Congratulations! Your first baby boy or girl is finally here. Now, you are officially a parent. What you ought to know is that you have just embarked on the third phase of parenthood (Phase One – carrying the baby and Phase Two – giving birth).
As a first time parent, you probably prepared yourself early enough to ensure the necessary baby stuff is available at home and at the hospital. That’s good. What you have not prepared for is the joy and laughter you will experience as a new parent. Also, you probably never prepared for the sadness, the crying, the screaming and the feeling of helplessness, especially when holding your sick infant.
When something does not feel right, it is wise to contact your infant’s pediatrician. This will help to alleviate any fears in regards to anything serious.
So, how do you handle a sick infant when it comes to sleeping?
Here are 5 things you should never do to get a sick baby to sleep
#1. Ignoring the rising temperature
Babies have a low immune power. This means they are susceptible to infections which are reflected by the body’s rise in temperature. If left unchecked, the condition will escalate. As a mother, what you need to know is that the average normal body temperature for infants varies between 97 degrees F and 100.4 degrees F.
If the baby has a temperature ranging between 98.6 degrees F to 99.5 degrees F, it is said that the baby has a low-grade fever. This may be brought about by warm weather, thick blanket cover, room temperature or overdressing.
Temperature above 100.4 degrees F is considered a fever. In such a case, cranking up the AC to lower the room temperature will not create a conducive environment for your baby to sleep. Seek the help of your infant’s pediatrician immediately you detect the fever.
#2. Forcing an ill child to tire themselves
Playing allows your child to advance their physical development and even use their creativity which helps with their dexterity, emotional strength, cognitive and imagination. It is also an important part of healthy brain development. Through play, children are able to interact with the world around them.
In addition, playing enables children to develop different skills such as balance which can be attained by skipping rope, strength which can be gained from climbing monkey bars and coordination which can be gained from different sports.
When your child is sick, they will either be moody, not playful or even lack the energy to engage in different activities. As a parent, forcing your child to burn more calories just to tire them out is not the best solution especially if you are doing so to a sick child.
Just like you, children need a lot of rest when they are sick. You don’t have to tire them forcefully to get them to sleep. Take the correct measures and everything should be ok.
#3. Increasing your child’s dosage
So, you took the right precaution when you found out that your child was sick. After a visit to your infant’s pediatrician, you are back at home. The doctor has given you a prescription medicine for your child. Clear instructions have been provided to ensure that the medicine boosts your child’s immune system giving it the chance to fight the pathogens within.
At home, the discomfort as a result of body temperature increase is making your infant cry. You don’t know what to do because he or she has been crying for the last few hours. You have tried everything – from singing lullabies to taking a small walk around the backyard but nothing seems to work.
As a last result, you opt to increase the dosage of your baby’s medicine because you already know it has that special ingredient which induces sleep. It is important to be aware that taking such as an action could result in an accidental overdose. This means it will escalate the situation.
Be patient. Follow the dosage as provided by your doctor. Your child should be well in a couple of days.
You may also like to have a restful night’s sleep yourself.
#4. Not comforting your child as you should
As an adult, when you are not well, someone is there to look after you – whether it’s a well-trained nurse at the hospital or a family member at home. Since you are under the weather, someone will attend to all your needs – give you food, provide peace of mind for you to rest and even keep you amused so as to accelerate the rate of getting better.
When your infant or child is sick, they need the same care and treatment from you. If they are in pain, they need you to assure them that the pain will go away and if they are frightened, they need you to alleviate their worries. As you already know, your infant has yet to learn how to speak and so the only way they can communicate about their pain is by crying.
When your child is sick and unable to sleep, it’s time for you to comfort them. You can sing a lullaby, read them their favorite book, listen to soothing music together or even rock on the chair.
#5. Enforcing a sleeping schedule
When you gave birth at the hospital, you were surrounded by nurses and family members. The nurses were ready to help which gave you time to sleep and rest. After breastfeeding your baby, they would take him or her to the nursery so that you could catch some shut-eye yourself. You did not have to cook or worry about laundry.
Once at home, everything is different. It’s you and your husband (but mostly you). The chores that were completed for you when at the hospital are now your responsibility. This means you are responsible for laundry, dishes, meal preparation and the biggest responsibility of all – the baby.
As first-time parents, your baby will take you through an adventure especially when it comes to sleeping patterns. I know you might be tempted to enforce a sleeping schedule right away thinking it will solve your problems. Don’t. Allow a little flexibility in your child’s life. Enforcing a sleeping schedule will frustrate you and the baby.
Take baby steps if you are planning to do so.