My child is sick - the effects on baby sleep
“A sick child is always a bit of a final boss,” said a good mom friend to me. And what should I say? Somehow she was right! Cough, runny nose, fever, scarlet fever and whatever else there is. Home remedies are certainly helpful when it comes to illness, but sleep is still the best medicine, even if your child's sleep needs usually change when they are sick.
1. What is possible when it comes to baby/child sleep?
Your child may sleep longer at a time than usual or for much shorter periods of time. Both are possible. Like a sick adult, the baby also needs more sleep than usual. For example, if you have a stuffy nose, you just breathe and sleep worse, we know that ourselves.
2. Does my child's need for daytime sleep change if he or she is sick ?
Yes, that is also possible! Instead of two long naps, you can also take three to four short naps (power naps or cat naps). Pay attention to when your child gets tired and offer a nap. Don't stick to your "normal" bedtimes, but be flexible - the illness is (fortunately) not a permanent condition!
3. Does my child's nighttime sleep change if he is sick ?
Yes! It may well be that your child wakes up more often at night and especially wants to be close to you. Maybe he sleeps longer in the morning. Your child's organism is working at full speed to fight the pathogens, which can be very stressful for your child. So give him closeness, comfort and security and cuddle up together a lot!
4. What can I do to ensure that my baby still sleeps restfully if he is sick?
Sleep plays a crucial role in your baby's recovery. During sleep, the body regenerates, the immune system works at peak performance and healing processes are activated. But illnesses can disrupt sleep, whether through pain, discomfort or blocked airways. Here are some tips to help your baby sleep better during illness:
- Choose the right sleeping position when your baby is sick: If your baby has a cold or has trouble breathing, it is best to let him sleep in a slightly elevated position. This makes breathing easier and can help your baby sleep better.
- Make sure you drink enough fluids: Your baby often needs more fluids than normal during the illness. Offer him breast milk or a bottle regularly to keep him from drying out. Light, well-tolerated meals before bed can also be helpful.
- Gentle care for skin irritations : If a fever or a cold causes skin irritation, gentle care is important. Use soothing lotions, such as Bepanthen fatty ointment, to moisturize the skin.
- Make sure your airways are clear: A stuffy nose can also disrupt your baby's sleep. Use a nasal aspirator to clear your baby's airways. Natural home remedies can also help here. Chamomile tea or onion sachets can help open the airways and ensure a more comfortable night.
During an illness, it is particularly important that your baby gets enough rest to recover. With these measures you can help him sleep better and get better faster. Make sure the room is quiet and at a pleasant temperature and give him the support he needs, be it through stroking or soothing words, to give him a feeling of safety and security.
5. Will we return to our usual rhythm after the illness?
Clear! But give yourself time after the illness has been cured! After one or up to three weeks you will probably be back to your usual rhythm!
How do you feel when your mice are sleep sick? Do you have any other tips?
Guest article by Jasmin Eckert from Frau_Eckert_Meckert :