You’ve probably found yourself in the situation of a poorly baby or toddler many times, afterall, who knew it was normal for babies to catch 11-12 colds per year?!
It’s draining to say the least, not only for them but also for you as the parent. Getting through the winter cold/flu season feels like an achievement.
So what can you do when your baby or toddler is under the weather?
- Some Extra Love
Providing your child with comfort and love is the number 1 priority. We all need some TLC when we feel pants. Respond to those tears and give some extra snuggles. You might even need to give some extra bottle or breastfeeds if your child needs them. You want to avoid dehydration! Sofa snuggles with the tv and a blanket will be the perfect day.
- More Sleep
While they aren’t well they will very likely need some extra sleep. Their naps might extend and they may need to sleep a little longer in the morning or go to bed earlier. This is very normal and happens with most children. Don’t stress too much about whether they will sleep at night if they sleep longer during the day. Chances are they’ll need the extra zzz’s.
- Plug-ins or dehumidifiers
These really are a wonderful invention for babies and toddlers with stuffy noses! The calpol plug makes the room smell like a wonderful spa and keeps blocked noses at bay.
- Timing Painkillers
IF you are giving painkillers (per guidelines of the product or under GP supervision) then you can time them for around 30 minutes before naps or night sleep to help them feel more comfortable when they go to bed. It’s often a good idea to give them during bath time as their nose may be less stuffy, and any mess can be instantly washed off!
- Extra love doesn’t mean a complete upheaval of sleep habits
I would avoid changing your little one’s sleep routine or habits. If you don’t already co-sleep, then I wouldn’t start when they are unwell. It is also best to avoid feeding to sleep when they aren’t well. If they need extra feeds during the night for hydration ensure they stay awake on those feeds and are put down awake. There are other ways you can provide comfort to your baby or child such as patting/rubbing/shushing. If you want to monitor your child closely then consider sleeping in their room.
It is also not a great idea to start any sort of sleep teaching when they aren’t well. If you were planning to start, just delay until they are well again.
These rules can also apply to a teething baby. Remember, it’s often short lived and within a few days to a week they are usually better and back into their usual sleep routines.