Many sleeping difficulties experienced by babies and children stem from teething, illness, or a developmental milestone (aka leap). It is common that when our child is unwell, our routine, consistency (and resolve) tends to go out the window.
In the first 12 months (and well into their second year), our babies are developing rapidly – physically, emotionally, and neurologically. It is impossible to avoid milestones, illness and teething. However, you can help minimise the impact of these “teething pains” on their sleep (and yours). Here’s some suggestions:
1) Stick to a routine during the day. Make sure your little one is not getting overtired. Even put them to sleep for nap time and bedtime a little earlier than normal (as they will naturally be more tired during these times).
2) Now is not the time to be introducing any sleep training or other transitions such as moving them into their own bed/bedroom, night weaning, dummy weaning, or potty training etc.
3) Never self diagnose. I always recommend seeking professional advice in case your child is in need of any assistance (medical and/or natural) to ease pain or speed up their recovery process.
4) If you have not already, ensure your baby’s sleep environment is optimal for sleeping. This includes white noise, temperature, lighting, and having a comforter close by. You can always try elevating the mattress head slightly for teething and colds. This can reduce the pressure from teething, and congestion from colds (as opposed to lying flat).
5) Be patient. Respond to your baby’s needs promptly and with love and compassion… hopefully this is just for a short time, and you can pick up with your normal consistency (with overnight settling and responsiveness) once they are feeling better.
* For serious illness, or ongoing medical conditions, please seek professional medical advice prior to commencing any sleep program or following the above recommendations.
If you are finding that you are unable to get back on track with a routine following illness, teething, or leap, then please get in touch with me for a chat to see how I can help: firstname.lastname@example.org