This is part 2 of my post about coping and comforting a sick baby. Part 1 covered my must haves for your mom toolbox when baby is sick. Click here to check out part 1!
When I took Will to the doctor last week, the doctor bluntly told me:
The average cold lasts 2-3 weeks and since he’s starting daycare, he probably catch another cold when he starts and then he will be sick for an entire year. So, don’t stress.
Um, what?! Sick for an entire year?! Will I ever sleep again and get my excellent sleep trained baby back? All of the logical thoughts a first-time mom has when dealing with a sick baby.
I’m here to tell you, you will get your excellent sleep trained baby back once the sickness slows down. Let’s talk about how it went!
So what do we do about the schedule?!
Every single sleep training methodology follows similar rules when baby is sick – rules go out the window! We followed that mantra. We fed when he was hungry, let him sleep when he was tired and went into his room in the middle of the night if he woke up. However, we tried to follow some basic principles:
- Try to feed at “scheduled” times even if he just ate a bit before. For example, if he woke up at 5 amand ate then, we would then offer a feed at around 7 am (sometimes 7:30 or 7:45 if he was still sleeping). He usually wouldn’t take the other feeding, but we tried to offer it.
- We put him down when he was tired at let him sleep for a minimum of 2 hrs. When he was his sickest, he had a couple naps that were close to 3 hrs. That’s okay – he needed the rest. For example, on Christmas day he slept 19/24 hours. He would get up for an hour then go back to sleep for 2.5-3 hrs and that’s okay!
- When he cried at night, we went in to soothe. Usually, that meant feeding. I was terrified we were regressing and would have night feedings forever. We did not, he went right back on track once he was feeling better. We found that feeding in the bathroom with the shower running was the most effective.
- We tried to time his final dose of Motrin or Tylenol with right before bed so he got some relief while trying to sleep.
I also asked on Instagram for questions you had about dealing with a sick baby and the questions were all pretty similar in nature, so I’ll answer those here as well!
At what point did you get worried and decide to take baby to doctor?
While Will never had a high fever (maxed out at 99.4) he did have a cough and sounded slightly weezy. I do think Will got his sickness from going to the Doctor for his well check, so I had to balance going to the dr and potentially exposing him to more germs or going to make sure he was okay. With the holidays last week, I decided on Monday morning after he was sick from Friday-Monday that a quick check at the drs was warranted. I would say it’s much better to be safe than sorry and to just go for the peace of mind!
All things night wakeups – How did it alter his sleeping and how did you respond to nighttime wakings?
As mentioned above, when he cried at night, we usually fed him. We would give him just a bit (maybe 20-30 seconds to make sure he was really awake) and then we would go in. It seemed to be 1-2 times a night when he was sick. We would put him down to sleep around 7 pm, he would wake around 9:30/10 pm for a bottle and then again around 4:30/5 am.
Did you keep giving him solids while he was sick?
Not really, I think maybe once we did more as a distraction technique but no, we didn’t.
Did Will struggle to eat?
Yes – he went from drinking 8-9 oz per feeding to maybe 4-5 oz max. It was really hard for him to eat because he was so stuffed up and couldn’t really breath while eating. Now that he’s feeling better he’s starting to eat more and more each feeding. He naturally dropped the night feedings almost immediately after feeling better.
What have you done to get him back on track? Did you wait until he was 100% better?
We followed his cues – while he still has a cough and a runny nose, he is so much more like himself. He basically fell right back into his schedule on his own – stopped waking up at night and was able to stay awake for the entire awake period. We made sure we woke him up at our desired wake time (7 am) once he was feeling better so that he would be on schedule from the start). I would say follow your baby’s cues and as long as they’re acting like themselves I would go ahead and follow the schedule as normal.