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Helping Your Child Sleep During Illness
It has been a wild cold and flu season so far and we aren’t quite at the end yet! We have had our fair share of illness in our household this season, and I know from speaking with so many other parents that we are not alone.
I am often asked about how to handle sleep during illness. And while yes, illness can disrupt sleep for your little one it’s also an important part of recovery. Sleep is healing and restorative so you should prioritize sleep as best you can during illness.
If your child is sick, you want to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. That means helping them get the sleep they need while they recover. However, it can be difficult to know if your child is sleeping well or not when they’re sick and that’s why I’ve put together this guide on how to help your child sleep during illness.
Sleep is important for recovery
Illness can be a stressful time for children and parents alike. But there are ways to make it easier on both of you. Sleep is important for recovery and their little body needs it, so getting rest is crucial. It helps our bodies fight infection and heal wounds, so making sure that your child gets enough sleep can help them recover from illness faster than if they don’t get enough shut-eye at night.
Sleep also plays an important role in maintaining our immune systems by keeping them healthy and strong–this means less chance of catching another bug!
If your child is sick, allow them to get extra rest. Don’t worry about waking your child up in the morning or from naps. If their body is craving sleep, then that’s exactly what they need – sleep is medicine!
Don’t allow your child to sleep with you.
Sleep is an essential part of recovery, and when a child is sick, they need to sleep in their own bed, especially if you’ve worked on breaking a bedsharing habit in the past.
Your child’s body temperature needs time to regulate itself during rest; if they share your bed with you, this will be difficult for them and can potentially slow the healing process.
It’s also important to have separate sleep spaces to avoid the spread of germs. The only thing worse than taking care of a sick child, is doing it while you’re sick too!
Instead, I recommend setting up a bed on the floor in their bedroom if you don’t feel comfortable allowing them to sleep alone all night. This isn’t the most comfortable solution for you but it’s worth it to avoid starting or restarting a habit that you don’t want long-term.
Use a humidifier to provide relief from nasal congestion.
If your child has a cold or allergies, consider using a humidifier to help relieve nasal congestion. A warm mist humidifier can be especially beneficial for children who suffer from dry skin and chapped lips (umm hello prairie winters!)
Keep their room cool and provide extra fluids.
A cool room is always recommended for sleep and becomes even more important for sleep during illness when bodies are working twice as hard.
Make sure they drink enough to stay hydrated, especially if they are feverish. Offer a water bottle in their crib or next to their bed, so it’s easy for them to reach it when they wake up during the night.
If they need it, offer medicine.
If your child is sick, they may need medicine to help reduce symptoms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much medicine to give, when to give it and how it should be given.
Your sick child will be much happier and more comfortable if you can help them get the sleep they need
If your child is sick, they need to sleep. Sleep is medicine! It’s important for recovery and it will help them feel better faster.
Sleep also has many other benefits: it boosts immune function, reduces stress levels, improves mental health, regulates hormones and metabolism–and that’s just the beginning. So if your little one is feeling under the weather or has been diagnosed with an illness (even a minor one), make sure they get enough rest at night so they can get back on their feet as soon as possible!
If you can help your child sleep during illness, it will improve their recovery and make them much happier. If your child has a cold or flu and they’re not feeling well, make sure they don’t stay up late at night or wake up early in the morning. It’s important that they get enough rest so that their body can recover from whatever illness they have!
Seeing their usual rambunctious selves robbed of energy is so sad but they are also so sweet when they are sick and often just need their mama (and sleep). So, don’t forget to soak up those extra snuggles!
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