December 01, 2019
Cold and Flu Season is upon us! How does illness affect sleep and what should you do??
Did you know it's normal for kids to get between 8-10 colds per year in the first two years of life? Yep, that's right! It may seem like your Wee One has a cold ALL THE TIME, but this is a normal part of developing immunity and it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your Wee One’s sleep if you have healthy sleep foundations in place.
How do colds and illnesses affect sleep?
First off, your Wee One will need more sleep than usual to recover! Fighting off infection is hard work! Don’t be surprised if your baby takes longer naps or is ready for bed early!
Although, your Wee One will be sleeping more, sleep may also be disrupted and your baby may wake more often overnight, but no need to fret! They need your love and cuddles to get better. It’s okay to rock, feed, and cuddle your baby when they are sick as they need you to nurse them back to health. This is short term!!
If you are sleep training and your baby gets sick, it's time to evaluate if you should pause. Truly, use your best judgment. If your baby has a stomach bug and has vomiting and diarrhea, definitely pause! If it’s a little sniffle, then you can probably continue your training.
If your baby is congested you can use saline drops to the nose to ease congestion. Limit nasal suctioning to 3-4 times/day max, if used more often it can make congestion worse! You can also use a cool-mist humidifier by the crib. Monitor how much your Wee One is drinking and the number of wet diapers. If your baby has poor intake during the day, it's ok to offer a night feeding even if it's been months! Talk with your PCP about medications like Tylenol or Motrin for discomfort. Cuddle and comfort your baby if they wake up and cry in the middle of the night. Wash your hands!!
Common colds usually last 1-2 weeks. If your Wee One is a good sleeper to begin with they will get back on track shortly after the illness passes, if you're still having sleep issues after the illness, help is available.
Katy Bourzikas is the founder of Well Rested Wee Ones. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner, certified baby and toddler sleep coach, and certified breastfeeding counselor. She has over 15 years of experience working in the field of pediatrics. She is married and a mom to two boys. Her mission is to ensure families “Feed Well, Sleep Well, and Feel Well.” She lives in the Kansas City area.
January 31, 2023
January 24, 2023
The team at NAPS helps you tackle the issue of early wakeups. *BONUS* NAPS is hosting a webinar on February 24th. Register here and use the extra-special code MAGICMERLIN and you can join the webinar FREE of charge!
The sound of cheery calls of “MAAAAMAAAAA” from the next room may be lovely at 7am. At 4am, or 5 am, not so much. Your baby may be up and ready to start the day, but you probably aren’t.
Answering the questions below may help you get there.
This might seem like an obvious question, but your baby’s sleep needs will change fast in the first few years of their lives. A quick look at the average nap number and duration might give you an idea:
Part of the reason you might be seeing earlier wakeups is that your baby has graduated from one nap cycle to the next.
We call this an “awake window,” and it can make a big difference. It might seem strange that your baby went to bed fine the night before, and you’re seeing a response to nap scheduling in the pre-dawn hours, but if your kiddo’s sleep is disrupted at night, it will impact the morning.
Black 0ut curtains can make a big difference here. Remember that our brains signal wakeup when the light changes. So if dawn is at 430am, and even a little bit of light comes into your baby’s room, their little brains will PING with wake up juice.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but a late bedtime can actually backfire on you. Overtired kids don’t sleep as well. If you made their bedtime later and it didn’t fix the problem, try an earlier bedtime and see if that helps. You might be surprised.
Try to make one change at a time; just one. Stick with that change for 3-5 days to see if it impacts things. (One night is usually not enough to see substantial change.) Be as consistent as you can with the change you made. For instance, if you decide to increase the space between bedtime and final nap wakeup, make sure to stick to the wakeup time you planned.
If your baby is waking up and chirping happily to themselves, feel free to leave them there for a little while. Let them get used to being alone in the crib. If you can, try to delay the start of the day by 5-10 minutes each day. This can make a big impact.
Everything else aside, remember that this is a short time in your kid’s life; as they get older, their sleep will become more regular, and so will yours. Don’t let yourself get too discouraged. Things are hard now, and you’re doing a great job.
January 10, 2023
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