It’s bound to happen. We hate to imagine our baby getting sick, but it’s been found that some babies have up to SEVEN colds within the first year of their lives. Looking back on Jude’s first year that sounds pretty close. Runny nose, congestion, fever, the whole bit! It’s never fun, but it’s reality and brings me to the main question I want to answer today, “How are we supposed to handle our babies sleep when they are sick when they are sleep trained?” Answering this question and a little bit more today on this blog post.
How to Handle Your Baby’s Sleep When They Sick?:
When Jude got his first cold I was a nervous wreck. I had him sleep trained at 4 months old and I wasn’t sure how to handle his sleep while he was sick. Do I approach sleep differently? Do I just throw everything out the window? Most importantly, is my baby okay?! Having a sick baby can bring upon a lot of emotions and questions. Here is my answer: sleep is going to be different and I believe it should be. Your baby needs more snuggles when they are sick! Don’t see this as a setback, but rather look at it as more time to snuggle with your baby! What I typically do when Jude is sick is I go about his bedtime routine the same, rocking him longer than usual and then lay him down. After laying him down one or two things are going to happen, 1. He will go to sleep as normal or 2. He will communicate to me that he is having a hard time. If he is having a hard time I go in and I pick him up and I rock him. This is not what I would normally do if Jude was not sick. In this situation I am aware that he may not feel good and in knowing that I am going to approach sleep a little differently than normal. When your baby is sick the onset of sleep can be difficult, defiantly if they are congested. Being congested and laying flat on their stomach or back is FRUSTRATING for a baby and can make it really hard to go to sleep initially. Imagine having a cold and not having a pillow to prop yourself up for sleep. It’s not comfortable. It’s the same for our babies. So yes, when Jude is sick and needing help with his initial onset of sleep I help him during that time as I believe you should too! Sick baby’s need their moms and dads! Now typically what happens from there is I help him initially fall asleep and then after that and his breathing calms I lay him down in his crib where he normally will sleep the rest of the night with not much trouble. Even though your baby is sick you always still want to make sure they sleep SAFE! That’s what I recommend you do when your baby is sick. Help when you need to and continue to have them sleeping safe in their own sleep space.
What About Sleep Training? Did I do it all for Nothing?:
I get this question all the time and it’s a good one. If your baby is sleep trained to self soothe to sleep and while sick you incorporate holding, rocking, etc your are going to see a little bit of a setback when you go back to normal routine. That’s OKAY! The cuddles and assistance are needed during that sick period. What I recommend is once your baby is 100% back to health go back to what your normal routine is for bedtime and how your baby normally falls asleep. You may have 1-2 nights where your baby shows a bit of resistance towards going back to normal routine and that’s to be expected. Typically what I will see is it takes about 1-2 nights to get back on routine with consistency on the parents part. Like I said before, don’t see it has a setback, but rather more time to snuggle your baby and be there for them during this sick season. Things will go back to normal after they are back to full health and you are consistent in getting back into normal routine.
I hope you find this blog post comforting in that it’s okay to do things a little bit differently while your baby is sick. Don’t get wrapped up in keeping everything perfect, but rather focus on helping your baby get back to health and comforting them in that season when they need you most. Be sure to stay tuned this week on my social media platforms because I am sharing my Top 5 products to have when baby is sick to help with sleep!