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Sickness and sleep - 6 tips to support your child during the sick season!

Sickness and Sleep!

We’re currently right in the middle of our winter season, and there are lots of viruses making the rounds. As I am sure you're aware, sickness can often lead to disruptions with sleep!

Sleep is disrupted for most of us when we’re unwell, this can be due to discomfort, congestion, thirst, nausea or vomiting and many more reasons. As adults, we can support ourselves through this discomfort, but your little one may call out and need you more than usual to help them settle.

During sickness, a lot of the time children may sleep more overall; to decrease energy expenditure for their body to focus on fighting the infection. However, they may wake more frequently during the day and night, due to the previous reasons discussed.

So, how do you manage sleep when your baby or toddler is unwell?

Sickness tends to lead to entering survival mode, and this is perfectly appropriate to help you get through this tough period. But, I have put together a few extra tips below to help you during this tough time.

1. Allow for extra sleep to help them recover

Your child will likely be signalling they need more sleep, especially during the daytime. If they are taking more than 1 nap, you may need to consider waking them from each nap after 2-2.5 hours. To ensure they still have some time awake to consume food/fluids and can sleep at night-time.

2. Provide extra comfort when it is needed

If your child usually settles themselves to sleep, they may be seeking more comfort from you. If they need more help, you may need to assist with stroking their head, rubbing their back, humming to them, or holding until they are asleep.