TROUBLESHOOTING THOSE SMALL DISRUPTIONS TO YOUR BABY'S SLEEP
Over the course of your baby’s life, you’ll have things come up that will throw off your baby’s sleep. These are things that are a disruption for a day, maybe even a few days, but then sleep goes back to normal if you have a strong sleep foundation built.
As a parent you’ve probably already experienced these things. If you’re anything like me before I knew anything about sleep, you probably freaked out every time these things happened. I’m going to talk to you about how to deal with these things when they come, how to prepare, and how to get over them after they pass.
First up is something that most parents deal with if you choose to vaccinate your child. Vaccinations are typically scheduled in advance, so you have a chance to prepare for when they are coming. Mentally prepare yourself for what your baby might be experiencing afterwards. Your baby might be feeling a little puny, run a low fever, etc. On the flip side, your baby might be totally fine after them. It’s always helpful though to prepare for the worst, so that you are ready when it comes.
You can also prepare physically. Talk with your doctor about things you can give your baby beforehand to help alleviate some of the pain. I like to get these little things called “Boo boo ice packs” from Amazon. You can find them here. They come in multiple designs and are really fun for your baby to hold on the injection site to help alleviate some of the pain.
The first night after vaccinations should be the only night you really have troubles, but it’s possible that your baby could feel bad for a few days. Expect to give more cuddles, nurse more, and possibly have to help your baby fall asleep. It is okay to do this. Do what you need to do in order to help your baby get some sleep.
Now this isn’t necessarily something that we can prepare for because sickness tends to happen when we least expect it. What you can do ahead of time is get a game plan for when it does happen. Talk to your pediatrician about what fever reducing medications you can have on hand. Have a humidifier ready to go when you need it. I like this one because the lights turn completely off.
While your baby is sick, they will likely have a hard time falling and staying asleep. I always recommend attempting independent sleep first before doing anything else. A good idea to try is to keep your baby in the crib and set up a mattress in the room on the floor. This way you will be right by your baby if they need anything throughout the night. We’ve done this multiple times and had to hold my daughter’s hand through the crib all night long.
After the sickness passes, it might be a struggle trying to get your baby to sleep independently again depending on how long the sickness lasted and how severe it was. Be patient with your baby. It’s likely confusing for them as well as you. If needed, go back to your original sleep training method to get your baby back sleeping well.
#3 VACATION OR SCHEDULE DISRUPTIONS
While vacations are fun times and meant to be enjoyed to the fullest, they can cause disruptions to your baby’s sleep. This is because there are usually schedule disruptions like missed or late naps and late bedtimes. Another thing that can be roped into this category is holidays. Holidays are a huge culprit when it comes to this.
I have a blog post on how to manage your baby’s sleep while on vacation that you can read here. When you go on vacation, anchor your day around one good nap. This can be a little difficult when your baby is on just one nap, but if your little one is on multiple naps, you can have a little bit more wiggle room. Aim to have one nap at the normal time and in a similar place as at home so that your baby can get some good rest for the day.
It’s completely okay and normal to change up your schedule for vacation. Enjoy your time and have fun. When you get home, get back on your typical schedule as best as possible. If you changed time zones in your travels, try anchoring the day around meal times.
When family is over or you are traveling for the holidays, try to have some time each day to let your baby relax and chill for an hour or more. Holiday time can be very stressful for everyone involved so having that time to calm down will help your baby not get so over stimulated. I also have a blog on managing your baby’s sleep over the holidays here.
While disruptions to your baby’s sleep can not really be avoided, they can be managed when they come. If you are still struggling with your baby’s sleep after one of these disruptions, let’s chat. We will come up with a plan to get you guys back on track and getting some sleep again. Click here to schedule a free 15-minute discovery call today!