the right thing to do? Here are some factors to consider.
Do Babies Feel Lonely When Sick?
When a baby is sick, they often have decreased energy and appetite and may be unable to do the activities they love. This can be incredibly frustrating for babies and make them feel lonely. Health professionals suggest that parents offer comfort and reassurance whenever possible to help combat these feelings of loneliness. It’s also important to stay positive to keep the flow of positive energy in the house stable.
Encourage your baby to stay awake and actively engaged with a favorite activity, like playing or reading books, taking walks, or even having animated conversations about their feelings or creative projects. Doing things together while the baby is restricted by illness can help keep the sense of companionship alive that has been so strong throughout your time together.
Read more: Should I Let My Sick Baby Sleep With Me?
Should I Let My Sick Baby Sleep With Me?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as circumstances may vary depending on the situation. Ultimately, you should make a decision based on your evaluation of the risks and benefits of sleeping together while your baby is ill.
For children sleep for instance, if your child is exhibiting signs of a contagious illness, it’s probably best not to sleep together until they have recovered. If you decide to let, them sleep in bed with you, keep their head elevated, so they don’t breathe in any of your germs. Additionally, avoid letting them snuggle too close for extended periods and take extra caution when getting up during the night. This is why sleep training is important.
Consider getting your kids extra-cozy blankets, giving them extra spoonfuls of soup, or cuddling in a rocking chair together while they rest. No matter how you choose to care for your child during their illness, it’s essential not to forget the importance of taking good care of yourself.
Self-care is essential when it comes to being a parent and providing practical support for your baby. Ultimately, follow both your heart and your head when making this decision. Making sure you and your child are healthy should always be the priority.
How to Help Your Sick Baby Sleep Better?
Helping your sick child catch some much-needed rest can be a daunting task. These tips can make it a little easier:
Keep Their Room Dark, Quiet, and Cool
If your baby is feeling under the weather, providing them a good night’s sleep can help their bodies heal faster. To create a calming environment conducive to sleep, keep their room dark, quiet and calm.
Dimming the lights will reduce visual stimulation and induce comfort and relaxation. If possible, eliminate background noise by turning off the TV or playing soothing music at a low volume.
Lastly, setting the thermostat to a temperature between 70-73 degrees Fahrenheit will help keep your little one comfortable throughout their slumber. If things persist get in touch with a certified pediatric sleep consultant.
Give Your Baby a Warm Bath Before Bedtime
Nothing soothes a baby like a warm, cozy bath! Giving your sick baby a warm bath before bedtime helps to relax their little body and mind, allowing them to drift off to sleep. You can use an infant thermometer to ensure the water is not too hot.
After their bath, massage their back or feet with calming lavender-infused lotion to help lull them into child sleep. It’s essential to keep the child’s room very dark and quiet when they are ready to fall asleep; this will help your precious little one drift off sooner and get the rest they need for recovery. This will also help during a cold and flu season.
Offer Them a Soothing Massage Before Bed
Putting a sick baby to sleep is not easy. Massaging your baby can help to reduce their stress, soothe them and provide crucial sensory stimulation before you lay your kid in her bassinet. But before your baby goes to their own bed too, a massage can also be a great way to calm them and help them drift off into dreamland.
Just a few gentle strokes of your baby’s arms and legs, combined with gentle rocking and some quiet shushing sounds, will have the whole bedtime routine and nighttime feeling like a cloud-nine spa night – for both mommy and baby! Before long, you’ll have lowered the lights, turned off the sound machine, and helped tuck your little one in for a good night’s sleep.
Provide Plenty of Liquids Throughout the Day
Providing your sick baby with plenty of fluids is vital to helping them sleep better. Not only does adequate hydration help fight off whatever is ailing them, but it can also help your baby sleep more soundly and reduce the number of nighttime awakenings. During the few hours of daytime, make sure that you encourage your little one to drink up regularly.
Offer plenty of small portions throughout the day; warm liquids are best for soothing an irritated throat and if possible, introduce electrolyte-rich fluids like diluted juice or sports drinks for babies suffering from vomiting or diarrhea. Be prepared – having ready-to-go sippy cups within easy reach will make it much easier to get those fluids in!
Creating a cozy sleep environment for your little one is essential to helping them get the rest they need to recover from their illness. A humidifier can be beneficial, as it adds moisture to the air and helps to soothe any congestion. This can make breathing more comfortable and help them fall asleep more leisurely.
It is essential to keep an eye on the humidity levels in the room and avoid overdoing it – too much humidity can create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites which could further aggravate your baby’s condition or even cause sudden infant death syndrome.
Read more: Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Mouths Open?
Understanding Your Baby’s Sleep Needs When They’re Sick
When your baby is unwell, their sleep patterns can change dramatically. They might need more sleep than usual, or they may have trouble settling and staying asleep. Understanding your baby’s unique sleep needs during illness is crucial in aiding their recovery.
First, monitor any changes in their sleep habits and respond accordingly. If they’re waking more often at night, it might be due to discomfort or fever, so offer comfort and consider seeking medical advice. If they’re sleeping more than usual during the day, allow it. Extra rest can often help them to fight off their illness.
Effects of Different Illnesses on Baby’s Sleep Pattern
Different illnesses can affect your baby’s at night sleep, in various ways. For example, a baby with a cold or respiratory infection may have difficulty breathing, particularly when lying flat, which can disrupt their sleep.
Gastrointestinal problems may lead to discomfort, causing your baby to wake frequently. Chronic conditions such as eczema or allergies can cause itching and discomfort, leading to sleep disturbances.
Teething can also lead to disrupted sleep due to gum pain. Understanding how different illnesses can affect your baby’s sleep will help you find the best ways to soothe and comfort them during the night.
Handling the Night-Time Feedings for a Sick Baby
Night-time feedings can be a challenge when your baby is sick. If they have a fever or a stuffy nose, they may not feel like eating. In such cases, you should focus on offering fluids to prevent dehydration.
If your baby refuses a bottle or breast, try a sippy cup or spoon-feeding them milk or formula. For babies who are old enough, you can also offer hydration through foods like soups or purees. It’s essential to be patient and flexible during these times and remember that it’s okay if they don’t eat much during illness, as long as they’re staying hydrated.
Nap Time Considerations for a Sick Baby
When a baby is sick, their nap times may fluctuate. They might need more frequent naps or longer ones to rest and recuperate. But also, keep in mind that too much sleep during the day can disrupt their night-time sleep.
Striking a balance is crucial. Maintain a soothing naptime routine that includes dimming lights and reducing noise to help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep. Use a wearable blanket for comfort, and keep the room temperature consistent. If your baby seems excessively sleepy or lethargic, consult with your pediatrician, as this may be a sign of a more severe illness.
Practicing Safe Sleep When Baby is Sick
When your baby is unwell, it’s more important than ever to ensure they are sleeping safely. Ensure that your baby always sleeps on their back, even if they have a cold or are vomiting, as this is the safest position to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Avoid using pillows or props to elevate your baby’s head or body, as these can increase the risk of suffocation. If your baby’s room is congested, use a humidifier to moisten the air in their room rather than elevating the mattress.
It’s also important to keep the crib free of loose bedding, toys, and bumpers to prevent suffocation or strangulation.
Soothing Bedtime Stories and Lullabies for Sick Babies
Bedtime stories and lullabies are excellent tools for soothing a sick baby. The rhythm and melody of lullabies can be calming and can help your baby drift off to sleep. Choosing a familiar lullaby or story can also provide comfort, as it maintains normalcy during a time when your baby might be feeling unwell. Besides, reading to your baby can help distract them from any discomfort they’re feeling,
and can provide a positive, close interaction between sick children and you two. The sound of your voice can be incredibly soothing to a baby, especially when they’re not feeling well.
When to Seek Medical Attention for a Sick Baby
While it’s common for babies to experience minor illnesses, there are instances when medical attention is necessary. If your baby has a persistent high fever, shows signs of dehydration (such as fewer wet diapers, dry lips, or sunken eyes), has a severe cough or difficulty breathing, exhibits unusual lethargy or irritability, or if their illness lasts longer than a few days without improvement, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional.
Similarly, any changes in your baby’s behavior or feeding patterns during illness that concern you warrant a call or visit to the pediatrician.
The Role of Pain Relief and Medications in Your Baby’s Sleep
If your baby is in pain due to sickness, like teething or ear infection, over-the-counter pain relief medicines such as ibuprofen (for babies over six months) or acetaminophen can be used, but always according to the pediatrician’s instructions. These can help ease discomfort and promote better sleep.
If your baby is on antibiotics or other medications, ensure they’re taken as prescribed. Some may need to be given with food, while others might cause sleep disturbances or drowsiness. If you notice your baby seems particularly unsettled after a dose, speak with your healthcare provider.
Maintaining Routine as Much as Possible During Illness
Maintaining a sense of normalcy can provide comfort and security to your sick baby, helping them to sleep better. Try to stick to your usual routines as much as possible, including nap times and bedtime.
Of course, there might be times when routines need to be flexible – for example, if your baby needs extra sleep or isn’t hungry at their usual meal times. The key is to strike a balance between maintaining familiar routines and responding to your baby’s current needs.
Finding Comfortable Sleep Positions for Your Sick Baby
Depending on the illness, certain sleeping positions might be more comfortable for your baby. For instance, if your baby has a cold and is congested, elevating the head of the mattress can help ease breathing (note: always elevate the mattress, not the baby).
However, regardless of illness, always place your baby on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS. If your baby is uncomfortable or restless, try soothing them with gentle movements such as rocking or patting before placing them back in their bed.
Keeping a Sleep Diary for Your Sick Baby
Keeping a sleep diary can be helpful in tracking any changes in your baby’s sleep patterns when they’re sick. Note down when they sleep, for how long, and any signs of discomfort or restlessness.
Also, keep track of feedings and diaper changes. This information can be valuable for pediatricians if your baby’s illness persists, and it can also help you understand your baby’s sleep needs and patterns better.
Getting enough rest can be challenging when your baby is sick, but it’s essential for their recovery. The tips above will help you provide a calming sleep environment and encourage healthy sleep patterns.
Just remember that some days will be better than others – so don’t get discouraged if your little one has difficulty settling down at night or waking up during the day. With just a few simple changes to their routine, keeping the baby hydrated and a consistent sleep schedule, your baby should soon be on the path to wellness!