How do you manage sleep in a sick baby?


Any advice for how to manage sleep and a chronically sick baby? My 8 month old has been sick with stuffy nose, cough and ear infections pretty much since November, and it has royally screwed up his sleeping! He went from sleeping through the night with few issues to not sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time. We’re doing a cool mist humidifier, saline spray, elevated crib mattress…you name it! Our pediatrician is out of suggestions, basically said suck it up. We’ve been trying to just weather the storm and he has had some better nights mixed in, but it’s generally been awful for 2 1/2 months, I fear this will have long term implications for healthy sleep for our little guy!! Help!!

I can definitely relate. My second child was sick all of the time during his first year. It was really difficult to keep up good habits (and we didn’t!). I would recommend taking an ‘anything goes’ approach to getting him as rested as you can until he is well again. If his naps are short and fragmented, then don’t be afraid to use a stroller, so that he can sleep elevated and get more rest. Sleep is very important in the body’s immune response and getting caught up should help him heal. I wouldn’t engage in a sleep intervention if he’s very sick. If he’s just a little sniffley and has developed some habits that you want to change, then it is ok to do some sort of sleep intervention in order to get him back on track if the ‘anything goes’ approach doesn’t work. The good news is that no matter what happens, when he is well this can be fixed and he will become a good sleeper again.

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