A great sleeper can be thrown off by being sick or is teething. I have spoken to many families who start the conversation with “It all started when he got sick,” or “She was a great sleeper and then two teeth came in at once.” Yes it can happen, a great sleeper can become a not so great sleeper. I will help you avoid this struggle and help with how to help your child through illness and teething, as it pertains to sleep.
Here’s the deal: Sleep helps the body heal. Your child will likely need more sleep when they are sick. In our home, we’ve been on one or no nap for a little while, and when both kids had a stomach bug a while back, they both took two naps and then slept for a whole night. If they seem tired, let them sleep. However, finding a balance is important.
If you let them sleep too late in the day, they might not be ready at bedtime. Try to stick to your schedule but add a little extra sleep when needed. This may show up in a short nap in the morning when they haven’t taken one in a while. Or it may show up with an early bedtime or few. Think about it, if you are sick, you may just drift in and out of sleep during the day. Our children are no different, except that they need more sleep than we do
During the night, go with your parental gut. If you feel like you need to attend to your child, even if they are not used to you coming in during the night, then go. Perhaps you need to give a dose of fever reducer / pain reliever to help with a fever or clear a stuffy nose. Go! Try to get back to your normal way of being as soon as you can, so as to avoid new habits. Hop back into your normal schedule as soon as they feel better.
I believe that a child who is well rested and is a strong sleeper will not be as bothered by teething as you might think. When our children get the rest that they need and have healthy sleeping habits, they can usually sleep through the discomfort of teething.
I am not saying that teething is not uncomfortable. I don’t personally remember ;), but it probably is. So in their awake hours do what you would normally do to help them. Give them things to chew on, a frozen washcloth, pain relievers, etc… If they wake in the night and this is not usual for your child, perhaps you may need to tend to them a bit. Keep in mind their ability to fall back to sleep on their own, believe in it. Tend to them, then give them the opportunity to fall back to sleep. ‘Cause in the middle of the night, sleep is what they need most, right?!
Though, if your child has healthy sleep habits and is on an age appropriate schedule, teething during sleep may not be as bad as you think.
Go With Your Gut
Go with your gut. It’s hard to second guess a parental gut feeling under these circumstances. If you feel like they need you, then go. If you continue to struggle with sleep past illness and teething, reach out. The team at Good Night Sleep Site is here to help.
Certified Sleep Consultant
Good Night Sleep Site Florida