Sigh, my poor baby fell sick last month, and then it was followed by teething, and then followed by a Wonder Week… so it really is not surprising that she has gone into a slight sleep regression recently. Yup, babies of sleep consultants can be just as challenging too 🙁
So, what should you do when your child isn’t feeling well?
If it’s illness – I’m afraid you’ll just have to wait for it to run it’s course. Offer more comforting if your child is fussier during this period.
If it’s teething – It’s common for teething to affect sleep as it causes discomfort to the gums (especially during bedtime). However, it is usually only most painful when the tooth is cutting through and the pain shouldn’t last too long. Offer some teething gel if your child is in pain.
If it’s a Wonder Week – There will be many Wonder Weeks that a child will go through in the first 1.5years of his life, it’s an exciting time where you observe the milestones and the little skills your child picks up along the way. Unfortunately, these leaps may also affect sleep in some way. Be more present if baby is clingier during these times, offer more hugs and kisses. The leap will soon end and it should be back to normal again.
As much as you can… try not to revert to old sleep habits by giving into your baby’s sleep props. For example – if the prop was nursing to sleep, then don’t do that.. offer a little more carrying/ rocking instead. If the prop was bedsharing with you, then don’t do that… go to your child, pull a mattress next to the cot instead, it’s a lot easier for you to move out of your child’s room than moving your child out of your room. If the prop was carrying, then don’t do that… offer some patting in his cot instead. Also, remember that you’re only offering these extra comforting throughout the duration your child isn’t feeling well.
Sure, you should offer your child more comforting if they’re going through a period of illness, teething or leap. The rules can be a little more flexible during that period as your child isn’t feeling well. However, the key words are – ‘for that period only’. Often, one very common mistake parents make is that the period of extra comforting never seem to end. Then you’ll probably be asking yourself – what’s with these prolonged sleep regressions?
You should keep to the rules again once you think the discomfort is over. The good news is, if your child was once a good sleeper, he will recall how to soothe himself to sleep again when the regression is over. Try the accelerated sleep coaching (Sleep Sense method) if some gentle nudging is required.
Is your baby in that “prolonged regression” and you don’t know what to do? Contact me and we’ll set up a consultation and go through this step by step together. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +60123542010.