Babies need more sleep when they are sick?
Sleep is the way to heal the body. As your child needs to sleep more than normal when fighting the disease, it is important that you feel comfortable and get to sleep. Sleep restores energy and offers numerous health benefits. For example, during sleep, the body produces the hormone melatonin, which stimulates the immune system.
Baby Sleep Needs
Children of all ages need adequate sleep to be healthy. Although there are average sleep requirements for babies during certain ages, individual sleep should vary. By the time a baby is 6 months old, he must sleep eight or nine hours at night but can wake up once or twice in the middle. A child of this age still needs naps and can sleep for four or five hours during the day. Between six and 12 months of age, babies usually start sleeping more at night and less during the day. But several factors can interfere with a baby’s normal sleep patterns and being sick is one of them.
Although children generally need more sleep when they get sick, pain, gas, fever, and other uncomfortable symptoms can make it difficult for them to sleep. If your baby is losing sleep because he is sick, talk to your pediatrician about your symptoms and ask what you can do to help relieve them. Pediatricians often recommend home remedies for common childhood illnesses that do not require medical treatment. General soothing techniques to help relax a sleeping baby include giving him a warm bath, gently stroking or rubbing his back. If your baby has cramps, suggests putting your face up on your lap with your head resting on your knees and then pedaling your legs as if you were riding a bicycle to relieve discomfort.
Helping a baby sleep
Your baby needs to rest and sleep to help him feel good when he is sick. Making you sleep more frequent naps or sleeping earlier than usual can help you get the extra sleep you need to recover faster. Although it is best to try to stay with your child’s normal sleep routine, it may become out of schedule a bit if your symptoms make it difficult for you to sleep. If you wake up, attend to your needs but try to get him to sleep as quickly and discreetly as possible. You should sleep more regularly when you start to feel better.
When to worry
Babies are often drowsy and irritable when they get sick. In fact, excessive drowsiness and more than normal sleep may be signs that your baby is not feeling well. Control your symptoms closely to detect changes. Do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician if your baby has trouble staying awake, is listless or not as alert as usual when awake, reports The Hospital for Sick Children. Your doctor can give you instructions to get you evaluated, especially if you have other symptoms. If you can not wake up your baby, call your physician immediately. You could have a life-threatening condition that requires emergency medical treatment.