It’s so tough caring for a sick baby, especially when the sun goes down, and they only seem to get sicker and sadder. It will be a long night ahead. Here are seven ways you can help your baby through it.
1. Keep up the liquids
Your little guy probably isn’t interested in eating much right now, so just keep them hydrated by offering the breast or bottle throughout the day and into the night. You can also offer some cool water to babies over six months old. If you get at all worried that your baby isn’t urinating enough, or they’re showing signs of dehydration, be sure to call your doctor.
2. Watch for fevers
While a mild fever (up to 39°C) can actually help the immune system fight infection, high fevers (41.5°C or more) can be dangerous. It’s worth investing in one of those nifty ear thermometers to quickly and easily take your child’s temperature. Look for ear thermometers that have smart features (some can even adjust the reading according to your child’s age) – so when you suspect your baby is burning up, you can be on to it straight away.
3. Let go of the sleep schedule
I know, you’ve worked so hard on the sleep training! But your baby needs all the rest they can get, so don’t worry about the usual sleep schedule. Instead encourage naps, and allow for an early bedtime if possible. Also brace yourself for a disrupted night. Bub will no doubt need your attention a few times throughout the night: a good chance for a top up of liquids and a cuddle.
4. Stay on top of medication
Depending on your child’s condition, you may need to administer medication before bed or during the night. Just be sure to note down the time you give them each dose so you know when to safely provide them with their next round of medication. Even if you’re normally good at remembering these things, it’s a different story when you’re exhausted too!
5. Get the vaporiser going
There’s a reason that your grandma probably told you to take a sick child into the bathroom and sit there with the shower on – warm steam has long been recognised for its effectiveness in alleviating chest and nose congestion. Putting a vaporiser in your child’s room means you can get the same effect without sitting on the cold bathroom tiles all night.
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6. Elevate baby’s head
If your baby is suffering from a cold or flu, it can be worth elevating the head of their mattress at night. This can help drain away congestion, ease coughs, and reduce any extra pressure on your little one’s ears. Do also check that any adjustments you make to their bedding still adhere to safe sleeping practices.
7. Cuddle. Kiss. Repeat
When it’s 3am and you’re cooling your baby’s sweaty forehead and wiping their runny nose, just remember you’re doing an amazing job. It’s hard (so hard), but you’re the number one most important thing to your baby on nights like these, so just keep doing what you’re doing – hold them, reassure them, be there. The sun also rises, right?
Do you have any other ideas about how to help your sick baby through the night?
(This is a sponsored post for Braun)