Helping Sick Kiddos Sleep
Tis the season for bugs and germs… and I am truly touching wood knowing that my children have been back to school and childcare for over a month now, and they have yet to be sick. Fingers crossed!
Sunny days, cooler temperatures, leaves falling off trees, and the return of our “wet” coast rain. The fall season can be an amazing one, but it quite often signals the beginning of cold and flu season. Getting your kiddos to sleep on a regular day can be challenging for some, but throw in some aches and pains, fevers, coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose, and you’ve got a whole other ball game going on. To make matters worse, I’d bet money that if they’re not sleeping, you’re not sleeping either (usually the two go hand-in-hand! ha!).
Even though the sleep routine that you have spent countless hours building has probably been thrown out the window, the good news is that this cold/flu/bug will pass, and your child’s good sleep habits will return. Think of this as just a little hiccup or bump in the road. And, as with all other bumps in the world of sleep, there are many tips and tricks (homeopathic and medicinal) that you can use to help you and your little one through.
A Warm Bath Before Bedtime: A warm bath will not only help maintain an element of your child’s bedtime routine, but the warmth and steam should also help loosen any congestion.
Applying 'Vicks' to Their Feet and Back: Put a little on their back, or rub some on the bottoms of their feet then cover with socks; it is supposed to help ease any coughing troubles.
Use a Humidifier: Another great trick to help with nasal congestion - the moist air they create can help breakup mucus and sooth the airways.
Cuddle Time: Sometimes the best cure is a good snuggle with mom or dad. Camp out on the floor of their room so you are near buy or set up a play pen near your own bed.
Massage: A good massage can help smooth any aches they may have.
Bedtime Stories and Lullabies: Another element of your bedtime routine that's easy to maintain. A good cuddle with a song or story can do wonders.
Homeopathic or Over-the-Counter Medicines: Advil and Tylenol are tried and true when it comes to fevers and aches (make sure you use the age appropriate formula and dosage), but nowadays there are also homeopathic versions you can pick up at your local pharmacy to help with a variety of symptoms (check in with the pharmacist to see if this might be a good fit).
Essential Oils: Like medicines, essential oils are available to assist with a variety of woes including cold and flu symptoms and sleep. Lavender is often thought to encourage sleep and eucalyptus to ease congestions. Make sure you buy from reputable source and follow usage directions appropriately.
Elevate the Head of the Bed: This age old trick may also help with nasal congestion. Check with your doctor first though! For safety reasons, it is not recommended for young children to sleep with pillows. A good trick though: Insert a thin pillow or blanket UNDER the mattress for a slight elevation.
Fluids and Rest: Like adults, keeping hydrated and resting lots will help their little body get better.
For high fevers or any more serious/prolonged symptoms, a trip to your family doctor is always a good idea on the off chance that some antibiotics may be needed. And as with all other sleep struggles, don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help; it's important that you keep rested and stay healthy - there's no sick days for Moms and Dads!
And as always, a huge thank you to www.stacielynnphotography.ca for allowing me to share the photos you see here.