How to Support Your Baby’s Sleep When Sick

Sleep plays an important role in our physical and mental recovery from illness. Here are two ways that sleep can help us recover from illness:

  1. Boosts Immune Function: Sleep helps to boost the immune system, which is essential for fighting off infections and illnesses. During sleep, the body produces cytokines, proteins that help fight off infections and inflammation.
  2. Promotes Healing: Sleep allows the body to devote more resources to repairing and restoring damaged tissues and cells. This process is particularly important when the body is trying to fight off an illness.

This is all good information to know but when your baby or toddler is sick, but it can be challenging for them to get the rest they need to recover. Here are 9 ways you can support your Baby’s sleep when they are sick.

  1. Monitor their symptoms: Keep track of your baby’s symptoms, including fever, coughing, runny nose, and any other changes in their behaviour.
  2. Maintain a consistent sleep routine: Even though your baby may be sick, try to maintain a consistent sleep routine as much as possible. A predictable sleep schedule can help them feel more secure and comfortable.
  3. Provide extra fluids: Offer your baby extra fluids, such as breastmilk or formula, to help keep them hydrated.
  4. Prepare for a lot of night time wake-ups: You may need to provide some fluids in the night. Important: If your doctor has recommended that you feed at night, do so.
  5. Offer extra comfort: If your baby is congested, using a humidifier or a nasal aspirator can help make breathing easier, which can help them sleep more soundly.
  6. Be patient: Your baby may need extra attention and comfort while they’re sick, so be patient and understanding. If they’re fussy or wake up frequently, try to soothe them back to sleep as calmly and gently as possible.
  7. Move into their bedroom: If your little one is poorly enough that you don’t want to leave them alone at night, move to their room as opposed to moving them into yours.
  8. Watch for their cues: Children who have already learned sleep skills are typically resistant to change in their routines, so don’t be surprised if they ask to be put into their cot. If you notice them pushing away from you, or arching their back towards their cot, it probably means they want to go back to sleep.
  9. Consult with a pediatrician: If your baby is having trouble sleeping or their symptoms persist, it’s always a good idea to consult with a pediatrician. They can provide specific advice and recommendations based on your baby’s age, health, and symptoms.

Remember the most important thing you can do for a sick baby is to be there for them and provide comfort and support.  With a little extra effort, you can help your little one get the rest they need to feel better.

Please seek medical advice if you are worried or concerned about any symptoms your baby may be showing.

By Jill Lawson







My services are not medical advice. The advice you receive from me is for informational purposes only and is intended for use with common early childhood sleep issues that are wholly unrelated to medical conditions. My advice is NOT intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health practitioner regarding any matters that may require medical attention or diagnosis, and before following the advice and using the techniques described in The Sleep SenseTM Program. Reliance on any information provided by Five Star Sleepers® is solely at your own risk

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