Ah choo! Sniff. Cough, cough.
Oh no, is cold season upon us already? Argh! This time of year is tough on parents because children are surrounded by germs and seem to catch every little bug going around. Night times can be particularly difficult as lying down can increase congestion, which means that mom and dad are needed even more! But, parents need sleep too. Here are some tips on helping your sick child sleep better at night (AND maintaining your sanity in the process):
Stick To The Routine
I recommend you stick to your regular bedtime routine as much as possible. The consistency will be reassuring for your child and may help her sleep schedule return to normal once she’s feeling better. Ensure that a warm bath is part of the schedule. Not only it is relaxing, but breathing warm, moist air will loosen up her breathing passages.
Use a Humidifier in the Bedroom
Always invest in a good quality humidifier for your child’s bedroom. We recommend a Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. It’s a mom’s best friend in cough, colds and flu season. It provides up to 24 hours of moisture, which relieves dryness and congestion, helping your child breathe easy and sleep through the night more peacefully. Additionally, it is super stylish and easy to use. Your child will also not be disturbed by the whisper quiet sound, and there is a built-in auto-shut-off feature that engages when the water tank is empty to ensure total safety. A mom-win all round!
Use Essential Oils
Depending on where you stand on natural therapies, essential oils can offer soothing and comforting properties to your child. A few drops of lavender on the pillow can aid sleep, or a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the sheets can help ease congestion and respiratory difficulties. I often apply a menthol rub to my kids feet to ease coughs. Personally, I feel anything is worth a try, especially when you’re at your wits end trying to make your baby feel better! However, always check the age recommendations on the bottle beforehand!
*Pro Tip: Never put essential oils in a humidifier, ONLY in an Aroma Diffuser.
Ibuprofen is your best friend during cough and cold season. I always keep a bottle in each of my child’s bedrooms throughout the year, just in case of a midnight waking. It will reduce a child’s temperature and ease aches and pains so you and your child can get back to sleep quickly. Needless to say, always follow the instructions carefully. Remember, you’ll be half asleep when you need it most!
Keep Them Hydrated
Make sure your child has a sippy cup or bottle of water in bed to drink during the night. Drinking plenty of water will keep your child’s body hydrated and ease stressful coughs. I even offer juice or Gatorade as an extra comforter when my children are sick because the sugary goodness gets them to drink more and move the cold out of their little bodies faster. Be careful not to make a habit of this as your doctor or dentist will not approve, but they are not the ones staring at the clock at 2am listening to your child’s hacking cough!
Elevate Their Head
To ease congestion, try elevating your child’s head slightly. For older kids, an extra pillow should do the trick. For babies, however, you need to be more careful. You could elevate the head of the mattress, but consider safety first!
Act Like A Team
Make sure you are getting your partner involved in the care of your kids at night. You can’t do it all by yourself. If you are the one on night duty, then make sure you get extra time to sleep in the morning. Alternatively, rotate between the two of you in order to make sure you get a good stretch of sleep at some point during the night. Team work, parents, team work!
Sleep In Their Room
We all desperately need our sleep when our kids are sick. However, I strongly caution against bringing your child into your bed, as this can be a difficult habit to break. Instead sleep on the floor in your child’s room, or make a makeshift bed in your own bedroom. This way you can also monitor them closely for changes in behavior throughout the night.
Never fear, sleep is near! It is natural to be frustrated when your child is sick and not sleeping at night. However, I promise if you maintain a consistent routine, she’ll be back to her usual sleeping patterns soon. If in any doubt, always consult your doctor!
*This post is sponsored by Crane.