Promoting Sleep When Baby is Sick

Having a sick baby or toddler is tough!  You want to do everything in your power to make them feel well and help them recoup as quickly as possible, but should that mean sacrificing your child’s great sleep habits?  Sometimes, yes! (“Gasp! Did the sleep consultant just say, sacrificing great sleep habits is ok?” Sometimes!) 

Here are four ways to help everyone stay rested and (reasonably) happy through inevitable childhood viruses:


Sick Children Need Their Sleep!

Stick to their nap schedule to ensure they are getting the mores restorative daytime sleep.  At night, an earlier bedtime will help ensure they are getting all the sleep they need! This will be especially helpful if they are waking due to coughing, congestion, or fever. 

Stick to the Norm

Children thrive on routine and a sick child is no different. Keeping your child’s day on schedule and their sleep space consistent will be more comforting than if you were to make changes.  This means keeping your pre-nap and bedtime routines the same as well as their sleep space. While it may be tempting to bring your little one into your bed, they will receive more restorative sleep in their crib or bed.  It is also a safer place to sleep, as the AAP Safe Sleep Guidelinesadvise against bed-sharing. 


Take Measures to Make them Comfortable Before Sleep Times

This includes:

  • Using saline spray and/or a nasal cleaning device such as the Nose Fridaor bulb syringe

  • Safely elevating your child’s head 30°by placing a pillow or wedge deviceunderthe mattress if necessary to ease breathing issues

  • Keeping their room cool (65°-68°) while running a cool humidifier

  • Timing the dosage of any needed medicines to occur right before sleep times


Bad Habits Happen

 When your child is sick, you will do what it takes to make them feel as comfortable as possible.  If  this means introducing bad sleep habits (such as rocking them to sleep), that is ok! As soon as they are well again, get back to business as usual! After a few days of consistently reestablishing your child’s healthy sleep habits (despite any protest you receive from your now healthy child), everything will be back on track.  This is important because healthy sleep is key in preventing your little one from getting sick again!

Well Rested Baby is a team of Family Sleep Institute certified sleep consultants that helps families like yours identify, address, and correct their children’s sleep issues. WRB works with moms and dad’s to create customized sleep plans that reflect a family’s comfort level and philosophies. When paired with WRB’s 360-approach, the entire family is set up for sleep success. WRB offers a variety of support packages. Contact WRB today to schedule a consultation or learn more about how we can help you and yours get the sleep you need and deserve.