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When Your Child Is Sick

What to Do When Your Child Become Sick

It is that time of year again!  Cold and Flu season is coming up quickly.  As a parent, it breaks our hearts to see our children not feeling well.  This feeling of worry and heartache never goes away.  I have adult children and worry about them every time they get sick. So, what do you do when your child is sick to help them get the sleep they need?

When working with parents, this is often a question that comes up.  When parents see the results of their sleep training efforts, they are nervous that they will fall back to the old patterns as before sleep training and they will have to start over again. I assure parents that is not the case.  You can take care of the needs of your sick child and not worry that your child will never sleep again.

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My advice to parents when their child is sick

If your child becomes ill, I tell parents to put the sleep plan on a shelf if you need to.  If your child becomes sick, help them to feel better and make them as comfortable as possible!  Your child may need some extra holding, cuddles, rocking, and assistance.  Our little ones may need more intervention to help them fall asleep as they battle the uncomfortable symptoms illness brings.

Having a sick child is stressful enough, don’t pile on the stress by worrying about getting off track with your sleep schedule.  You will be able to get back on track once they are feeling better. Your child will remember the familiar routine once you go back to it.

Caution:  Continue to follow safe sleep practices as you help them through the illness.  It is important to following the ABC’s of safe sleep even when they are sick that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  A-Alone (nothing but your baby and a well fitted sheet), B-Back (always place your baby in crib on their back) and C-Crib (Only offer sleep in a crib or bassinet).  You can read more about safe sleep here.

Be sure to give yourself credit for having your child on a healthy sleep schedule prior to them getting sick!  If your child came into this illness being well-rested, they should be able to recover quicker!  A temporary change in your sleep plan to help them get the sleep they need will aid them in healing faster.  Sleep is so important to our immune system.

After the Illness

The important part is that once your child is showing signs of getting better, to get right back to the healthy sleep schedule they were on before they got sick.  You have to “draw the line in the sand” at some point and say to yourself, it is time to get back on track!  Be patient with your child, as they may miss those extra cuddles and rocking.  It will take a few days to settle into the old routine, but they will remember what to do with your lead!  They will even find comfort in the familiar structure as they get back on track with your consistent response!

Lynn Matuszewski
Lynn Matuszewski
Lynn Matuszewski is certified through the Family Sleep Institute (FSI) as a Child Sleep Consultant a and trained Good Night Sleep Site Educator. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Education with a major in Learning and Behavior Disorders. She has a background in healthcare outreach where she educates members in closing Gaps in Care and assisting members in overcoming barriers in receiving care. Lynn has a passion for helping families in achieving a healthy sleep foundation which is a vital aspect of living a healthy life. Sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise. Raising her children and watching her children raise her grandchildren, she knows the importance of a good night sleep for both our babies as well as parents. Well rested families are healthier and happier. Good Night Sleep Site (GNSS) provided a perfect place for Lynn to help families reach their sleep goals because of their respect for the personality of each family. No two families look alike, making each sleep plan tailored to the needs of the family. Lynn will assist your family find a customized method that corresponds with your family values and temperament. Lynn also found it important that GNSS is committed to following the safe sleep recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) when working with families. Lynn is a proud mother and grandmother. There is so much more to the story behind the titles of mother and grandmother. She is a biological mother, adopted mother, step-mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. Although these terms sound like labels, that is very far from the truth she lives. Each one of those titles has a beautiful story that made her the mother and grandmother she is today. Lynn’s has a wonderful family that came together making a perfect blend. Lynn was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. When she is not working Lynn loves to spend time with family and friends. She also enjoys spending time traveling, kayaking, biking, and enjoying the beautiful water front of Buffalo with her husband. Lynn believes that when your family is well rested, you can better handle the day to day challenges that every family face. When your family is well rested every individual will have the energy to learn and grow at their optimal level. Good sleep habits do not come naturally, they are learned. When you teach your child how to sleep, you are giving your child the gift that will last a lifetime. Your child has so much to see and learn, Lynn wants to help your family reach the stars while you learn healthy sleep habits.
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